Higher Education in the US

Higher education in the United States includes all academic studies beyond the high school level. There are several different kinds of institutions that offer higher education. Community and junior colleges are two-year institutions that offer Associate Degrees. Many community and junior colleges have established partnerships with local public universities and colleges so that students can begin their studies at the community college and then continue at the partner university to earn a bachelor's degree.

Public and private, religious and non-affiliated colleges and universities across the United States offer bachelor, master's and doctoral degrees in many different fields. A bachelor degree is typically a four year course of study in the United States. A master's degree follows the bachelor and is typically a two year course of study. In some cases, professional and executive masters degrees can be shorter in duration. Doctoral degrees in the United States vary in duration, averaging between 4-7 years of study, collaborative and independent research and publication.

There are no national higher education standards in the United States, but there are national and regional accrediting organizations that colleges and universities participate with in order to establish that they meet or exceed minimum standards. It is important for international students to attend an accredited college or university; diplomas from non-accredited universities are often not recognized abroad.