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What is the 2 + 2 Model for U.S. Colleges and Universities?

January 5, 2018

What is the 2 + 2 Model for U.S. Colleges and Universities?

If you are thinking about studying in the United States, you might have heard of the “2 + 2 Model” for colleges and universities. What is the 2 + 2 model? Find out here!

What is the 2 + 2 Model for U.S. Colleges and Universities?


The 2 + 2 Model for U.S. colleges and universities is a total of roughly 4 years of study.

  1. Two years of school at a community college. During this time, students take the required general education classes that ALL U.S. students must take. Students then transfer to a four-year college or university.
  2. Two years of school at a college or university. After completing these two years at a four-year college or university, students receive a bachelor’s degree.

What is the 2 + 2 Model for U.S. Colleges and Universities?

Advantages of the 2 + 2 Model

Many international and American students choose the 2 + 2 Model. What are the advantages?

  • Less costly. Community colleges are the most affordable form of college. Paying for 2 years of university is much less than paying for ALL 4 years!
  • The same results. A university degree is a university degree. Whether you choose the 2 + 2 model or if you go directly to a four-year university, you will receive a bachelor’s degree.
  • The same education. The first two years of college (whether at a community college or at a four-year college or university) are focused on general education. Students take the math, science, and humanities classes that ALL graduates must take.
  • Easier transition. Community colleges are a great place to start: classes are often smaller, professors spend more time with students, and students receive the support they need to become comfortable in the U.S. college setting. This is why community colleges are a great idea for international students, who have the additional challenge of taking classes in their non-native language.
  • Guaranteed admission. California Community Colleges have agreements with California universities. Students must simply take the required classes (and pass these classes) and then apply. Admission is guaranteed, and no stress is involved! Wow!

What is the 2 + 2 Model for U.S. Colleges and Universities?

Important things to remember about the 2 + 2 Model.

  • It could be longer than 4 years total. The length of time is based on taking a certain amount of credits each semester: some semesters, you might take more credits than others. Also, if you choose to change your area of study, you could have to take more than 4 years of classes. (Of course, if you get a little behind, you can also take summer school classes to stay on track.)
  • Plan, plan, plan. Be sure you know what you want to study at university, and begin choosing your university soon. This will help your academic advisor provide you with all of the information you need to choose your correct classes and stay on schedule.

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