School, College and University?
In the United States, the word “school” describes any place where people learn.
You can call a college a school and you can even call a university a school. You can use the word "school" for any English language institute, graduate program, or secondary school (high school).
College or university follows after high school, or secondary school. A college in the USA is not a high school or secondary school andtypically begins in the thirteenth year of school when a student is around 17- or 18-years-old.
You can earn a bachelor's degree at either a college or a university.
However, students in the USA prefer to use the word “college” rather than the word “university” when they talk about the four-year undergraduate programs and when referring to their bachelor's degree. They say, “going to college” and “a college degree” when they talk about undergraduate programs at either a college or a university.
A two-year college offers an associate's degree, while a four-year college or university offers a bachelor's degree. Programs that offer these degrees are called “undergraduate” schools.
A “university” is a group of schools for studies after secondary school. At least one of these schools is a college where students receive a bachelor's degree.
The other schools in a university are “graduate” schools (also known as “postgraduate”) where students receive advanced degrees. Therefore, a university offers both the bachelor's degree and graduate degrees such as the master's (M.A.) and doctorate (Ph.D.).
Most colleges at a university are separate schools, such as the College of Business. Some colleges are part of a university and are located on the university campus. A few colleges offer graduate programs in selected subjects. Usually, however, it is universities that offer graduate programs. So, Americans generally use the word "university" and not "college" when they talk about graduate study.