Higher Education

Vocabulary in Conversation

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   apprenticeships      are funded      B.A.      B.S.      degree      facilities      majored      master's      minor      Ph.D.      stands for      terminology      transfer   
Lars: Tina, I'm trying to fill out this job application, and they want to know about my educational history. It's a little confusing because I don't understand the they are using. I don't really know much about the American educational system.

Tina: In America, all students basically study the same thing until they are around 18. After high school, students have the choice to start working or to go to college.

Lars: What is the difference between a college and a university?

Tina: In the U.S., there isn't a big difference between the two. Colleges tend to be smaller schools, and universities are usually larger schools with more ; however, we often use these words interchangeably.

Lars: Can Americans do to prepare themselves for their future careers? Many people do that kind of job training in my country.

Tina: That's not very common in the United States. Americans usually learn on the job; however, some junior colleges offer shorter, more practical career training programs.

Lars: What are junior colleges?

Tina: Colleges and universities in the United States are extremely expensive. Even schools which by the government can cost thousands of dollars a year. Most states have created junior colleges, which are inexpensive schools where students can complete the first two years of their education. Afterwards, students can to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor's . And, as I mentioned, they also provide career training and continuing education courses.

Lars: What does mean? Is that the same thing as a bachelor's?

Tina: That Bachelor of Science. You also often hear the abbreviation , which is short for Bachelor of Arts. For example, I in chemistry, so I have a Bachelor of Science; but, my brother studied philosophy, so he has a Bachelor of Arts.

Lars: I thought you studied German literature.

Tina: That was my - my secondary field of study.

Lars: What about after you finish your bachelor's?

Tina: Students can continue studying and receive a , which usually requires an additional two years of study. And of course, the highest degree is called a , which is another word for doctorate.
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