1

I have previously been involved with mentoring high school students as well as undergraduates, who typically don't have a clear understanding of all of the career possibilities available to them and how they might pursue them.

One of the distinctions I typically make is that "Professional School" (e.g. medical, law, physicians assistant, nurse practitioner, dental) is further training past undergraduate studies that prepares you for entry into a very specific profession/job with a terminal degree. "Graduate School" is additional training that prepares you to be an expert in a particular field, but the job opportunities are much more diverse and you may or may not be working toward a terminal degree. One of my college advisors made this distinction to me, and I have carried it forward.

Is making this distinction between graduate and professional school correct? Is there another more specific or subtle difference that I am missing?

What is the true distinction between graduate and professional school? - Or is there not one?

  • 1
    Given the professions you listed for "professional school", a very cynical part of me wants to say "salary prospects" ;-) – tonysdg Jun 8 '16 at 15:22
  • nice comment @tonysdg... I wonder where individuals would place MBA programs or other specialized masters programs? – Vance L Albaugh Jun 8 '16 at 16:18
2

At least in my geographic region (Texas, or the US southern states), a professional school implies a curriculum that targets specific skills for a particular vocation. In effect, this is akin to my awkward bastardization of several concepts:

"Teach a man to fish and he can become a fisherman ... help him learn how to think and he can pursue a career in whatever he wants."

The former refers to a professional/vocational school. The latter refers to accredited universities with broader range of curriculum missions. Granted, this reflects my biased perspective: admittedly, vocational schools have a (usually) noble and useful purpose, but proper universities can offer so much more to enrich the whole student, and potentially brighten the intellectual and career outlook for years to come.

| improve this answer | |

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.