The Higher Education System in the US Explained

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Noted for providing a wide range of educational, professional, and personal development opportunities, the US education system is regarded as one of the world’s best educational systems. In recent years, the number of students earning a degree from the United States has been steadily increasing.

Flexible curriculum and a variety of higher education institutions accommodate a wide range of students. And, which in turn, allows them to specialize in a variety of academic fields. Let us discuss in detail the different types and the levels of the US education system.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

There are numerous options to proceed with your education in the US. Based on the type of education you seek, you can select the type of institution you intend to attend. Here are the types of institutions offering higher education.

University/State School/College

There are around 50 states with at least one top-ranked university that offers low-cost higher education to students. These institutions are frequently funded by the state government and its related departments.

Private Colleges/Universities

In comparison to state schools, these universities are privately funded. They are, in comparison, on the more expensive side.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are an important part of the US educational system. A community college is a higher education institution that primarily serves the community in which it is located.

Technology Institutes

Technology Institutes offer four-year integrated courses in science and technology.


Levels of Study in Higher Education

Level 1: Undergraduate studies

The undergraduate degree is the first level of study in higher education, and it normally takes four years to complete. You have the option of starting your undergraduate studies in a community college and later transferring to a university or enrolling immediately in a four-year university. Students can choose from a wide range of subjects at this level, including literature, science, social sciences, arts, history, and so on.

A student’s chosen subject is referred to as a “major” in which the student will specialize. In the US school system, you can even transfer majors, although this would require more classes and consequently be more expensive.

Level 2: Postgraduate/Masters

You will be qualified to pursue a postgraduate degree after completing your undergraduate or bachelor’s degree which will help you advance your career. Although this level of study is optional, it is required for library science, engineering, behavioral health, and education.

Most postgraduate programs in the US take two years to finish, after which students can either explore for job opportunities or continue their studies.

Level 3: Doctoral Studies

Many students consider postgraduate studies to be the first step toward earning a Doctorate, and many include doctoral and research studies in their long-term objectives. While most colleges require students to complete their master’s degree before beginning their research, certain schools allow students to begin their doctoral studies without first completing their master’s degree. A normal PhD program lasts between 5 and 6 years.

Grading system

In the US, students gain credits for the courses they take. In order to complete a program, a student must obtain a certain number of credits. Credits are units of study that, when added together, form a course. The number of credits required to complete a course varies according to the course type and the university.

The number of credit hours in a week is determined by the amount of hours a student spends in each class. A normal course is worth three to five credits.

If a student enrolls in a new institution before completing a degree, the credits acquired at the previous school can be transferred to the new one. This means that a student can transfer to a different university and still graduate within a reasonable amount of time. 

Enroll in One of the Best Universities in the US

A US degree is considered a sure-shot way of boosting one’s career. If you are one such student who wants to earn a US degree to advance in your career, then Acacia University is here to help you achieve your dream. Choose to study at Acacia University, one of the best universities in the US offering Doctorate and Master’s online degrees.