A grad school is a university/institution that is associated with professional and advances degrees like masters in science, masters in business administration or PhD. A grad school is for one who has completed his/her under graduation from a recognized school.
Since graduate school offers professional degrees, the main emphasis is on research. This is the base component here and grad students are completely focused on their chosen career. The graduate students are referred to as post graduates in certain countries like United Kingdom and India.
The admission process is similar in most of the grad schools as far as the same program is considered but the admission requirements vary drastically with the type of school, reputation and the course. Top schools usually ask for consistent and rewarding academic track record, good percentile scores in the international entrance examinations like GRE, TOEFL or GMAT. The other factors that determine the admission chances are statement of purpose ‘s and letters or recommendation from established people in the field. Past research activities and technical presentations increase the chances of grad school admission. For international students, TOEFL score is a must and the requirements varies with school. Some people do apply for non degree which implies that don’t formally get a degree but learn things.
Most of the students get funding in the form of stipend and tution waivers. Good thing is the stipends are on a rise in many Universities due to reasons like pressure from students and the obvious reason competition from other Universities. Also the Universities mostly sponsor for trips related to education and conferences. There are also associations like NSF, NIH and other mission agencies that grant funds based on the candidate and discipline! Those who are into natural sciences find it easy to get funding compared to those who are into others like humanities or social sciences that are theory oriented. Also, domestic students have more chances to get funding as certain things like work study assistance are not available easily to international students. Students of few courses like MBA join graduate employee unions or labor unions that are started by students themselves. This is required as they have fewer chances for paid teaching and assistantships.
If you are an masters of science aspirant, the following post lists the grad schools that you can get incase if you have taken the GRE test. These scores are reported as per the old GRE pattern and we will update it once the new GRE begins!