Study in the USA – A complete guide for international students
The USA is a pioneer when it comes to the quality of education making it one of the most prominent reasons to study there. More than 150 Universities in the USA are ranked among the world’s top universities by QS rankings 2020. That alone speaks for itself for education.
Education System in USA
The education system in the USA consists of Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Higher Education. Higher education, which most of the students choose, has four levels of education. Associate Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, Master’s Degree (professional and academic), and doctoral degrees.
The Associate degrees are for two years, and they are mostly job-oriented. The candidates opting for these courses look for jobs straight away after completion. An Associate degree can also be counted as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree is a more academic path compared to an Associate’s degree. The duration for these courses is 3 to 4 years, which are chronologically called Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior year. They can be a stepping step to a Master’s Degree (MS) in USA.
A professional Masters takes the first degree holder to a skill that will be more job-oriented, and a detailed study of one field of study. An academic Masters in the USA is a great foundation for Ph.D. and Doctoral Programs. Quite often, students also opt for integrated MS-PhD in the US. The length of the professional Masters is 1 to 3 years, where an academic Masters is generally of two years.
Admission Intakes in USA
There are two main intakes in the USA – fall and spring. The Fall Intake starts in August, and it has the most number of courses available. Fall Intake in the USA is the most favorite among international students.
The Spring (or Winter) Intake starts in January, and the students who might have missed the fall intake in the USA can choose to study in Winter Intake, though not every course available in fall would be available in winter.
Eligibility Criteria and Application Process for Study in USA
Good Academic Track Record
Academics comes first, a good GPA is essential for admits to all schools. Aim at zero backlogs if you desire to attend top universities.
Students applying for Bachelor’s studies will need TOEFL or IELTS. You will also need to take SAT or ACT for most schools. For the most selective schools you may have to appear for SAT Subject Tests or AP exams too.
For Graduate studies you must appear for GRE or GMAT, along with IELTS/TOEFL.
Essays/SOP and Letters of Recommendation
Apart from academic transcripts and test scores, you will be required to submit essays or personal statement and recommendations letters to colleges.
How to Apply for Studying in USA
The application process for USA will change for different universities, however, most of them follow the process of online application. Most of the documents like the scanned copy of your passport, academic transcripts, essays, etc. must be uploaded to the online application portal of the particular universities. For undergrad programs, you can also apply through CommonApp.