Higher Education in the USA

There is no national system of higher education in the United States. American higher education adapted two traditions: the collegiate tradition of England and the university tradition of the continent. American colleges and universities are either publicor private.A public institution is owned and operated by a government. The state colleges or universities charge a fee for tuitionor registration. This fee is higher for those students who come from outside the state. A private institution receives no direct financial aid from any government, municipal, state or federal.

In general, higher education in the USA may be divided into twobroad fields: liberal arts(languages, history, science and philosophy) and professional(agriculture, law, engineering, medicine, etc.). Students are admitted to colleges and universities according to the results of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Most schools can also ask for:

· a Personal Data Form;

· a Freshman Application Form;

· teacher's recommendations;

· essayson various topics.

The course of studies usually lasts four yearsfor Bachelor's Degree.Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniorsand seniors.A freshman is a first-year student, a sophomor -a second-year student, a junior - a third year student, and a senior - a fourth-year student. A student working for the Bachelor's Degree (BAor BS)is called an undergraduate;one working for the Master's (MAor MS)or Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD)is called a graduatestudent. Some students receive scholarships which pay all or part of their tuition.

The American academic yearusually runs from the middle of August to the beginning of May. Most schools divide the academic year into 3 terms or 2 semesters.Achievement is measured by grades. They are given on papers and tests during the course of semester. At the end of the term students take final examinations. A grade point average (GPA)is determined at the end of term to show student's overall achievement. The levels of achievement are indicated with letters. "A" is the highest mark, the letters go through "B", "C", "D", "F". “F” denotes a failure.

Higher educational institutions are usually governed by a board of regentsor a board of trustees. The executive head of a college or a university is usually called the president.The various colleges or schools which make up a university are headed by deans.Each department is headed by a professor or department head.Other members of the department hold academic ranks, such as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor,and professor.

4 Find in the text the English equivalents to the following Russian words:

национальная/ федеральная система; принимать в университет; в соответствие с;

в целом; рекомендации учителя; новичок; выпускник; стипендия; плата за обучение; провал; совет попечителей; декан, достижения; четырехбальная шкала

5 Give the Russian equivalents to the following English words:

developed its own pattern; university tradition; the collegiate tradition; two broad fields; application form; are classified; sophomore; undergraduate; from the middle of; the beginning of; the executive head; the subject groups; hold academic ranks

6 Answer the following questions:

1) What traditions did the American higher education adapt?

2) What types of colleges and universities can be found in the USA?

3) Is there any difference in tuition fees for American and foreign students?

4) What is the difference between public and private universities?

5) What broad fields can higher education be divided into?

6) What documents do the universities require from students to enter the University?

7) In what way are the students classified?

8) What do the Americans call a student working for the Bachelor’s Degree?

9) How is the achievement measured?

10) What marks do students get for their work?

7 Complete the following statements:

1) American colleges and universities are…….

2) The fee is higher for …………

3) Higher education may be divided into……

4) Liberal arts are……

5) Professionals are ………..

6) ………….according to the results of Scholastic Aptitude Test.

7) The course of studies usually lasts…..

8) A student working for the Master’s degree is called……….

9) The academic year in most schools is divided into…….

10) The executive head of a college or university is…….

8 Express your agreement or disagreement with the following statements:

1) American higher education combines the collegiate tradition of England and the university tradition of the continent.

2) All universities and colleges in the USA are owned and operated by the government.

3) Higher education in USA is divided into humanities and natural sciences.

4) The results of Scholastic Aptitude Test are enough to enter a university.

5) Students working for Bachelor`s Degree studies four years.

6) Those who work for Doctor of Philosophy Degree are called graduate students.

7) The American academic year begins in September and finishes in May.

8) The highest mark in US universities is “five”.

9 Retell the text.


1 Read and learn the following words:

provide(d) [prǝˊvaɪd(ɪd)] снабжать, обеспечивать
Certificate [sǝˊtɪfɪkǝt] свидетельство, атестат
necessary [ˊnesǝsrɪ] необходимый
roughly [ˊrᴧflɪ] грубо, приблизительно
prestigious [preˊsti:ӡǝs] престижный
to guide [tǝ ɡaɪd] руководить, направлять
essay [ˊeseɪ] очерк, набросок
degree [dɪˊgrɪ:] степень
philosopher [fǝˊlɒsǝfǝ] философ
soldier [ˊsǝᴜldӡǝ] солдат
physicist [ˊfɪzɪsɪst] физик
dissertation [ˏdɪsǝˊteɪʃn] диссертация
finals [ˊfaɪnlz] выпускные экзамены
title [ˊtaɪtl] титул, звание

2 Read the words in the bold types. Pay attention to the pronunciation and the stress. Translate them into Russian.

3 Read the text.

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