All about study in U.S.A


Studying in United states of America is a such a dream for Indian students that 'study in America' is study abroad most of the times. A leading nation in all aspects, it provides ample opportunities for Indian and global students to accomplish study in their subjects of interest. This article gives all the possible information about study in U.S. targeting the graduate and doctoral(PhD) programs

Actually study in U.S.A can be broadly seen as two levels, one is undergraduate level and the other is graduate level. It is hard to deal with both levels in one article, hence I restrict myself to the graduate level studies in USA in this article and ofcourse it is more important ( graduate level) and very few go at undergraduate level.

Graduate studies in USA


Graduate study in USA includes all the courses that you can take up being a graduate that is being a bachelor degree holder and does not mean graduating there. So obviously after bachelors it is a masters degree but there are also several options like doctoral programs, English language programs e.t.c. So mainly we can think about masters degrees and doctoral programs/PhDs. Next we shall lookup on what are the areas/subjects of study. These are broadly not exactly
  • Accounting
  • Agriculture
  • Advertising
  • Art
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Business administration
  • Chemistry
  • Communications
  • Computer science
  • Dance/theatre
  • Design
  • Distance learning
  • Education
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English literature
  • Finance and banking
  • Geology - earth sciences
  • Health sciences
  • History
  • Home economics/nutrition
  • Hotel management
  • International business
  • International relations
  • Journalism
  • Library sciences
  • Marine sciences
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics and stat
  • Medical technology
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Philosophy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Physics
  • Political sciences
  • Psychology
  • Social work
  • Sociology- Anthropology
  • Speech therapy
  • Teaching English as second language

  • We shall look at The hierarchy of the US educational system
    Kindergarden-->elementary school-->Middle school-->High school-->4year college(or)university-->Graduate studies
    More than 1700 universities and institutions in US offer graduate studies that I mentioned above (masters or PhD). Usually not always master's degree two years of study and a phD requires additional 2/3 years depending on the subject and institution.


    Basic requirements for US graduate study


    In the united states every institution sets its own criteria but generally it is as follows

    Academic eligibility Bachelor's degree with good grades in the field of study. For some master degrees like MBA, work experience is an advantage and sometimes a requirement.

    Financial resources You must plan the total cost of education for the entire period of your studies. General estimates are as follows.
    For tuition fee
    Masters in Public universities- US$10,000 to 20,000
    Maters in private universities-US$20,000 to 35,000
    PhD s are usually paid a stipend. Apart from these you need to plan the living expenses which are variable from place to place. But don't worry there are lot of fee waiver schemes for meritorious students at the beginning of the course or with the performance over there. You are also offered teaching assistant ships 20 hrs a week within the university campus. Also you can apply for the US govt loans.

    English language skills Excellent English skills are required for the successful completion of higher studies in US. For this one needs to clear exams like TOEFL or IELTS.


    Choosing the right graduate program in US


    You should consider your skills and passion. Family background is also important. Whether they can support you for the entire study and what they are expecting by the end of study. For example if you have any family relations or friends at your place of study, you can manage lodging. In total the types of master degrees are
    *M.A., M.S,J.D, MBA, MSW, M.Ed , M.D etc
    For choosing a right school, consider the following...
    Geographical region of your interest
    Teaching methodology
    Accreditation of the college
    Admission requirements of the university
    Financial aid

    Standardised exams for graduate programs in US


    GRE(graduate record exam)- General This test is to estimate your English language skills, reasoning and analytical writing. The score is valid for 5 years. Score is in the range of 0-170 in each reasoning and verbal regions, a total of 340. For AW 0-6 points. Score around 300 is mostly sufficient.

    GRE Subject test This is not usually required unless you are going for a very competitive field and school. Score range 200-900. Score validity 5 years.

    GMAT It is usually required for admission into MBA in competitive business school. It also measures the same 3 parameters as GRE. Score range 200-800. Score validity is 5 years.
    TOEFL Test of English as foreign language. It is required for all the non native English speaker. Score range 0-120. >>80 is usually required. But competitive schools require above 100.

    The application process for US graduate programs


    After you decide the school and the program, you should seek all the information regarding the same. You should start the process atleast months before the admission into the program. Most of the applications are available on the websites of the schools and can be submitted online or through post. Usually following are required to submit during the application.
    1) Filled application form
    2) Official transcripts from your college in India
    3) Standardised exam results like GRE , GMAT and TOEFL
    4) Personal statement/ essays
    5) Financial statement
    6) LORs (letters of recommendation)
    7) Financial aid application for scholarship seeking applicants
    8) Application fee usually around 50-100 US$. But variable

    After you receive your acceptance letter, reply within time your decision. Take the I20 form that you receive from the university and apply for a student Visa. For this go to a US embassy or consulate. You should also fill a housing application form that is required by the school . Attend a pre-departure orientation program.

    Types of US student Visa
    F1 : Academic and language students where the course length is >18hrs a week
    M1 : Technical and vocational students
    J1 : Study exchange students

    us visa guide

    Usually for fall intake (september) you need to start the process the previous nov-december. But some schools accept upto Jan-feb also. One thing is sure that we should prepare in advance with well orientation, else we will lose an academic year.


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