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Choose Your Degree at an American College or University

International students may attend an American university to earn a degree, including a BS, BA or MBA. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Today, we answer a question from Martin in Mexico City. He asks about the kinds of degrees that students can earn at an American college or university.

American higher education offers degrees in many areas of study. A community college student earns an associate degree after two years of general study. The student may then continue at a college or university for another two years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

An undergraduate student at a four-year school earns a bachelor's degree. Students majoring in an area of science receive the bachelor of science, also known by the letters B.S. Arts or humanities students get the bachelor of arts degree, or B.A.

Students who continue in school may earn a master’s degree after two or three more years of study. Many Americans earn master’s degrees at night or on the weekends while they are working. One example of this is the M.B.A., a master's degree in business administration. Students learn to deal with all kinds of business situations. They develop skills needed by many companies.

M.B.A. programs teach about economics, finance and marketing. They also teach about the structure of organizations and other subjects. Business is a popular subject for students who come to the United States. To be admitted to an M.B.A. program, a foreign student must have a bachelor’s degree and a good score on the TOEFL. Most students also take the Graduate Management Admission Test. Most of the one thousand eight hundred M.B.A. programs around the world use these test scores.

The Graduate Management Admission Council says that foreign students should find out what different schools could do to help them find a job after they receive their degree. Representatives from many companies visit colleges to hire students. You should ask how many companies are willing to hire international students. The council says even the best schools may have fewer job placements for international graduates than for others.

Our Foreign Student Series continues next week with a report about the highest degree a student can earn at an American university -- the doctorate. Our scripts are available on the Internet -- with MP3 files and transcripts -- at

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Shirley Griffith.