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What is the difference between a college and a university?

One of the first meanings of college was 'a society of scholars incorporated within, or in connection with, a university, or otherwise formed for purposes of study or instruction'. That definition shows that historically college was subordinate to university. From the fact that in some universities only a single college was founded or has survived, in which case the university and college became co-extensive, the name has come, as in Scotland and the United States, to be interchangeable with university as 'a college with university functions'. In the US, college has been the general term, and is still usually applied to a small university or degree-granting educational institution having a single curriculum of study. The name university is given mainly to larger institutions which are divided into various faculties and which more resemble the universities of Europe.

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