Why To Choose United States?
The United States has highest number of educational institutions providing higher education than any other country of the world. U.S colleges are known worldwide for the quality of their facilities, resources, and faculty. The U.S. education system is unrivalled worldwide in the choice it offers, types of institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and subjects in which you can specialize.
One of the most distinctive features of U.S. universities and colleges is the flexibility in choice of courses within a college or university, but more importantly there is also the option for students to move between one institution and another.
Academic year : The US school calendar begins in August or September and continues through May or June normally. The international students may best enter the U.S. institutes in autumn.
The academic year at most of the schools comprises of two terms or semesters. Some have a three-term calendar known as the "trimester" system while others divide the year into the "quarter" system of four terms, including a summer session which may be optional.
Higher Education : After completing high school or the twelfth grade, students are admitted to college or university for higher education. Study at a college or university leading to the Bachelor's Degree is known as "undergraduate" education. Study beyond the Bachelor's Degree is known as "graduate" school, or "postgraduate" education. Advanced or graduate degrees include law, medicine, M.B.A., and Ph.D. (doctorate) etc.
Colleges, Universities and Institutes:
These words "School," "College," or "University" are used interchangeably. In general, colleges tend to be smaller institutions which offer only undergraduate degrees, while a university also offers graduate degrees.
Bachelor's and Associate degrees
The bachelor's degree normally takes four years to complete while the associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Student can transfer into the third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program.Four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs, while some of them also associate degree programs.
Doctorate (Ph.D.): Most of the schools consider the Master's Degree as the first step towards attaining the Ph.D. (doctorate). But in some schools, students are allowed to prepare directly for the doctoral degree without earning a Master's Degree.
The lime lag for earning the Doctorate or Ph.D. degree is three to six years.
During the first two years candidates join in classes and seminars. For another one year, the students conduct actual research and write the thesis. This research paper or dissertation contains topics, views, designs, or research based on the original work of the candidate and none of the contents should have been published previously.
The Liberal Arts
It is a shortened form of the term "liberal arts and sciences," and the liberal arts philosophy is a unique feature of the U.S. higher education system. U.S. undergraduate education is based on this concept, which believes in providing a well-rounded academic education that develops the student's verbal, written, and reasoning skills. Students at a liberal arts college, or at a university with a strong liberal arts program, begin their degree study by taking classes in a wide variety of courses in the arts, humanities, languages or social and physical sciences.
Professional Education :
Professional education is included within the U.S. university system. Large universities tend to comprise of a college of arts and sciences and several professional schools - usually business, agriculture, medicine, law, and journalism. Institutes of technology have a scientific emphasis in all the degrees they offer.
State Universities are founded and subsidized by respective state governments with an aim of providing low-cost education to residents of that state. These universities are as known as public universities which distinguish them from the private ones. The cost of studies in State universities is lower than the private universities and the residents of the particular state have to pay lower tuition fees than those from other states or the International students, who are treated as non residents. The international students might be required to meet other eligibility criteria such as higher admission requirements in comparison with the residents.
Private universities are generally funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees, research grants, besides gifts from their alumni. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, but there is no distinction made between state and non-state residents. Colleges with a religious affiliation and single-sex colleges are private. In general, private universities have enrollments of fewer than 20,000 students, and private colleges may have 2,000 or fewer students on their campuses.
Community colleges provide two-year associate degree programs, usually called the Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees. They also provide excellent technical and vocational programs. Community colleges are community-based institutions with close links to secondary schools, community groups and employers. Many U.S. students live close to campus with their families. Community colleges can be public or private institutions and are sometimes called junior colleges or two-year colleges. For many international students, the quest for a U.S. bachelor's degree will begin at a community college.
Technical and Vocational Colleges :-
Technical and vocational colleges are the ones which specialize in training students for entry into the real world of work. They offer certificate and other short-term programs that train students in the theory behind a specific vocation or technology and the related know-how of working with the technology or the profession. These programs usually last for two years or less.
The Credit System
Students at American universities complete their degrees on accumulation of between 130 and 180 credits. Sometimes the terms "semester/quarter hours" or "units" are also used instead of credits. Each individual course you take each semester earns a specified number (usually three or four) of credits/hours/units. The academic adviser helps the students in planning their course schedule for the academic year.
Grades Universities in the US employ a system of continual assessment and they assign grades for each course taken by the students. All classroom activities like class attendance, examinations or tests, laboratory works/reports, written assignments and other similar activities influence the student’s final grade. Hence it is very important for the students to attend classes on a regular basis and keep up with the studies and course work.
The following is a general percentage “letter grade scale” for classes taken at U.S. colleges:
100 - 90% = A,
89 - 80% = B,
79 - 70% = C,
69 - 60% = D,
59 - 50% = E and
49 - 0% = F
What is GPA-
Students complete their degrees with a Grade Point Average (GPA). The cumulative grade point average is the GPA for all courses taken throughout the degree program. Most universities use a GPA scale of 4.0, but a few universities use a scale of 5.0.
To work out your GPA, take the numerical value assigned to the letter grade you achieve for each course (typically 4 points for an "A," 3 points for a "B," and so on), then multiply this number by the number of credits each course is worth. Finally, add these numbers together and divide by the total number of credits for all courses.
Most of the US universities also offer some sort of honors degrees. To qualify for an honors degree, one has to earn additional credits or write an honors thesis. Specific details depend upon the university and/or academic department concerned.