College vs. University

A smaller institution that usually offers undergraduate degrees is considered a college. There are even community college and junior colleges that provide students with two-year degrees. Most four-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees with some also offering associate degrees.

In contrast, an institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees is considered a university. They offer undergraduate programs that will lead a student towards a master’s degree or a doctorate. They also can have a medical or law school for those pursuing professional degrees in those fields. Sometimes, they even have these great programs that allow you to get both your undergraduate and your graduate degree in a shorter amount of time. Universities will also offer a more diverse curriculum and programs because they have a much larger number of enrolled students.

History of the Two Terms

During the Middle English period, between 1250 CE and 1300 CE, the term university appeared and is older than the word college which did not appear for another 50 to 150 years. They both have Latin origins - universities (guild, corporation, society) and Collegium (club, community, society).
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