Are you planning to pursue your education in the United States of America and looking to find out more about how the education system is like there? We have outlined information about education in USA for you, read on to find out!

Education system in USA

Higher education in the US is divided into three main types of institutions, junior or community colleges, vocational schools and colleges or universities. Community colleges are relatively more affordable and they offer a two-year associate degree. After the completion of this degree you can continue your studies in another university for another two years to complete undergraduate program. Vocational schools provide career focuses programs relevant to your occupations. They are a sort of job training. Some vocational schools do not require degree but require you to do training. The universities in USA are of two types, public universities and private universities. Public universities ae run by state government and are mostly state universities. These universities provide undergraduate and graduate studies in a vast range of subjects. There are two main categories for graduate programs in the US – master and doctoral. The master’s programs in the US have two main course types, academic and professional. For doctoral degree, students are required to produce an original piece of research alongside their coursework and written examinations. Students are offered their degree after completing specified number of credits in their field of study.

Academic Year

The academic year usually start from August for the fall intake, and January for the winter intake. Some summer school studies are also offered between May and August. Depending on university and course, undergraduate degrees usually take three to four years to complete, while Master’s degree takes one to two years. Doctoral degree usually take from up to four to seven years, depending on your research as well as mode of studies.

Teaching and Learning Style

Classes in universities are usually a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures are usually larger, with attendance of around 200 students while tutorials are smaller accommodating around 25 to 30 students. Usually classes are very interactive in nature, rather than rote learning. American education system focuses on practical and independent learning. As there are number of international students from various countries, universities have a stimulating and rich environment facilitating cross-cultural understanding and networking.

Education Cost

Tuition fees in USA depend on the universities, states and courses, and therefore can range from anywhere between US$10,000 to US$55,000 a year. There can also be additional costs for e.g. specific course materials and access to institution facilities.


If you feel like the tuition fees at US institutions are beyond what you can afford, you should still not deter from applying. Because there are a range of scholarships available for international students. These are given on merit, or even financial needs. The details on scholarships available can be found in websites of each universities. Some scholarships even offer stipend and living cost!

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