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?


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."

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Same in the UK. – David Pugh May 27 '15 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 '15 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 ;)]

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. The question is asking about graduate as a verb, however, not as a noun or adjective. – choster May 27 '15 at 18:29
  • Wouldn't a PhD student be a postgraduate? – Lucky May 27 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 20:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.