The Difference Between a College and a University

In a global context, the words “college” and “university” can inspire confusion. Different countries use the same words to name different things. What is usually called a “college” in Europe is really more like the two-year institution called a “community college” in the United States.

How they are essentially the same:

While many factors affect the quality of an institution, the same type of baccalaureate, or bachelor's, degrees can be conferred by both colleges and universities. Admission requirements differ only according to selectivity; highly ranked colleges are often more selective than universities. Both colleges and universities can be either privately or publicly operated. The phrase “going to college” is used to mean attending any college or university in the United States.

How they differ:

Colleges tend to be smaller, with smaller class sizes, and students receive more personal attention from faculty. Universities offer master’s and doctoral degrees which require completion of the bachelor’s degree first.Universities tend to be larger, with faculty time and attention divided between research and teaching. Some large universities will have divisions named “The College of Liberal Arts” or the “College of Engineering.”

What are the benefits of a small college like Becker?

Students in both our traditional undergraduate programs and our accelerated adult learning programs benefit from the transformational power of the Becker College experience.  Our community believes in the core values of excellence, accountability, community and diversity, social responsibility, integrity, and creative expression. Our small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and a supportive learning environment provide each student with the skills he or she needs to succeed. We are committed to our mission of delivering a transformational learning experience —anchored by academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—that prepares graduates to thrive, contribute to, and lead in a global society.

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