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The studies in the US system

Study in the United States that’s what nearly 600 000 students every year. Attracted by the American dream, they come from around the world to complete their training. The world-renowned institutions, the diversity of proposed studies and the attractiveness of the country are the factors that led 8300 French students to cross the Atlantic to study in 2012/2013.


The first cycle (Undergraduate Studies): The Bachelor obtained in four years. In France, a Bachelor is obtained in 3 years (equivalent to a license).

The second cycle (Graduate Studies): Master obtained in six years that is to say, a year more than in France.

The third cycle (post-graduate studies) PhD (called PH.D) obtained in ten years when it is achieved in 8 years in France.

The first cycle is based on what is called the "liberal arts" that allow to gain some general knowledge. The subjects covered are extensive. The second and third cycles are also called "vocational education" and allow to specialize in a specific field.

The calendar

A year lasts 9 months, it begins in late August / early September and ends in late May. It is divided into several periods whose number varies from 2 to 4 based institutions.

In addition there is a summer semester, which is optionally available for those who want to accelerate their studies, reduce their time of the year or make up a subject he could not follow.

It is advisable to start the year in the first period (early September) to avoid slowing his studies and especially increase its chances for a scholarship.

The education system is not managed at national level but at the federal level. Each state manages several universities including at least one "state university" highly selective and several College where entry is easier and Institutes, specialized in a specific field.

The College is medium in size and usually does not Doctorate. The university is large (more than 20 000 students) and offers many more choices of curriculum (whose PhD research in universities).

The institute (institute) only offers degrees in disciplines preparations close to each other.

Private or public establishments deliver the same quality of education, private universities generally cost much higher tuition.


Each course entitles "credits" necessary to validate the year. A full-time program is 12 to 15 hours per credit period (corresponding to the time spent in class). Foreign students are required to take at least a full program during their year.

Classes are taught in lecture hall or in small groups (seminars) and give rise to discussions about assigned readings as the teacher data. The student’s grade is issued based on its participation in the discussions and debates and outcomes to various tests (a mid-term test and another at the end).

The rating system is also a great feature of the United States. Indeed marks are given as a percentage and converted to letters A to I.

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