Study in USA

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Education System - USA

Education in United States

USA offers the world’s most flexible education system. Each University can determine the content of the program and admission standards. Transfer of credits is possible ensuring smooth lateral movement ie one can change from one Institution to another. Students can decide their area of specialization and US has it on offer

 

Types of Institution in USA:

Public Universities:

Most Public Universities are State universities operated by state government entities. These are generally large in size. All levels of degrees with different fields of study are offered. Public colleges and universities are relatively reasonably priced for residents of their respective state, who pay in-state tuition fees. Foreign students pay ‘out-of-state’ tuition, which is higher.

Some of the most popular public Universities in the US include:

University of California Berkeley (California), University of Michigan Ann Arbor (Michigan), University of Virginia (Virginia), University of California Los Angeles (California) (UCLA), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (North Caroline), College of William and Mary (VA) (Virginia), Univ. of Wisconsin Madison (Wisconsin), Univ. of California San Diego (California), U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia), University of California Davis (California), University of California Irvine (California), Univ. of California Santa Barbara (California), University of Texas Austin (Texas), University of Washington (Washington), Pennsylvania State U. University Park (Pennsylvania), University of Florida (Florida), Univ. of Maryland College Park (Maryland), Rutgers New Brunswick (NJ) (New Jersey), University of Georgia (Georgia), University of Iowa (Iowa), Miami University Oxford (OH) (Ohio), Ohio State University Columbus (Ohio), Purdue Univ. West Lafayette (IN) (Indiana), Texas A&M Univ. College Station (Texas), University of Connecticut (Connecticut), University of Delaware (Delaware), Univ. of Minnesota Twin Cities (Minnesota), University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Indiana University Bloomington (Indiana), Michigan State University (Michigan), Clemson University (SC) (South Carolina), SUNY Binghamton (New York), Univ. of California Santa Cruz (California), University of Colorado Boulder (Colorado), Virginia Tech (Virginia), Univ. of California Riverside (California), Iowa State University (Iowa), North Carolina State U. Raleigh (North Carolina), University of Alabama (Alabama), Univ. of Missouri Columbia (Missouri), Auburn University (AL) (Alabama), University of Kansas (Kansas), University of Tennessee (Tennessee), University of Vermont (Vermont), Ohio University (Ohio), SUNY College Environmental Science and Forestry (New York), University of Arizona (Arizona), Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (Massachusetts), Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln (Nebraska), University of New Hampshire (New Hampshire), SUNY Stony Brook (New York), University of Missouri Rolla (Missouri), Florida State University (Florida), University of Utah (Utah), Colorado State University (Colorado), University of Oregon (Oregon), University of South Carolina Columbia (South Carolina), Michigan Technological University (Michigan), University at Buffalo SUNY (New York)

Each US state has at least one public university to its name, and the largest states have more than thirty


Private Universities:

The source of funding determines whether a University is public or private. Private Universities are the ones that do not receive Government funding and which are run without any Government’s control.

Instead, endowments, annual gifts, alumni donations and tuition fees are significant sources of funding for these schools. Thus, the tuition fees at private colleges and universities are fairly higher as compared to state (public) schools. However, private Universities also tend to offer generous financial aid packages; many a times, the actual out-of-pocket cost to earn a degree from a private college in the US turns out to be less than the cost of state (public) schools. Over 80% of full-time undergraduates at private colleges receive some kind of financial aid.

Private colleges and universities include virtually every type of school: four- and two-year colleges; rural and urban; liberal arts colleges; major research universities; Christian, Catholic and Jewish institutions; art Institutes; schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, management and other professions. A private College can be as small as having 100 students to the larger universities with over 30,000 students. With both undergraduate and graduate programs, students can take anything from a 1-year professional certificate to a doctorate at a private college or university.

Both, local and foreign students pay the same fee at a private College.

Some popular private Universities and Colleges include:

Bentley University (Waltham), Boston College (Chestnut Hill), Boston University (Boston), Brandeis University (Waltham), Brown University (Providence), California Institute of Technology (Pasadena), Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh), Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), Clark University (Worcester), Columbia University (New York), Cornell University (Ithaca), Creighton University (Omaha), Dartmouth College (Hanover), Drake University (Des Moines), Duke University (Durham), Elon University (Elon), Emerson College (Boston), Emory University (Atlanta), Georgetown University (Washington), Gonzaga University (Spokane), Harvard University (Cambridge), Lehigh University (Bethlehem), Marist College (Poughkeepsie), Marquette University (Milwaukee), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), Northeastern University (Boston), Northwestern University (Evanston), Pepperdine University (Malibu), Princeton University (Princeton), Providence College (Providence), Rice University (Houston), Santa Clara University (Santa Clara), Stanford University (Stanford), The George Washington University (Washington), The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Trinity University (San Antonio), Tufts University (Medford), Tulane University (New Orleans), University of Chicago (Chicago), University of Miami (Coral Gables), University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), University of Richmond (Virginia), University of Rochester (Rochester), University of Southern California (Los Angeles), Vanderbilt University (Nashville), Villanova University (Villanova), Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem), Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis), Yale University (New Haven), New York University (NYU, New York)


Religious and Secular:

There are people of all faiths in the US, and there are many schools that offer faith-based education, whether Catholic, Christian (protestant) or Jewish. As well, many schools are completely secular and have no faith-affiliation whatsoever


Technical Institutes:

Also known as Institutes of technology or polytechnic institutes offer specialized programs in sciences and engineering, in addition to basic sciences, humanities and the social sciences, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

They emphasize on engineering and science and are known for their research and graduate programs. Most International students who attend these schools are of graduate level (ie those who have finished their Bachelors). Admissions to the Technical Institute is especially challenging at the undergraduate level as the entry requirements could be very high in terms of grades and standardized test scores (like SAT). Some popular examples of Technical Institutes are MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cal Poly (California Polytechnic Institute), Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology), NYIT New York Institute of Technology), RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), Cal Tech (California Institute of Technology)


The Ivy League:

The alarm bells ring when you hear about names like: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. These are the IVY LEAGUES and admissions here could be a daunting task besides extremely heavy on pockets. They are in the Northeastern part of the USA. Ivy League colleges stress undergraduate liberal arts education, but they also have noted graduate and professional schools.

Some useful facts on Ivy League admissions:

Acceptance Rate: Their acceptance rate is about 9 % to 11 % in general. Only Cornell and University of Pennsylvania register an acceptance rate of over 15% (this information may change)

Scores: Generally students who have been accepted, the top 10% of their high School class would have scored between 88% to 99%

SAT Score: Students with over 2100 + generally fall in to the higher acceptance rate category. In general, at least two SAT II subjects are recommended to be taken by students

Admissions however depend on all factors like academic scores, additional work undertaken by students during their course of study, SAT (I and II) Scores, participation in other activities (like sports, extra-curricular activities, etc.), personal interview and more


Small Liberal Arts Colleges:

Generally have the focus on undergraduate study of the traditional arts and science disciplines: humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Strictly liberal arts colleges are often quite old and mostly private schools. They are highly-rated institutions as they stress on small classes, individual attention to the students, and closer relationships between the faculties and students. Many of them also generally have rigid admission standards. Among these schools are: Amherst, Marist, Swarthmore, Manhattan, Smith, Mount Holyoke


Community Colleges:

These are institutions normally run by a certain community for their own people. Many high school graduates who cannot afford to go to a university, or who simply are not ready for a four-year institution, will choose to go to community college. These institutions accept international students, but they have a fewer number of attendees, as most students are commuters from the near-by area. Although community colleges focus on undergraduate programs, some offer good graduate programs as well. These institutions will be mostly located in suburbs, and the basic advantage in these institutions is minimum academic fees. More over known as County Colleges or City colleges. Community colleges provide higher education and lower level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas and Associates Degree. Some examples of community colleges are:

Bellevue Community College (Washington), Baltimore City Community College (Maryland), Pierce College (Washington), County College of Morris (New Jersey), Union County College (New Jersey), Hudson Valley Community College (New York), Labette Community College (Kansas), Somerset Community College (Kentucky), Community College of Vermont (Vermont), McLennan Community College (Texas), Cleveland State Community College (Tennessee), Community College of Rhode Island (Rhode Island)

Note: Often many students who wish to study undergraduate studies of four years in the USA select the first two years of undergraduate studies at a good Community College and then shift on to some of the topmost US University Institutions. This saves a lot of money because the tuition fees at a Community College can be around $8000 to $10000 a year


Grading System

The GPA system is followed throughout the United States to judge student's performance. It is graded on the scale of 0 to 4. Following is the evaluation of GPA (for reference)

>4 >A = High Achievement

>3 >B = Satisfactory

>2 >C = Minimum Passing

>1 >D = Fail


Types of degree

Associate Degree: In the USA, an associate degree is equivalent to the first two years of a four year college or university Bachelors degree. It is an academic degree awarded by the community colleges, junior colleges, business colleges and some bachelor's degree upon completion of a course of study usually for two years (60 credits). It is the lowest in hierarchy of post secondary academic degrees offered in USA

Bachelors Degree: These are undergraduate degrees with duration of 4 years

Freshman: A first year undergraduate student is called as a ‘Freshman’

Sophomore: Sophomore is a term used in the United States to describe a student in the second year of study (generally referring to high school or university study)

Junior: A term used to describe a student in the third year

Senior: A term used to describe a student in the final year (generally fourth year)

Transfer: Students, who have completed a part of their undergraduate degree and want to go to the USA, can apply as a transfer student. Students generally prefer to transfer after finishing their first two years of undergraduate studies (ie the associate degree). Admissions in to the third year of undergraduate studies is easier and widely acceptable by US Universities than in to the second or fourth year

 

There are two types of bachelors’ degree: BA or BS (in India, the term BBA is more popular). Some universities in the USA offer either of the degrees in all fields and at times both the degrees in some field. Students need to appear for SAT and TOEFL or IELTS exams for admission

Masters Degree:

The duration of Masters’ level courses may range from a year to two depending on the university and the area of specialization. In general, most Masters level courses in the USA are two years, which students can also finish in a little over 18 months, should they utilize their vacations studying additional credits early.

Usually, USA requires 16 years of education for Masters (especially MS). However, many MBA programs have started accepting students with 15 years education (like BA, BSc, BCom). Exams required to apply for Masters are GMAT for management related subjects; GRE for arts, science or any other subjects; TOEFL or IELTS test for admission

Doctorate:

Commonly known as PhD. Duration of the same may range from 3 years to 5 years. Students can take admission for a PhD only after completion of their Masters degree and in exceptional circumstances; some Universities may wish to take on students without a Masters. Students wishing to pursue PhD need to submit a research proposal as well have to appear for GRE or GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS exams for admissions


When do semesters start in the US?

US universities offer two main semester intakes:

Fall Semester (September/October):

This is the main intake and almost all programs are offered at this times. More financial aid is also available for this semester and as funding is allocated for the entire year during this time

Spring Semester (January/February):

This is the mid-year intake. There is limited financial assistance available for this semester as most universities allocate funds to projects in the Fall semester

Some universities also have a Summer intake around July


List of courses students can select in USA

# Phd

# MBA

# MS

# Masters / Post-Graduate

# Bachelors / Under-Graduate

# Vocational Qualifications

# Certificates and Diploma Courses

# Foundation Programs

# A Levels

# High School

# School Student Exchange Program

# Summer Programs / Camps

# Finishing School Programs

# Internship & Work-Study Programs

# Certificate Course

 

Undergrduate and Postgraduate (including MS, MBA) programs can be available in:

# MBA

# MBA with or without work experience

# Business (Marketing, Finance, Operations, Logistics, More)

# Engineering (all types)

# Sciences

# Medicine, Healthcare, Dentistry

# Psychology, Child Care

# Physiotherapy

# Information Technology, Computing, Computer Science, Computer Engineering

# Law

# Accounting, CFA

# Media, Media Management

# Advertising

# Mass Communications, Journalism

# Hotel, Hospitality Management

# Travel & Tourism

# Fashion Designing

# Fashion Marketing Management

# Interior Deisgn, Set Designing

# Architecture

# Furniture Design

# Illumination and Light Design

# Arts and Fine Arts

# Call Center Management

# Film Making

# Animation & Multi-Media

...Many More

Universities

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of Tech
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Southern California
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Florida
  • Gerogia Tech
  • Hult International Business School
  • Purdue University
  • MIT
  • New York University
  • Virginia Tech
  • See All »

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