Flexibility and choice in your degree studies
The US higher education system is considered one of the best in the world, and offers flexible study opportunities at over 4,000 colleges and universities. US degrees are recognized worldwide for their academic excellence and enanced learning experiences.
Following high school, students can choose to study a bachelor’s (or “undergraduate”) degree at a college or university. Find a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s degrees in the USA typically take 4 years to complete. The first 2 years include common required courses, such as math, history, literature, and communications. This develops a broad-based knowledge across many subject areas — an advantage for competing in the global workplace. The final 2 years focus on the your chosen “major” subject.
Some universities offer cooperative education programs that allow students to alternate academic studies with semesters of full-time work experience placements. If you choose to do more than one co-op during your studies, it might take closer to 5 years to complete your degree.
US bachelor’s degrees are flexibly designed to allow students to change their major after 1 or 2 years. There is a huge choice of elective courses so you can customize your degree to your interests and strengths.
Transfer to a US bachelor’s degree
It is common for students to change university after 1 or 2 years of undergraduate study in the USA, or to transfer into a US university after studying in another country. It’s not necessary to complete all 4 years at the same university in order to get a degree from there.
What is transfer admission in the USA?
If you already have existing undergraduate credits from university study, we can help you apply for direct entry into Year 2 or 3 of a bachelor’s degree. Your application will be reviewed for “transfer admission” based on the following criteria:
Typically, you need to have completed at least 1 year of bachelor’s level study
*Credits must be from a regionally-accredited higher education institution
*Transfer credit may be received only for courses in which you earned grade C or better
*Your transcript is assessed to determine how many credits are transferable; not all previous credits may transfer
*When you transfer credits to a US university, you can complete a US bachelor’s program in a shorter time, and your degree will be awarded by the US university.
After a bachelor’s degree, some students choose to continue on to a master’s degree (also called a “graduate” degree). Find a master’s degree.
An American master’s degree usually takes 2–3 years to complete, but fast-track 1 year programs are available for some degrees. Graduate-level education lets you study a subject in greater depth, and can either be academic or more career-focused.
A graduate certificate is a great option for international students who want to take master’s degree-level courses at a US university, for less time and money than a full degree. It can also qualify you to work in the USA through Optional Practical Training, a benefit offered for other degree programs.
If you study a bachelor’s or master’s degree (or an approved graduate certificate) at an American university, you’ll have many opportunities to gain real work experience in the USA. Most universities have well-developed internship or cooperative education programs. International students are eligible to work off-campus after completing the first year of their degree program — and work in on-campus jobs in the meantime.
International students can also participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows study visa-holders to work in the USA in their chosen field for 12 months after graduation. If you complete a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) field, you can extend your work placement to 36 months.
Working for a US company is an incredible opportunity, and gives international students a distinct advantage in their career.