The U.S. higher education system is unique for its diversity and independence, with oversight and responsibility for the system largely residing with higher education institutions themselves. 

This system embodies some of the best qualities of U.S. culture and society – flexibility, openness, and an environment that encourages innovation. 

EducationUSA can help you understand U.S. educational structure, how to guide students as they access U.S. higher education, and how to prepare your campus for internationalization.

Our resources include:

  • Information on the size, types, and overall diversity of U.S. higher education institutions: The more than 4,500 accredited institutions of higher education in the United States include public and private schools, schools in urban areas and schools in rural areas, schools with tens of thousands of students, and schools with fewer than 200 students;
  • Information on higher education accreditation – both institutional and programmatic: Accreditation refers to the process of review by which higher education institutions and programs are evaluated for both quality assurance and quality improvement. In the United States, accreditation status is not conferred by a federal government body; rather, it is carried out by private, non-profit organizations and it relies on peer review;
  • Guidance on what U.S. institutions seek in international student applicants: U.S. institutions of higher education are eager to welcome qualified international students to their campuses and classrooms. International students bring unique perspectives and experiences that add to the life and culture of U.S. institutions;
  • Step-by-step guidance on navigating the application process to U.S. institutions: EducationUSA's Five Steps to U.S. Study guides student applicants through the most important elements of the U.S. application process;
  • Suggestions for beginning to explore partnerships with U.S. institutions: Many U.S. institutions are interested in expanding their international partnerships by increasing student and faculty exchanges and establishing joint research and teaching initiatives.