Going off to college is a milestone in any young adult’s lifestyle. The word itself conjures up photos of newfound independence, exposure to new views, knowledge, and probably even one or extra sips of alcohol.
In America, however, few human beings use the word “going off to university,” or “headed to university,” although they may be indeed approximately to prompt for, say, Harvard University. Why did college turn out to be the essential term for postsecondary training? And is there any distinction between the 2 institutions?
While university seems to be the older of the two terms, relationship as a long way again because the thirteenth century, schools and college students in North America have embraced college to describe maximum locations of better learning. There is no rigid definition of the words, but there are a few preferred attributes for each. A college is normally a 4-12 months college that gives undergraduate ranges like an associate or a bachelor’s. (Community faculties are often two-yr faculties.) They don’t typically provide master’s or doctorates, and the size in their scholar body is commonly the smaller of the two.
Universities, alternatively, generally tend to offer both undergraduate and graduate packages main to superior stages for a bigger institution of college students. They can also be produced from several faculties—called faculties—beneath their umbrella. A college should provide both a school of arts and sciences and a faculty of enterprise. The University of Michigan has a College of Engineering, for instance.
While lots of those tendencies are commonplace, they’re no longer guaranteed. Some faculties may be larger than universities, some may offer master’s ranges, and so on. To complicate matters similarly, an institution that fits the criteria of a college might pick to name itself a university. Both Dartmouth College and Boston College qualify as universities however use the university label due to culture. Schools may additionally start as faculties, grow into universities, however, preserve the original name.
People have a tendency to think of a college as being greater prestigious or more difficult to get into, but there are too many variables to make that dedication at a glance. Some colleges may ask extra candidates than universities. Some universities are probably smaller than positive colleges. Either one may be public or private.
Things get a touch extra convoluted overseas. In the UK, students go off to college (or uni) rather than college. The British version of a university is generally a -yr program wherein college students both recognition on studying one precise ability set (much like a vocational faculty) or use the time to put together for checks a good way to improve to college. Language matters, too; in Spanish, Colegio generally refers to highschool.
While the terms aren’t strictly interchangeable, there may be sufficient of a distinction between the two to try and make the difference. Keep in mind that some states, like New Jersey, have rules approximately how institutions label themselves. There, a college has to have as a minimum of 3 fields of graduate study main to superior ranges.