Universities are typically larger than colleges because they are usually comprised of several colleges, ranging from single-digit conglomerations to those made up of more than a dozen different colleges. Harvard University, for example, has 12 degree-granting schools within the university, while Texas A&M University has 17 degree-granting colleges. Collectively, these colleges make up their respective universities.
But the differences don't end there. Some colleges grant only one type of degree, such as a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor's degree. Most colleges don't offer graduate degrees at all, though there are some that do. Universities, on the other hand, offer four-year bachelor's degrees at their various colleges, and have the distinction of also offering advanced degrees in their post-college graduate degree programs. In addition, both colleges and universities can offer professional programs that culminate with certificates. These programs are short-term and certify that students who complete them are fluent in a specialized skill, such as web development or business administration.
Often, selecting the right college versus selecting the right university means striking a balance between receiving personalized attention as a student and attending an institution that offers the desired major. "The biggest advantage of attending a college as an undergraduate is that professors are more focused on teaching you, rather than focusing on their graduate students and their research. The disadvantage is that a college may have fewer majors to choose from than a university," says Benjamin Caldarella, co-founder of Princeton College Consulting in an email interview. "If you want more majors, that is the biggest advantage to most universities."