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Colleges, Universities and Institutes in USA

These words “School,” “College,” or “University” are used interchangeably. In general, colleges tend to be smaller institutions which offer only undergraduate degrees, while a university also offers graduate degrees.

Bachelor’s and Associate degrees

The bachelor’s degree normally takes four years to complete while the associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Student can transfer into the third year of a four-year bachelor’s degree program.Four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs, while some of them also associate degree programs.

Doctorate (Ph.D.):

Most of the schools consider the Master’s Degree as the first step towards attaining the Ph.D. (doctorate). But in some schools, students are allowed to prepare directly for the doctoral degree without earning a Master’s Degree. The lime lag for earning the Doctorate or Ph.D. degree is three to six years. During the first two years candidates join in classes and seminars. For another one year, the students conduct actual research and write the thesis. This research paper or dissertation contains topics, views, designs, or research based on the original work of the candidate and none of the contents should have been published previously.

The Liberal Arts

It is a shortened form of the term “liberal arts and sciences,” and the liberal arts philosophy is a unique feature of the U.S. higher education system. U.S. undergraduate education is based on this concept, which believes in providing a well-rounded academic education that develops the student’s verbal, written, and reasoning skills. Students at a liberal arts college, or at a university with a strong liberal arts program, begin their degree study by taking classes in a wide variety of courses in the arts, humanities, languages or social and physical sciences.

Professional Education :

Professional education is included within the U.S. university system. Large universities tend to comprise of a college of arts and sciences and several professional schools – usually business, agriculture, medicine, law, and journalism. Institutes of technology have a scientific emphasis in all the degrees they offer.

State Universities

State Universities are founded and subsidized by respective state governments with an aim of providing low-cost education to residents of that state. These universities are as known as public universities which distinguish them from the private ones. The cost of studies in State universities is lower than the private universities and the residents of the particular state have to pay lower tuition fees than those from other states or the International students, who are treated as non residents. The international students might be required to meet other eligibility criteria such as higher admission requirements in comparison with the residents.

Private Universities

Private universities are generally funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees, research grants, besides gifts from their alumni. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, but there is no distinction made between state and non-state residents. Colleges with a religious affiliation and single-sex colleges are private. In general, private universities have enrollments of fewer than 20,000 students, and private colleges may have 2,000 or fewer students on their campuses.

Community Colleges:-

Community colleges provide two-year associate degree programs, usually called the Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees. They also provide excellent technical and vocational programs. Community colleges are community-based institutions with close links to secondary schools, community groups and employers. Many U.S. students live close to campus with their families. Community colleges can be public or private institutions and are sometimes called junior colleges or two-year colleges. For many international students, the quest for a U.S. bachelor’s degree will begin at a community college.

Technical and Vocational Colleges :-

Technical and vocational colleges are the ones which specialize in training students for entry into the real world of work. They offer certificate and other short-term programs that train students in the theory behind a specific vocation or technology and the related know-how of working with the technology or the profession. These programs usually last for two years or less.