What is a graduate program?

FUS editorial board

Are you finishing your undergraduate studies and are starting to ask yourself “what should I do next?” Many gravitate towards a Master’s graduate program, but if you have only just finished it can be intimidating to go back to school. Today we will discuss the purposes, types and advantages of graduate programs to help you make the best decision.

A graduate program is an academic degree that pursues an in-depth exploration of a field of study. Successful graduate students have proven expertise in a specific area of professional practice both at the theoretical and practical level. At Franklin University Switzerland, Master’s degrees also provide the opportunity to develop professional skills as an intern or project participant. After collaborating with faculty and professionals both in Switzerland and internationally, students graduate with a strong skill set, first-hand experience and connections that help further develop a broad array of career opportunities.

What is a graduate degree VS an undergraduate program?

An undergraduate degree is a title that you earn by completing an undergraduate program at a college or university. Undergraduate students work to achieve this degree after completing their high school education.

A graduate degree is an advanced degree in a particular field of study that you pursue after having earned an undergraduate degree. A graduate student is someone who is studying for a more advanced knowledge/skill than the undergraduate degree that they already have.

To sum that up, an undergraduate degree should be the field of study in which you wish to pursue a professional career, while the graduate degree is the specialized section you wish to explore within the field.

What are the requirements to enter a Master’s graduate program?

Students pursuing a Master’s degree must have previously completed their studies at the Bachelor level. Admission to graduate studies at Franklin is holistic. We consider several factors including academic records, professional experience, and community engagement.

Why study for a Master’s degree?

Two generations ago, people could get by in life and achieve considerable success with just a high school diploma. In the 1980s and 1990s, the bar was pushed a bit further and people sought after a Bachelor’s degree that would, for the most part, guarantee a job.

According to The New York Times only 200,000 people held a Master’s degree in the United States in the 1970s. This number is astonishing, compared to the data from 2019, which shows there were more than 21 million master graduates in the country.

Thanks to widespread globalization and the rapid growth of information technology, times have definitely changed. The pace of people's lives has sped up and current generations are facing the most competitive job market ever.

Many, therefore, decide to pursue a Master graduate program to set themselves apart from the ocean of resumés arriving to recruiting departments. But job stability is not the only reason behind the increased interest in graduate programs. The prospect of higher salary rates is one added advantage we cannot forget.

Let’s face it, a bigger paycheck is often one of the main objectives when discussing worklife. Even though the possibility of an increased pay rate depends on your chosen major/industry, a wide majority of companies offer a reasonable amount more to those who have acquired a Master’s degree.

What is one type of graduate degree?

A graduate degree—including master's degrees, doctorates, and PhDs—provides an advanced understanding of a specific topic or field, and demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning that many employers value.

The most common Master’s graduate programs are Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS). As their names indicate, the Master of Arts focuses on the fields of arts and humanities, and the Master of Science focuses on technical and scientific departments.

At Franklin University Switzerland you can choose to pursue either path through our

Master of Arts in Responsible Arts Management and Cultural Heritage program or our Master of Science in International Management program, which is divided into three specializations:

  1. MSIM - Digital Transformation
  2. MSIM - Leadership for Sustainable Food Systems
  3. MSIM - Responsible Management and Climate Action

For more details see Graduate Programs.

How many years is a graduate degree?

Both the Master of Arts and Master of Science programs at FUS are one year long. This year is divided into three main blocks:

  1. Leadership and Management (August to December)
    Engage in 21st century leadership and management
  2. Knowledge and Skills for Employment (January to May)
    Build your learning portfolio with your tutor: in-depth knowledge and skills for employment
  3. Experiential In-Organization Learning (May to July)
    Apply your learning in a practical and fulfilling experience

For curriculum details see Graduate Programs.

Graduate programs at Franklin University Switzerland

Franklin University Switzerland offers graduate programs providing hands-on, dynamic, and experiential learning opportunities to catapult you to the next level in your studies or career.

Our graduate programs take advantage of the university's cross-cultural environment and central location in Europe to provide internationally-focused Master’s degree programs. Students learn from Franklin faculty, visiting experts and each other. Moreover, graduate studies at Franklin provide the opportunity to develop professional skills as an intern or project participant.

How to apply to graduate school?

The graduate admission procedure

Admission to graduate studies at Franklin University Switzerland is a holistic procedure involving multiple aspects of the applicant's academic life. We consider several factors during our decision making process including academic records, professional experience, and community engagement.

Students from all disciplines are welcome to apply to our programs. Prior to enrolling students must show proof of knowledge, or have equivalent experience in three specific areas: Accounting Fundamentals, Corporate Finance, and Research Methodology. During the admissions interview we will determine if one or more requirements are yet to be met, and give you the option of completing them within our school.


Applying to a Master Degree program at FUS

Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis, and the admission decision will be communicated after all admission materials have been received and requirements have been met. Candidates requiring a visa should complete their applications by June 1st for the Fall intake, or by December 1st for the Spring intake to allow time for processing the visa request.

To complete your application, you will need to follow these four steps:

Your two recommendations can be from a current or former supervisor, colleague, or professor who is sufficiently familiar with and can evaluate your academic performance. Use your best judgment on who you decide to ask - how well a person knows you should take priority over their seniority

  1. Submit your personal documents
    • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
    • Personal Statement: Your personal statement is your opportunity to explain your reasons for undertaking graduate study. Please describe your professional goals, interests and how you believe the program will help you in your career.The statement should be about 500 words in length, written in U.S. English.
    • Official transcripts: We require official transcripts from an accredited institution for your bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Please also submit transcripts for any coursework completed, including study abroad and post graduate work.
    • Evidence of English-language proficiency (if necessary) if you attended a non-English-language undergraduate institution, we require a score of 90 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or a score of 6.5 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
  2. Submit Two Recommendations
  3. Submit a Complete Application form
  4. Schedule an interview with the Director of Graduate Programs

Once your file is complete an email will be sent to you with instructions for scheduling the interview.


Graduate major is a specialized degree you can pursue after your undergraduate program to gather experience and strengthen your skills. These programs can make you more eligible for jobs and even for salary raises in the future. While all graduate degrees will have somewhat different focus and structures, they are all planned to give you a specialized look into your industry or field of choice. You participate in industry-specific training, professional development, and networking opportunities as you reinforce the theory you have learned and put it into practice in real situations.

Want to join Franklin University Switzerland?

Are you ready to take on your next adventure? Franklin's are the explorers who want more than what we already know. We study internationally relevant topics because they matter to us, to humanity and our future. Each day is an opportunity to work through problems together. We are never alone, because we are supported by dedicated professors, our peers from 50 different countries, and an alumni population that spans the globe.

Request more information

Information for prospective graduate students

Why Franklin?

Applying to Franklin

Basic Facts and Figures

Our Campus

Housing and Dining

Chat With Our Students

Dual Accreditation

Scholarships and Financial Aid




Share this post