The academic system
A proven system
The American university system is recognized worldwide. Moreover, sport is an important component of American culture and is integrated into the North American educational system at a very early stage. Universities have developed complete schedule adjustments to ensure that sports and school programmes are effectively combined. Athletes have a full place in the university since they represent it through the various university competitions.
The American system is also well known for allowing great flexibility and giving students the freedom to switch from one major to another, if they wish to, even after a few semesters. The number of class hours varies between 16 and 24 (sometimes more) depending on the number of courses the student chose to be enlisted for. A heavy load of homework is requested from all students to prepare for classes, presentations and exams.
The tools for success
A large number of facilities are made accessible to students to help them succeed. Universities usually possess a modern library, free access computer rooms, housing or student dorms, often on the campus itself to reduce the students’ commute and keep them safe.
Sports specific facilities
Student athletes often enjoy additional advantages such as access to :
• reading rooms to study 24/7,
• academic counselors dedicated to helping them do their homework or choose their orientation,
• private computer rooms to study more quietly.
The academic year usually runs over 2 semesters, from August to January and January to June, with the possibility to register for summer school to catch up if needed.
Degrees and majors
Fields of studies
There is a wide range of majors to choose from : business, marketing, finances, communication, advertising, journalism, sports management, engineering, agriculture sciences… Universities obviously have majors more famous than others. You will choose your university on the basis of both sports and academic criteria.
How does it work ?
The American academic system is entirely built upon the university system. There are no such things as engineering or business schools like in France, for example. Once a student has graduated from highschool, he/ she starts a 4 years academic cycle ending with a Bachelor’s Degree. With this diploma, the undergraduate student becomes a graduate student..
What next ?
Then, the student may decide to go for a Master’s Degree of Science (MS), Art (MA) or Business Administration (MBA), and start another 2 to 3 years academic cycle. After the Master’s, he or she can go on, and apply for a PhD to aim at a career in research.
Much more than a university
Just like a town within the town, the university campus offers students all kinds of equipments and services so that, in theory, they don’t need to get out.
Most universities give students the opportunity to live on campus, in students’ dorms. This is actually imposed to freshmen athletes.
For their meals, students get a meal-plan card that they can use all year long to eat at the university cafeteria. This system eases the new students’ integration on the campus. Starting with the second year, students may choose to stay on campus or to share an apartment with roommates outside of campus. In that case, student athletes are given a monthly budget to cook their own meals at home.
Sports plays a major part
In general, sports play a major role in the students’ life. It’s a real culture, a part of the university’s identity.
Life on campus offers a lot more activities for fun : concerts, parties, movies, theater, danse classes…