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Differences Between College and University: Many people especially students, after their completion of secondary education, may wonder the difference between a college and a university before furthering their postsecondary education. This article will be a one – stop destination to explaining that to you.
Differences Between College and University
Before hitting the nail on the head, it is necessary to give the definition of the key words; university and college.
A college is a smaller institution. It typically offers undergraduate degrees. Most colleges offer only two-year degrees. These kind of colleges are called community college or junior college.
Most colleges offer bachelor’s degree and some colleges also have associate degrees. But colleges mostly offer diploma as certificates.
The word university is derived from the Latin Universitas Magistrorum et Scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars”.
A university is a bigger institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Most universities offer graduate programs leading to master’s degree that enables one to obtain a master’s degree or a Ph.D.
Universities have numerous professional courses for study for students who wish to have a professional degree in courses like law, medicine and surgery, engineering, etc.
Generally, universities have larger numbers of enrolled students as they are numerous courses and classes for study than a college.
The Meaning of These Terminologies in the USA
Be aware that there is a very distinct difference in terminology between the USA and the rest of the world. In the US, there is very little difference academically between a “college” and a “university.”
In the US, the terms are synonymous; other countries use “college” to refer to some secondary schools, but “university” is always used to mean an institution of tertiary education and higher learning. Universities are usually larger and often contain multiple “colleges” within them.
However, some of the top-ranked schools in the US have a name including “college” (e.g., Dartmouth College). In other parts of the English-speaking world, the term “university” equates to the US use of “college” and the term “college” refers more to be trade or vocational school.
Criteria to Become a University
Before any higher institution can receive a university status, it must need the following requirements for at least five years:
- Organization: it must have a graduate studies program and its associated programs and they must be separate from the normal undergraduate program and the entire organization itself. It must also have staffs that have the primary responsibility of administering the graduate and professional programs.
- Programs: it must have an undergraduate studies program that leads to a bachelor’s degree in a wide range of academic subjects and a graduate studies program that lead to advanced degrees in a minimum of three different academic or professional fields.
- Resources: it must be able to financially support its graduate and professional programs and have the facilities and equipment required to exhibit the level of work needed in both.
- Accreditation: it must be accredited and depending on the state, possibly licensed and incorporated within the state.
Can Colleges Offer Graduate Degrees?
The conception that colleges offer only undergraduate degrees is not true. There are a lot of colleges that offer master degrees. The concept is this; a college does not distribute degrees on its own.
A college can distribute only a diploma certificate for any course. A university is authorized to distribute degrees at any level.
When a college gets affiliated to any university, it can distribute degrees but on behalf of that university to which it is affiliated.
The Actual Differences Between a College and a University
The difference between a college and university is that a college just offers a collection of degrees in one specific area while a university is a collection of colleges.
When you go to a university, you are going to be graduating from one of their colleges, such as Business College depending on what you want. Single colleges tend to be smaller while universities are bigger, but are better known.
Many colleges rename themselves “universities” because they want a more imposing name for their institution but nothing is changed.
Is a University Better than a College?
Many students ask if a university is better than a college. The truth is that a college and university are academic almost the same. Community college used to have a reputation of being less academically serious than traditional four-year universities.
But a lot has changed in the world of community college. Most importantly, academic standards have risen, as have the qualifications of the teachers.
The choice of institution really depends on your overall plan for higher education. There are many benefits to beginning your college career at a community college.
This may be because the quality of education is comparable to traditional institutions of higher education, tuition is more affordable and the schedule is more flexible.
However, depending on what a student needs for study, one type of institution may be a better choice. For example, if a student wants to attend a school with a variety of programs and classes, then a university may be a better option.
If a student values small class sizes and closer relationship with professors, then a college might be the best option. If you are a student considering getting a bachelor’s or graduate degree, your school’s name is less important than whether or not the school is a good fit. Think about what you want your college experience to be like, and choose the university that meets your expectations.
Education is very important if you want to be dependent, saved from being exploited and fooled, and effective in thoughts and actions. It helps you become financially independent but that is not all. Education also makes you wiser so that you can make your own decisions.
In acquiring an education, the institution acquired will be less important if you don’t carry a positive mind set. Don’t see any institution as being inferior but see yourself excelling higher than these institutions.
If you cannot afford expensive universities, you can go for less expensive colleges, also, if you cannot afford expensive colleges, you can go for less expensive universities. They are all fountains of knowledge. It’s your effort that really matters.
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