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Education In The Us

  1. Dec 3, 2004 #1
    Hi, i have a question that may sound stupid for most Americans here but i was wondering what levels do you guys have in the US after high school. I mean, here in Europe, when you go to college you have three bachelor years and then one or two (sometimes even more) master years and then the PhD...What are the college levels in the US and how many years are they each ???

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2004 #2


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    In the United States, a bachelor's degree typically takes 4 years. That's assuming a person takes a "full load", does not fail or repeat any courses, etc.

    There was, at one time, a sort of "folk lore" that a master's degree was one year beyond the bachelor's and a doctorate 3 years. I don't know if there are very many people who are able to do them that quickly! Add having to work to support yourself during that time and it can add up.
  4. Dec 3, 2004 #3
    Thanks for the reply HallofIvy...

    may i ask then what is a "graduate student"...
    and what is an IVY-school...

    marlon (i again apologize for the stupid questions but i really would like to know)
  5. Dec 3, 2004 #4
    A graduate student is someone who has completed a first degree (eg. bachelor of science) and is studying for a higher degree (eg. PhD).

    Ivy school = one of the universities in the Ivy Leauge.
  6. Dec 3, 2004 #5


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    A graduate student is one that is studying for a Master's degree, PhD, or in some cases a graduate certificate. It's the level after your bachelor's.

    Ivy League schools are those who have exceeded regular standards and are known internationally as prestigious institutions. For example, Harvard University, Princeton University, Cambridge, etc.

    Edit: Posted almost at the same time :)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2004
  7. Dec 3, 2004 #6
    Thanks for the answers guys...i got it now...

    Anybody got any links to studies that compare educational levels of high-schools and universities all over the world????

    thanks in advance

  8. Dec 3, 2004 #7
    I remember seeing a league table of universities in the world somewhere online (can't remember where though), but I wouldn't really trust it tbh. They didn't have criteria for scoring the universities how they did, so it was probably based on overall reputation or something.
  9. Dec 3, 2004 #8


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    After high school...

    college or undergraduate school: 4 years

    graduate school
    - masters: about 2 years (give or take a year)
    - doctorate (PhD): about 6 years total in graduate school (although some take longer)
    (Many PhD programs accept students right out of college, i.e., without requiring a master's degree. These students get their masters along the way to their PhD. Sometimes the masters is awarded close to when they get their PhD because they have focused on their PhD and may have ignored some requirement to get the masters earlier.)

    Historically, "IVY LEAGUE" meant those 8 schools in Nylex's URL that competed in [American] Football. Traditionally, those schools were considered the best academically in numerous majors. However, some other schools not on the list are now considered Ivy League [like Stanford, Chicago, MIT, etc...].

    In my opinion, in selecting a graduate program in Physics, one should focus on where your research interests will thrive... since not every Ivy League school will have the support for your research interests and since the state of the art in your research interest might be at a non-IvyLeague school.
  10. Dec 11, 2004 #9


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    :surprised :surprised I have just realized Spain is not Europe or something like that. Three years???

    Here we finish High-School at 18, and we start a university program which can be:

    Technical Engineer or Diplomated (Ingeniero Técnico o Diplomado)=3 years,

    Engineer or Licenciated (Ingeniero o Licenciado, for example: mechanical engineer as you know a BS mechanical engineer, or Physicist)= 5 years.

    Here it doesn't exist the Master Degree. You go directly to the Doctorate, which usually is 3-4 years long.

    We have a little difference with Europe, don't you think so?

    There were old study plannings in the hardest programs of engineering (Ingeniero Industrial, Ingeniero Naval, Ingeniero Aeronáutico) which were officially 6 years long, so typically the students ended it after 8 years of studying. But the government retired those plans because they were impossible and the most difficult thing to end in the world.

    That's why spanish engineers are well considered abroad. Our courses are extremely difficult and people have to spend large efforts in becoming an engineer here.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2004
  11. Dec 11, 2004 #10


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    Some engineering and pharmacy programs are 5 years.

    You don't have to get a masters at all. For a lot of programs, a master's degree isn't much more than a consolation prize for those who aren't doing well enough to get a PhD. Some still have what they call a "terminal master's", which is meant for those who don't have ambitions of getting a PhD, but want more than a bachelors. Those used to be popular for people who wanted to work as technicians in labs, but really aren't necessary anymore. Most people prefer to train their own techs coming straight out of bachelor's programs.

    Yep, Ivy League refers to American football programs. It's pretty funny, since they have some of the worst football programs now. But it has become synonymous with strong academic programs and elitism. In reality, I got just as good of an education going to a state university as did my friends who attended Ivy League schools, and I didn't have to go into debt for it (now who was smarter?). :biggrin: The Ivy Leagues coddle their students a bit more to ensure higher graduation rates, while large state universities are more likely to take the sink or swim approach, which leads to higher drop-out rates.
  12. Dec 11, 2004 #11


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    Some worldwide rankings :

    http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2004/top500(1-100).htm [Broken] [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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