Timeline for September 2021 Intake to Study in USA

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Nov 30, 2020 08:19 PM

The USA has a total of three intakes. Read on to have a clear understanding of the timeline for September 2021 intake to study in the US along with the top universities for the upcoming intakes.

With the Fall intake being the primary intake in the United States, Indian students usually aim for getting into a US university by July/August of any given academic year. While the US gets undivided attention every year from international students, the Covid-19 pandemic this year has disrupted the study abroad plans of many students around the world.

This year, many universities have made standardised admission tests such as SAT, ACT, or GRE optional, but it is yet to be determined whether Sept 2021 admissions will have that provision or not. 

Understanding how to move ahead with your study abroad plan in the US can be somewhat confusing because of multiple intakes, cost of living, a different admission procedure, among other factors. Unlike a single intake in India, the US has three intakes: Spring, Summer and Fall. In this article, we will be discussing the timeline for Sept 2021 intake in the US along with a list of the top US universities that would help you along the way.

All About September 2021 Intake in the US

Here are all the important details about the Fall/September 2021 intake in the US:

  • The most-preferred intake among the Indian students starts in late August and ends in December or January.

  • The September intake has a more diverse range of course options on offer that study abroad aspirants can choose from.

  • Unlike the Spring/ January intake, Fall intake lets international students explore more part-time on-campus work opportunities as well as more teacher assistant or research jobs. 

  • There are more post-study work options available for students who start their programmes in Fall 2021. 

  • September 2021 would see more competition as a lot of international students were not to able to move to the US due to travel restrictions.

  • Many US universities might allow international students to complete their courses and earn credits from their home country.

  • Class sizes for the Fall intake are usually much larger than the Spring or Summer intake.

Timeline For September (Fall) 2021 Intake In the USA

Here is an overview of the timeline for the September (Fall) intake in the US, which may sometimes take a year or even longer than a year:



April 2020 to July 2020: Research Your Options

Scan through the list of US universities and settle on a list of selected universities that you wish to apply to.. Also, keep track of application deadlines specified by each university.

 May 2020 to Sep 2020: Take Standardised Admission Tests

Take the required admission and standardised test(s) such as IELTS, TOEFL, ACT, SAT, GMAT, or GRE, as specified by the shortlisted universities.

Sep 2020 to Dec 2020: Apply to Universities

Start applying to the universities that you have shortlisted along with the required documents.

Jan to March 2021: Wait for Your Admission Decision

Wait for your letter(s) of approval, to which you would be required to reply within the stipulated time.

April to July 2021: Finance Your Studies/Apply for Visa

Apply for available scholarships, financial aid and student visa.

Aug 2021: Prepare for Your Departure

Book your airline tickets and plan the journey accordingly.

Step-by-step Guide for September 2021 Intake in the US

Now, let us dive into the timeline for September 2021 intake in the US, which has been curated with the objective of making things easier for you.

Timeline for September 2021 Intake in the USA

 Step 1: Research Your Options: April 2020 to July 2020

 The first thing that you need to do is research all your options. Make sure that you are certain about moving to the US for your higher studies. 

  •  Settle on a course. In case you are confused about the course, you can shortlist around 2 to 3 or talk to our counsellors (contact info below) who could assist you in the same. 

  •  Browse through the list of top US universities that offer your selected course(s) and pick them on the basis of factors such as tuition fees, location, availability of scholarships, mode of instruction, and more.

  •  Make note of the application deadlines of these universities.

  •  If you are confused about something, then now is the time to clear all doubts. 

Step 2: Take Standardised Admission Tests: May 2020 to Sep 2020

Note: This step includes buffer time.

  • Have a clear understanding of which exams you need to clear in order to get admission in your narrowed down list of US universities.

  • For a Bachelor’s degree, you would have to clear the Scholastic Admission Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT).

  • For a Master’s degree, you might have to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

  • International students are also required to take English language tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic

Step 3: Apply to Universities: Sep 2020 to Dec 2020

  • While applying to US universities, make certain that you have all of the required documents or information ready.

  • For a Bachelor’s degree, what you need to submit include transcripts, letter(s) of recommendation, an essay

  • For a Master’s degree, you would be asked to upload transcripts from previously attended colleges/universities, CV/resume, letter(s) of recommendation, SOP or an essay stating your professional and academic goals.

  • Those applying for postgraduate management programmes such as MBA or MS in Business Analytics might need to have prior work experience in the field. 

Also Read: Things Nobody Tells You About Going from India to Study in the USA

Step 4: Wait for Your Admission Decision: Jan to March 2021

  • US universities usually take 8 to 10 weeks to notify applicants if they have been accepted or rejected. 

  • During this period, you can also look for options to finance your studies. Or else, all you need to do now is wait. 

Step 5: Finance Your Studies/Apply for Visa: April to July 2021

  • After you get your acceptance letter from the university for your choice, you must get started with your visa application. Learn more: USA Student Visa Guide

  • US visas generally do not take more than 120 days to be processed.

  • A number of US universities offer scholarships to international students. However, you can also look for Indian scholarships available for study abroad aspirants and private foundations, businesses, and nonprofits in the US that provide international students with financial aid opportunities.  

Also Read: Top Courses for International Students to Study in the USA

Step 6: Prepare for Your Departure: Aug 2021

  • You are all set! Book your tickets and get ready to embark on a unique journey.

  • Check out all about the cost of living in the US.

Top Universities for September 2021 Intake in the US

Here are the top US universities popular among Indian students for Fall/Sep intake. Click on the universities to explore the entire list of courses they offer:

Still confused about applying to US universities for September 2021 intake? Write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com or call us at 785 9990 990 to get further assistance or guidance on Fall 2021 US admissions.

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