When it comes to studying in the United States, most people get confused between “university” and “college” and think that higher education consists only of “university”, while “college” broadly and exclusively means a two-year post-high school system of schools. So what exactly is the difference between “university” and “college”?

As the education system in the US is different from Vietnam, it cannot be assumed that the quality of teaching and the quality of students entering College is less than those entering University. For example, Dartmouth College is always in the top of US school rankings, and Boston College ranks higher than Boston University based on U.S. News rankings.

In addition, the schools are ranked according to majors, the quality of the graduate / doctoral programs, online learning programs … So when choosing a school in the US, University is not necessarily better than College by default. Instead of trying to decipher which system is better, you should consult the school’s rankings in various aspects.


So, what is the difference?

Most “colleges” focus on undergraduate studies – usually they will only only bachelor’s degree programs without master’s or doctoral programs. Meanwhile, “universities” are usually large universities, offering Bachelor, Master and PhD programs and include many “colleges” and “schools” within the university, with each college / school focusing on one area. For example, all undergraduate students at Harvard University actually enter Harvard College, but MBA students will study at Harvard Business School, law students will study at Harvard Law School. , etc. and they are all under the Harvard University system. If someone asks you “Where’d you go to for college?” Then if you answer “I went to Harvard,” they will understand that you have a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College at Harvard University.

However, there is also “college” which we can roughly understand as being equivalent to a Vietnamese college: “Community College” (CC).  Most students will study at CCs and Get an Associate’s degree within 2 years, then transfer credits earned to a university and study for another 2 years to get a Bachelor’s degree. This 2 + 2 roadmap is quite popular and is one of the options for students without outstanding achievements in high school or without necessary financial conditions to attain Bachelor’s degrees. Many good students can transfer to major universities after completing 2 years at CCs.

Thus, it is not important to choose a higher education institution based on the title of “University” or “College” , but it also depends on the industry you want to study as well as the environment and the quality of education provided by the school. With a community of international students receiving scholarships to prestigious universities in the US, UK, Australia, Canada …, ETEST Academy is always ready to help you build a roadmap towards your desired scholarships and your dreams!

Source: summarized from multiple sources

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