The American education system

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The American education system requires that students complete 12 years of primary and secondary education prior to attending university or college.
Although admission policies vary from one university to the next, most determine admission based on several criteria, including a student 's high school course of study, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), participation in extracurricular activities, SAT or ACT exam scores, a written essay, and possibly a personal interview.
University students pursuing a Bachelor 's degree are called "undergraduates," whereas students pursuing a Master 's or Doctoral degree are called "graduate students." American undergraduate students will say they are "going to school" or "going to college," which means they are attending university. A common question one student asks another is, "What is your major?" This means, "What is your major field of study?"
Most universities give undergraduate students a liberal education, which means students are required to take courses across several disciplines before they specialize in a major field of study. Graduate and professional (such as medicine or law) programs are specialized.
At the university level, most courses are only one semester long. Each course is assigned a number of credit hours. Credit hours are usually based on how much time is spent in class each week. Most courses are 3 credits. However, some courses may be 1, 2, 4 or 5 credits. All degree programs require students to complete a minimum number of credit hours before graduation. Most Bachelor 's degree programs in the United States do not require students to write a final thesis.
Selection for admission to a graduate program is based on several criteria. These include completion of a Bachelor 's degree, the student 's undergraduate coursework, and their GPA. Students are also expected to write an essay as part of their application or submit a writing sample. Most Master 's programs require students to have a minimum

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