Elementary and secondary education
Schooling is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. Most children begin elementary education with kindergarten (usually five to six years old) and finish secondary education with twelfth grade (usually eighteen years old). In some cases, pupils may be promoted beyond the next regular grade. Some states allow students to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until age 18.
Lasts from grade 9 to 12, typically from the age of 14/15 to 17/18.
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Senior high school is a school attended after junior high school. High school is often used instead of senior high school and distinguished from junior high school. High school usually runs either from 9th through 12th, or 10th through 12th grade. The students in these grades are commonly referred to as freshmen (grade 9), sophomores (grade 10), juniors (grade 11) and seniors (grade 12).
Post Secondary Education in the USA
Students must have a high school diploma or GED in order to attend an American college or university to study for an undergraduate degree. Students may pursue a four-year program and obtain a Bachelor’s degree, or a two-year program for an Associate degree.
Associate degree programs may be transfer programs, equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, or terminal programs, which prepare students for specific careers.
* Two-year degree at a community or private college.
* Types of degrees: Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS).
* Students may continue education by transferring to a four-year college or university.
Community colleges, which can be public or private, are community-based institutions, and are also known as county colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges or city colleges.
Bachelor’s degrees in the US are highly flexible, where students can choose from a wide range of courses.
* Four-year degree in a specific subject at a college or university.
* As part of the admissions process most universities evaluate students’ SAT or ACT scores, among other criteria.
* Generally a Bachelor’s is divided into two phases; the first focuses on the foundation course, which can be in several core subjects such as mathematics, English, humanities, physical sciences and social sciences. The second concentrates one the student’s chosen subject, otherwise known as a major.
* Types of Bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and more.
* The degree awarded after a certain number of credits (one course is usually three or four credits) and major requirements are completed.
Colleges and universities in the US can be either state or public; state colleges are subsidised by the government, whereas private colleges are funded privately and tend to be smaller. The difference between colleges and universities is usually that colleges tend to be smaller and offer only undergraduate degrees, while universities also offer graduate degrees.
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Graduate study in the USA
Students who have...