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Higher Education in the USA

There is no national system of higher education in the United States. Higher education is given in colleges and universities. There are over 2100 various higher educational institutions, including colleges, technological institutes and universities. The average college course of study is 4 years. The academic year is usually 9 months or 2 terms (semesters) of four and a half months each. Classes usually begin in September and end in June. The first-year students are called freshmen.

Students choose a major subject (профилирующий предмет, дисцип­лина) and take many courses in this subject. After four years, they get a traditional Bachelor's degree. Then the students may go on to graduate school (старшие курсы) and with a year or two of further study get a Master's degree.

After another year or two of study and research, they may get a still higher degree as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.). The student's progress is evaluated by means of tests.term works and final examinations in each course.The student's work is given a mark, usually on a five point scale (5-балльная система). Letters indicate the level of achievement."A." is the highest mark. "F" denotes a failure.

Most American colleges and universities charge for tuition. The methods of instruction in the universities are lectures, discussions,laboratory and course works or seminars.

Most cities have colleges or universities that hold classes at night as well as in daytime. In this way people may work for a degree or just take a course in the subject that interests them.

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