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University Degree vs. College Diploma


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  • University Degree vs. College Diploma

    In the United States, you can get a bachelors degree from a college or a university.

    A Canadian that I worked with told me that in Canada, a university offers degrees while a college offers diplomas. He said that a college is sort of like a trade school and is not equal to a university. He was confused when he moved to the United States because he heard Americans saying, "I got a degree from so & so college." Can anyone from Canada verify this?

    Can anyone from the U.K. explain the difference between a college and a university in your country?

    [This message has been edited by me again (edited 06-27-2001).]

  • #2
    I am a college student at a University in the US. I may not have a total understanding of the system, but if a school is accredited by a regional accreditation body (such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) then there isn't really a difference I think. A four-year degree is a four-year degree.
    Does anyone else have any information on this?

    [This message has been edited by goodside (edited 06-27-2001).]


    • #3
      In Canada, you cannot get a degree from a college but some of the credits you get in college can be transfered to university if you ever go. University is the only place to get a degree.

      Colleges are not just trades, but they are a big part of it... For example to become a nurse you can go to college.

      Colleges are becoming more popular because they tend to focus more on the courses directly related to what you are taking and they are considerably cheaper to attend then university. Colleges are usually 2-3 years and university is 3 to 4 unless you go to law school or medical scool etceteras where it is longer.

      Employers don't place the emphasis on a degree nowadays like they used to. For example, computer related degrees and diplomas are looked upon very similiar. (However, this could have alot to do with the demand).

      My advice though having said that is to go for the degree if you have the funds.

      If you indicate what you are thinking of taking I can give you a better opinion.

      A significant number of students are going to both college and university.

      I AM WOMAN...HEAR ME........DOH!


      • #4
        I thing the issue is wording perhaps. I went to "Technical College" to which I received a "Associates Degree" (2 years).

        I would say in the US "colleges" and "universities" are one in the same where you do 4 years and get a bachelors degree or a masters etc.

        I think I confused myself


        • #5
          In the United States, I do not think there is a difference between a college and a university, though that may change in the next few years. Over the last 30 years, there seems to have been a trend to change the names of state colleges to state universities. I don't know the underlying reason behind this trend. Currently, you can get a bachelors degree from either a college or a university. Wonderwoman seems to have clarified the distinction of a a university from a college in Canada. It is very different from the United States.

          What about the United Kingdom?
          Is there a distinction between a college and a university in the U.K.? Can someone from the U.K. shed some light on this?


          • #6

            Universities: Where people study for degrees, HND's (diploma's), Doctorates etc.

            College: Primarily where people go once they have left our equivilent of high school.

            They offer a mix bunch of courses: many vocational and trade based such as certificates in catering, child care, horticulture, electronics, etc

            and also offer A-levels (what people primarily need to get into university) which are traditional exams and essays in subjects such as maths, chemistry, biology, law, english, french, aracheology etc... a huge list of like 30 subjects of which a person generally picks 3 or 4. Differant degrees usually demand you have specific a-level to get onto the degree course: eg engineering might expect maths A level.

            It is quite possible to get into university without attending college as most schools have what is called 6th form (years 12+13) where you can study A-levels at your school as opposed to going to college. Many people choose to do this. in fact i would say the vast majority of people do this.

            Also... Some colleges have been assessed as being of suitable teaching/research quality to offer degrees. These are very limited and a college may have only one or two degrees it can confer in say 'agricultural science' or 'psychology'. basically what this means is the teaching takes place at the college.. but the college is affiliated with a local university who will actualy confer the degree on a graduate on behalf of the college....

            It is beyond my comprehension as to why anyone would want to study for the degree at the college with a load of 16-18 year old kids when they could just study it at the nearest university.


            • #7

              Thanks for the responce. I see there is a huge difference between a college and a university in the U.K.!!! It sounds like a college is nothing more than a trade school!!!

              In American colleges, most students are 18 or over. For us, most high school students graduate at 18.

              Now I understand why many of our colleges are changing their titles to "university."


              • #8
                Originally posted by me again:
                In the United States, I do not think there is a difference between a college and a university...there seems to have been a trend to change the names of state colleges to state universities. I don't know the underlying reason behind this trend. Currently, you can get a bachelors degree from either a college or a university.
                In the US, even though the two terms are used interchangably, there IS a difference between a college and a university.

                Colleges are usually much smaller than universities and typically specialize in a certain area of study (ie, a liberal arts college.)

                A university, on the other hand is usually much larger (at least in the areas of study it offers.) A university can be viewed as a collection of colleges (ie, College of Business, College of Education, College of Nursing, College of Arts & Sciences, etc.)

                Colleges are generally much more specialized in what they teach. A person usually goes to a college to follow a particular course of study. If a person goes to a university, they have to choose a specific area of study.

                That is basically the only difference. BOTH offer Bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees. State colleges generally become UNIVERSITIES when they decide to offer an expanded curriculum (ie, they decide that instead of just offering liberal arts, they want to offer business, nursing, education, etc.)

                As far as Canada goes, it sounds like their college diploma is the equivalant of an Associate's Degree.

                Take Care and STAY SAFE!!!

                [This message has been edited by TennDECA (edited 06-28-2001).]
                Take Care and STAY SAFE!!!


                • #9
                  There are some colleges in Canada that apply for and get degree granting status, usually in conjunction with an established university, and eventually are given status as a "college university" with degree programs administered under their own name. Just thought I'd throw that confusing little glitch into the mix!


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