Graduate courses are designed for, and usually awarded to, graduate students enrolled in the Graduate School who have passed all the requirements, regardless of whether they have attained a diploma or not. Some courses in the 300 and higher grades are open to upper-class undergraduates and graduate students. Many graduate courses have some or all of the courses required towards the degree of the graduate student as well. In most cases, however, graduate courses require a student to have taken the Graduate Studies Degree, which is a separate degree from the Bachelor of Science Degree that most students earn before they begin graduate school.
Graduate courses are a more specialized and rigorous type of educational experience than undergraduate courses. In graduate courses, graduate students have to be academic, not only with written assignments but also with the written and oral presentations that are a part of their academic requirements. The graduate courses are generally more challenging, because graduate students need to demonstrate in written form and oral form that they possess the knowledge necessary to complete the assigned work and earn their graduate degrees.
Undergraduate students may take general courses in their Bachelor of Arts Degree, but not graduate courses. Undergraduate students who wish to enroll in graduate programs may take general courses in their Bachelor of Science Degrees, but they cannot take graduate courses unless they are participating in an interdisciplinary program. Graduate school is much less demanding on its undergraduate students than it is on its graduate students. Most students who seek admission into graduate programs have already completed all their undergraduate work. Freshman students who have an undergraduate degree are automatically admitted into graduate programs; there are no deadlines for this enrollment.