Education System in USA

Education is compulsory for all until the ages of sixteen to eighteen (Depending on the residing state) in USA. The federal government does not operate public schools. Each of the fifty states has its own Department of Education that set guidelines for the schools of that state. Broadly classifying, the American Education is divided into below mentioned stages:

Primary Education in USA

Starts at age five and consists of five years of education. The 1st year is normally called the kindergarten.

The second year at school is considered the first year of primary school and is referred to as first grade. In America, the word grade has two meanings: (1) the score achieved on an exam or in a course.

(2) A year of education in primary or secondary school.

Secondary School

The schooling from 6th grade to 8th grade is referred to as secondary school. Also 9th-12th grade is mentioned as high school. The high school diploma is awarded after completing the 12th grade which is a pre requisite for admission to colleges.

Students in grade 1- 12 do not pay tuition. The Academic year generally begins in mid August and ends in June.

Undergraduate School

They offer either 2 years degree (associate) or 4 years degree (bachelors) in a specific course of study.

Admission to university is based on high school Grade Point Average (GPA), participation in extracurricular activities, Scholastic Aptitude/Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing(ACT) exam scores, a written essay and Personal Interview.

Graduate School

This is advanced degree offered to students after their bachelors. A 2 year degree which is highly specialized in a specific field is known as Master’s. A final thesis is required for most Master's programs.

For Master’s program students have to have a minimum score on Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).

Certain courses like law, dentistry and medicine are only available at the graduate school level in America.

For students who want to further advance their education, the next level is PhD.  Doctoral students take courses until they have earned enough credit hours to attempt their qualifying examinations. After doctoral students pass their qualifying exams, they are advanced to candidacy and can begin writing their dissertation.  Before the degree is given, the completed dissertation must be orally defended before the candidate's faculty committee.

The degree requirement can vary from one university and department to another.

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