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What is an Institute, a College, and a University?

For prospective international students, these are terms important to distinguish when looking for colleges and universities to apply to in North America.
By GPA Admin

What is an Institute, a College, and a University?

What is an Institute, a College, and a University?

In the United States, educational institutions that grant post-secondary school degrees bear any one of these terms in their names. Neither one implies superiority over one or the other. The terms do however imply the types and levels of degrees offered in each institution.

A University will typically offer undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and post-doctoral programs while a College will typically only offer undergraduate degree programs. Institutes on the other hand usually offer curriculums and degree programs concentrated on a certain discipline or a group of related subject areas. Examples can be found in institutes of Technology, the Arts, Architecture, etc.

Additionally, within universities and colleges, there are academic departments also known as Schools. Each school within these institutions is responsible for the degree programs in its area of study. Examples are School of Business, School of the Arts and Sciences, School of Education, etc.

You can browse U.S. schools, select your best fit and find out how you can apply right here on the Golden Path Guide!

For more information and other different types of colleges in the United States, please refer to this excellent slide made by Collegeboard.

                                                                                    Next: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, and Associate Degree >>


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