Study in the United States

The United States of America is the most desired study destination for international students with its nearly 5,000 accredited universities and colleges. The USA is also home to top-ranking universities and offers a wide range of amazing programs to the students who want to pursue their bachelor’s degree or master’s degree abroad. These degrees are well-known, globally accepted and obviously offer life-changing opportunities to international students. Before we find the why we study in the United States let’s find overvies of the country and the education system.

An Overview of the country 

The United States of America, which is located in North America, is the world’s third-largest country in terms of area and comprises 50 states and the District of Columbia. The U.S. borders Canada on the north, Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south. According to the US Census Bureau, the country has been divided into four regions. They are – the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. 

Quick Facts

Official NameUnited States of America (US/USA)
CapitalWashington D.C.
States and Territories50 states + Washington D.C. (a federal district), five major territories, and various minor islands.
Size/Area9,826,675km2
Population328,869,759 (2018)
ReligionChristian: 79.8%, Jewish: 1.4%, Muslim: 0.6%
Official LanguageEnglish, Spanish
Travel time7 to 8 hours from the UK or Ireland
CurrencyUS Dollar
Life expectancyMen: 74.4 years, women: 80.0 years
Major Mountain RangesRocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains
Major RiversMississippi, Missouri, Colorado

Regions

Study in the United States

Source and Credit: US Census Bureau – https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf

Northeast Region

It includes the following states Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

Midwest Region

It includes the following states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota

South Region

It includes the following states – Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

West Region

It includes the following states – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington

Why Study in the United States

The USA has been a major attraction to the students who want to study abroad. Let’s discover why Study in the United States is considered the holy grail of higher education for international students

Global Academic Excellence

The universities in the United States maintain high academic standards, state-of-the-art facilities, and widely reputed faculty. Moreover, nearly 50 of the top 200 universities in the world are located in the USA.

Flexible Course Curriculum

 US universities offer a wide variety of programmes and courses with greater flexibility. Students can select their course structure and content to create a degree keeping in view their future career options. 

Advanced Technology and Research Facilities

The US stands second to none in its technological advancement.  The universities in the US with their cutting-edge technology maintain state-of-the-art labs and innovative research centres which enable the students to get practical orientation.

Campus Life  and Cultural Experience

The US universities attract students from across the globe. So the international students get exposed to the conglomeration of rich and diversified cultural experiences. The students here have an opportunity to learn about other cultures. The stay on-campus particularly in dormitories or cafeteria is very vibrant and exciting which provides the students an environment to build lifelong friendships. 

Earn while you learn

The US offers different work options to international students which enable them to overcome their financial difficulties.

On-Campus Jobs

The students with an F1 visa are allowed to work on-campus for 20 hours per week during full-time semesters and full-time during scheduled holidays. Most on-campus jobs can be available at the cafeteria, library, research labs, or admissions offices. 

Graduate Assistantships (GIAs/GTAs)

The students are also allowed to apply for the Graduate Assistantships. If selected, the students get a considerable financial grant and gain practical knowledge of the subject.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT)

When the students want to work off-campus, they have two options – one is CPT and another one is OPT.  

CPT allows the students to participate in training, internships, or co-op programmes and they should be finished before their graduation/under graduation. CPT is utilized within the course time.

OPT allows the students to do a full-time job in their field of study for a period of 12 months after completion of their studies. The students who have completed their STEM course will get an extension of another 24 months of OPT. 

Career Opportunities

This is one of the min factors for the study in the United States.The US degrees are globally accepted and highly valued for their academic excellence.  These degrees open up a wide variety of career prospects to te international students. The students with US degrees, either can stay in the US and apply for the H-1B visa which is initially issued for 3 years or can come back to their home country and find a job in top MNCs with a considerable package.

Education System in the USA

School Education

Kindergarten Programme is made available for children below 6 years of age and before joining 1st class.

Primary or Elementary Education continues up to 5th grade.

Middle School or Junior High School Education continues from 6th to 8th grade.

Secondary Education is for the students at the level from 9th to 12th grades. Secondary education focuses on both college-preparatory curriculum and vocational training.

Higher Education

Undergraduate Level – Soon after 12th grade, the students enter undergraduate studies.

Here they have two options to choose from – 

  • One is a two-year associate’s degree that mainly focuses on employability and is granted from a community college. Once they finish their associate degree, they can even join the university for a bachelor’s degree. These programs are often called “2+2” programs,
  • The second one is a four-year bachelor’s degree with which the students can enter graduate-level studies and it is granted from a university or a college.

Popular Undergraduate courses:

  • Associate of Arts (A.A.) (Associate Degree)
    • Associate of Science (A.S.) (Associate Degree)
      • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) 
        • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
          • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A)
            • Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)
              • Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.).
                • Bachelor of Architecture (Five-Year Professional Architecture programs) 

Graduate/Postgraduate Level

The students who complete their bachelor’s degree can join graduate studies. This level is also sometimes called post-graduate studies. Post-graduate in the US refers to either a Master’s programme which can be of one year or two years or a Doctoral programme which can take up to 5 years.

Pathway Programs

The international students who do not meet the requirements of the bachelor’s or master’s programme are first admitted into pathway programmes and then allowed to join the mainstream of the course. These programmes are designed primarily to help the students develop their language skills and familiarize themselves with the course curriculum and may run for 1 semester or 2 semesters (6 months to 1 year long).

Popular Graduate Programmes:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
    • Master of Science (M.S.)
      • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)
        • Master of Business Administration (MBA) 
          • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
            • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
              • Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
                • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 
                  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
                    • Doctor of Theology (D.Th.)
                      • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
                        • Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)

Types of Universities in the USA

There are many different types of colleges and universities for higher education in the US including:

Public Colleges and Universities

Public colleges and universities are often called state universities. These Universities offer education with low tuition fees and also consider scholarships. Most of these universities are operated by the states and territories with the support of public funding, These universities are also usually part of a state university system. An example of this is ‘The State University System of New York (SUNY)’, one of the largest state university systems, which comprises more than 60 campuses spread across the state of New York.

Examples:

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • The University of California
        • California State University 
          • University of California, Los Angeles
            • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
              • University of California, Berkeley
                • University of California, Davis
                  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Private Colleges and Universities

Private colleges and universities are not funded and supported by the government. These universities largely rely on tuition fees and donations and so the tuition fee seems to be slightly higher than State Universities. But, unlike public universities, the tuition fee remains the same for domestic and international students. These universities also, on par with public universities, recruit a large number of enrolments and consider financial aid to the international students. Furthermore, private institutions can be divided into non-profit and for-profit institutions. For-profit institutions tend to be more focused on careers and technical education. 

Few examples of Private Universities

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Cornell University
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Duke University
  • Brown University 

Community colleges

Community colleges provide two-year associate degree programs which train the students to gain technical skills for immediate employment. The students with these degrees can either go for employment or continue the bachelor’s programme at the universities with a lateral entry programme called the 2+2 programme. Community Colleges are also often called “two-year colleges”.

Examples of a few community colleges in the US are:

  • De Anza College
  • Mesalands Community College
  • Glendale Community College
  • Barstow Community College
  • Luna Community College
  • Central Louisiana Technical Community College
  • Central New Mexico Community College
  • Foothill College
  • Delaware County Community College
  • Green River College
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • North Seattle College

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Ivy League Universities

The Ivy League is a world-renowned group of universities that was formed in the 1950s as an athletic association. It consists of a group of eight famous universities which are located in the northeast region of the US. These universities are regarded for their academic excellence. The admission process in these universities is quite competitive and tuition fee is very high.

The eight schools include:

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University

Technical Schools

Technical Schools are generally research-focused with the main concentration on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.  We find the phrases like “Institute of Technology”, “Polytechnic Institute”, and “Polytechnic University”, in their titles.

Examples:

  • Michigan Tech University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of Technology

Liberal arts colleges

Liberal arts colleges are popular in the United States. They are usually residential, and smaller in enrolment and class size when compared to the universities. These colleges mainly emphasize broad general knowledge and develop general intellectual capacities, rather than a professional or technical curriculum. They offer a four-year college degree which leads to a bachelor’s degree.

Examples:

  • Amherst College
  • Williams College
  • Pomona College
  • Wellesley College
  • Swarthmore College 

Apart from this article why we study in the United States, you can also refer to the following: