Academic institution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The University of Pennsylvania, an American research university

An academic institution is an educational institution dedicated to education and research, which grants academic degrees. See also academy and university.


These types of institutions can be further broken down by the type of education they offer and the form of funding they use.

Funding types[edit]

  • Private schools – Private schools, or independent schools, are schools not administered by local, state, or national government, which retain the right to select their student body and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition rather than with public (state) funds. In the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth countries the use of the term is generally restricted to primary and secondary educational levels: it is almost never used of universities or other tertiary institutions.
  • Parochial schools – A parochial school (also known as a faith school or a sect school) is a type of school which engages in religious education in addition to conventional education. Parochial schools are typically grammar schools or high schools run by churches, diocese or parishes. Tertiary education that may not require study in a particular religious doctrine may also be in the tradition or directly supported by a religious organization, and may or may not receive primary funding from that or any other religious organization, are not usually referred to as "parochial".
  • Public schools – In some countries, a public school is financed and operated by an agency of government which does not charge tuition fees; instead, financing is obtained through taxes or other government-collected revenues. This is in contrast to a private school (also known as an independent school). Here, the word "public" is used in the same sense as in "public library", that is, provided for the public at public expense. These public schools range in classes from kindergarten to four years of high school or secondary school, normally taking pupils up to the age of seventeen or eighteen.

Education provided[edit]

The School of Athens, an ancient Greek academy, fresco by Raphael (1509–1510)

Professional schools[edit]

Yale Law School, an American law school housed in the Sterling Law Building (built 1931)
  • Medical school – A medical school or faculty of medicine is a tertiary educational institution or part of such an institution that teaches medicine. In addition to fulfilling a major requirement to become a medical doctor, some medical schools offer master's degree programs, PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) programs, and other educational programs. Medical schools can also employ medical researchers, and operate hospitals or other programs.
  • Law school – Law schools provide a legal education. Legal education is the education of individuals who intend to become legal professionals or those who simply intend to use their law degree to some end, either related to law (such as politics or academic) or business.
  • Dental school
  • Veterinary school – A veterinary school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, which is involved in the education of future veterinary practitioners (veterinarians). The entry criteria, structure, teaching methodology and nature of veterinary programs offered at veterinary schools vary considerably around the world.
  • Pharmacy school – The requirements of pharmacy education, pharmacist licensure and post-graduate continuing education vary from country to country and between regions/localities within countries. In most countries, prospective pharmacists study pharmacy at a pharmacy school or related institution. Upon graduation, they are licensed either nationally or by region to dispense medication of various types in the settings for which they have been trained.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ Primary school. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 June 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
  3. ^ Google eBook of Encyclopædia Britannica
  4. ^ "Information Literacy in Vocational Education: A Course Model". 2 September 2006.