UNIT 80 Education: university/college
A Higher education in the U.S.
Higher education refers to education at a university or college. A college may be an independent institution or a part of a university; e.g., some universities have a college of engineering, college of liberal arts, etc. Some students attend a community college / junior college [a two-year government-supported college that usually offers technical and vocational studies]. School usually means K-12 (kindergarten through high school), but it can also mean university or college, e.g., "Where did you go to school?" "Harvard." We also say graduate school. College frequently means either university or college, e.g., "My son is in college."

If you go to a state college or a community college, the tuition [the money you pay for courses] is lower than at a private institution. Some students get [receive] a scholarship [money to pay all or part of the tuition]. Students at a university are called undergraduates while they are studying for their first degree [the qualification when you complete university/college requirements successfully]. It can be a B.A. [Bachelor of Arts] or a B.S. [Bachelor of Science] at four-year institutions, or an associate degree after two years at a community/junior college.

B Subjects
You usually take/study these subjects at a university or college but not usually in high school or in the lower grades. (Note: The underlined letters show the syllable with the main stress.)

history of art / art history
hotel administration
political science

The main subject that a student takes at college is his/her major. We can also say: "Chris is majoring in psychology.

C Postgraduate courses
When you complete your first degree, you are a graduate. Some students then go on to do/take a second degree (postgraduate degree). They are then postgraduates / graduate students. Some of the possible postgraduate degrees include M.A. (Master of Arts) or M.S. (Master of Science), and Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), the most advanced degree. When people study one subject in great detail (often to find new information), we say they are conducting/doing research (U); e.g., "I'm doing research into/on the languages of African tribes." [not "I'm doing a research."]

D School vs. university/college
At school (K-12), you have teachers and lessons; at university or college, you have professors and instructors, and lectures, discussion classes, and seminars. When a professor gives a lecture, the students listen and take notes [write down the important information] but do not usually say much. In a discussion class, students discuss the subject and ask questions. A seminar is an advanced or postgraduate class in which students do independent research and then compare their results informally with the professor and other students.