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Education In The United States

In the United States, men and women entering the undergraduate division of a college or university generally have completed twelve years of study in primary and secondary schools. Students are usually admitted to the graduate division of a college or university only after they have completed at least four years of undergraduate work and have received a Bachelor's (or higher) or comparable degree.


Most international students will discover differences in the following areas:

  • study techniques
  • classroom practices
  • teaching methods
  • examinations in the United States differ significantly from those to which they have been accustomed in their own country.

US Academic Practices

At times, U.S. academic practices and requirements may seem strange and frustrating.  Education patterns in the United States include:

  • regular class attendance
  • active participation in group discussion
  • frequent written examinations
  • a heavy reading program
  • required papers
  • attainment of satisfactory grades


Grading and evaluation systems are often based on:

  •  written examinations
  • required papers
  • reports
  • research projects
  • class participation.

In order to complete the demanding program of such studies and derive full benefit from their educational experiences in this country, foreign students should make an effort to adjust to these practices as soon as possible. It should be emphasized that mastery of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential before undertaking study at the graduate level.


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