What is the Difference Between a College and a University

College and university are both considered as a place of getting education.  However, most of the students are confused with the difference between college and university. Yes, both of the institutions impart education but the university is a group of college whereas the colleges are the intuitions that give you the degree in the specific area of specialization.  University is more acclaimed in comparison to colleges.  Whenever, you get a degree with certain university, it implies that you have been accomplished in certain college of the university.  However, at some places, the intermediate class also comes under the colleges.  Alternatively, university only caters higher degree of qualifications.  For instance, at the university, you are supposed to get a degree of bachelor’s, master’s, and PHD.  Therefore, university is specialized for higher and tertiary degree of qualification.

Degrees and certificates

In awarding the degrees and certificates, universities has more power in hands in comparison to the colleges.  When a student enrolls for any degree or vocational course, the universities has right to award the certificates.  These certificates are academic credentials, and mean a lot for a student.  However, colleges are not liberal enough to certify there students. For awarding there students with a degree, they have to take the permission to the respective universities. The university gives the valuable degrees only to them, who complete entire course.  For instance, if you enroll for the bachelor’s degree, after you complete three to four years, depending upon the tenure of the course, then only university gives you the certified degree certificate.  In the similar fashion, college has only few rights in terms of granting certificates. They can only certify students with the technical training certificates and diploma certificates to their students. 


  • If you talk in terms of fees, university is really expensive.  Therefore, in comparison to universities, colleges are much affordable.  To add, you can prefer to university grants colleges.  However, getting the acknowledgement from the university is considered as more prestigious.  This is reason university is preferred more for higher studies.
  • For taking admissions in the master’s it is always advisable to take in universities, because universities has better infrastructure, in comparison to colleges.  You would find better teachers in universities rather than colleges.
  • The number of faculties available is university is larger than that of colleges however, sometimes; few colleges in order to maintain their quality status they have better standards.
  • The colleges do not certify the tertiary degree like PHD; it is only certified by degrees.
  • The major difference lies between college and university is that college cater both training as well as research but universities are more of research oriented. 

Therefore, you can say that a college is a collection of degrees but universities are the collection of colleges. At many places you will find that especially the united states of America, the colleges means the secondary education while university means tertiary education.