Education System in the United States

Primary Education

In the United States of America education for children is compulsory and universally available, although this does not necessarily apply to pre-schools and the detail varies from state to state. Elementary school begins with kindergarten and extends through primary school which lasts for between 3 and 7 years. Curricula vary according to decisions at school district level too, although the emphasis remains on reading, writing, and mathematics.

Middle Education

A period of middle schooling follows that fills the years between primary school and secondary school. Again, the duration varies from state to state. Some subjects become elective around a core curriculum that remains academically focussed.

Secondary Education

Senior school runs through to 12th grade. The subject spread remains wide with general emphasis. Most schools provide education in sciences (biology, chemistry and physics), mathematics (including algebra, geometry, pre-calculus and statistics), english language, social sciences and physical education.

Vocational Education

Vocational education varies between states too, although the majority of post-secondary vocational and technical training takes place in private career schools. Approximately 30% is also provided by community colleges. These present 2-year programs, and courses transferable to 4-year university degree programs as well.

Tertiary Education

United States EducationThe United States has an impressive spread of universities and the debate rages on regarding which is the oldest and which is most revered. Core issues include the definition of university as it evolved in different states, and whether the widest spread of faculties is necessarily the best.

The oldest American tertiary institutions appear to be the University of Pennsylvania first named on November 27, 1779 and illustrated here, the College of William and Mary established a few days later on 4 December 1779, and Harvard University founded on March 2nd 1780.


Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineAccrediting Bureau of Health Education SchoolsAccrediting Commission of Career Schools and CollegesAccrediting Council for Continuing Education and TrainingAccrediting Council for Independent Colleges and SchoolsAmerican Academy for Liberal EducationAmerican Bar AssociationAmerican Board of Funeral Service EducationAmerican Osteopathic AssociationAmerican Podiatric Medical AssociationAssociation for Biblical Higher EducationAssociation of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic SchoolsAssociation of Theological SchoolsCommission on Massage Therapy AccreditationCouncil on Chiropractic EducationCouncil on Occupational EducationDistance Education and Training CouncilJoint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic TechnologyMiddle States Association of Colleges and SchoolsMiddle States Commission on Higher EducationMiddle States Commission on Secondary SchoolsMidwifery Education Accreditation CouncilMontessori Accreditation Council for Teacher EducationNational Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and SciencesNational Association of Schools of Art and DesignNational Association of Schools of DanceNational Association of Schools of MusicNational Association of Schools of TheatreNational League for Nursing Accrediting CommissionNew England Association of Schools and CollegesNew York State Board of RegentsNorth Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School ImprovementNorth Central Association of Colleges and SchoolsNorthwest Accreditation CommissionNorthwest Commission on Colleges and UniversitiesOklahoma Department of Career and Technology EducationPennsylvania State Board of Vocational EducationPuerto Rico Department of EducationSouthern Association of Colleges and SchoolsTransnational Association of Christian Colleges and SchoolsU.S. Department of EducationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges

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