The Nature of Graduate Study

Graduate study presupposes a broad background of knowledge and preparation at the undergraduate level for the desired graduate program. It is recognized that graduate studies differ both quantitatively and qualitatively from undergraduate studies.

All graduate work should exhibit no less than three of these characteristics. Superior graduate work should exhibit all of these characteristics:

  1. Demonstrates freedom from spelling and grammatical errors
  2. Reflects a serious engagement with secondary literature
  3. Reflects a serious engagement with primary literature
  4. Makes a sustained argument.

It is expected that graduate work be substantially more advanced than undergraduate work in at least the following ways:

  1. Level of complexity
  2. Depth of specialization
  3. Quality of analysis
  4. Capacity to synthesize material
  5. Intellectual creativity
  6. Breadth and depth of explanation
  7. Pursuit of significant questions and issues
  8. Reconsideration of the history of the discipline.

Generally, only students with a strong undergraduate record should pursue graduate study.