“college is a smaller institution that generally offers undergraduate degrees while university is a larger academy offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Universities offer graduate programs leading to a master’s degree or a Ph.D.”

After your secondary education, today or tomorrow, you will have to be well prepared to get admission in a college or a university and then you will act as a judge to see the pros and cons of getting admission in one college rather than another. For this, you must know the difference between a college and a university.

Many students and parents are confused by the difference between colleges and universities. Many conclude that college indicates a private institution and a university means a state-funded school. Few are of the opinion that a university provides a better education compared to college. Indeed, the disparity between a college and a university is difficult to describe.

college classroom
college classroom

According to national Education Association, a university can be well defined as follows:
“An Institution of higher education, having as a nucleus a college in which the so-called liberal arts are taught in a course of 3 or 4 years for a degree….and in addition one or more departments for the learned professions, medicine, law of divinity”.

manipal university classroom
manipal university classroom

In simple terms a college is a smaller institution that generally offers undergraduate degrees. Some colleges, such as community colleges and junior colleges, may offer only two-year degrees. Most colleges offer bachelor’s degrees.

On the other hand a university is a larger academy offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Universities offer graduate programs leading to a master’s degree or a Ph.D. These universities may have a medical or law school for students wishing to pursue professional degrees. Few universities offer special programs where their students can get both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree within structured amount of time. Typically, universities have a distinct opportunities of offering classes and programs than a college by virtue of larger number of enrolled students.

However, universally accepted difference between the two is that the university usually includes a number of colleges. Most of the institutions claim to be universities where as they are not. it may be quite possible that some colleges are more like universities.in fact, the word “college” stands for any society or union of persons engaged for attaining the common objective or empowered with rights to work for a common cause.

It is so why the people who elect the Pope at Rome are called the “College of Cardinals”. That’s why in U.S.A. whosoever choose the President or Vice-President is called “Electrol College”. In America, the word “College” usually means an institution attended after graduation from high school, which laid much emphasis on general training and gives less importance to high specialize or technical training.

A large number of “Colleges” are there in United States, however, all these colleges do not fall under the category of “College” Any institution that impart higher education having one faculty (Specialized teachers) and offers a single course of study can be treated as college.

The main difference underlying between the two is that the university, inter alia, includes several special colleges or schools, Such types of special school impart education in the field of law, medicine, forestry etc. Sometimes students attend the college first, and there after they join a university for graduation.


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