Formal education in the United States dates from 1635, when the Boston Latin School was founded in colonial New England. Grammar schools were established in the larger cities of each colony throughout the rest of the 18th century, as well as several religious colleges. Formal education for women started with the American Revolution and for black children with the American Civil War. However, Homeschooling remained predominant, especially in the south, until the mid-19th century
Government supported, free public schools for all started being established after the revolution, and expanded in the 19th century, as the results of efforts of men like Horace Mann and Booker T. Washington . By 1870, all states had free elementary schools, [ 6 ] albeit only in urban centers. As the 20th century drew nearer, states started passing laws to make schooling compulsory, and by 1910, 72 percent of children attended school. Private schools continued to spread during this time, as well as colleges and—in the rural centers— land grant colleges . The year of 1910 also saw the first true high schools. During the rest of the 20th century, educational efforts centered on reducing the inequality of the schooling system. The landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education made the desegregation of elementary and high schools a national priority, while the Pell Grant program helped poor minorities gain access to college. Special education was made into federal law in 1975. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 made standardized testing a requirement, and in 1983, a commission was established to evaluate their results and propose a course of action. The resulting No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was controversial and its goals proved to be unrealistic. A commission established in 2006 evaluated higher education , but its recommendations have yet to be fully implemented.
pharmacy, and dentistry, are offered as graduate study after earning at least three years of undergraduate schooling or after earning a bachelor's degree depending on the program. These professional fields do not require a specific undergraduate major, though medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment. [ citation needed ] Alexander Hall at Princeton University Some students choose to attend a community college for two years prior to further study at another college or university. In most states, community colleges are operated either by a division of the state university or by local special districts subject to guidance from a state agency. Community colleges may award Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree after two years. Those seeking to continue their education may transfer to a four-year college or university (after applying through a similar admissions process as those applying directly to the four-year institution, see articulation ). Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local four-year college, where the community college provides the first two years of study and the university provides the remaining years of study, sometimes all on one campus. The community college awards the associate's degree, and the university awards the bachelor's and master's degrees. [ citation needed ] Homer statue at theUniversity of Virginia Graduate study , conducted after obtaining an initial degree and sometimes after several years of professional work, leads to a more advanced degree such as a master's degree , which could be a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), or other less common master's degrees such as Master of Education (MEd), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Some students pursue a graduate degree that is in between a master's degree and a doctoral degree called aSpecialist in Education (Ed.S.). After additional years of study and sometimes in conjunction with the completion of a master's degree and/or Ed.S. degree, students may earn a Doctor of Philosophy ( Ph.D. ) or other doctoral degree, such as Doctor of Arts , Doctor of Education , Doctor of Theology , Doctor of Medicine , Doctor of Pharmacy , Doctor of Physical Therapy , Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine , Doctor of Podiatry Medicine , Doctor of Veterinary Medicine , Doctor of Psychology , or Juris Doctor . Some programs, such as medicine and psychology, have formal apprenticeship procedures post-graduation, such as residencies and internships, which must be completed after graduation and before one is considered fully trained. Other professional programs like law and business have no formal apprenticeship requirements after graduation (although law school graduates must take the bar exam to legally practice law in nearly all states). Entrance into graduate programs usually depends upon a student's undergraduate academic performance or professional experience as well as their score on a standardized entrance exam like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-graduate schools in general), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Many graduate and law schools do not require experience after earning a bachelor's degree to enter their programs; however, business school candidates are usually required to gain a few years of professional work experience before applying. 8.9 percent of students receive postgraduate degrees. Most, after obtaining their bachelor's degree, proceed directly into the workforce.