If you’re planning to study in the U.S.A, you have a number of choices when it comes to picking your school. There are many types of colleges and universities, each having its own mission and purpose within American education System.
Two-year institutions, which are typically referred to as community or junior colleges, award the associate degree — Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) — following successful completion of a two-year, full-time program. A small number of two-year colleges offer the final two years of the undergraduate program only, awarding the bachelor’s degree rather than the associate degree.
There are two basic types of programs at community and junior colleges, so you should have your career goals in mind when doing your college search.
Some programs are strictly academic and designed to prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions with bachelor’s degree programs. Others are more practical or applied and provide career training in specific areas. This second type of school does not usually prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution, though some of the credits earned may still be accepted by a four-year institution.
Most community and junior colleges are publicly supported by the state and local communities, although some are private. Some private two-year colleges are proprietary or run for a profit. Investigate any college information you can find about these schools to get a better sense of their backgrounds
A public school is a college or university primarily funded by a state government. Public colleges and universities generally are larger than private schools and have larger class sizes. At a public school, you will likely have a larger selection of majors than you would at a private school, with both liberal arts classes and specialized programs.
A private school is a college or university that often operates as an educational nonprofit organization. It does not receive its primary funding from a state government. Private schools generally are smaller than public schools and have smaller class sizes than public schools. Some private schools may have religious affiliations. Private schools usually have a smaller selection of majors but may offer more specialized academic programs.
Ivy League universities:
The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight)is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term Ivy League is typically used beyond the sports context to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.
There are many types of college degree programs and college degree options available through the colleges partnering with Colleges-USA. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the degree program you want to explore. The following degree programs are offered by the colleges found on Colleges-USA:
- Certifications and Diplomas
- Associates Degree
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Master’s Degree
- Doctorate Degree
Certifications and Diplomas
Certificate programs and Diploma programs are a great way to improve your existing skills or learn a new skill in a short amount of time. Certificates and Diploma programs are much shorter than other degree programs and many can be completed in approximately 3 months. The certificate programs provide a solution to becoming educated in a new area without devoting the full time for online degree.
An associate degree is an undergraduate degree that can be earned in approximately 2 years. An associate degree program consists of three parts: major requirements, general education requirements and electives.
Types of Associate Degrees
The two types of associate degrees offered are the associate of arts degree (A.A.) and the associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.). The tuition for associate degree programs is typically much less than a four-year program. Considering this, many students choose to attend a two-year college and enroll in one of the many associate degree programs as a way of lowering the cost of getting a college degree.
Baccalaureate degrees are four-year degrees awarded by colleges or universities. This undergraduate degree allows students to select both a major which is the area of study, and a minor which is the more specific area of concentration. In most cases, the bachelor degree must be completed before embarking on a master’s or doctoral degree.
Types of Bachelor Degrees
There are two primary bachelor’s degree qualification types:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) – This type of degree type usually requires a majority of coursework be taken in the arts; areas such as social science, humanities, music or fine arts.
- Bachelor of Science (BS) – This type of degree usually requires a majority of coursework be taken in the sciences; areas such as life sciences, physical sciences, or mathematical sciences
A Master’s degree, unlike an associate and bachelors degree, is a graduate degree that requires specialized knowledge and study focused in one area. Generally, the number of credits required to complete a masters degree is usually between 30 and 60 hours. This usually requires 1 to 2 years to complete if attending classes full-time. If attending classes on a part time basis, masters degrees can take several years.
Types of Master Degrees
There are two main types of master’s degree, the MA (Master of Arts) and the MS (Master of Science):
- Master of Arts – A post-baccalaureate degree awarded upon completion of 30 semester hours of graduate credit, usually in the social sciences.
- Master of Science – A post-baccalaureate degree awarded upon completion of 30 semester hours of graduate credit, usually in the sciences or professions.
A doctorate degree provides the highest level of education possible. Generally, the steps which are necessary to receive a doctorate include the successful completion of both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. The doctorate degree implies expertise within a field and traditionally takes between 3-6 years to complete.
Types of Doctorate Degrees:
The two primary types of doctoral degrees are research doctorates and professional doctorates.
- Research doctorates – typically awarded in recognition of peer-reviewed academic research that is of a publishable standard.
- Professional doctoral degrees – awarded in fields such as medicine (MD) and law (JD) where candidates focus on qualifying for professional licensure rather than on research.