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New in the Glossary of Confusing Words: Undergraduate


Gabriela Gonzalez, a freshman at Northwestern University, in her dorm on Dec. 9, 2007, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Jerry Lai)

We’ve previously covered the names for every school you attend in the U.S. education system, from kindergarten through higher education, but at which one of those schools are you an undergraduate?

Thanks to Nubia for submitting this word to our Glossary of Confusing Words.


An undergraduate is someone studying for their associate or bachelor’s degree - a college student. This is the level of education that comes after high school.

- “Are you in school?”
- “Yeah. I’m an undergraduate at Princeton University.”

You can also use “undergraduate education” or “undergraduate studies” to describe the education you receive at college.

- "Where did she study?"
- "She got her undergraduate education at Georgetown University and then did a master's at Johns Hopkins."

While we’re at it, what do you call someone studying at graduate school? They’re a “graduate student” or a “postgraduate.”

Do you have a term or phrase to suggest for our Glossary of Confusing Words? Let us know what it is and where you encountered it using the form below, and we'll add it to our ever-growing collection. The Glossary is entirely created through your suggestions of words that have confused you, or that you think might confuse others, so keep those submissions coming!