World, Travel

The system of studies in the United States

The system of studies in the United States Introduction:

Studying in the United States is what nearly 600,000 students do every year. Attracted by the American dream, they come from all over the world to complete their training. The worldwide fame of the establishments, the diversity of the studies offered and the attractiveness of the country are the factors that pushed 8,800 French students to cross the Atlantic to study in 2016/2017.

The system of studies in the United States Details:

The USA higher education are divided into three cycles corresponding to three degrees :

The first cycle ( Undergraduate studies ) : The Bachelor obtained in four years. In France, a Bachelor is obtained in 3 years (equivalent to a License). The second cycle ( Graduate studies ) : the Master obtained in six years, that is to say one year more than in France. The third cycle (Post- graduate studies ) : the doctorate (called PH.D) obtained in ten years whereas it is obtained in 8 years in France. The first cycle is based on what is called the ” liberal arts  Which allow you to acquire a certain general culture. The subjects covered are therefore very broad. The second and third cycles are also called “professional studies” and allow you to specialize in a specific field.

The calendar

A year lasts 9 months , it begins around the end of August / beginning of September and ends at the end of May. It is divided into several periods, the number of which varies from 2 to 4 depending on the establishment. In addition, there is a summer semester , which is offered on an optional basis for those who want to speed up their studies, reduce their schedule during the year or catch up with a subject they were unable to take. It is advisable to start your year in the first period (early September) so as not to slow down your studies and especially to increase your chances of getting a scholarship .


The education system is managed not at the national level but at the federal level . Each state manages several universities , at least a “State University” highly selective and several College where entry is easier and Institutes, specialized in a specific field. The College is medium in size and generally does not offer a Doctorate. The university is large (more than 20,000 students) and offers many more choices of courses (including the doctorate in research universities ). The institute ( institute ) only offers degrees in related disciplines preparations each other. Private or public institutions deliver the same quality of education, private universities generally have much higher tuition costs.


Each course gives the right to ” credits ” essential to validate the year . A full-time program represents between 12 and 15 credit hours per period (which corresponds to the time spent in class). Foreign students are required to take at least one complete program during their year. Classes are taught in lecture halls or in small groups (seminars) and give rise to discussions about the compulsory readings that the teacher has given. The student’s mark is issued according to his participation in discussions and debates and his results in the various tests ( a mid-term test and another at the end ). The rating system is also a great feature of the United States. Indeed, the marks are allotted in the form of letters A to F (F being eliminatory), corresponds to values, which will then be multiplied by the other unit of value representing the course.