Education around the world, information taken from the internet. This information is used as printed in order to better help Americans understand their own system. This level of teaching and information is seldom presented in American classrooms

In many other, particularly continental European systems, an “undergraduate” degree in the American sense does not exist. Because students are expected to have received a sound general education at the secondary level, in a school such as a gymnasium or lycée, students in Europe enroll in a specific course of studies they wish to pursue upon entry into a University. In the US, students engage in general studies during the first years of tertiary education and only specialize in a “major” during the last years of college. Specializing in a field of study upon entry into a university means most students graduate after four to five years of study. The fields available include those only taught as graduate degrees in the US, such as law or medicine.

If there is a separate undergraduate degree, higher degrees (Licence, Master, Doctorat) can be gained after completing the undergraduate degree. In the traditional German system, there were no undergraduate degrees in some fields, such as engineering: students continued to Master’s level education without any administrative breakpoint, and employers would not consider half-finished Master’s degrees. In many countries, the English distinction between a bachelor’s and master’s degree is only now being introduced by the Bologna process. Under the new Bologna reform, universities in Europe are introducing the Bachelor level (BA or BS) degree, often by dividing a 5-year Master-level program into two parts (3-year Bachelor’s + 2-year Master’s), where students are not obligated to continue with the second Master’s-degree part. These new Bachelor’s degrees are similar in structure to British Bachelor’s degrees.

In the traditional German system, there is a vocational degree (Diplom FH) that is similar in length, and is also considered an academic degree. Though it is designed as a specialist degree, in contrast to the Diplom degree at Universität, which claims to be more generalist. Germany itself, however, is currently abolishing the legal distinction between Fachhochschule and Universität. They are both translated as university and they both provide bologna-compliant and equivalent postgraduate degrees.[9]

At some Swedish universities (such as the Royal Institute of Technology), PhD courses are sometimes referred to as “graduate courses”, whereas courses for other students (up to master level) sometimes are referred to as “undergraduate courses”.

[edit] United States system

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In the United States of America undergraduate refers to those who are studying towards a bachelor’s degree. The most common method consists of four years of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or sometimes another bachelor’s degree such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (B.S.P.A), or Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) Five-Year Professional Architecture programs offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.).

Unlike in the British model, degrees in law and medicine are not offered at the undergraduate level and are completed as graduate study after earning a bachelor’s degree. Neither field specifies or prefers any undergraduate major, though medicine has set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment.

Some students choose to attend a community college for two years prior to further study at another college or university. In most states, community colleges are operated either by a division of the state university or by local special districts subject to guidance from a state agency. Community colleges award associate degrees of different types, some intended to prepare students to transfer to four-year schools (e.g. Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS)), and others intended to provide vocational skills and training for students wishing to enter into or advance in a profession. Those seeking to continue their education may transfer to a four-year college or university (after applying through a similar admissions process as those applying directly to the four-year institution, see articulation). Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local four-year college, where the community college provides the first two years of study and the university provides the remaining years of study, sometimes all on one campus. The community college awards the associate’s degree, and the university awards the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. However, some community colleges, such as Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Texas offer bachelor’s degrees along with associate’s degrees.

 

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