The world appreciates Higher education in the USA for its quality and variety. The education system in the USA is one of the most diverse education systems around the world. Furthermore, it has public and private institutions fit for all types of students. To sum up, it is a perfect fit for all kinds of students. The students aspiring to study in the US have good reasons for choosing the USA over other countries for higher education.
As compared to other education systems, higher education in the USA is independent of the Federal government to a large extent. Moreover, it is highly decentralized.
Characteristics of System of Higher Education in the USA
Since the system of higher education in the USA is quite diverse, it is nearly impossible to tap every attribute of every institution. But there are few features common to a large number of schools and colleges in the USA.
Limited Federal Involvement
The US never had an education ministry as the constitution does not mention education as a federal responsibility.
Despite the influence of the federal government in terms of finance, its role is still limited. It is yet not given entry into academic decisions, which are generally taken by the institutions. And, in the case of some public institutions, the states.
Various Sources of Finance
The US Department of Education plays a key role in financing. American colleges and universities get additional support from diverse revenue sources. It also affects the choices of students and parents, and consumers of the goods that these institutions provide.
The vital sources of revenue include tuition and fee payments from student’s families.
The system of higher education in the USA is carrying out various efforts to diversify and increase its revenue streams.
The administrative responsibility of the institution transfers to the president. However, the president is primarily responsible for the institution. On the other hand, administrators and the faculty make important decisions.
Besides all the services, colleges and universities have various student organizations and clubs. These clubs include academic groups as well as sports and arts groups.
Levels of System of Higher Education in the USA
There are three main levels in the system of Higher education in the USA. These are
- Undergraduate Level
- Graduate Level
- Post Graduate Level
Undergraduate Level- Bachelor’s Degree
Earning a Bachelor’s degree typically takes four years for completion. Students have to study various subjects in the first two years of their Bachelor’s degree. The main focus is on attaining basic knowledge about each subject before attaining specialization in a subject.
At the beginning of the third year, one chooses the degree to attain a major. American Education system is quite flexible. Students can change majors many times during their graduate studies. It might indicate spending more money.
Graduate Level- Master’s Degree
A master’s degree is crucial to attaining higher-level positions in career fields. A few entrance tests are required to enter a graduate program in the USA, such as GRE for Master’s programs, LSAT for Law courses, and GMAT for MBA programs.
The graduate program for a Master’s degree program usually takes 1-2 years to complete. For instance, the MBA program is about two years long.
The USA requires students pursuing a master’s program to work on a research paper as a part of their curriculum.
Post Graduate Level- Ph.D.
A Ph.D. degree requires a graduate degree, while some allow pursuing a doctorate immediately after the Bachelor’s degree. Usually, it takes about 3 to 4 years to complete a doctorate. On the other hand, international students might need 5 to 6 years to complete the same degree.
There is an expectation that students in the first two years attend classes and seminars. In the 3rd year, students conduct independent research and have to write a thesis on the same. The thesis needs to be completely original and should not have been published anywhere.
Language proficiency test scores play an important role while getting admission to a Ph.D. program in the USA. Students pursuing a doctorate are expected to know two foreign languages.
Degrees Earned in Higher Education in the USA (1950-2030)
The statistics show the number of higher education degrees earned in the United States between 1950 to 2030.