When someone completes their Bachelors degree, we say that he/she has graduated.

Is their any such term for completion of a post-graduate degree (Masters or PhD)?

Also, sometimes I have heard people saying he/she has graduated, even for Masters. Is this correct?


2 Answers 2


Yes, it is correct and common, at least in the United States, to say "he/she has graduated" when referring to a Masters or PhD.

To distinguish it from a Bachelors degree, it is common to hear

"He/she graduated with a Master's in Mathematics."


"He/she has graduated with a PhD."

  • 3
    Same in the UK.
    – David Pugh
    May 27, 2015 at 18:07
  • Okay. Thanks. Back here in India, I had heard some of my colleagues using the same language. Was just intrigued if it was "okay" to use it.
    – shivams
    May 27, 2015 at 20:05

The term "graduate" is largely used when referring to students who have graduated with a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. There really is no specific term (equivalent of graduate) that specifies the degree a student received. If you only need to convey that someone graduated from college, you can just say "she is a college graduate). If you want to provide information regarding the level of the degree earned, you would just have to specify in the sentence (e.g. She earned a Masters degree in Agriculture from Louisiana State University). You wouldn't need to state that she was a graduate with a masters degree, because it is already implied.

Now, if you want to refer to someone who already received a bachelors degree and is still in the process of receiving a higher degree, the appropriate term is "graduate student." This does not have the same meaning as the term "graduate." For example, I am currently working on my Phd. Therefore, you would refer to me as a graduate student.

Hope that makes sense/answers your question to some degree [no pun intended ;)]

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. The question is asking about graduate as a verb, however, not as a noun or adjective.
    – choster
    May 27, 2015 at 18:29
  • Wouldn't a PhD student be a postgraduate?
    – Lucky
    May 27, 2015 at 18:43
  • Though your answer doesn't exactly answer my question (as pointed out by @choster), still it is informative. So +1.
    – shivams
    May 27, 2015 at 20:09
  • Ahh, the question was about the verb. My mistake! I misread/misunderstood. In that case, Joseph's answer is spot on. And yes, Lucky, you could also refer to a graduate student as a postgraduate. In my department we use the terms interchangeable. I believe graduate is sort of a shorthand version of postgraduate. (p.s. thanks for the welcome. This is a great resource!)
    – Shell
    May 27, 2015 at 20:21

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