What's the difference between a college and a university?


<p>VERY generally, a college will not offer graduate and professional programs whereas a university will. In addition, universities tend to emphasize research whereas colleges are more focused on teaching.</p>

<p>Yeah, I believe all colleges do not offer graduate programs (hence LAC, not LAU), but I'm not sure the converse is true (all universities offer graduate programs), but yeah, basically universities tend to favor research and graduate programs, but that's not always true. I believe Vanderbilt University, for example, focuses more on Undergrad, but I'm not 100% sure.</p>

<p>A college is a school; a university is a collection of schools. Most schools called "colleges" are undergraduate colleges. A university may have an undergraduate college, a graduate school, a law school, a medical school, a business school, etc.</p>

<p>Some colleges DO offer graduate programs...</p>

<p>Anyway, a college is a school with a variety of majors and programs. </p>

<p>A university is a collection of colleges or schools, where each college has it's own majors and programs.</p>

<p>For instance, at the University of Minnesota, they have the College of Liberal Arts (history, political science, economics, geography, etc), Carlson School of Management (business college), the Institute of Technology (science and engineering related majors), the College of Biological Sciences (uh... biological stuff), and a couple others. </p>

<p>And it's usually pretty common that universities also have different grad schools and professional schools.</p>

<p>Basically, in the modern sense a University is an institute of higher learning where undergraduate and graduate degrees are awarded. A college just focuses on undergrads. Keep in mind that some universities, like Dartmouth and William and Mary go by "College" (for historical reasons) while they are technically universities.</p>

<p>This is how it works:</p>

<p>University= institution composed of many seperate colleges (for example Cornell University which offers the College of Arts and Science, College of Engineering, etc...)</p>

<p>College= institution without seperate divisons, all majors are organized under one governance (for example Dartmouth College which doesn't have seperate undergrad colleges for engineering, buisness, etc...)</p>

<p>School= institution that only offers one major (for example Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relation and School of Hotel Administration, which only offer one distint major at each)</p>

some universities, like Dartmouth and William and Mary go by "College" (for historical reasons) while they are technically universities.


<p>Boston College is another example, though their continued use of the word "College" is probably just due to the fact that the name "Boston University" is already taken.</p>