There are two types of colleges in the USA namely two-year colleges and four-year colleges. Two-year colleges are called community colleges or junior year colleges. Here, you can pursue the first two years of your undergraduate program. Tuition fees here are usually lower than that of four-year colleges, making it a less expensive proposition.
You can also enroll in four-year colleges in the USA, which do not have graduate schools i.e. they have a bachelor's program but do not offer a master's or doctorate program. They are usually small and have a few departments.
Colleges in the USA start in August or September and end in the following May or June. Each academic year is divided into two semesters- the spring semester and the fall semester or three quarters. One semester lasts for 15 weeks and one quarter lasts for 10 weeks. Colleges in the USA allow students to take classes in summer school i.e. during the spring break. If you do this, it may be possible to complete a four-year course in three years or even less.
This is the currency by which you are valued by colleges in the USA. As a rule, one credit represents one hour of class time a week for one term, except in the cases of language or laboratory courses, where one credit equals up to two hours per week.
Normally, 60 credits are required for associate degrees i.e. junior colleges in America, 120 for bachelor's degree i.e. four-year colleges, 30 graduate credits for master's degrees and 90 graduate credits for doctoral degrees. For undergraduate studies in junior year colleges in the USA, international students have to be full time students and they have to take a minimum of 9 or 12 credits a week.