EducationUSA Frequently Asked Questions

EducationUSA Frequently Asked Questions.

Research your options and define your priorities. Contact the EducationUSA advising center nearest you and browse college search engines online.

Colleges offer only undergraduate degrees while universities offer graduate degrees as well, but the terms are often used interchangeably.

In general, you must have completed high school and you must be at least 17 years of age.

The academic year usually runs from August through May with breaks for holidays. Most universities use either the semester system (two terms), the quarter system (students attend three out of four total terms), or the trimester system (three terms).

Undergraduate programs follow high school and lead to an associate (two-year) degree or a bachelor (four-year) degree. Graduate programs follow a bachelor’s degree and lead to a master’s or doctoral degree.

Associate: a two-year program that either leads to a specific vocation or transitions to a bachelor program. Bachelor: a four or five-year program where students earn credits in a wide variety of courses.

Masters: two-year degree providing additional specialization. Doctorate: five to eight-year program certifying the student as a trained research scholar and/or professor.

Yes, but they are highly selective and require a heavy course load across a total of six years of study.

In a joint-degree program, students begin a graduate program in their fourth year of college, earning both degrees upon graduation.

MBA programs typically last one to two years.

With permission of the International Student Office, international students may work on campus up to 20 hours/week their first year and can apply to work off-campus in subsequent years.

Distance education occurs when a student and an instructor are in different places. Learning occurs by mail, telephone, internet, or by other means.

Yes. To find accredited online distance learning programs, please search the Distance Education Accrediting Commission website.

Yes, although you may lose some credits and require extra time to complete your degree.

You must fulfill the requirements of a freshman applicant, as well as any supplemental information required by the transfer institution.

Community colleges are typically state-supported and provide the first two years of a four-year undergraduate degree.

Community colleges offer lower costs, easier admission policies, close ties to state schools, and many of the required courses connected to a degree.

The transfer process varies for each school. It is best to target the four-year institution early and determine what is needed to transfer.

Search the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Post-secondary Education website to see if an institution is accredited.

For specialized program accreditation, see “Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education,” available from American Council on Education.

Refer to college and university guides to find which institutions are known for excellence in different fields of study.

U.S. universities require an English language proficiency test before admission to ensure you can read, write, and speak fluently.

There are a number of programs for English language study in the United States and online, as well as local possibilities.

It depends: Some degree programs are highly structured. Bachelors’ degrees are very flexible and sometimes allow you to create your own program.

You do not declare a major until the end of you second year of school.

A liberal arts college offers courses in humanities, languages, math, social and natural sciences, and students take 25-50% of their courses in their major.

A liberal arts college offers a smaller setting and teaches critical thinking and communication skills necessary in an ever-changing job market.

A credit is a value assigned to each course which reflects the number of hours the class will meet with the professor each week.

Grade Point Average (GPA) is a numeric indicator for a student’s academic performance, calculated on a scale of 4.0.

Letter grades indicate a student’s academic performance. Each letter grade has a numeric value which is used to calculate a GPA, on a scale of 4.0.

Grades are typically determined by quizzes, midterms, final exams, papers, projects, class attendance, and class participation.

State universities are funded by the state and are generally larger and less expensive than private universities.

Contact the office responsible for international programs at your institution to ask if your school has exchange agreements with U.S. universities.

Each U.S. university will want to review an international student’s subjects and may ask the student to contact a credential evaluation agency.

U.S. institutions cannot issue I-20 forms for non-degree study, including vocational training. Community colleges offer technical/vocational study for an associate’s degree.

Attend the closest EducationUSA advising center’s pre-departure orientation. Then, when you arrive on campus, attend all orientation meetings scheduled at your college or university.

Please email EduLusaka@state.gov with your question.