US University System

US University System

Firstly, the American system is characterized by its commitment to broad educational goals and not to narrow specialization in a given discipline.

The student in the American system must complete a number of general subjects in a diverse range of disciplines before beginning his or her chosen field of concentration.

During freshman and sophomore years, students will complete required number of courses in General Education and Pre-Major Courses

Modular System of Education

Secondly, the US university system is based on a modular system known as credits or credit hours.
Most programs require 120 credits to earn a B.A., B.Sc., or BBA degree, and are calculated by the number of hours a student spends per week in class during a normal 15-16 week semester.
Full time students usually take no less than five courses per semester and consequently they accumulate 15 credits every semester assuming they receive passing grades.

To earn a degree, the student must earn 120 credits, with many of these credits coming from required subjects, others from elected subjects (or those which the student can choose).


Thirdly, the system differs in the method of evaluating or grading the work of the student. In an American university, there is what is known as "ongoing assessment," or Continuous evaluation. A student knows on a regular basis how he or she is performing in the academic course or subject. Scores obtained in each of this assessment will be taken into account towards their overall performance in the course.


Students are assigned letter grades. Each letter grade is based on range of overall marks obtained by the student and also a numerical equivalent. Table below is illustration of grades and their numerical equivalent awarded by ACD.

Grade Grade Points Marks % Remarks
A   4.0 (90-100) Excellent
B+ 3.5 (85-89) Very Good
B   3.0 (80-84) Superior Good Pass
C+ 2.5 (75-79) Above Average
C   2.0 (70-74) Satisfactory
D   1.0 (60-69) Borderline Pass
F   0.0 (50-59) Fail

Grade Point Average (GPA)

GPA is weighted average of the grades obtained in all courses completed by the student and the overall passing grade will be based on the GPA.

Most universities require a certain GPA for the student to graduate or to apply for advanced degrees beyond the undergraduate level. The highest GPA possible to achieve is a 4.0 and is a score, which is very rare even for the best of the students.

Course Credit Hours Grade Weighted Score
Eng Comp 3 B 9
Economics 3 A 12
College Algebra 3 C 6
American History 3 B 9
Philosophy 3 D 3
GPA 2.60

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