Difference Between College and University

When you first hear the words “difference between college and university” and your immediate reaction is “So, when someone says they are going to college, they also mean that they are going to university right?” then you are welcome here. Then what exactly is the difference after all? Many people go to universities and colleges every year, but what is the point when you can’t even tell the difference between the two? Let’s get to know the difference- major and minor- between a college and a university in a better and organized way that provides clarity of the difference between the two institutions. If you are someone who gets confused between the two, worry not. Below we have presented the differences in a very systematic manner.


What is the Difference Between College and University?

For higher education, students and parents always wonder about the difference between colleges and universities. Some of us assume college as a private institute while university as a government-funded institute. While others assume that universities provide quality education than colleges. But in reality, it is not the case. For that, first, you have to know what is a college and what is a university.

What is a College?

A college is an institute that provides UG or Undergraduate degrees. Some colleges offer 2-year degree courses while others offer bachelor’s degrees and associate degrees too.

What is a University?

Just like a college, the university is also an institute that provides UG, PG, Ph.D., and similar courses. Universities also have a medical or a law school for students who want professional degrees. Some universities offer special courses to their students in a short time. Generally, universities offer different classes and courses than college because there are more students enrolled in university than college. These provide post-graduation and undergraduate degrees as well. Universities provide a huge scope and cover a variety of courses, classes, and programs.

Major Difference in College and University

When it comes down to the major difference between a college and a university, you can see the following discrepancies.

  • The number of students:

One major and common difference is universities carry more students than colleges.

  • Courses:

College provides only an undergraduate degree course while the university provides more courses than colleges like UG, PG, Ph.D., graduate courses, and some professional courses.

  • Campus Size:

The size of the college is smaller than the university. Because of their small size, colleges provide limited research options for students. On the other hand, universities could be home to many colleges working on and off the campus. Universities are huge and offer many choices to their students like Music, arts, architecture, and many more. The libraries and other facilities are major. A university can have a number of colleges, whereas a college cannot.



  • Budget:

The budget of colleges is lesser than the university, this also results in smaller space and facilities. In university, you will get many facilities and courses. So, if you are looking for a UG course on a low budget then college is the best option that you can go for.

  • Facilities:

As we know, colleges are smaller than universities. So, because of space colleges provide fewer facilities than universities. So, if you are want to study with more facilities than university is the best option for you.

  • Degree:

Colleges provide UG and associate degrees to the students while universities offer PG and master’s degrees to students. Therefore, for the students who want to opt for higher education or want to make their career in research then universities are the best for them.

So, we hope that by reading the above details you got to know the difference between college and university. This also solves the confusion when applying for higher studies at universities and colleges. Don’t worry here we give you some basic guidelines that will help you choose between a college and a university.

You might choose the college for the higher study if,

  • You would like to build a close relationship with teachers and want small class discussions.
  • When you think you need personal attention and academic guidance.
  • In case you do not like diversity in the culture.
  • When you are not sure to decide your overall academic goals for the next 4 years.
  • If you have decided to do a UG degree course then college is the best option for you.

Select a university for your higher studies,

  • When you decide to go for a post-graduate course, the university is the best option for you.
  • When you like big classroom discussions with a diverse culture and opinions.
  • When you are sure about your career and academic goals.
  • When you want more facilities and are good at being resourceful.

Keep in mind these differences between college and university while applying for admission as per your needs. Every student has a different need. So choose accordingly!