USA is a great destination for students. The American education system has a great variety of best courses for international students. As you narrow down on your choice of University, it is essential that you get an overview of the American education system. This will help you make a more informed decision and take right steps for your plan of education.
In USA your academic performance is measured in terms of “grades” and “grade point average” (GPA). The educational programs are first graded in percentages and then converted into grades.
The grading system and GPA have variations that must be understood by non-American students. Even if two students submit same GPA but are from different Universities, then their target University may mark their scores differently due to the difference in academic excellence of their previous schools.
In almost all the American Universities, the academic calendar begins in August / September and goes in till May / June. Most new students start their courses in autumn, and the programs are drafted accordingly in this sequence.
Most Universities provide studies across two terms called “semesters”, few use a three-term calendar called the “trimester”. There are periods of long break for students to travel home on vacation, keeping in mind that they’ve come from a long distance away.
A student who is yet to get her/his bachelor’s degree is termed as an undergraduate student. Typically these courses are about four years in length. The first two years have a variety of subjects and are called as prerequisite courses – such as in arts, literature, history, science, etc. The purpose is to enable students that they reach a certain standard of education with base on many types of subjects.
A “major” is the main specialization of your degree. For instance, if your major is Computers, then you will be awarded with a Bachelor of Science in Computers. You will have to undergo a definite number of courses in that area so as to fulfil the degree requirements. In some cases the major can also be chosen at the beginning of third year of your studies. You can change your major later but that will means having to do more courses, incurring more time and costs.
Students having an undergraduate degree can make plans about graduate courses so as to do jobs in highly skilled sectors or make progress in their life. Few very high level posts in medicine, science, nanotechnology, engineering, etc. require a higher degree.
GRE is required for admission to Masters in Science and GMAT is required for business school.
The graduate programs are usually one or two years in length. For instance MS Computers is two years long, Masters in Journalisn is one year, MBA is two years, etc.
Most of the time in a master’s program goes in classroom study and the student has to prepare a detailed research paper called “master’s thesis” or she/he may have to complete a “master’s project.”
You will be attending your course in classes which could be huge lectures having more than a hundred students or much smaller classes with a handful students. The education system in USA makes the classroom atmosphere quite progressive, where you will share your viewpoints, take part in discussions, deliver seminars and react to constructive criticism. This is a major USP of the American education system.
It is the task of professors to give references to textbooks and reading material. As a student you will have to keep abreast of these and do timely homework which will streamline your participation in classroom discussions and seminars.
All courses have a defined number of credits which is equivalent to the number of hours a student needs to spend in class every week. Most full-time courses are 12 to 15 credit hours, for three to four courses per term, and fulfilling these are essential for a student to graduate.
Expert advice on Education in USA
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