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Difference Between Colleges and Universities

graduate-hatUniversity vs College
The difference between a college and a university is that generally a college offers set of degrees in one specific area whereas a university has a collection of colleges.

For instance when someone goes to a university he/she will graduate from one of their colleges such as Business College or Engineering College. Most of the time, universities are well known and they are larger than colleges.

The difference between both college and university varies between the USA and the rest of the world.

In USA, universities are larger and have many colleges within them.
UK- a university can provides degree, colleges usually depends on a fully-fledged university validating its degrees. Sometimes colleges do not even provide degree level education at all.

Mostly, community colleges are very different from universities they cannot offer a 4 year degree such as B.A or B.Sc. They can offer trade and technical certifications and training.

Canada- a university can grant degrees, whereas colleges can only grant certificates or diplomas, not degree. Universities are considered to be more prestigious and more expensive. They offer further studies after Bachelor’s Degree like Master’s Degrees, Doctorate Degree, and Post Doctorate Degree. Colleges are small and more focused to students. In universities, professors teach more students and they will not be able to focus on each students.

Australia- universities and colleges in Australia are similar to Canada. Universities offer degrees, but Colleges only offer Diplomas and Certificates.


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17 Comments

  1. This isn’t quite correct. In Australia, “college” is most commonly referred to as the last two years of high school – Year 11 and 12. This also varies by state within Australia.

    University is what is used to mean higher educational institutions offering degrees. Within those universities they do have separate colleges – like faculties. Additionally, college means the building on campus where student lives, so it also means residency halls in Australia.

    Nobody uses college to refer to a place where you get diplomas and certificates. Those are called TAFE most commonly, or technical colleges. College by itself is almost never used to refer to a TAFE.

  2. Some canadian colleges DO offer degree programs, there are also joint university-collage programs.

  3. Your answer for the uk is not quite correct.
    College is often used for many different institutions.
    In the UK post 16 education, often A levels for university entrance is provided in further education (FE) colleges. Certain universities, often the most prestigious, (eg. Cambridge, Oxford, Durham )are collegiate. That is the university is made up of a collection of independent colleges. These colleges constitute the university.
    Also college is used in a professional sense of a collection of individuals with a common purpose, for example, the Royal College of Surgeons, which is the profressional body for surgeons.

    • The Durham colleges cannot be compared with the Oxbridge colleges. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a matter of university reputation, but legal standing. Despite the Oxbridge colleges belong to the University, and the reason of their foundation was to become integral parts of the university, they are also semi-independent charitable institutions on their own right, with own possessions and endowment. The Durham colleges do not have own possessions, nor do they enjoy a certain independence from the central university body.

  4. it can be very useful in college student thank you.very easy to your sentance format

  5. please tell me whether a private university offering B.Tech needs to be affiliated to AICTE or not.

  6. well, although chinese college students are always confused by the difference between college and university, as for chinese who want to study abroad, university will be the first choice rather than college. Most of us do believe the good reputation of a college or university depends mainly on the scale of the organization ,just like china.
    Anyway, this article is really helpful, as i’m going to write a post associated with the way for chinese students to succeed in chinese colleges.

    • The scale of an academic institution in the UK has no real impact on the perceived quality of that institution. Cambridge and Oxford are the two most prestigious universities in the Uk by a wide margin. However they aussex, all have excellent reputations.
      re both made up of much smaller colleges, which are independent and all together form the university. There is an ongoing joke about a tourist in Cambridge saying they wanted to visit the university but couldn’t find it but they saw loads of colleges. There are about 30 colleges in Cambridge, some large,such as Kings, some small such as Sydney Sussex.

  7. I was very happy to discover this site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to
    this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff in your website.

  8. Hi! my name is Max, could you tell the difference between accounting in college and that in college,?? thx

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