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American Visa Bureau » Information on America » American School
The American school year starts in September and ends in June and is composed of private and pubic schools. American public schools are operated by the government and are financed by public funds, and are free to all students, even foreigners.
Private American schools are operated by private individuals and are financed by private funds. These schools are not controlled by any government agency, but their students must still meet the minimum graduation requirements set by the state.
Schooling is compulsory for all American children, although the age requirements differ between states.
There are 2 stages of schooling in America:
American children begin their schooling at age 5 (kindergarten). The second year in primary school is referred to as the first grade, and children remain in primary until the end of Year 5.
Secondary school most commonly consists of a total of seven years, from Year 6 to Year 12. The ninth through twelfth grades are most commonly referred to as high school. Upon completion of twelfth grade, American students are awarded a certificate called the high school diploma. In the American education system, students must have obtained a high school diploma before they are admitted into college or university.
This is for students who have completed high school and would like to further their education in an undergraduate school, or college or university. These schools offer either a 2 year degree (called an associate degree) or a 4 year degree (called a bachelor's degree) in a specific course of study.
Students who have obtained a bachelor's degree can continue their education at graduate school. Certain courses of study are only available at the graduate school level in America. The most notable of these are law, dentistry, and medicine. Students who want to pursue a degree in one of these fields must first obtain a bachelor's degree.
Those who attend an American graduate school are able to partake in either a master's degree, which is usually a 2 year degree in a specific field, or a doctorate degree (also called a PhD).
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