How It Works
The US higher education system differs from other higher education systems in many ways. It is important students understand the unique characteristics of the U.S. higher education system and principles of a College Transfer program as they will directly impact students' study plans.
In the United States, students interested in receiving a Bachelor’s degree must study 4 years, or the equivalent of 180 credits. To complete their 4 year Bachelor's degree curriculum, students have two options:
- Study at a university or four-year college for four years
- Study at a community college for two years then transfer to a university or four-year college to complete the remaining two years of the Bachelor's degree curriculum
No matter the option students choose, curriculum requirements are the same. During the first two years of their Bachelor's degree curriculum, either at a community college or university / four-year college, students study 90 credits of general education classes (selected from a variety of subjects including Math, English, Sciences, Humanities, Arts) and pre-major classes. Once in years 3 and 4 of their Bachelor's degree curriculum, students study another 90 credits, this time focusing only on their major of choice.
During the first two years of the Bachelor's degree curriculum, at the community college or university / four-year college, students are required to study general education classes in a variety of subjects. However, they also have the opportunity and liberty, for each required group of subjects, to choose from a list of eligible classes. For example, in the required Humanities & Arts group, students must pick three classes, but can choose from various sub-groups of classes (Languages, Art, History, Philosophy, ...). This system allows students to explore different subjects or majors if they'd like, as well as build a wide base of knowledge. Students can meet with academic advisors regularly to discuss class options, choose their quarterly schedule and make sure they complete graduation and transfer requirements as planned.
Studying at a community college is a very common option. About 50% of American students who graduate from high school choose a community college to pursue their higher education. And about 75,000 international students are currently studying at community colleges all over the country. Why? It is a smart choice! International students enrolled at community colleges enjoy many benefits:
- Lower tuition & fees
- Smaller class sizes
- Dynamic, interactive teaching style
- Personal attention and support
- More opportunities to practice English