What Is the Difference Between a College and a University

The question “What is the difference between a college and a university?” is a rather interesting one. For all  future students – we will try to explain the difference between those two terms.

First, the terminology differs from country to country. However, the word “college” often means that the given institution is something “less” than a university. In other words, the word “university” often refers to a large institution which can be divided into several colleges. In educational sense, a college is more specialized in certain field and it offers you a diploma in that particular field. Also, the degree you obtain from college may be only used and accepted in certain professional spheres.

College lasts for four years, while universities offer further educations and a chance to obtain a higher degree than the one you get from college. In other words – if you attend college, you can only get bachelor’s degree, while university gives an opportunity to get a Master’s degree or a PhD.

In the very beginnings of the higher education, colleges seemed to prevail in the United States, and the higher education was possible mostly in Europe, so American students went abroad for further education. Because of this fact, the U. S. educational system had to change and larger educational institutions formed, consisted of several colleges. Those were the first universities.

The educational system changed in another way. At the time of first universities, only men could attend them and get a degree. But along with general progress and emancipation, gender equality demands enabled women to attend these institutions and become experts in various scientific fields. This was an important step not only for women and society, but also for the universities themselves. This was the way to show that they were indeed large and open institutions.

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