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Different Types of Colleges

Liberal Arts Colleges

These colleges are usually small and offer a liberal education across the arts, humanities, English, philosophy, history, psychology, music, science and math. Their mission is to provide students with a comprehensive undergraduate education with faculties that focus on teaching with small discussion-based classes.

Research Universities

These universities range in size from small to very large and their missions include research, public service and teaching. They offer a full-range of programs in undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs. Their faculty are often involved in cutting edge research. The classes may be large and they usually offer a wide range of degrees. 

Comprehensive Colleges

These include master's universities, which provide a full-range of undergraduate programs along with some master's and doctoral degrees. Baccalaureate colleges offer programs in the liberal arts as well as pre-professional programs.

Specialized Programs

Schools that have a specific focus such as fine arts, engineering or business can be designated as specialty schools. Students are usually committed to their particular emphasis before committing to one of these schools.

Special Affiliations

Some schools identify themselves by specific affiliations such as religious, historically black, women's colleges or military academies.

Community or Junior Colleges

These two-year colleges are often more affordable paths to a degree. Students may spend their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a university to earn their bachelor's degree. They also often offer certificate or specialized training in fields that do not require a bachelor's degree.

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