After you obtain an undergraduate degree it is possible to pursue a graduate option, but you may experience some limitations in that you must pursue a degree in relation to the undergraduate degree that you already have. It is possible to pursue a degree that is unrelated to your undergraduate degree but it is a lot more difficult and there are more setbacks for you to deal with. There aren’t really any limits placed on your graduate options with your undergrad degree but there are things you should consider when choosing a graduate option after you complete your undergrad work.
How Close Are the Two Degrees?
The closer in relation the degrees you are pursuing for graduate school means the better chance you have at getting it. When you are getting an undergrad degree or you already have one you should have your graduate school goal in mind and figure out how closely related the two degrees are. Picking something related to science as an undergrad and following up in graduate school with a degree that is still closely related to science means that there isn’t much of a stretch and you can make the adjustments necessary to get that graduate degree. In addition to making adjustments necessary you won’t face many limitations because you have studied a great deal of science in undergrad school meaning you can still compete with graduate students and you have a good chance of understanding the material without having to face any setbacks. One of the biggest limits to someone pursuing a graduate degree is when they try to do it over something they have little knowledge of. That lack of knowledge will make the difficult workload of graduate school even more difficult and harder to overcome even if you have an undergraduate degree.
For example someone wanting to pursue a graduate degree in writing that has a business degree would not be as capable as someone who majored as an undergrad in English. The people with the English major would have written several pages worth of reports, articles, and essays that expanded over a wide range of subjects. Their understanding of the written language would far surpass that of the casual undergraduate student and it would prepare them for what is to come when they decide to pursue a graduate degree in writing. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for someone who was working towards a business degree during their time in undergraduate school.
Their knowledge of business would not be as important or effective when they are trying to get a graduate degree in school and at the very least they will have problems trying to keep up with other graduate students that know the subject well. This is the main reason that someone who has an undergrad degree in one area could not pursue a graduate degree in one that is completely different because they have a limited amount of knowledge and skill over the subject.
Experience Outside of the Classroom
There is a way to overcome the limitation that an unrelated undergraduate degree has when you want to go after graduate school options. If someone has spent enough time outside of school to pursue their goals in the subject and have done studying and research on their own time they will have a competitive advantage over those who have an undergrad degree in the same subject. The knowledge that it would require to have that advantage though would take years and it would mean continuously pursuing that subject outside of the undergrad coursework. This is one of the best ways to overcome the limitations that come with picking a graduate degree. Just as someone who has an undergrad degree in business would have a hard time getting a graduate degree in writing if that person were to have had a writing career over a long period time and quite possibly have taken several upper level English and writing related courses they could still choose to go to graduate school and succeed despite the fact that they do not have an undergraduate degree in that particular subject.
Your Undergrad Degree May Limit Your Grad Options
If you have an undergrad degree that is specifically concentrated in one area and you are planning to pursue a grad option in an area that is completely different you will face difficulties and it will be nearly impossible to pursue a graduate degree in that particular field, but if you have knowledge of it and you have maintained that knowledge and continued to increase it so that you have the equivalent skill of an undergrad that has that same degree you have more options as a grad student. It is not your degree so much as your knowledge of the subject that dictates whether or not your undergrad degree limits your grad options.