Interested in studying in the USA? You’re not alone: every year, thousands of students from the UK, Europe, Middle East & China choose the USA to pursue their undergraduate degree.
With thousands of academic programmes, world-class institutions and unmatched flexibility, the USA offers a breadth of higher education opportunities you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Narrowing these institutions down can be an exciting and surprising process. Many students find their perfect match at a university or location they’d not previously thought of.
Over 2,000 colleges and universities offer four-year programs in which students earn a bachelor’s degree. Last year, over 1.3 million people in the United States earned this degree. Commonly called a “college degree,” the undergraduate bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete and is comprised of 120-128 semester credit hours.
The four years spent as an undergraduate at a university are typically known as the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. The curriculum of many undergraduate programs is based on a “liberal arts” philosophy in which students are required to study courses from a range of subjects to form a broad educational foundation. These general education courses include study in English composition, social sciences, humanities, history, mathematics and natural or physical sciences.
Once they have met the core curriculum requirements, students at most institutions are asked to choose a specific field of study, also known as the major. Your major should be in an academic area that is of great interest to you, and one in which you will likely seek a career in the future. The final two years are spent taking more courses that are more directly related to your major. Other four-year colleges and universities emphasize preparation for special professional areas—fine arts, pharmacy, engineering, business, agriculture, and other specialized fields.
Unlike other undergraduate models, degrees in law and medicine are not offered at the undergraduate level in the US. Instead, they are completed as professional study after receiving a bachelor’s degree. Neither law nor medical schools require or prefer a specific undergraduate major, although medical schools do have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrolment. Undergraduate students who are preparing to attend medical school following their undergraduate careers are known as pre-med.
The two types of bachelor’s degrees typically offered are B.A. degrees (Bachelor of Arts degrees) and B.S. degrees (Bachelor of Science degrees). If you choose to earn a B.A., the majority of your coursework will typically be in the arts, such as social sciences, humanities or fine arts. Students who earn a B.S. degree take the majority of their courses in life, physical or mathematical sciences.
Other, more specialised bachelor’s degrees include:
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During the consultation, you will: