Undergraduate education | Wikipedia audio article


Undergraduate education is the post-secondary
education previous to the postgraduate education. It includes all the academic programs up to
the level of a bachelor’s degree. For example, in the United States, an entry
level university student is known as an undergraduate, while students of higher degrees are known
as graduates. In some other educational systems and subjects,
undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a master’s degree;
this is the case for some science courses in Britain and some medicine courses in Europe.==Programs=====Africa=======Nigerian system====
In Nigeria, undergraduate degrees (excluding Medicine, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing,
Engineering, Law and Architecture) are four-year-based courses. Medicine (MBBS) and Architecture normally
take six years to complete studies while Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Law and Engineering
courses take five years to complete studies, usually, all six years are taken to improve
their chances.====South African system====
The South African system usually has a three-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree, with two
or three majors. (There are exceptions, such as the medical
qualification (MBChB), which is six years.) A fourth year, known as an Honours year, is
considered a post-graduate degree. It is usually course-driven, although may
include a project or thesis.===Americas=======Brazilian system====Brazil follows the major traits of the continental
European system; free public schools are available from kindergarten up to postgraduation, both
as a right established in Article 6, caput of the Brazilian Constitution and as a duty
of the State in Article 208, Items I, IV and V, of the Brazilian Constitution. Students choose their specific course of studies
before joining the university. Admission to university is obtained by means
of a competitive entrance exam known as Vestibular (a concept somewhat similar to the Baccalauréat
in France). There’s a new system, adopted by most federal
universities, that uses the high school national examination (ENEM) result as part or a replacement
of the Vestibular grade. Depending on the chosen course, upon graduating
the student shall be granted: a technologist diploma, 3 years to complete, a bachelor’s
degree’s diploma, which usually takes 4 or, in the case of Law, Veterinary, Geology and
Engineering, 5 years to complete; or a professional diploma, which normally require 5 or, in the
case of medicine, 6 years to complete.====United States system====
In the United States of America undergraduate refers to those who are studying for a bachelor’s
degree. The most common method consists of four years
of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or sometimes
another bachelor’s degree such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.
Mus.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Bachelor of Science
in Public Affairs (B.S.P.A), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), or Bachelor of Philosophy
(B.Phil.) Five-Year Professional Architecture programs
offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.) or sometimes Master of Architecture
degree (M.Arch.). Unlike in the British model, degrees in law
and medicine are not offered at the undergraduate level and are completed as professional study
after earning a bachelor’s degree. Neither field specifies or prefers any undergraduate
major, though medical schools have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment. Some students choose to attend a community
college for two years prior to further study at another college or university. In most states, community colleges are operated
either by a division of the state university or by local special districts subject to guidance
from a state agency. Community colleges award associate degrees
of different types, some intended to prepare students to transfer to four-year schools
(e.g. Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS)), and others intended to provide
vocational skills and training for students wishing to enter into or advance in a profession. Those seeking to continue their education
may transfer to a four-year college or university after applying through a similar admissions
process as those applying directly to the four-year institution called articulation. Some community colleges have automatic enrollment
agreements with a local four-year college, where the community college provides the first
two years of study and the university provides the remaining years of study, sometimes all
on one campus. The community colleges award associate degrees,
while universities and colleges award the bachelor’s. However, some community colleges, such as
Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Texas offer bachelor’s degrees along with associate
degrees. Conversely, some universities such as the
University of Delaware also award associate degrees.===Asia=======Hong Kong system====
In Hong Kong, the English system is followed. Students sit for the Certificate of Education
examinations at around sixteen years of age, and the Advanced-level, or A-level examinations
at around eighteen, then follow by three years of undergraduate education, except for a few
specific fields, such as medicine, nursing and law. This is due to be changed, with five-year
secondary education and two-year matriculation examination combined and shortened to six
years matriculation, and undergraduate education lengthened to four years. Students may be able to receive general education
in their first years in universities, more akin to the North American system. The first batch of students under the new
system will enter universities in 2012.====Indian system====
In India the Graduation system is classified into two parts: Undergraduation (UG) and Postgraduation
(PG). It takes three or four years to complete an
“undergraduate” degree. The three-year undergraduate programs are
mostly in the fields of arts, commerce, science etc., and the four-year programs are mostly
in the fields of technology, engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, agriculture etc. However, for medicine, law and architecture,
the period has been five years. The possessor of the first UG is referred
to as graduate and that of the PG degree as post-graduate. Other than UG and PG there are various 1 to
2 year diploma courses available.====Pakistani system====In Pakistan, it generally requires four years
to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering or Business Administration
such as BA, BS, BDS, BE/BS/BSc Engineering or BBA and five years for bachelor’s degrees
in Medicine (MBBS), Physiotherapy (DPT), Pharmacy (Pharm.D) and Architecture (B.Arch) after
successfully completing 12 years of schooling. 4 years bachelor’s degree is offered in various
universities of Pakistan such as COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), University
of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore), University of Engineering and Technology,
Taxila (UET Taxila), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Lahore University
of Management Sciences (LUMS) and National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences
(NU). The modern educational system comprises the
following five stages: The Primary school lasting five years for children 5–10 years
old in grades one to five; a Middle school of three years for children 10 to 13 years
old, covering grades six through eight; a two-year secondary, or Matriculation consists
of grades nine and ten, for children 13 to 15 years old; a two-year higher secondary,
or Intermediate college, leading to an F.A. in arts or F.Sc. in science; and a fifth stage
covering college and university programs leading to baccalaureate, professional, master’s and
doctorate degrees. The pre-primary or preparatory classes, called
kachi (literally, unripe) or Nursery school, were formally integrated into the education
system in 1988.===Europe=======English, Welsh, and Northern Irish system
====Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
may usually enter university from the age of eighteen, often having studied A-levels
and thus having had thirteen to fifteen years of schooling. Occasionally students who finish A Level or
equivalent qualifications early (after skipping a year in school on the grounds of academic
giftedness) may enter below this age but large universities are now setting minimum age limits
of 16 or 17 after a number of well publicised “child prodigies” were found to be emotionally
and mentally unprepared for university life.Applications for undergraduate courses in UK higher education
are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).For their first
degree, most students read for the degree of bachelor, which usually takes three years,
however in the sciences and engineering integrated courses covering both undergraduate level
and advanced degree level leading to the degree of master, usually taking four years and including
a research project or dissertation are popular. Given the integrated nature of these programs
someone who gains a master’s degree via an integrated program is not usually admitted
to the degree of bachelor. Master’s degrees conferred after extended
programs are not to be conflated with the degree of Master of Arts conferred at Oxbridge
and Dublin, which is not a substantive qualification, but reflects the ancient practice of those
three universities of promoting Bachelors of Arts to Masters of Arts (and thus full
membership of the University) six or seven years after matriculation.Honours degrees
and integrated master’s degrees are awarded with 1st, upper 2nd, lower 2nd or 3rd class
honours. If a student passes the course but fails to
do so sufficiently well for third class honours to be awarded he will be awarded with an ordinary
degree. It is possible to use the abbreviation “Hons”
after the degree postnominals to indicate that the degree has been passed with honours
and is not an ordinary degree. Many universities offer sandwich courses or
an extramural year, which offer work placements for a short period of time in a relevant industry
before students complete their studies. Taking a sandwich course may make the course
last a year longer than it would otherwise. With very few exceptions, nearly all universities
with the power to award degrees are heavily state financed. However, they also rely on tuition fees set
by the government at a maximum index-linked level, repayable after graduation contingent
on attaining a certain level of income, and with the state paying all fees for students
from the poorest backgrounds. UK students are generally entitled to student
loans for maintenance with repayment contingent on income. Unlike in other European countries, the British
government does not own the universities’ assets and university staff are not civil
servants. United Kingdom universities are therefore
better described as autonomous, intellectually-independent institutions with public funding, rather than
public universities per se. The crown does not control syllabi, with the
exception of teacher training. The crown restricts the power to award degrees
to those with a royal charter, in the case of traditional universities, or authorization
from the Secretary of State for Universities, in the case of modern universities. Universities accredited in foreign countries,
such as Richmond University are, however, free to operate.====European Bologna process systems====
In many countries, the English distinction between a bachelor’s and master’s degree is
being introduced by the Bologna process. Under the new Bologna reform, universities
in Europe are introducing the Bachelor level (BA or BS) degree, often by dividing a 5-year
Master-level program into two parts (3-year Bachelor’s + 2-year Master’s), where students
are not obligated to continue with the second Master’s-degree part. These new bachelor’s degrees are similar in
structure to British bachelor’s degrees. If there is a separate undergraduate degree,
higher degrees (License, Master, Doctorat) can be gained after completing the undergraduate
degree. In the traditional German system, there were
no undergraduate degrees in some fields, such as engineering: students continued to Master’s
level education without any administrative breakpoints, and employers would not consider
half-finished master’s degrees. The Bachelor’s phase in The Netherlands can
be fulfilled either at university or at the University of Applied Sciences. Except for some specific exceptions, only
at universities students are able to graduate for their masters or be promoted. These two institutions differ from each other
in the level students learn abstract concepts. Whereas theories are created at the university,
at the University of Applied Sciences theories are taught to be applied correctly.====Scottish system====
Students in Scotland usually enter university in the year they turn eighteen (with many
still being seventeen upon starting), hence courses take an extra year compared to England,
Wales and Northern Ireland. At the older universities the degree of Master
of Arts is conferred in the arts subjects after four years while the newer universities
instead confer the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The degree of Master of Arts conferred by
the Ancient Scottish Universities is equivalent to the degree of Bachelor of Arts at other
universities and does not require the level of study necessitated for the other degrees
of master awarded by these universities. The degree instead reflects the ancient traditions
of these universities.In the sciences, students usually read for the degree of bachelor, which
usually takes four years. However, as with the rest of the UK, integrated
master’s degrees are popular in science and engineering, although in Scotland they last
for five years. Degree classification is same as that of the
rest of UK====Other European systems====
In many other, particularly continental European systems, an “undergraduate” degree in the
American sense does not exist. Because students are expected to have received
a sound general education at the secondary level, in a school such as a gymnasium or
lycee, students in Europe enroll in a specific course of studies they wish to pursue upon
entry into a University. In the US, students only specialize in a “major”
during the last years of college. Specializing in a field of study upon entry
into a university means most students graduate after four to five years of study. The fields available include those only taught
as graduate degrees in the US, such as law or medicine. In the traditional German system, there is
a vocational degree (Diploma FH) that is similar in length, and is also considered an academic
degree. Though it is designed as a specialist degree,
in contrast to the Diplom degree at University, which claims to be more generalist. Germany itself, however, is currently abolishing
the legal distinction between Fachhochschule and University. They are both translated as university and
they both provide bologna-compliant and equivalent postgraduate degrees.Not obligatory and sometimes
applied at Universities in the Netherlands are the propaedeutic exams. The entire curriculum of the first two semesters
of the bachelor’s programme is part of the propaedeutic exams. In most bachelor’s studies, students are required
to obtain their propaedeutic certificate within three semesters after starting the course. A propaedeutic certificate also counts as
a requirement for participating in a university level bachelor’s study. The propaedeutic exams have the purpose of
assessing whether a student has the appropriate capacities in order to complete the course. At some Swedish universities (such as the
Royal Institute of Technology), PhD courses are sometimes referred to as “graduate courses”,
whereas courses for other students (up to master level) sometimes are referred to as
“undergraduate courses”. The system at many Finnish universities is
similar. In the French system, the first degree of
tertiary education was reached two years after the baccalauréat. Amongst these degrees the university-delivered
DEUG has disappeared, whereas Diplôme universitaire de technologie, Brevet de Technicien Supérieur
or classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles still exist. According to the Bologna process, this two-year
curriculum will be replaced by the three-year licence, yet existing.==See also==
Academic degree Bachelor’s degree
Honours degree Undergraduate research
Bologna process Doctorate
Higher education Master’s degree
Master’s degree in Europe Mature student
Officer Candidate School Postgraduate education
Post-secondary education Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Undergraduate degree University and college admissions==References==

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