Post secondary education in USA is mainly offered by public and private colleges / universities. Educational standards and Quality of these colleges / universities are been determined and regulated by accrediting organizations or agencies. There are mainly two types of accreditations that are in practice in Education System USA:
This covers the University / College as a whole and this is primary kind of recognition in USA. These accreditations are generally granted by non governmental agencies / organizations depending upon different geographic regions.
This covers a particular program / department with in a college / university. Obtaining a degree which has a professional accreditation may be a mandatory requirement for practicing in some professions like Medicine, Physiotherapy etc. While Institutional accreditation is must to offer accredited programs in Education System in USA, Professional accreditation adds value to the Degree.
Education in USA offered by Universities / Colleges can be categorized mainly into four types:
These degrees are perhaps called as “Half Bachelors” is the first level Degree in education in USA and generally of two years duration. Students are required to complete anywhere between 60-80 credits to earn an Associated Degree. This varies from university to university, curriculum to curriculum. Upon successful completion of Associate Degree one can opt to take the degree and look for Job and can come back for Bachelors Degree at a later stage or continue the studies towards Bachelors Degree.
Students with 10+2 background are eligible to apply for Bachelor’s Degree, which will normally be for four years of duration. Students should generally complete around 120-140 credits to earn Bachelor’s Degree. After successful completion one can opt for employment or can continue with their graduate degree. International students need equivalent to Bachelors Degree in US Education to apply for H1 Visa.
Unlike Bachelors Degree, graduate / master degrees are much focused. There are more than 2000+ universities / colleges in USA offering masters degree. These are 2 years of duration. One should complete about 30-36 credits to earn Masters Degree.
These are very much research oriented program and it takes anywhere between 5-6 years to earn PhDs. With a PhD degree you can determine your own career path. Earning PhD is more significant time commitment that requires initiative and self discipline.