Difference Between a University and College
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Hi! This is Meghan Lynn Allen for About.com, and today we'll answer the question: what is the difference between a university and a college?In the United States, when you think university, you may think big - and when you think college, you may think small. And while that's often the case - universities often have a larger campus or a larger enrollment size - that's not always the case.The difference lies in the different programs and resources the schools have to offer. One major difference between universities and colleges in the United States is that colleges tend to be made up of departments. If you're a theater major, you go to the theater department. If you're a business major, you belong to the business department.Universities tend to be made up of colleges, or schools.For example, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, which is made up of the business school, or the school of engineering. You may find yourself applying to or attending a university that's the exception to that rule. Sometimes the schools within that university are made up of departments.There is a significant distinguishing feature between colleges and universities; namely that universities tend to have significant graduate programs, while colleges have a primarily undergraduate focus.Now let's turn to Canada. When Canadian students say they're going off to university, they're pursuing their higher education and pursuing a degree-granting program when you're going to a university. When they're going to college in Canada, they're not getting a degree - they're only getting a diploma or a certificate.In the U.K., a university can award its own degrees and has a charter giving varied guarantees of independence. A college usually depends on a full fledged university to validate its degrees, or the college may be part of the larger university.Wondering exactly where your school fits in? Do some web research to see if your school is a college or a university. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.