Students begin higher education in
Some universities are competitive, selecting only those students with excellent grades and test scores. A majority of schools in
Colleges vs. Universities
The terms "college" and "university" are used interchangeably. Differences do exist; a college awards bachelor's (or undergraduate) degrees mainly, while universities also award master's and doctoral (or graduate) degrees. Colleges are generally smaller, as well. If a small school has the program you're interested in, or if you think you'd be more comfortable there, then that may be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, larger universities have a wider selection of programs and may be able to provide you with services that a smaller school cannot. The best school is the one that's right for you.
The American education system may differ from what you're accustomed to in your native country. The types of exams administered, the academic calendar, and the grading system may seem unusual to you at first. Make an effort to understand the education system, and your transition to academic life will be more comfortable and less overwhelming.
A majority of American universities operate under the semester system—approximately 15 weeks of class. Classes and exams occur during two separate semesters. Generally, fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December. The spring semester begins in early January and ends in early May. Some institutions of higher education in
Accreditation is the system of recognition and quality assurance for institutions and programs of higher education in the
For more background information about undergraduate and graduate/professional study, short-term study, English language programs, distance education and accreditation, and predeparture information, check out one of the booklets below. All were produced by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Booklet Two: Graduate and Professional Study and Research from the If You Want to Study in the United States Series PDF (3.1MB)
Booklet Three: Short-Term Study, English Language Programs, Distance Education and Accreditation from the If You Want to Study in the United States Series PDF (1.1MB)
Booklet Four: Getting Ready to Go: Practical Information for Living and Studying in the United States Series PDF (1.1MB)