American versus British Universities

American versus British Universities Table

The students will be able to compare and contrast American and British universities with a focus on (1) academic terms, (2) admissions, (3) cost, (4) crime, (5) curriculum, (6) economy, (7) extracurricular activities, (8) food and drink, (9) housing, (10) immigration, (11) transportation and (12) types of degrees.

 1.0) Academic Term

Quarter System vs. Semester System  

What is a quarter system?

What is a semester system?

What is a trimester system?

1.1) American Academic Term

Most US schools use the semester system, but some use a trimester or quarter system.

Most US schools start in mid to late August and end in May.

1.2) British Academic Term

Most British schools use a semester system, but some use trimester or quarter systems.

The start and end of an academic year varies by university.

2.0) Admissions

2.1) American Admissions

A number of universities, including some top schools such as Harvard and Yale, are part of the Common Application system which permits online applications to more than 465 affiliated institutions.

As part of your application, you may need to sit an admission exam, either the SAT (Standard Assessment Test) or ACT (American College Testing) – both standard tests for US college admission.

Universities will also request a transcript listing your marks, as well as up to three letters of reference.

Finally, you will complete two or three essays covering the admissions criteria.

Inside the college admissions process Parenting TODAYshow com

Avoiding common admissions essay mistakes

2.2) British Admissions

All institutions in Britain require the same application, known as the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) application.

Students may apply to only five schools each year and, limited by the universal application, they may not tailor their essays or any part of the application to a particular institution.

Introduction to UCAS and writing your personal statement

Britain accepts the ACT and SAT but students may have to take specialized academic tests for particular colleges.

For example, the Modern and Medieval Languages Test is required by the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages of the University of Cambridge.

2.3) Which country has the more convenient admissions process?

 3.0) Cost

3.1) Great Britain has a higher cost of living than the US.

3.2) American Tuition Cost

The cost of college is generally much higher than in Britain.

Here’s What College Education Costs Students Around The World

3.3) British Tuition Cost

The cost of college tuition is generally lower than in the US.

Overall, the US is more expensive than Great Britain.

3.4) Which country is less expensive?

 4.0) Crime     

 4.1) American Crime

US has a higher overall crime rate than Britain.

Crimes of property in the US slightly higher than in the Britain.

The US has a much higher violent crime rate than Britain.

Campus safety is an important issue.

Campus Safety 101 – Brown University

2016 Safest College Campuses – Niche

The Daily Beast College Safety Rankings

4.2) British Crime

Britain has a lower overall crime rate than the US.

Crimes of property in Britain are slightly lower than in the US.

Britain has a much lower violent crime rate than the US but more knifings per million than in the US.

Due to less violence overall, campus safety is less important.

Students beware: Britain’s most dangerous university town

4.3) Which country is safer?

 5.0) Curriculum

UK Universities Easier than US Colleges? Drama!

5.1) American Curriculum

The grade is based on overall performance on all assignments.

There are many small assignments.

There is more homework than in Britain.

There are General Education (GE) classes.

There are more electives in the American curriculum than the British curriculum.

Universities are often divided into schools by subject, but these schools do not typically have a lot of autonomy from the university.

There is more breadth in the American curriculum.

5.2) British Curriculum

The grade is based mostly on the final exam.

There is less homework than in the US.

There are no General Education (GE) classes.

There are less electives in the British curriculum than the American curriculum.

University acts an umbrella organization for the different colleges. Colleges are fairly independent of one another.

There is more depth in the British curriculum.

6.0) Economy    

 United Kingdom vs United States Economy Stats Compared

6.1) American Economy

US economy is larger than the British economy.

The US has a mixed economy.

6.2) British Economy

British economy is much smaller.

The service sector dominates the British economy.

6.3) Which country has a bigger economy?

 7.0) Extracurricular

7.1) American Extracurricular

Extracurricular activities are more important in the US than in Britain.

Greek life exists in the US.

 Greek Life at UWG


Athletic scholarships are available.

What It’s Like To Be A College Athlete


7.2) British Extracurricular

Extracurricular activities are less important in Britain in the US.

There is no Greek life in Britain.

There are generally no athletic scholarships available.

 8.0) Food & Drink


UK vs USA Grocery Stores

Whose Drinking Age Is Better? U.S. vs UK!

College Meal Plans – UNT West Dining Hall


8.1) American Food & Drink

The use of meal plans is common in the US.

The drinking age is 21 in the US.

8.2) British Food & Drink

Britain uses catered or self-catered halls.

The drinking age is 18 in Britain.

8.3) Which country has a lower drinking age?

8.4) Which country has a higher drinking age?

 9.0) Housing      

Pros and Cons: Having a College Roommate

9.1) American Housing

Roommates are common in the US.

On campus housing is more common in the US than in Britain.

9.2) British Housing

Roommates are less common in Britain.

After first years Brits generally move off campus

9.3) Which country has more on campus housing?

 10.0) Immigration

 10.1) American Immigration

U.S. Immigration Explained

There is no equivalent to EU or Commonwealth citizenship in the US!

10.2) British Immigration

Immigration: how do British views differ?

Preference given to European Citizens (EU) and Commonwealth Citizens in the hiring process.

Thanks to EU guest workers, the US and UK are going opposite directions on immigration policy

 11.0) Transportation

11.1) American Transportation

Mass transportation not widely available.

Student may need a car at some universities.

Why The U.S. Has The Worst Public Transit System

11.2) British Transportation

Mass transportation widely available. Students probably do not need a car at most universities.

Why I LOVE (UK) Public Transport!

 Shocking Things Seen On Public Transport

11.3) Which country has more mass transportation?

12.0) Types of Degrees

12.1) American Types of Degrees

Vocational certificates


MIND BLOWING Fact about Community College Students (Study)  

Bachelors – 4 years

Masters – 2 years

PhD 4-7 years

Post Doc

12.2) British Types of Degrees

Vocational certificates

Higher National Diploma

Certificate of Higher Education

Diploma of Higher Education

Foundation Degree

Bachelors – 3 years

Masters – 1 year

PhD – 3 years

Taught Master’s vs Research Based Master’s

Wanna Get Rich?! Top 10 College Degrees

10 Majors w/ Highest Unemployment Rates

Hugh Fox at Texas A&M University:

College Station

Hugh Fox at Oxford:

United Kingdom

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