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United States

Undergraduate education in the US is multidisciplinary and is usually four years long. It typically follows a liberal arts curriculum, which has its roots in classical antiquity and involves the study of arts, humanities and sciences subjects.

Students have the opportunity to focus on a particular subject in their second (sophomore) year of undergraduate education, known as declaring a major.


There are two types of undergraduate (known as Licence) degrees available to students in France: general and professional programmes. Students can choose a domain to specialise in and follow certain pathways, each worth a particular number of ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System of credits) as undergraduate students.

Undergraduate education in Germany is typically single disciplinary. There are particular science-based universities in Germany, known as Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences). A greater emphasis on technical knowledge and practical training, in the form of internships, is emphasised in Fachhochschulen. The distinction between such universities and academic institutions in Germany is in decline.

Akin to Germany, Russia also has a distinction between universities that follow a broad curriculum and specialist institutes, such as the Academic Law Institute. Since October 2007, Russia has passed a law to adapt the previous six-year programme to a four-year Bachelors and two-year Masters system.

United Kingdom

Undergraduate education in the UK can be single-disciplinary and involve the in-depth study of one subject. Such degrees are typically three years long.

Joint degrees are also offered by many universities. Examples include English and History or Law and a Foreign Language. Such programmes allow students to embark on the specialist study of two subjects and may be a year longer than single-disciplinary degrees.

Upon successful completion of an undergraduate degree in the UK, students are awarded with either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) qualification