After high-school comes college, which is known as undergrad here. Another term for the same is Bachelor’s. Though a student attending college is usually referred to as an undergrad. This can be a bit confusing because in India the same this is called graduation (and the student – graduate).
Only with a high-school diploma, students can enroll in post-secondary education. It is important to know that colleges and universities require certain high school credits or tests (e.g. SAT) for admission, and students must plan their high school career with those requirements in mind.
To study further after high-school, Americans have to usually give a test. This test is known as the “SAT reasoning test”. SAT tests a person on 3 skills namely: Maths, Critical Reading and Writing. Students who wish to get into a good college need to have a high score in their SATs.
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a non-profit organization in the United States. The College Board claims that the SAT can determine whether or not a person is ready for college. The current SAT Reasoning Test takes three hours and forty-five minutes.
Your college admission is not just dependent on your SAT scores. It also takes into consideration your grades in school. During their high school years, students are given "grades" for all their courses, and these are recorded. At the end of 12th Grade, the pupil's grades are averaged out to provide a "GPA" or Grade Point Average, which will often be used as a selection criterion when they apply to college or university.
In the first 2 years of undergraduate course, students take courses that pertains to their core curriculum which will help them meet the prerequisite for their degree. These would be basic subjects like History, Literature, Science, Social Studies based on your course. For these 2 years, a student can either go to a college/university or attend a community college. After the 2 years the student will get an AA degree (Associate of Arts degree) and in third year, they must choose a major. This major is the field in which they intend to specialize.
The next 2 years is intensive education in their respective major.
When you pick a major. You are selecting a specific field where your degree and expertise will be focused.
Students can change their majors anytime, but that would require more tuition fees and more credits to be completed and may increase the number of years that they may take to complete their college.
Higher Education Options:
State Schools: A state school or a college is one that is run and supported by the state it resides in. each state has at least one and some have many. Some of these colleges are very good and getting into those colleges can be quite difficult and competitive.
Private Schools: as the name suggests, these are private colleges, have higher fees, fewer students but the students get more attention. There is usually an interview process to get into these colleges.
Community College: Community colleges offer two types of two-year Associate Degree programs.
There is an academic transfer option. Whereby you can take the courses necessary to earn an associate of arts or sciences. And then transfer those course credits to a four-year university. Where you will select your major and finish your degree. It’s important that you take transferable courses if you intend to use them at a state or private school.
You can also go to community college. And follow a degree track designed to get you into the workforce after completion. These courses are sometimes non-transferable. But the goal of the program is to help you secure employment with job-specific skills upon graduation.
If you want to go into a field that requires hands-on training. Like becoming a hair stylist or auto mechanic. You’ll need to attend a technical school. These programs vary in length. But when you complete them, you will be qualified to test and get licensed in your desired profession.
Graduate Studying or Master’s:
After obtaining your four-year degree. Then you have an option to extend your schooling to pursue a Master’s Degree. To further specialize in your field of study.
Graduate programs are traditionally a division of a college or university. And you will need to apply and take a graduate record examination (GRE) to be accepted. If you want to attain certain types of master’s degrees. Like one in law or medicine, you may also need to take specialized tests like the LSAT or MCAT.
Master’s programs are designed to take between one and two years to complete. And you will need to submit a research paper called your master’s thesis to pass.
After you’ve managed to finish all of this and still want study there’s a doctorate program, which is basically your phd.