Unlike France or most countries around the world, the United States integrates sport and the training of athletes at the heart of its educational system (school and university) by giving it a considerable place. College’s student athletes come from all over the world.
For each sport, universities provides scholarships that coaches use to build their teams.
This scholarship covers most or all of the tuition fees.
College teams can count on staffs of 5 to 20 people per sport, depending on the university. Coaches, assistant coaches, doctors, physiotherapists…
Universities play the role of training centers in France with the considerable advantage of offering an internationally renowned diploma.
High level facilities
The universities which belong to this division have an attendance which exceeds 15,000 students. It is the most competitive division in the sports field, however the admission conditions are very selective. This type of university offers a wide choice of sports ans diplomas. The facilities of division 1 universities are the best in the United States.
The best division II teams have a comparable level to many division I teams. The number of students ranges from 3,000 to 15,000. Admission requirements are more flexible and it is ideal for European athletes.
Division III universities cannot offer sports scholarships. Nevertheless, these universities are ranked among the best from an academic point of view.
This division includes universities of small sizes (5,000 students or less). The small number of students per class allows very good working conditions. Teachers are generally more accessible. The best NAIA programs have a sporting level comparable to NCAA division II.
The duration of studies is only two years. The athlete may then enter one of the three other divisions: NCAA division I, NCAA division II or NAIA division. The Junior Colleges have more flexibilities regarding the admission criteria.
*NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) – NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association)
A DOUBLE PROJECT
sports & school
A university campus could be described as a small town. It is mainly made so that the students can find everything they need quickly and at any time of the day. Campuses offer remarkable living conditions and comfort : everything is done there so that students get optimal conditions for successful studies and organizing their free time.
As a student, you will be able to live in the campus apartments or in the off-campus apartments for students. Students most often choose to live on campus at least the first year to better organize themselves and understand the academic and sports system. An apartment is usually shared with another teammates.
The American academic system makes it possible to combine studies and high level sport. It is sometimes difficult to understand how the American system works. We have often heard that in the USA, we choose the courses we want and when we want.
It’s not totally wrong!
An academic year consists of two semesters from August to May. Next comes a three-month period during which students can choose to take summer courses or return to France.
(High school diploma + 2 years)
This is the first possible diploma and one that can be obtained in “Community Colleges” (Universities).
For foreigners, some of these schools offer ESL (English as a Second Language) programs which allow students, especially French students, to learn English.
(High school diploma + 4 years)
The Bachelor is the most internationally recognized diploma. United Sports 31 strongly recommends that candidates head for this 4-year course. There are several Bachelors and therefore several specializations: the student can decide to do a Bachelor in International Business or in Sports Management for example.
(Bachelor + 2 years)
The Master is the diploma obtained after the Bachelor.
The American and French Masters are equivalent. It lasts 2 years but can be completed in one year only if the student decides to take more hours of classes per semester than requested.
(Master + 2 to 3 years)
The Ph.D is the last possible degree level in the USA and is similar to a Doctorate in France.
You have already obtained a diploma in France and you want to continue your studies in the United States? It is possible. The transfer of “credits” obtained in France to the United States allows students to considerably reduce the number of courses required to obtain a diploma.
The American Bachelor represents a French Bac + 4, and often allows students to enter directly into the 4th or 5th year of university in France.