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How higher education in the United States: the main differences from the Russian system

The organization of higher education in the USA differs considerably from the Russian. In the system of higher education in the United States there are three stages: bachelor's, master's and postgraduate courses.

Overcoming the first stage means receiving a full higher education. Graduate with a bachelor's degree in the U.S. can apply for a job in their specialty. The following degree – master of science is focused more on deepening or changing of specialization and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) – teaching and research.

This system began to be implemented in Russia in the 2000s after the country joined the "Bologna process", which aims to unify the educational standards of European countries. Today, the Russian bachelor's degree is technically a higher education, but in society still are stereotypes inherited from the Soviet system.

This is clearly seen in the standard fields in the summary or the questionnaires filled out upon employment. Not all large and major companies, a position that requires higher education, will take the applicant who completed only a bachelor degree. In the U.S., a bachelor's degree is a full University education.

Bachelor degree in USA

To enroll in an American University for my bachelor's studies immediately after high school, having the certificate of complete secondary education - including schools of Russia and Kazakhstan. Training lasts four years, and in most cases, students are not required to choose a specialty – this can be done 1-2 years after the start of training.

About specialization in the bachelor USA

Rigid standards of specialization in American higher education is not - instead there is a long list of subjects (modules), some of which are mandatory and the rest the student can choose individually. Consequently, there are strict division into groups and threads. For example, in one of the leading US universities - Oregon State Universitythe first two years of BS Entrepreneurship is devoted to the study of basic disciplines, mandatory for all bachelor and basic disciplines in business. Most of the items of the specialization "entrepreneurship" students learn in third and fourth year.

>> Find bachelor universities in the United States

About the curriculum of the student of an American University

Studies in American colleges requires students a lot more independence. In fact, a study in American universities is carried out according to individual plans. For bachelor's degrees must complete at least a certain number of hours lectures and seminars - the so-called "loans". About how many credits you need to gain the bachelor, look here.

Evaluation and academic performance in US universities

Performance assessment is based on the results of semester exams, defense projects, etc. grading System – five-point, alpha (A, B, C, D, E), but the final figure is the GPA (Grade Point Average) has a numerical value.

About American universities

Classification of higher education institutions in the United States also differs from the Russian. The universities offering four-year undergraduate program, called colleges. They spetsializiruyutsya it is on training undergraduate students, unlike the universities also have master's and postgraduate degrees and conduct volumetric research program. In the structure of the University can be and some colleges. Read more about the difference between University and College, USA is available here.

Public and private universities in the United States

Another characteristic of the American higher education system detail – the division of universities into public and private. These two categories differ rather significantly. Public universities are generally large organizations, the number of students there is much more and the cost of training is lower. At the same time, most four-year colleges – private, their scope is much more modest.

Public universities in the United States are not run by the Federal authorities, authorities of the state. This affects the cost of education even for US citizens – it is different for residents and non-residents of the state. Interestingly, the level of the University not directly connected with the type of financing among the top-rated universities in the meet as the state (University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan) and private (Princeton, Harvard, Caltech, Stanford).

>> View US universities

Foreign students in U.S. universities

American universities willing to accept foreign students in the country are constantly trained about one million people came from abroad. The desire of many people from all over the world to get an education in the United States is clear – the diploma of an American University virtually guarantees a high-paying job at home. In addition, there is the prospect after graduating from College to stay and work in USA, if you can find a company willing to apply for the graduate work visa.

For admission to bachelor in America

The procedure for admission in an American University for foreigners, also has its own characteristics. For example, in the US, there is no "school" of the Unified state exam, the results of which you can get to the University without examination, and students pass the exams SAT and ACT. Different list of documents for admission, terms, factors affecting success. About admission process in the University, read the material How to enroll in a US University.

The cost of education in American universities

But the quality and prestige of American higher education have downside: study in USA is quite expensive, although the price can vary greatly depending on the University.

Year at a prestigious private University or state University of the first hundred of the world rankings will cost 35,000 - $ 45,000; training in the less popular state University could cost less than $ 20,000. This fee is only for tuition, excluding the cost of accommodation and other expenses that will be about the same. The cost of studying in USA read in this section.

How to reduce the cost of attending an American University

There is a way to reduce the cost of attending an American University to start a study on the bachelor, and the so-called community College in the United States. These two-year vocational schools are not included in the system of higher education, but at the end of this school immediately to enroll in the third course of the University, provided the required number of hours in relevant subjects and good results. The tuition there is much lower, about 7-10 thousand dollars a year - as well as admission requirements.

Master's degree in USA

The next step after undergraduate is master, after which the student receives, correspondingly, a master's degree (master). This is possible only at the University.

The master's degree may take up to two years. The training system is similar to the bachelor, but the complexity and intensity of study is much higher. Increases the degree of individuality and independence training. To complete the graduate student defends a thesis.

About the types of graduate programs

There are two main types of master's programs: master training in professional fields and academic specialists who are committed to continuing their education in graduate school and subsequent research activities. In the second case of great importance is the participation in scientific research.

About admission to master in America

For admission to graduate school USA are required to have a College education - a bachelor's degree; however, bachelor and master's are not necessarily the same. Foreign, including Russian, students may go to graduate school in the United States on the basis of diplomas of higher education obtained in their home countries.

Graduate programs of US universities here.

About the cost of graduate programs at U.S. universities

Training in a magistracy in the United States are paid. The cost varies greatly depending on the University, but in General, is at the same level or cheaper than the price of a bachelor degree, and the chances to get funding are much higher.

Postgraduate study in the US

The third and last stage of American postgraduate education – postgraduate study in the US (PhD). This choice is done by those who intend to study science or teaching. Training lasts from 4 to 6 years, at the end awarded the degree of doctor of philosophy – PhD (the name is historical, philosophy as such has no relationship) or doctor of science – ScD. This roughly corresponds to the Russian degree of candidate of Sciences.

In many universities to enter the doctoral program immediately after the bachelor degree, passing the master's degree. In this case, the master's degree is assigned automatically in the learning process.Read more about this in the article "Programme of US universities for the most motivated".