A first year graduate student is called a first-year or a first-year grad student.
An expanded response to your question
A first-year graduate student is an individual who has completed their undergraduate degree and has decided to continue their education at the graduate level. They are often referred to simply as a “first-year” or a “first-year grad student.” This can apply to students pursuing a master’s degree, a doctoral degree, or any other advanced degree program.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were approximately 2.8 million graduate students enrolled in the United States during the 2017-2018 academic year. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few decades, as more and more students recognize the value of obtaining an advanced degree.
One interesting fact about first-year graduate students is that they often face a steep learning curve when transitioning from undergraduate studies. As the National Science Foundation notes, “Graduate study demands intellectual curiosity, analytical and critical thinking skills, self-motivation, and perseverance.” Additionally, graduate programs may require students to conduct independent research, publish papers, or complete high-level coursework in a short amount of time, which can be challenging for even the most talented students.
Here is a table summarizing some key differences between undergraduate and graduate education:
|Feature||Undergraduate Education||Graduate Education|
|Degree Awarded||Bachelor’s degree||Master’s degree, doctoral degree, or other advanced degree|
|Focus||Broad, general education||Specialized knowledge in a specific field|
|Coursework||Primarily lecture-based||Combination of coursework, independent research, and professional development activities|
|Time to Completion||4 years (on average)||Varies depending on program and degree level|
|Admissions Criteria||High school transcripts, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities||Undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and/or standardized test scores|
As former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said, “Graduate education is absolutely critical to America’s economic success and global competitiveness.” If you are considering pursuing a graduate degree, whether as a first-year student or at another stage in your academic journey, it is important to carefully weigh your options and consider the potential benefits and challenges.
Watch related video
The video explains the different types of degrees: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. An associate’s degree takes about two years, a bachelor’s takes about four to complete, and a master’s takes two years beyond the bachelor’s degree. A Ph.D. degree can take several years and usually leads to specialized careers in academia or research. Professional degrees like law or medicine tend to be the most expensive, but they are the highest-paying type of degree and lead to specific careers. They can be completed in less time than a Ph.D., and there are opportunities to take accelerated routes.
Other answers to your question
Masters student A master’s student is a student who has completed an undergraduate degree and is now pursuing a higher degree at the graduate level.
A first-year graduate student is typically referred to as a "first-year". The term "freshman" is usually used to refer to an undergraduate student, but in some cases, it can also refer to a student in their first year of graduate school. A first-year graduate student is starting a graduate degree, which is different from an undergraduate degree.
Years of graduate school are often just referred to by number; for example, "I’m in my first year" or "I’m a first-year."
A freshman typically refers to an undergraduate student, though in some cases, the term can also refer to a student in their first year of graduate school.
A first-year graduate is starting a bachelor’s degree, also called an undergraduate degree.
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