First university in the United States is a status asserted by more than one U.S. university. In the U.S. there is no official definition of what entitles an institution to be considered a university versus a college, and the common understanding of "university" has evolved over time. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica tells the story of the gradual emergence of U.S. "universities" thus:
|“||In the United States the word university has been applied to institutions of the most diverse character, and it is only since 1880 or thereabouts that an effort has been seriously made to distinguish between collegiate and university instruction; nor has that effort yet completely succeeded. Harvard, William and Mary, and Yale . . . were organized . . . on the plans of the English colleges which constitute the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Graduates of Harvard and Yale carried these British traditions to other places, and similar colleges grew up in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.... Around or near these nuclei, during the course of the 19th century, one or more professional schools were frequently attached, and so the word university was naturally applied to a group of schools associated more or less closely with a central school or college. Harvard, for example, most comprehensive of all, has seventeen distinct departments, and Yale has almost as many. Columbia and Penn have a similar scope. In the latter part of the 19th century Yale, Columbia, Princeton and Brown, in recognition of their enlargement, formally changed their titles from colleges to universities.||”|
The issue is further confused by the fact that at time of founding of many of the institutions in question, the U.S. didn't exist as a sovereign nation. Moreover, questions of institutional continuity sometimes make it difficult to determine the true "age" of any institution.
Other articles related to "first university in the united states, university, first university, state, united states":
... Disagreement may arise in particular if the reader disagrees with the definitions of "university," "graduate studies," "oldest," or "first." One possible alternate definition of university is an institution that ... This would make Yale the first University, as it granted the first Ph.D ... from William Mary's claim of "graduate studies." Georgetown University began a graduate program in 1820 which conferred its first degree in 1821 ...
... also mentors - Brzezinski entered McGill University in 1945 to obtain both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees (received in 1949 and 1950 respectively) ... Brzezinski then attended Harvard University to work on a doctorate, focusing on the Soviet Union and the relationship between the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin's state, and the ... In 1958 he became a United States citizen ...
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