The U.S. Education System
One of the most attractive features of the U.S. higher education system is the flexibility it provides through the number and diversity of institution types it encompasses.
This diversity offers students options to specialize in a variety of academic disciplines and even gain employment training.
More than 4,500 accredited institutions make up U.S. higher education in the United States. Unlike many countries, U.S. higher education institutions are not centrally organized or managed, but are accredited on a national or regional level by independent accrediting bodies.
Regardless of the institution type, in the United States, students typically earn credits for courses they take and these credits count towards the completion of a program. Courses are often divided into "core" subject areas to provide the foundation of the degree program and "major" courses to provide specialization in a subject area. Students can also take "elective" courses to explore other topics of interest for a well-rounded educational experience.
The U.S. academic calendar typically runs from September to May and can be divided into two academic terms of 16-18 weeks known as semesters. Alternatively, some schools may operate on a quarter or trimester system of multiple terms of 10-12 weeks.
With the variety of available U.S. higher education options, students are sure to find the right fit for their academic, financial, and personal needs.