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Types of higher education in New York

Higher Education in New York is very different to that in the UK or Europe, and indeed the rest of the world.  There are two main types of universities (commonly called colleges) in the US, community colleges or public universities, where a degree can be obtained in only two years, and liberal arts colleges and comprehensive universities where degrees are obtained in four to six years.  Community colleges are much cheaper, but less well respected.  Many students may study first at a community college before moving on to a public university, particularly if they didn't achieve high enough grades to go straight to a top institution from high school.


There are differences between the qualifications gained after study at the different types of higher education institutions in New York and the rest of the United States.  Taking a two year course at a community college will earn you a certificate of education or what is known as an associate degree.  If you plump for one of the four year New York universities you will gain a bachelor of arts of Bachelor of Science degree, exactly equivalent to BA and BSC degrees in the United Kingdom.  Four year colleges also offer masters degrees, which two year public universities often don't.  Just like undergraduate degrees at top universities in New York take four years as opposed to three years in the UK, so masters degrees in the US are completed over two years, instead of the one it generally takes in the United Kingdom.

Practical considerations

Studying abroad in New York is a great experience, for which you must make a few practical considerations.  You'll need to work out how to fund your degree, as higher education in the United States is much more expensive than in many other countries, and you may not be covered for a student loan.  Also think about how long you'll be away, as degrees in New York can take several years longer than in other places.

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