THE SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE USA

There is no national system of higher education in the United States. American higher education developed its own pattern by the adaptation of two traditions: the collegiate tradition of England and the university tradition of the Continent.

Higher education is given in colleges and universities. There are over 2100 various higher educational institutions including colleges, and universities. There are about 3,000 colleges and universities, both private and public, in the United States. Students have to pay both in private and state universities. Private universities are generally smaller but very expensive, which means that the tuition fees are extremely high. State colleges and universities are not that expensive, the tuition fees are usually lower and if the students are State residents, they pay much less.

Every young person who enters a higher educational institution can get financial assistance. If a student is offered a loan, he should repay it (with interest) after he has left the college. Needy students are awarded grants which they do not have to repay. Scholarships are given when a student is doing exceptionally well at school.

American universities and colleges are usually built as a separate complex, called “campus”, with teaching blocks, libraries, dormitories, and many other facilities grouped together on one site, often on the outskirts of the city. Some universities are comprised of many campuses.

All the universities are independent, offering their own choice of studies, setting their own admission standards and deciding which students meet their standards. The greater the prestige of the university, the higher the credits and grades required.

There are no final examinations at colleges and universities, and students receive a degree if they have collected enough credits in a particular subject. The traditional degree which crowns the undergraduate course is that of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.C.) The lower level of graduate school is for obtaining the Master’s Degree (M.A. or M.C.), and the upper level is for the degree of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The baccalaureate degree includes:

· the baccalaureate core

· an in-depth study in at least one major; and

· individual elective courses

The baccalaureate core emphasizes critical thinking, writing, world cultures, appreciation of differences, the arts, sciences, literature, lifelong fitness, and global awareness in 15 course categories. Over 250 courses are available to meet core requirements. Students must complete a total of 51 credits. Totally, a minimum of 180 credits are required to get a Bachelor degree, 45 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree to get a Master degree, 108 credits to get a Doctoral degree.

During each semester, you will take a variety of courses, each of which is awarded a number of 'credits.' A credit is a unit of study. Most courses carry 3 credits, although varying amount of credit can be awarded for lectures, independent project work, laboratory time and internships

The student’s progress is evaluated by means of tests, term works and examinations. The student’s work is given a credit, usually on a five (0-4) point scale:


· 4 points for each credit of A grade

· 3.7 for each credit of A- grade

· 3.3 for each credit of B+ grade

· 3.0 for each credit of B grade

· 2.7 for each credit of B- grade

· 2.3 for each credit of C+ grade

· 2.0 for each credit of C grade

· 1.7 for each credit of C- grade

· 1.3 for each credit of D+ grade

· 1.0 for each credit of D grades

· 0.7 for each credit of D- grade

· 0 for each credit of F


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