As you get ready to apply abroad, you will see that there’s a great deal of distinction between the terms ‘college’ and ‘university’ contingent upon which country you’re applying to.

While students in the US utilize the words ‘college’ and ‘university’ interchangeably, institutes in countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia have extremely severe definitions for these words. Furthermore, know what these terms mean before you begin shortlisting colleges and universities abroad for your application. Really at that time can you sort out what institutions will be the best fit for you. To assist you with getting, I have listed off the contrast between ‘college’ and ‘university,’ and shared some significant advantages and disadvantages that will assist you with choosing what to pick. 

What is a university?

A university is a foundation that offers both undergrad and postgraduate degrees. Once in a while, universities likewise permit students to take up a joint degree, through which they can seek an expert’s or a Ph.D. after graduation. 

The fundamental contrast is that universities have a more different contribution of classes and programs when contrasted with colleges. Thus, the student populace at a university is likewise higher. Yet, that is not generally the case. For instance, take Marymount California University, which had an all-out enlistment of 985 students in Fall 2016. 

Furthermore, as a general rule, universities are comprised of more modest divisions (or resources) called colleges. This is generally the situation in the many US universities and every one of the institutions in the UK.

Upsides and downsides of studying at a university


  • There are more program offerings overall and a more diverse community of students
  • There is more access to postgraduate educations and more communication with graduate students 
  • Professors are bound to be profoundly legitimate figures in their fields of research
  • Bunches of research opportunities and facilities are accessible to students 
  • There are more program contributions in general and a more diverse community of students


  • Universities might offer less customized consideration from professors and advisors 
  • Students need to compete with graduates for research opportunities
  • The complete expenses of going to a four-year university are steep
  • It’s hard for students to enlist for a course before it fills off

What is a college?

As a general rule, a college is an organization that centers more around undergrad education. Be that as it may, there are many special cases you will see. For instance, a few colleges, known as liberal arts colleges, don’t simply zero in on subjects like arts and humanities, yet additionally show courses in science, business, law, and education. Like The College of William and Mary, Dartmouth College, and St. Joseph’s College. 

Then, at that point, there are community colleges, where students can start their education right on time before moving to a four-year college or university for finishing their degree. 

The typical pattern for colleges is this – they will in general zero in on explicit fields and don’t give broad offerings. Also, that implies that they as a rule have little class sizes.

Advantage and Disadvantage of studying at a college


  • You will probably stand out enough to be noticed by professors and academic advisors
  • There is frequently a more prominent spotlight on undergraduate teaching
  • Colleges frequently have more educational plan specialization for students with specific interests 
  • Most colleges have a nearer, more brought together student community 
  • At community colleges, educational cost costs a small portion of a four-year university, making them considerably more reasonable choices. 
  • Students at two-year colleges have more opportunity to consider degree alternatives as they complete their overall education requirements


  • There are generally fewer resources and facilities for conducting research
  • Faculty at colleges are less inclined to be leading researchers in their fields 
  • Colleges don’t offer direct admittance to further developed degrees
  • Most colleges will have less in an overall program offering 
  • Small community colleges regularly battle with an absence of diversity and issues identified with student commitment in the classroom. 
  • Small, private liberal arts colleges that offer a four-year bachelor’s degree will in general offer less financial aid

 Do they mean various things in various countries? 

Indeed. The definitions I have given above are typically valid for institutions in the US. Be that as it may, with regards to other study abroad destinations, the distinction among college and university changes- 


In the United Kingdom, colleges are schools found with a university and they don’t grant degrees.


In Canada, the term college will for the most part allude to professional, imaginative, specialized and logical third degree of education. Thus, a college isn’t perceived as being free the same way as a university. 


Here, ‘college’ signifies secondary education. The term isn’t generally utilized for specific professional schools or schools inside a university.

All in all, which one would it be advisable for me to pick? 

Since the contrast between college and university is clear, there are a couple of components that you can consider while shortlisting institutions. These include –

  1. Program availability
  2. Profile requirements
  3. Course fee
  4. Curriculum
  5. Faculty
  6. Research opportunities, and 
  7. Job opportunities

Whenever you’ve sorted out which institutes you like to satisfy every one of your necessities, you can make your shortlist, classify the colleges and universities into Dream, Reach, and Safe categories, and begin applying! 

Furthermore, on the off chance that you stall out or need any assistance, go ahead and drop a comment or reach out. 

We’d be extremely eager to assist!

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