Study in USA

Subhashri Roy
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 1:06 PM IST

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  • 5665

    Courses Offered in USA
  • 5%

    International Students
  • USD 30000

    Average Cost Of Study


Latest Update: After nearly 20 months, the United States of America (USA) opened its doors to vaccinated international travellers including Indian students on 8th November 2021. Here's What it Means for International Students & Travellers

Study in USA is the best investment for your future. The USA is home to the highest number of top-ranked universities that offer quality education, infrastructure and technological advancement. It has 4000+ Universities, 8 Ivy league institutions and 1 million international students who have the wonderful avenue of not just growing academically but also socially and culturally.

US universities and colleges offer a wide range of degrees and courses at both Bachelors and Masters levels. The best part about the higher education system in the US is the flexibility it offers in terms of students' needs, interests and academic goals. Along with that, there are various scholarships to study in USA for Indian students.

Being a global leader in STEM innovation and literacy, a majority of international students pursue STEM fields in the USA. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education equips students with the relevant knowledge and skills to make them industry-ready and more employable.

According to IIE's Open Doors Report 2020, around 52% of foreign students in the US pursued majors in STEM fields. With the increasing demand for STEM graduates in the employment sector across the world, the number of international students leaning towards pursuing STEM fields has also been increasing steadily.

STEM graduates not just pick up great paychecks but are also offered endless opportunities in research and technological innovation. These students also get to work in cutting-edge fields such as robotics, medicine, microbiology, petroleum and environmental science. Some of the leading higher education institutions in the US where you can pursue STEM degree courses are Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, University of Dayton, Louisiana State University and the University of Kansas.

 Know  About STEM Courses in the USA!

Related Reads: 

Benefits of Studying STEM Courses in USA US Universities With Highest Percentages of International Students
Popular STEM Degree Courses in USA Best Universities in the USA to Pursue STEM Courses
How to Successfully Apply to Popular USA Universities? Eligibility to Pursue STEM Courses in USA

Why Study in USA

Interesting Facts About the USA

As per the records, the most number of international students are pursuing higher education in the USA than in any other country. With over 4,000 universities across the country, the United States is home to some of the top universities in the world. Students enquire why study in USA. The answer is that universities and colleges offer a wide range of degrees and courses in all academic fields, offering a wide range of study options to students. The benefits of study in USA for indian students are endless. However, some of them are:

Global Academic Standards: One of the biggest advantages of studying in the US is that US education is recognised all over the world. According to QS World Rankings 2023, 202 of the 1,003 top universities are in the United States, making it the country with the highest number of top-ranked universities in the world. Among them, five universities including MIT, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of Chicago are featured in the top 10 universities of the world.

The top courses to study in USA are law, humanities, finance, management, engineering, science, journalism and so on. Classrooms at US universities offer the latest technology and state-of-the-art facilities that ensure an academic environment focused on continuous nourishment of each student.

Research-Oriented Programs: The US is at the forefront of scientific and creative innovation that makes study in USA  for Indian students after 12th all the more popular. Large research institutions in the US offer great exposure opportunities for students to work alongside their professors and apply what they are learning in the classroom to the lab or workshop. Students who study in USA are exposed to advanced technology and research in the area of study, expanding their horizons and knowledge. At universities such as MIT, students are expected to join or initiate research for academic credit, leading to published work, patent applications and great start-up companies. Universities across the US have many research labs where students are encouraged to engage in research in the fields of black hole studies, climate change, neuroscience and so on.

Multiculturalism: American culture is a melting pot and studying in the USA can broaden one's mindset. Study in USA can give students a wide range of opportunities to know and learn about other cultures and exchange ideas with peers from all around the world. The country has always been welcoming towards students belonging to different ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, races and religions. This not only makes a newcomer feel closer to home but also helps them adapt American culture easily.

Emphasis on Internships & Career Advancement: Given the flexible education system in the US, all students including those from outside the country are encouraged to work part-time or internships and broaden their career avenues. Upon graduation, international graduates in the US earn approximately ten times higher than those in other job markets. According to a survey published by the Institute of International Education in 2014, roughly 90% of international alumni found a job within the first six months after graduation. In addition, given that the US houses some of the top companies such as Walmart, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Apple, amongst others, an international student is likely to benefit from the location and opportunities to network with global leaders.

Specialised Support for International Students: Universities in the US are widely popular for the variety of services they offer to support and help overseas students both inside and outside the classroom. They guarantee an effortless transition from their home country to the US through workshops, orientation programs, dedicated offices for international student services that help with English language skills, visa problems, scholarships or financial aid, accommodation, cultural adjustment, career services, mental health issues and so on. 

Flexibility in Declaring a Major: One of the top benefits of study in USA for Indian students after 12th is the academic flexibility they offer. Students in the country are not required to declare their major until the end of the second year of study. This is very much unlike other countries where students need to declare their major at the time of the application process. 

Know About Courses with Best Job Options in USA!

Know All About the Intakes Available in the USA

In the USA, there are three major admission intakes. Here is an overview of the intakes, their duration and importance at US universities and colleges:


Duration of the intake

Importance of the Intake









Only a few universities offer this intake

Courses to Study in USA

The USA is ranked at the top for higher education as the country has several higher educational institutes that offer a wide range of courses in different streams. The educational opportunity in the USA expands across a wide range of unique and specialised courses that are designed to meet the modern needs of companies and industries.  

The courses are available for all students, no matter what their subject interests are. One can easily find a university in the USA offering the course of their choice to study in USA for Indian students after 12th. Students can explore thousands of degree programs offered at all levels of studies in the USA and the cost of study in USA depends on it.  Following is the list of popular streams of studies that be opted by international students to study in USA: 


Computer Science & IT

Business & Management

Applied & Pure Sciences


Health & Medicine

Humanities & Liberal Arts

Social Sciences


Creative Arts & Design

Hospitality & Leisure

Journalism & Media


Education & Training


Agriculture & Forestry



How Much Will it Cost to Study in the US?

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students can vary depending on the level of study or the type of higher education institution. Find the approximate tuition fees as well as room and board costs for different levels of study and types of institutions:

Level of Study/Type of Institution

Approximate Tuition Fees in USD

Annual Room and Board Cost in USD

Bachelor’s Degree

20,000-50,000 per year 


Master’s Degree

30,000-50,000 per year


Doctoral Degree

25,000-55,000 per year


English Language Learning

800-2,000 monthly


Public Community Colleges

8,500 per year


Private Community Colleges

15,500 per year


Public University

30,000 per year


Private University

40,000-45,000 per year


Student Visa Requirements for the US

USA student visas can be divided into three types, distinguished on the basis of their purpose. Let us have a look at the different types of US student visa:

Student Visa Type

Purpose of the Visa

M Student Visa

This visa is issued for the purpose of non-academic or vocational training

F-1 Student Visa

F1 student visas are held by those who are enrolled in US colleges and universities or are studying English at an English language institute.

J Exchange Visa

This visa is dedicated to exchange programs at universities and schools.

Education System in the USA

The education system of the USA offers a rich field of choices for international students. The US higher education system can be broadly classified into three categories:

Level I – Bachelor’s degree or Undergraduate: In the USA, a Bachelor’s degree course is regarded as an UnderGraduate (UG) course. Usually, the duration of the UG courses in the USA is four years. The first two years of study comprises a variety of classes in different subjects. The most common subjects that are being taught in the first two years of UG courses are history, arts, literature, science and social sciences. May international students in the US choose a community college to complete the first two years of UG prerequisite courses. These students obtain an AA (Associate of Arts) degree and then transfer to a four-year university or college. Apart from the above mandatory courses in the UG, a ‘major’ is the specific field of study in which your degree is focused. In order to meet the degree requirements of the major course, you must take a certain number of courses in the chosen field. The major has to be chosen by the beginning of your third year of UG course. One of the unique characteristics of the American education system is that you can change the major course multiple times. In simple words, the American education system is very flexible.

Level 2 – Master’s Degree or a Graduate: International students from only a limited number of countries are allowed to pursue Master’s courses in the US. Usually, the duration of the Master’s courses in America is one year or two years. Most of the master’s courses are merely based on classroom teaching, and each student must prepare a long research paper called Master’s thesis or complete a Master’s project. For admission to a gradation program, applicants are required to sit exams such as GRE or GMAT, LSAT for law, and MCAT for medical programs. Students can even study in USA without IELTS.

Level 3 – Doctoral Degree: Usually, the duration of PhD in America is three years. However, for international students, a Doctorate degree may take up to five or six years to complete. Students can enter Doctoral degree courses with a Master’s degree. The majority of universities in the US enrol new students during the autumn. Therefore, international students can apply for admission during this season.

Related Reads:

How to Apply for Masters in the USA? Job Prospects after Pursuing MS in Business Analytics in the US
Health Insurance for International Students in the US: Benefits, Policies, Facilities, Requirements What is Optional Practical Training? Eligibility, How to Apply & Benefits

Types of Higher Education Institutions in the USA

The US higher education institutions are not organised at the central level but accredited at the regional level by independent bodies.

Here are the five types of higher education institutions to study in USA:

Colleges: Colleges are again divided into three types- community colleges, a college under a university and liberal arts colleges.

Universities: These are institutions offering undergraduate and graduate programs.

Community Colleges: Community colleges do open admissions and are often two-year colleges. Fees charged by community colleges are usually lower than that of private schools.

Liberal Arts Colleges: Colleges focused on the learning of liberal arts are liberal arts colleges in the US. They are usually based on interactive instruction. 

For-Profit Colleges: These are institutions owned by profit and profit organizations.

Curriculum and Degrees Offered in the USA

Undergraduate Degree in the USA

Almost all bachelor's degree programmes can be understood as follows:

Four-Year Programs

Every year, millions of students in the US earn four-year degrees that are offered at over 2,000 colleges and universities. Also known as a “college degree”, an undergraduate degree in the US usually takes four years to complete and includes 120-128 semester credit hours. The four years are called freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years and the curriculum of almost undergraduate programs in the US is based on a liberal arts philosophy. The curriculum includes subjects such as social sciences, history, mathematics, humanities, natural or physical sciences and English composition.

Students are asked to choose a specific field of study or major after they have met the core curriculum requirements. The two types of bachelor’s degrees offered include B.A (Bachelor of Arts) and B.S (Bachelor of Science). However, there are other specialised bachelor’s degrees including Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (B.S.P.A), Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.) and Bachelor of Design (B.Des.)

Graduate Degree in the USA

After completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree, one may continue their learning and receive a graduate education which may lead either to a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Commonly known as “grad school”, a distinction can be made between graduate schools and professional schools that offer advanced degrees in the fields of business, engineering, law, nursing, medicine or engineering.

Master's Degree

Although different types of master’s degrees in the US, the two basic degrees are Master of Arts (M.A) and Master of Science (M.S) which may last one to three years. In general, a master’s degree requires a student to complete six to eight advanced courses along with an intensive study project or a thesis. Some graduate programs may also include internships to offer knowledge and experience in the field of study. The scholarship to study in USA makes the cost of studying in US low.

Doctoral Degree

This may include either an academic PhD, professional edD or Doctor of Education or DBA (Doctor of Business Administration). A doctoral degree in the US prepares students for research scholar or college faculty positions or other such roles. Doctoral coursework usually comprises three to four semesters done in small seminars. Students will then have to convert their original research into a book-length dissertation or thesis.

Professional Degree

US universities also offer professional degrees in a specialised area of study. These include degrees such as LL.M, M.B.A, M.F.A, M.S.W and specialist in education (Ed. S).

Accredited Online College Degrees

These are online college degrees from an accredited online education provider that ensures that a student is earning an actual degree

Want to Know About the US Higher Education System?

Grading Scale in the US

Grading in the USA, based on Grade Point Average (GPA),are letter grades, i.e. A+, A, A−; B+, B, B−; C+, C, C−; D+, D, D−; F; with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest. However, the grading system may vary from one university to another and between systems, disciplines or statuses. Given below is the grading scale followed which is followed for Study in USA: 

Letter Grade


GPA on a 4.0 Scale



4.33 or 4.00





































Best Places to Study in the USA

Home to some top-ranked global universities, Boston is undoubtedly the number one student city in the US. Other popular student cities in the country include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. The rankings of cites to study in USA for Indian students are based on six indicators including student mix, employer activity, affordability, university rankings and affordability and student view, here is the list of top 10 student cities in the US, featured in the QS Student Cities Ranking 2019:

Ranking in the USA

QS World Ranking

Student City in the USA






New York



Los Angeles



San Francisco












Washington DC






San Diego

USA On-Campus Student Life, Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities

The United States is often called the world in one country with people from all over the world adding to the country’s multicultural environment. Student life in the US is a completely different experience primarily due to the independence and adventure US universities have to offer.

On campus, international students usually live in dormitories or residence halls that may be distinguished on the basis of year of study, language, theme-focused housing or more. The usual way of living is sharing rooms which undoubtedly is one of the easiest ways to make friends and adjust to a whole new world.

Many college towns in the States have an amazing nightlife that adds to the fun on weekends. In addition, the US is also popular for live events, festivals and other activities happening across campuses. While study in USA, students can explore new places. Opportunities like these make campus life in the US a one-of-a-kind experience.

Unlike other countries, the US sees a lot of students engaging in on-campus activities and clubs after classes, of which sports and athletics are a huge part. Whether you are an international or a domestic student, joining college sports is not only a way to enjoy and boost your health but to also be actively involved on campus.

US universities also have clubs and organisations looking to welcome new students or volunteers interested in a myriad of extracurricular activities such as theatre, dance, volunteer work, community service, the Student newspaper, debate team and many more. Academic clubs are the most popular student organisations which may include clubs for engineering, aeronautics, English, entrepreneurship, psychology, etc. No matter what your interests are, US universities offer extracurricular opportunities in nearly any and every field.

Related Reads:

Top MBA Colleges in USA with Low Fees Study in USA without IELTS
US vs UK: Which is Better for Indian Students Study in the USA: Know All About Spring (January) 2023 Intake

Health and Support Services for International Students in the US

While the US healthcare system is one of the best in the world, it can be difficult to understand at times as the country does not have a socialised healthcare system. Knowing the health services before coming to study in USA along with the local healthcare system beforehand would help international student save their time and money. 

Healthcare on US University Campus

According to data estimated in 1988, 80% of America’s 14 million students depended on primary health care provided through campus health programs. US college health-service offers low-cost, primary medical care to students on campus. These college health centres provide care for acute illnesses and injuries as well as for continued and chronic illnesses.

Overall, almost all US colleges and universities provide some type of general medical care including basic first-aid, treatment of minor ailments, centres for x-rays, prescription drugs, lab tests and access to specialists.

Off-Campus Healthcare in the US

Much like domestic students, international students are also open to accessing healthcare outside of the campus. They can visit a medical practitioner off-campus, the cost of which may go slightly higher than on-campus health services. Private doctors in the US cater to non-emergency patients through appointments during regular office hours - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

For serious emergencies or need to get a life-threatening ailment treated, an international student can call an ambulance and go to the nearest hospital’s emergency room. This is usually the most expensive health care service, like in most countries.

Health Insurance for International students in the US

For F-1 visa holders, the US government does not mandate the requirement of health insurance. However, having adequate health insurance is considered extremely important.

A lot of colleges and universities in the US offer their own health insurance plans for their students. Studies say that larger US schools have better health insurance plans for international students than smaller institutions. Getting a school-based health insurance plan for non-US students is usually mandatory although it may vary depending upon the school. 

Students sponsored by one of Fullbright’s programs or United States Agency for International Development (USAID) may be offered their own health insurance plans. If that’s not the case, a university’s International Student Office will be available for help regarding the same. 

International students can also look for better health insurance plans specially designed for them, as offered by private organisations. While selecting a plan, one must be mindful of factors such as the premium, deductibles, co-insurance, coverage and more. 

Support for International Students with Disabilities

According to US law, universities and colleges in the country are required to guarantee equal access and reasonable facilities and provisions for all attending students including those with disabilities. 

Having said that, an international student with a disability should have a clear idea of what services are available at the host institution along with the local community where they will be living. Most often, students with disabilities find a local disability organisation that provides them with specific information about health services, accommodation, accessible transport, friendly restaurants and more. 

Usually US institutions have a disability office to support special needs such as extra time allocations on exams, note-taking services, life skills training, a social network and so on. It is advised that students communicate their requirements while applying to the university.

Pre-arrival Support

A lot of US universities give a welcome pack or guide specifically made for international students. The same includes accommodation options, arranging medical insurance, visa requirements, living expenses budgeting, part-time work, campus facilities, online resources, and tuition fee payment among other things. 

Keeping in mind the myriad things that involve studying abroad, a growing number of universities in the US have started introducing mentoring programs upon arrival. This often helps the new students interact with current students, be it through email or face-to-face. 

FAQs on Study in USA in 2023

What is the difference between Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in the US?

In the USA, an "undergraduate" degree is referred to as a two-year degree or a four-year Bachelor's degree which can be pursued after class 12th." Graduate" degrees on the other hand lead to a master’s or doctoral degree of one to two years and can be taken after completing a Bachelor's degree. 

Can I transfer to a US university from a university outside of the US?

Yes, you can transfer to a US university from an Indian university, as well as between US universities. While doing so, you will not lose any of your previous academic credit as the US has a flexible credit system. The recommended timeline for Indian students who wish to transfer to a US institution is similar to that of a prospective first-year student.

How can I find out if a US institution is accredited?

To find out if a US institution is accredited, make sure that the school is officially recognised by an organisation that approves US universities. Unlike other countries, US universities are not considered by the federal government. Instead, they are managed by various regional and national associations and organisations. The country's education agencies, such as the US Department of Education and the Higher Education Accreditation Council, are recognised by various national groups and organisations.

Can I study in the US after 12th?

Yes, international students can study in the US after 12th. Many universities in the US accept the 12th exam as it is the only criterion that is required for admission. Despite the absence of test-blind schools, the admissions process for most US universities still remains the same. Many international students need to pass the ACT and the SAT to be admitted to US universities as the test is being reinstated. There are other requirements also to meet various academic standards.

How much of a study gap is acceptable in the USA?

Generally, it is acceptable for students to take a study gap of one year in the US. This allows them to prepare for the entrance examinations. However, more gaps can also be justified and considered by the universities in the US. Students who dropped off school due to health conditions must show a medical certificate

What are the different intakes to study in the USA?

The different intakes to study in USA are fall intake which starts in August/September, spring intake which begins in January and the summer which initiates in May. Fall intake is the major and competitive intake in USA. Summer intake is less popular among the USA universities and is available for limited programs and colleges

When do you declare a major in the US?

In general, students are expected to declare a major in the US by the end of the 3rd/4th semester or the second year of the course. This allows students to explore different electives and choose the one they are the most interested in after declaring their major. They get ample time for hands-on research before committing to their intended major.

Which English language tests are accepted by US universities?

The English language tests which are accepted by the US universities are TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic and the Duolingo English Test (DET). Students from non-English speaking countries will have to prove their English language proficiency through any one of these tests because the USA is an English-speaking country and the curriculum is designed in English language.

How will I be graded in the US?

You will be graded in the USA based on your overall performance in a given academic year. The grades you earn while studying at a US university are used to calculate Grade Point Average(GPA) which is on a scale of 4.0. The factors which influence the grades in the country are determined by papers, class participation, class attendance, final exams, quizzes, projects and midterms. 

Can international students work in the USA while studying?

Yes, international students in the US can work while studying but with restrictions and in specifc programs like OPT and CPT. However, they would not be allowed to work in the first year of their study program.

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