Admission procedure To Study In USA

Intakes to Study in the USA

The admission window in the United States opens thrice in a given year - Fall, Spring and Summer. It is, however, important to keep track of application timelines of the US universities that you have shortlisted for your higher education. It is also advised that you start researching your options at least 12 to 18 months before the academic year commences.

Here’s more about the three admission cycles that international students can choose from in order to apply to universities in the US:

Fall Semester

This is indeed the most preferred intake in the US, which usually starts in late August and ends in December or January. Applications are generally accepted between September and October of the previous year. 

Spring Semester

The Spring semester in the US begins in the month of January and ends in May. Although not as popular as the Fall/ September intake, the Spring intake also sees a good number of international applications every year. 

Summer Semester

The Summer intake usually begins in May with a limited number of programmes in specific areas of study.

Note: The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was marked by a shift towards online learning for newly admitted students. However, most universities in the US were successful in beginning the Fall semester 2020 as planned, with the introduction of the hybrid model of instruction- a blend of online and on-campus learning.  

Also Read: US Still the Most-Preferred Study Abroad Destination for January 2021 Intake: Survey

Application Process to Study in the USA

While applying to US universities, you should be mindful of certain important factors, as mentioned below:

Application Process to Study Bachelor’s in the US

Eligibility Criteria to Study Bachelor’s in the US

An Indian student applying for a Bachelor’s degree should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must have completed 10+2 from a recognised board of education, meaning he/she must have completed 12 years of study.

  • Must hold good grades in the previous academic study (12th standard) that are equivalent to the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for entry to the selected degree.

  • The minimum GPA for undergraduate study in the US is 2.50.

  • Must have high English language proficiency, with at least 61 to 89 in TOEFL, or equivalent.

Note: The eligibility criteria may vary from institution to institution. 

General Documents Required to Study Bachelor’s in the US

Here are the general admission requirements that you should possess if you are applying for a Bachelor’s degree in the US:

Educational credentials: Education credentials would include secondary/high school transcripts which are certified copies of your educational background and grades. Although it may vary from one institution to another, many ask for an original transcript sent by your secondary/high school, along with translations into English.

Standardized test scores: To assess your English proficiency level, scores of tests such as the TOEFL and IELTS. You will also have to appear for the American College Testing (ACT) or SAT Reasoning test in order to determine your readiness for college/ university admission.

Recommendation letters: Every institution that you are applying to will also require recommendation letters from the head or principal of your school, school counselor, personal tutor, or teachers. They must write about your work and accomplishments along with your potential to stand out during your study in the States.

Essay/personal statement: An essay or personal statement shall include a writeup on all your interests, goals, strengths and reasons as to why you want to take up the particular programme. 
Financial Proof: When coming to the States for higher education, you would also have to produce financial evidence showing that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living costs and more.

Application Process to Study Masters in the US

Eligibility Criteria to Study Master’s in the US

To study MS in the US, you must fulfil the following admission conditions:

  • Must have completed 16 years of previous education (10+2+ four year degree; 10+3 year diploma+3 year degree; 10+2+3 year degree + 2-year masters)

  • GPA in the previous study should be minimum 3.00 to 3.25, or equivalent, on a 4.0 scale.

  • Must have high English language proficiency, with at least 78 to 100 in TOEFL, or equivalent.

Note: The eligibility criteria may vary from institution to institution. 

General Documents Required to Study Master’s in the US

Here are the general admission requirements that will be required if you are applying for a Master’s degree in the US:

Personal Data Form: Make sure that your personal information on all the required documents is consistent. There should be no difference between those documents. 

Financial Proof: When coming to the States for higher education, you would also have to produce financial evidence showing that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living costs and more.

Resume/CV: Many graduate programmes such as the MBA or MS in Business Analytics ask for an updated resume/CV as they demand prior work experience in the field.

Statement of Purpose (SOP): An SOP should give a context of who you are, why you want to study the programme, what are your interests, skills, strengths, how you would be a good match for the programme, and so on. 

Transcripts: Your transcripts is the list of courses you have completed in your undergraduate studies and the scores you have obtained in the same. 

Letters of Recommendation: Ask past employers, or professors to write letters of recommendation for you, vouching for your capabilities, skills, strengths and how you could value the concerned department.

Also Read: Joe Biden’s Victory May Attract More Indian Students to the US

Entrance Exams Required to Study in the USA

Students aiming to study in the USA must clear the following entrance exam(s) depending on the course and university requirement.

Entrance Exams Required to Study Bachelor’s in the US

English Proficiency Tests Admission Tests
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) SAT Reasoning Test
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) American College Testing (ACT)
PTE Academic Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Duolingo English Test -

Entrance Exams Required to Study Master’s in the US

English Proficiency Tests Admission Tests
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
PTE Academic -
Duolingo English Test -

Also Read:

IELTS or TOEFL? Which is Better for Study Abroad? IELTS Academic vs IELTS General
SAT vs. ACT: Which One is Right For You? All You Need to Know About GRE General Test at Home
Preparation Tips for GMAT Online Exam Mistakes You Should Never Make While Taking Tests like GMAT and GRE

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