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What's the difference between a college & a university?

Topic: Choosing a School | Asked by: Anonymous | Asked on 06/17/2010

Answers (37)

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In the United States, these two terms are often used synonymously by the general public. However, the main difference between a college and a university is that a college only offers degrees in one specific academic area, whereas a university offers degrees from several different colleges. For example, a university might have three different colleges, such as a college of arts and sciences, a college of business and technology and a college of fine arts and communication, etc. A college might only have degrees in a business area. Exceptions to this rule do exist at institutions like Dartmouth College and Brown University so it is best to investigate each institution to determine what they offer.

Answered by: Julie O'brien C. | over 3 years ago
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This question is answered many places online: http://www.google.com/search?q=college+vs+university. The words are somewhat interchangable. The concensus seems to be that colleges are smaller and focused on 4 year degrees, while universities are larger and offer graduate degrees. Universities are often divided into specialty schools, such as a College of Law. For more information, read the first few hits you find in the above Google search. They are quite comprehensive.

Answered by: Criterion Y. | over 3 years ago
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In most instances, the school that you attend is considered a university. The term university refers to the entire organization. Within a university you have multiple colleges. Colleges are essentially departments in the university. In my particular case I attended Eastern Michigan University and I was a student in the College of Music and Dance. If you attend a smaller school the school may be considered a college instead of a university. In this situation you would have multiple departments instead of multiple colleges. The easiest way to think of it is In a university you have more students, and because of this you need more administration.

Answered by: Em Ugrad08 P. | over 3 years ago
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The difference between colleges and universities are the vast amount of choices and opportunities offered at a university. The difference between the two may vary depending on the area you live in. Both 'colleges' and 'universities' are postsecondary educations. However, generally, a college offers degrees in a specific area, while universities consist of multiple schools and therefore offer degrees in several areas. Both do offer reasonable educations, and colleges generally have much lower tuition costs, you may want to take this into consideration when deciding on a school. Keep in mind, there is also a difference between a "college" and "community college"; community colleges are not able to offer 4 year degrees, and only go as far as an associates degree.

Answered by: Oxomaikaioxo D. | almost 4 years ago
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There is not a difference between the two. Both mean the same thing. They are just derivatives of the same concept that come from different areas of the world. This happened when America first started to develop schools back in the 1800s. At either one you can earn an equal degree.

Answered by: Lmukeeper O. | almost 4 years ago
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A college offers a set of degrees in one area. Normally, this is described as a community college. A university is actually a collection of colleges. The difference between the two can actually be defined different ways in other countries though. If you attend a university, you will actually graduate from one of the colleges within that university. This can be a business college or computer engineering college or even nursing college.

Answered by: Jen B. | almost 4 years ago
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Generally, a college does not have a graduate studies program. A university offers both undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees. However, some schools (such as Harvard College) have the word "college" in their official name, but are actually classified as universities (since they offer graduate as well as undergraduate degrees).

Answered by: Mem4dr A. | almost 4 years ago
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Typically, a college offers only four-year bachelor's degrees, while a university also offers graduate degrees, such as master's and doctorate degrees. The term college may also mean something like a department within a university - the College of Science, for example. These designations are typical, but not absolute and there are many exceptions.

Answered by: Reliable O. | almost 4 years ago
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A Colleges and a university are the same thing in my mind. I am not aware of any specific difference. They are two words which mean the same thing.

Answered by: Zolty F. | almost 4 years ago
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Generally, the difference between a college and a university is that a college just offers a collection of degrees in one specific area, while a university is a collection of colleges. When you go to a university you are going to be graduating from one of their colleges, such as the business college. As to which is better, it depends on what you want. Single colleges tend to be smaller while universities are bigger, but universities are better known. Terminology also differs around the world, so be aware that local terminology may differ as well.

Answered by: Ker239 C. | almost 4 years ago
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A college only has undergraduate degrees. A university offers undergraduate and graduate schools. It's not that big of a deal really.

Answered by: Choco Mint Y. | almost 4 years ago
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A college tends to focus on one area only. For example, there are Medical Colleges, Science Colleges, Liberal Arts Colleges (anything with literature, history, humanities, etc.). Meanwhile, a university offers all these programs. You will notice when applying to universities that their academic departments are usually broken down into colleges such as the ones above. However, the colleges are still part of the university.

Answered by: Mayell U. | almost 4 years ago
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A university is a collection of schools. For example, a university would include a College of Business. A college if much more specific and is a collection of degrees.

Answered by: Homer W. | almost 4 years ago
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There isn't a difference between a college and university. Both of them offer the same type of degrees. I am not aware of any difference.

Answered by: Zolty F. | almost 4 years ago
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Worldwide, there are major differences between the two. In the United States, there is one main difference. Colleges offer fewer majors and mainly in just a few areas, while a university is a collection of colleges or studies, so they offer more majors.

Answered by: Jenny P P. | almost 4 years ago
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These days the two terms are used synonomously. In general, colleges are smaller than university. Within each university, there are different schools or colleges of study, like a neighborhood of colleges.

Answered by: L Platter F. | almost 4 years ago
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A college usually only has undergraduate schools. A university has undergraduate and graduate schools. A college is usually smaller in size and more personable. A university is usually large and fast paced. It really doesn't matter if you go to a college or a university -unless you're talking about graduate school!

Answered by: Sea Whale H. | almost 4 years ago
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For a college to become a university, they must meet certain accreditation criteria. Aspects under consideration include size, number of programs offered, funding, and so on. That doesn't necessarily mean a college is not as good as a university. There are many colleges that purposefully remain smaller in order to better serve their students. But a university will generally have more resources and options than a college.

Answered by: Kissaguard S. | almost 4 years ago
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A college focuses on offering degrees from a particular field such as business or sciences. A university offers a range of degrees in a range of fields. A university is a collection of colleges. When you graduate from a university, you are graduating from a college within that university.

Answered by: Ralloh X. | almost 4 years ago
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College and university can typically be used interchangeably for an institution of higher education. But generally, a university is a larger school, whereas a college may be smaller. A university may be composed of different colleges. For example, my university had a college of education, a college business, and a college of arts & sciences.

Answered by: Aj Q. | almost 4 years ago
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The difference between a college and a university is the size. A college is a single school that is smaller than a university. A university is larger and made up of smaller colleges.

Answered by: Frat N. | almost 4 years ago
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A university is a collection of schools, such as a College of Business, which then offer specific degrees. Colleges are those that only offer the degrees that are available. College is a much more specific term than university.

Answered by: Potato Z. | almost 4 years ago
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Universities are comprised of different colleges. For instance, a university might have the college of arts and sciences. A college in it's own right is usually smaller than a university and more focused on teaching than on research. They are also more likely to be private institutions. A university is often more likely to have a more recognizable name than a college.

Answered by: Ilovecollege E. | almost 4 years ago
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The difference between the words college and university depend very much upon on the location. In the United States and Ireland, the terms "college" and "university" may be regarded as loosely interchangeable. In the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries, a "college" is usually an institution between school and university level.

Answered by: Alonad C. | almost 4 years ago
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A college is a collection of degrees, while on the other hand, a university is a collection of colleges. For example, a university is composed of a business college among other colleges. The college is more specific than the university.

Answered by: Hazard J. | almost 4 years ago
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A college usually deals in a specific branch of study whereas a university is made up of several colleges. For example, Soandso College of Liberal Arts and Sciences would only have courses related to the liberal arts and sciences, but the Soandso University it belongs to could also have a Soandso College of Engineering, College of Business, etc.

Answered by: Ktownmeh O. | almost 4 years ago
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A college focuses on offering degrees from a particular field such as business or sciences. A university offers a range of degrees in a range of fields. A university is a collection of colleges. When you graduate from a university, you are graduating from a college within that university.

Answered by: Ralloh X. | almost 4 years ago
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College and university can typically be used interchangeably for an institution of higher education. But generally, a university is a larger school, whereas a college may be smaller. A university may be composed of different colleges. For example, my university had a college of education, a college business, and a college of arts & sciences.

Answered by: Aj Q. | almost 4 years ago
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The difference between a college and a university is the size. A college is a single school that is smaller than a university. A university is larger and made up of smaller colleges.

Answered by: Frat N. | almost 4 years ago
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A university is a collection of schools, such as a College of Business, which then offer specific degrees. Colleges are those that only offer the degrees that are available. College is a much more specific term than university.

Answered by: Potato Z. | almost 4 years ago
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Universities are comprised of different colleges. For instance, a university might have the college of arts and sciences. A college in it's own right is usually smaller than a university and more focused on teaching than on research. They are also more likely to be private institutions. A university is often more likely to have a more recognizable name than a college.

Answered by: Ilovecollege E. | almost 4 years ago
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The difference between the words college and university depend very much upon on the location. In the United States and Ireland, the terms "college" and "university" may be regarded as loosely interchangeable. In the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries, a "college" is usually an institution between school and university level.

Answered by: Alonad C. | almost 4 years ago
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A college is a collection of degrees, while on the other hand, a university is a collection of colleges. For example, a university is composed of a business college among other colleges. The college is more specific than the university.

Answered by: Hazard J. | almost 4 years ago
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A college usually deals in a specific branch of study whereas a university is made up of several colleges. For example, Soandso College of Liberal Arts and Sciences would only have courses related to the liberal arts and sciences, but the Soandso University it belongs to could also have a Soandso College of Engineering, College of Business, etc.

Answered by: Ktownmeh O. | almost 4 years ago
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A college offers students a collection of degrees that are based on a specific area. A university is a grouping of all of these colleges. Students often see their college as their own little community within the university. It is smaller and students bond with their comrades that have similar degree plans.

Answered by: Jena Mae M. | almost 4 years ago
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A college offers less classes then a university. Also a diploma from a University is ussually valued more when you are trying to apply for a job.

Answered by: Dwood955 Yahoo.Com E. | almost 4 years ago
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A college and a university are the same thing. They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be online or physical. Most offer four years of education for a major. They can be quite expensive

Answered by: Average Joe V. | over 3 years ago
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