A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. As students or their parents begin to explore their postsecondary education options, they may begin to wonder about the difference between colleges and universities. Many people assume that college refers to a private institution and a university refers to a state-funded school.
- A university is an institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Universities offer graduate programs leading to a master’s degree or a Ph.D. These institutions also may have a medical or law school for students wishing to pursue professional degrees.
- A college is a smaller institution that typically offers undergraduate degrees. Some colleges, such as community colleges and junior colleges, may offer only two-year degrees. Most colleges offer bachelor’s degrees, and some colleges also have associate degrees.
- Sometimes, the line between college and university can be a little blurry. Why are many institutions that offer graduate degrees called colleges? Sometimes, the answer is tradition. Institutions with a long history of being called a college risk upsetting students and alumni by changing their name.
- Many students ask if a university is better than a college. A college and university generally are academic equals.
- US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
- Indiana Colleges and Universities
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This post was last modified by Heather on May 31, 2018.
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