Information for students about higher education in the USA

American higher education is considered one of the best in the world, and it is usually obtained during 4 years of study at the bachelor’s program and 2 years of study at the master’s program at an American university or college. In the United States, it is customary to call all universities colleges, even if we are talking about universities. All American universities are divided into two main types – Private Universities and Public (State) Universities. Depending on the availability of research programs or postgraduate programs, higher educational institutions are divided into colleges and universities. Education in the US is quite tough, therefore as a student, I decided to ask for professional help when I had to write my paper for the College.

Structure of higher education in the USA:

Higher education in the United States is divided into several levels and lasts from 4 to 6 years, or longer, depending on the student’s goals:

Bachelor’s degree: duration of study is 4 years

Master’s degree: The duration of training is 1.5-2 years

Doctoral studies

Most four-year colleges are small (less than 2,000 students and most of them are religious) and private. Universities, in turn, are divided into two types: private universities and state universities.

State universities are quite large and in many respects inferior to private ones. Private universities include the most famous American universities, such as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and others. Many universities and colleges accept students only based on the results of their performance at high school, but prestigious universities usually arrange a competitive selection, since the number of applicants significantly exceeds the possibilities of admission to educational institutions.

Students who have received secondary education can enroll:

  • to Community Colleges 
  • to Technical Colleges 
  • to City Colleges 
  • to Junior Colleges

After two years of study, all of them give out an Associate’s Degree comparable to secondary special education. There is another way to continue studying — to enroll in colleges or universities, where a four-year course of education ends with a bachelor’s degree. To receive it, students must collect a certain number of credit units and pass the required exams. Those who have received a bachelor’s degree can, again, continue their studies to obtain a master’s degree (2-3 years) or a Doctor of Philosophy (3 years or more).

Study programs in the USA available for international students:

International students can study at colleges and universities in the United States. The admission requirements for our students depend on the educational institution, the state in which the university is located, and on the course. Students who have received a certificate of secondary education can enroll immediately in the first year of community college) For admission to the first year of the university, students are invited to complete a preparatory program, which consists of intensive study of the English and subjects of the course. Many universities in the United States will require foreign students to pass the SAT, ACTs.

University entrance preparation programs conducted based on colleges, universities, and language centers

  • Bachelor course
  • Magistracy
  • Associate Degree

The cost of studying at US universities

The cost of studying at American universities, first of all, depends on the rating of the educational institution, state, and course.

The average cost of training per year for a bachelor’s program is from 20 to 35 thousand US dollars. Many universities offer discounts on tuition for international students. It should also be taken into account the fact that while studying at an American university, students can earn extra money on campus. This allows you to earn additional funds for accommodation and food. The cost of studying for a master’s degree usually starts from 20 thousand dollars. 

The cost of studying at prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford is much higher and amounts to about 30-60 thousand US dollars per year.

The cost of studying at community colleges is much cheaper-from $ 10,000 per year. Therefore, many students first study for two years in college, receive an Associate Degree, and then transfer to the university for a bachelor’s program.

The difference between a Bachelor’s Degree and an Associate Degree obtained at US universities

Study programs in the United States differ in the structure and degree received.

Very often, students have a question what is the difference between a Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities (B. A.) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences (B. S.), which is awarded to students by universities and colleges in the United States, and an Associate degree in the Humanities (A. A.) or an Associate Degree in Natural Sciences (A. S.), whose diploma is more often issued by colleges in the United States.

Associate Degree 

A degree awarded by a college or university after successful completion of a two-year full-time degree program or its part-time equivalent. An Associate Degree in Humanities (A. A.) or an Associate Degree in Natural Sciences (A. S.) is awarded after the student completes a program of study similar to the curriculum of the first two years of study at a four-year college. The Associate Degree in Applied Sciences (A. A. S.) is awarded by many colleges upon completion of technical or vocational training programs. Programs leading to an Associate Degree may be “semester” programs. They lead to the beginning of a certain professional career at the end or “transfer” programs that coincide with the first two years of study for a bachelor’s degree. Then the student can transfer to the third year of study in a four-year college for a bachelor’s program.

Bachelor’s degree

A degree is awarded after the successful completion of usually four years of a full-time program of study or the equivalent of this program in a part-time program of study at a college or university.

The Bachelor’s degree in Humanities (B. A.) and the Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences (B. S.) is the most common bachelor’s degrees. There is absolutely no difference between these degrees.

The policy of awarding them may vary from university to university. International students usually cannot study in a part-time program and must maintain the status of a full-time Program throughout the academic year. One of the most attractive features of the Bachelor’s Degree Program in the United States is that this program is very flexible. You can usually choose from a large variety of courses available and create your unique training program. The degree is awarded after the successful completion of a certain number of credits. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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