This Is The Difference Between A ‘College’ And A ‘University’

In the US, the words ‘college’ and ‘university’ are used interchangeably. But, just like when we talked about the Differences Between ‘CV’ And ‘Resume’, colleges and universities do differ and it’s time to find out where.

Before we get into it though, let’s clear that these differences refer to the US higher education system and do not apply across the world.

So, what’s their difference? Simply said, universities are made up of different colleges (or schools) that focus on different departments. For example, the Texas A&M University has 12 colleges while the prestigious Oxford University in the UK has a total of 38 colleges. Of course, there are colleges that are not part of a university (there are also some universities that are called colleges but we’ll get to that in a while). Here are the characteristics of each institution: (the article continues after the ad)


Colleges are schools that only offer bachelor degrees and are often smaller in size than universities. They focus on a specific field of study (e.g. College of Engineering) and offer options related to that specific subject. They may or may not be a part of a university.


Universities are usually larger than colleges and besides bachelor degree’s, they also offer postgraduate programs (such as master’s and doctoral degrees). They usually offer a broad range of academic disciplines as they are made up of different schools from which, at least one, is a college.

Of course, i’m pretty sure you know a lot of colleges that do offer master and doctoral degrees, right? For example, Boston College or Dartmouth College do so. So how come they are allowed to?

It’s because not all higher institutions that can be called universities choose to change their name Because of tradition a lot of them stick with the ‘college’ title and that’s why it gets a bit confusing.

But now you know.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is The Difference Between ‘CV’ And ‘Resume’ 

Photo: Catholics For The Common GoodPinterest
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: What is the difference between a school, college and university in the USA? | What’s the difference between a ‘college’ and a ‘university’? | College vs. University: What’s the Difference?

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