Major Difference Between College and University

The major distinction between college and university is that a university offers graduate programs leading to master’s or doctoral degrees. Universities are generally larger than colleges and offer a wider range of courses.

Major Difference Between College and University

History of Higher Institution

Religious bodies funded many of the early Colonial colleges in the US as it was a good avenue for training for ministers. The schools were modeled after several English and Scottish universities and offered a broad liberal arts curriculum.

Various denominations would open colleges, train clergymen, and send them into the community to become leaders and ministers. While some students studying law or medicine earned degrees from schools overseas, many in the US received their training through apprenticeships.

It wasn’t until the mid-1700s that schools for law and medicine became more accessible. By the mid-1800s, graduate-level degrees became more popular, and schools like Harvard, Wisconsin, Columbia, and Michigan became leaders in this area.

After the American Revolution, schools began to broaden their mission and include more subjects. The Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890 enabled states to start public colleges and universities, which specialized in engineering and agriculture.

The number of schools boomed in the 20th century, as did the number of students on campus. As the need for specific training for blue-collar workers increased in the 1920s, junior colleges were formed to address vocational needs at a lower cost.

These colleges are now more commonly referred to as community colleges and continue to provide the same educational blueprint. Higher education continued to evolve from this point until today’s modern university system emerged. Aspiring students can now choose from over 5,000 schools in the US, including everything from online colleges to community colleges, to esteemed ivy league universities.

What is a College?

college is a smaller institution that usually offers undergraduate degrees. There are even community colleges and junior colleges that provide students with two-year degrees. Most four-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees with some also offering associate degrees.

Colleges might have fewer students than universities, but that means that your classes will be smaller. This might also mean you could have a closer relationship with the faculty and more one-on-one attention. The campus itself won’t be as big, which could make the experience less intimidating for you.

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What is the University?

A university is an institution of higher learning that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Think of a university as a grouping of various schools that includes a college and then graduate-level schools where you can earn a Master’s degree or even a Ph.D.

A university is a degree-granting institution. Universities might even have a law school or a medical school, enabling you to also pursue a professional degree instead.

They offer undergraduate programs that will lead a student towards a master’s degree or a doctorate. They also can have a medical or law school for those pursuing professional degrees in those fields. Sometimes, they even have these great programs that allow you to get both your undergraduate and your graduate degree in a shorter amount of time.



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