There are, of course, many differences. Some of the most important ones are:
- Undergraduate programs are more general in nature. They include general education courses in a wide variety of subjects that are not part of graduate education. Graduate programs are highly specialized and much more advanced than undergraduate programs.
- Undergraduate classes are usually much larger and less individualized. In graduate programs, students work closely with professors, often on a one-to-one basis.
- While some undergraduate programs require a senior project or a similar activity, graduate studies are much more research oriented. Master's and doctoral programs include some class work, but research preparation and defense is a primary focus in most programs. Undergraduate programs usually restrict examinations to those related to individual classes; graduate programs also include comprehensive examinations that are very important.
- It is comparatively easy to change undergraduate major subjects and to move to a different school during a program. It is much more difficult to do so in graduate programs, as they are narrowly specialized. Graduate programs in psychology, for example, may be very different from one university to another.