With a population of more than 327 million, the United States of America is the third most populous country. Although no specific introduction is required for the US, attractions such as Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, the numerous famous American personalities in a vast array of fields, its entrepreneurship spirit, the many contributions of Americans to the world of music, among others, make the US stand out even among popular study destinations in the world. 

Education System In The USA

The education system of the USA offers a rich field of choices for international students. The US higher education system can be broadly classified into three categories:

Level I – Bachelor’s degree or Undergraduate:

 In the USA, a Bachelor’s degree course is regarded as an UnderGraduate (UG) course. Usually, the duration of the UG courses in the USA is four years. The first two years of study comprise a variety of classes in different subjects. The most common subjects that are being taught in the first two years of UG courses are history, arts, literature, science, and social sciences. May international students in the US choose a community college to complete the first two years of UG prerequisite courses. These students obtain an AA (Associate of Arts) degree and then transfer to a four-year university or college. Apart from the above mandatory courses in the UG, a ‘major’ is the specific field of study in which your degree is focused. In order to meet the degree requirements of the major course, you must take a certain number of courses in the chosen field. The major has to be chosen by the beginning of your third year of the UG course. One of the unique characteristics of the American education system is that you can change the major course multiple times. In simple words, the American education system is very flexible.

Level 2 – Master’s Degree or a Graduate: 

International students from only a limited number of countries are allowed to pursue Master’s courses in the US. Usually, the duration of the Master’s courses in America is one year or two years. Most of the master’s courses are merely based on classroom teaching, and each student must prepare a long research paper called Master’s thesis or complete a Master’s project. For admission to a gradation program, applicants are required to sit exams such as GRE or GMAT, LSAT for law, and MCAT for medical programs.  

Level 3 – Doctoral Degree:

 Usually, the duration of a Ph.D. in America is three years. However, for international students, a Doctorate degree may take up to five or six years to complete. Students can enter Doctoral degree courses with a Master’s degree. The majority of universities in the US enroll new students during the autumn. Therefore, international students can apply for admission during this season.

Why Study In The USA?

As per the records, the most number of international students are pursuing higher education in the USA than in any other country. With over 4,000 universities across the country, the United States is home to some of the top universities in the world. The universities and colleges offer a wide range of degrees and courses in all academic fields. The benefits of studying in the USA are endless. Some of them are:

  • One of the biggest advantages of studying in the US is that US education is recognized all over the world. Also, one of the reasons why students at US universities are so successful upon graduation is because they are educated in the liberal arts’. It leads to the holistic development of the students as it provides them with limitless opportunities once they have graduated.
  • The US is the first of scientific and creative innovation which makes studying in the USA all the more popular among international students. Large research institutions in the US offer great exposure opportunities for students to work alongside their professors and apply what they are learning in the classroom to the lab or workshop.
  • American culture is a melting pot and studying in the USA can broaden one’s mindset. Studying in the US can give students a wide range of opportunities to know and learn about other cultures and exchange ideas with peers from all around the world.
  • The technology involved in the US education system is another reason to choose the US over any other country. Students ending up in the US are exposed to advanced technology and research in the area of study, expanding their horizons and knowledge.
  • According to QS World Rankings 2021, 151 of the 1,003 top universities are in the United States, making it the country with the highest number of top-ranked universities in the world. 

Curriculum And Degrees Offered In The USA

Undergraduate Degrees in the USA

Two-year programs:

There are over 2,000 two-year colleges in the US, also known as junior or community colleges. They are either operated by local districts or a division of the state university. A two-year program route is opted by students in higher education study to obtain an associate or intermediate degree. An associate degree is granted by a community, technical or junior college for a program of study you have completed with a concentration in a certain area and a broad base in general education. Two-year associate degree programs can be divided into two – Associate of Arts (A.A) or Associate of Science (A.S) – which are designed for students to transfer into a four-year college or university.

Four-Year programs:

Every year millions of students in the US earn four-year degrees that are offered at over 2,000 colleges and universities. Also known as a “college degree”, an undergraduate degree in the US usually takes four years to complete and includes 120-128 semester credit hours. The four years are called freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years, and the curriculum of almost all undergraduate programs in the US are based on a liberal arts philosophy. The curriculum includes subjects such as social sciences, history, mathematics, humanities, natural or physical sciences, and English composition. Students are asked to choose a specific field of study or major after they have met the core curriculum requirements.

The two types of bachelor’s degrees offered include B. A (Bachelor of Arts) and B.S (Bachelor of Science). However, there are other specialized bachelor’s degrees including Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (B.S.P.A), Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.), and Bachelor of Design (B.Des.)

Graduate Degrees in the USA

After completion of a four-year Bachelor’s degree, one may continue their learning and receive a graduate education which may lead either to a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Commonly known as “grad school”, a distinction can be made between graduate schools and professional schools that offer advanced degrees in the fields of business, engineering, law, nursing, medicine, or engineering.

  • Graduate Degree: Although different types of master’s degrees are offered in the US, the two basic degrees are Master of Arts (M.A) and Master of Science (M.S) which may last one to three years. In general, a master’s degree requires a student to complete six to eight advanced courses along with an intensive study project or a thesis. Some graduate programs may also include internships to offer knowledge and experience in the field of study.
  • Doctoral Degree: This may include either an academic Ph.D., professional edD, or Doctor of Education or DBA (Doctor of Business Administration). A doctoral degree in the US prepares students for research scholar or college faculty positions or other such roles. Doctoral coursework usually comprises three to four semesters done in small seminars. Students will then have to convert their original research into a book-length dissertation or thesis.
  • Professional Degree: US universities also offer professional degrees in a specialized area of study. These include degrees such as LL.M, M.B.A, M.F.A, M.S.W, and specialist in education (Ed. S).

Accredited Online College Degrees

These are online college degrees from an accredited online education provider that ensures that a student is earning an actual degree

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