College vs. University

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between College and University is that the College is a educational institution and University is a academic institution for further education.

  • College

    A college (Latin: collegium) is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, a part of a collegiate or federal university, or an institution offering vocational education.

    In the United States, “college” may refer to a constituent part of a university or to a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, but generally “college” and “university” are used interchangeably, whereas in the United Kingdom, Oceania, South Asia and Southern Africa, “college” may refer to a secondary or high school, a college of further education, a training institution that awards trade qualifications, a higher education provider that does not have university status (often without its own degree-awarding powers), or a constituent part of a university (See this comparison of British and American English educational terminology for further information).

  • University

    A university (Latin: universitas, “a whole”) is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education.

    The word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars.” While antecedents had existed in Asia and Africa, the modern university system has roots in the European medieval university, which was created in Italy and evolved from Christian Cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages.

  • College (noun)

    A corporate group; a group of colleagues.

  • College (noun)

    A group sharing common purposes or goals.

    “College of Cardinals, College of Surgeons”

  • College (noun)

    An electoral college.

  • College (noun)

    An academic institution. From 1560s.

  • College (noun)

    A specialized division of a university.

    “College of Engineering”

  • College (noun)

    An institution of higher education teaching undergraduates.

  • College (noun)

    Attendance at an institution of higher education.

    “These should be his college years, but he joined the Army.”

  • College (noun)

    A postsecondary institution that offers vocational training and/or associate’s degrees.

  • College (noun)

    A non-specialized, semi-autonomous division of a university, with its own faculty, departments, library, etc.

    “Pembroke College, Cambridge; Balliol College, Oxford; University College, London”

  • College (noun)

    An institution of further education at an intermediate level; sixth form.

  • College (noun)

    An institution for adult education at a basic or intermediate level (teaching those of any age).

  • College (noun)

    A high school or secondary school.

    “Eton College”

  • College (noun)

    A private (non-government) primary or high school.

  • College (noun)

    A residential hall associated with a university, possibly having its own tutors.

  • College (noun)

    A bilingual school.

  • University (noun)

    Institution of higher education (typically accepting students from the age of about 17 or 18, depending on country, but in some exceptional cases able to take younger students) where subjects are studied and researched in depth and degrees are offered.

    “The only reason why I haven’t gone to university is because I can’t afford it.”


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