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Encyclopedia > Undergraduate

In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelor's degree. Students of higher degrees are known as postgraduates (or often simply graduates). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Quaternary education or postgraduate education is the fourth-stage educational level which follows the completion of an undergraduate degree at a college or university. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...



North American system

In the United States and Canada, most undergraduate education takes place at four-year colleges or universities. In the United States, students in their first, second, third, and fourth years of study are often called, respectively, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors (although some institutions, such as many women's colleges, substitute "first-year" for "freshman" in an attempt to remain more gender-neutral). Some institutions (e.g. liberal-arts colleges) offer primarily or exclusively undergraduate education, while most universities offer graduate study as well. Successful completion of undergraduate work generally requires the completion of many courses of varying subject and difficulty, and a concentration or "major" that focuses on a particular academic discipline. The term college (Latin collegium) is most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... In higher education, particularly in the United States, a womens college is a college (that is, a primarily undergraduate, bachelors degree-granting institution) whose students are exclusively women. ... Non-sexist language (gender-generic, gender-inclusive, gender-neutral, or sex-neutral language) is language that attempts to refer neither to males nor females when discussing an abstract or hypothetical person whose sex cannot otherwise be determined, as opposed to sexist language, which attempts to refer to males. ... A liberal arts college is an institution of higher education found in the United States, offering programs in the liberal arts at the post-secondary level. ... An academic major is a general scholarly pursuit in a specific area of study which often yields, at the end of a tenure usually of four years, a bachelors degree. ... This is a list of academic disciplines (and academic fields). ...

See Also: Universities in the United States In the United States, the term University refers to institutions of higher learning that offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and conduct research in those fields. ...

British system

In the United Kingdom undergraduate refers to those studying toward a Bachelor's degree which usually takes three or four years. The three year system predominates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the four year system in Scotland, although there is some overlap. The old Scottish masters degree after four years undergraduate study is being phased out to avoid confusion with postgraduate masters degrees.

Irish system

In Ireland the system is similar to that of the United Kingdom, reflecting the shared origins of undergraduate education for both countries, although the dominant form of the undergraduate degree is closest to the Scottish system, with four year undergraduate programmes.

Other European systems

In many other, particularly continental European systems, something like an "undergraduate" degree in the American sense does not exist. Unlike in the US, where students engage in general studies during the first years of tertiary education and only specialize in a "major" during the last years of college, European students enroll in a specific course of studies they wish to pursue right from the beginning, as they are expected to have received a sound general education already in the secondary level, in a school such as a gymnasium or lycée. At university, which they can enter at an age as early as 18 or even 17 in many countries, they specialize in a subject field which they pursue in a curriculum of, in most cases, four or five years of studies. The fields available include those which are only taught as graduate degrees in the US, such as law or medicine. After completing the first degree, students can move on to doctoral studies (having sometimes to achieve an intermediate pre-doctoral degree). In many countries, the English distinction between a bachelor's and master's degree is only now being introduced by the Bologna process, meaning that the old first degree would roughly correspond to a master's degree in the US or the UK. A gymnasium (pronounced /gim-/ as opposed to /jim-/) is a type of school of secondary education in parts of Europe. ... In France, secondary education is divided into two schools: the collège (IPA: ) (somewhat comparable to U.S. junior high school) for the first four years directly following primary school; the lycée (IPA: ) (comparable to a U.S. high school) for the next three years. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... See also Wikipedias Law Portal. ... This article is about the field of medical practice and health care. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A masters degree is an academic degree usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate (or graduate) course of one to three years in duration. ... The purpose of the Bologna process is to create the European higher education area by harmonising academic degree standards and quality assurance standards throughout Europe for each faculty and its development. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Undergraduate admissions : 2008/9 Oxford University Undergraduate Admissions (193 words)
This includes specific information for mature students, international students and students wishing to apply for a second undergraduate degree.
We suggest you start with Studying at Oxford and Life at Oxford to read about the city and resources for undergraduate students.
Undergraduate prospectus and other information for entry in 2008 now available to download.
Undergraduate Degree - Prospective Students - Education - British Council USA (412 words)
Undergraduate Degree - Prospective Students - Education - British Council USA
All applications for undergraduate study are processed through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Full-time undergraduate students need to get entry clearance before starting their studies.
  More results at FactBites »



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