USA: Application Procedure

Published On: 03 Oct 2008

 | Last Updated On: 19 Jun 2013

The application process in foreign universities can be confusing and getting all relevant information is often quite time-consuming. It is very important for students to read all application procedure-related information on the official websites of the institutes they intend applying to. You need to start planning and preparing your application several months ahead of the submission deadlines to avoid any confusion and mistakes. Make a list of all the required documents and ensure that you have them all in hand. If not, start working on obtaining them; you need to have an idea as to when your application packet will be complete and ready for dispatch. Most students underestimate the time required for the application process. To avoid last minute rush and all the stress that comes with it we suggest you follow the application timeline provided by the university of your choice. 

Below are a few application requirements that are general to all foreign universities.

Academic Records

  • Your academic record is one of the most important deciding factors in securing admission to a college abroad. Most schools require you to have a reasonably good academic record, especially for programs and courses offering a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Each university has for its programs its own minimum requirements, which are flexible depending on the candidate’s profile. Universities in the USA have their own marking and evaluation systems, which are considerably different from the Indian system. They follow the GPA (Grade Point Average) system which is based on a 5-point scheme – A, B, C, D and F. It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian system of grading to the American Grade Point Average system or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate.
  • You may attach an explanatory note from your college to indicate your rank in your class and/or university, along with the number of students in the class and the number of colleges and students in the university.
  • You may also provide any other information or documents that you feel may help you in the admission process.
  • A student applying for graduate courses (MBA, MS etc.) is required to submit an official transcript (mark-sheets) from each of the colleges/universities attended after secondary school, with complete details of the subjects/credits for each year, including descriptions (type and mode) of the course such as correspondence, diploma etc.
  • Most universities ask for the transcript (mark-sheets) to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended.
  • Some universities may ask for more than one copy of the transcript. If the transcripts are in a language other than English, they must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university.

Standardized Tests

Many courses and universities in the US require you to take a standardized test such as GRE and GMAT along with an English proficiency test like TOEFL, TWE or TSE.

English Proficiency Tests

  • TOEFL: This test is mandatory for international students applying to a graduate course in the US. The minimum score required by most universities for admission is 570 in the paper-based test or 230 in the computer-based test.
  • TSE: This test is important if you intend to apply for a teaching assistantship. Though many universities don’t mention it, it is advisable to take this test if you are looking for a teaching assistantship.

Other Tests

Most programs require you to take specific standardized tests and there is a certain minimum that you have to score to get an admission: The various tests are:

  • GMAT, for graduate courses in Management
  • GRE, for graduate courses in fields other than Management
  • LSAT, for admission to law schools
  • USMLE, for admission to medical colleges

Work Experience Details

A number of professional and vocational courses require applicants to have relevant work experience. For instance, many MBAs or master’s courses in information studies require at least a couple of years’ work experience. Most Australian universities are pretty strict about this. A detailed résumé is an important part of your application. It should include all information of professional work experience along with details such as positions held, achievements and range of work.

Letter of Recommendation

Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part in your admission, especially in courses that earn you a master’s or doctoral degree. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to.

  • It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such information. The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake.
  • Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may request your author to give concrete examples that show your qualities and help your case.
  • Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person giving the letter of recommendation. Letters that do not give enough information can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.
  • Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your application as they increase your chances of getting admission.

Statement of Purpose

The personal essays and/or statement of purpose play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual.

This section is a chance to distinguish you from other suitable candidates and hence must be treated as an opportunity to market yourself. A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal interests and career goals. Some courses such as Business Management will have their own essay questions and format. Others may ask for a résumé or reasons for applying to that particular course.

Financial Support

  • You must submit a financial aid application if you desire financial help for your graduate studies. Financial assistance for non-US citizens is very limited.
  • Evidence of financial support is required for universities to issue documents needed for the visa application. Although it is a requirement for the application, it is usually not taken into consideration to grant admission.
  • Most universities make their admission decisions without regard to the source and amount of financial support. You would, however, be required to submit documentation of your family’s financial resources to help schools assess your need.
  • Most universities have their own financial aid form, which you would have to complete. You would also be required to submit a bank statement demonstrating your financial capacity to support your education. Some US state institutions offer tuition waivers to international students in return for some type of educational contribution.

Interviews

Interviewing prospective candidates is getting common in the US admission structure. A few universities may take your interview to know you better. The interview could be with a college or third-party representative, or even an alumnus of the college. The interview is either a simple telephonic interview or a face-to-face chat. Interviews are usually informal and more of an opportunity to exchange information. The interviewer will try to judge your abilities and interests.

Obtaining Funds/Financial Aids

  • In many universities graduate departments offer teaching and/or research assistantships to graduate students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree, particularly in engineering.
  • Assistantships usually involve a tuition award and a salary in return for teaching or research duties. Every school has a limited number of openings for assistantships based on the amount of funding allocated. As a result, such scholarships are merit-based; they are given out based on academic record and are thus competitive.
  • It is individual departments at a university that generally control funds. It always helps to write directly to the department to inquire about funding. Students who are research oriented or have published papers in a particular field should contact professors working in that field. By contacting professors in advance and building a rapport with them, you can greatly enhance your chances of getting aid.
  • Unfortunately, there are many deserving students who do not get aid along with admission. If you are one of them and plan on joining anyway, we strongly recommend that you arrive at the campus a few days prior to registration. This will give you an opportunity to personally talk to the professors and sell your skills. Professors usually have funding available for various projects and you may be able to find something that matches your skill set.
  • We also strongly recommend that you don’t restrict yourself to your particular department. There are several opportunities in other departments, particularly for students with strong computer skills. You have to be aggressive and persistent in your approach. Although there is no guarantee that you will get financial aid, it is well worth the try. Always remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

MBA funding

The story is very different for MBA programs. There are very few MBA schools that provide any assistantship to international students. There is no assistantship available in private schools. Some state schools receive funding for projects and thus provide some opportunity for students to receive aid. However, if you have skills that you can sell, we would recommend that you try obtaining aid from other departments (Engineering, for instance) even if you are applying for MBA. It’s a long shot, but you have nothing to lose.

Get to know about every financial aid opportunity in the university or college you wish to apply to. Do a thorough research on the guidelines and application procedures to avoid mistakes. Before you apply, be armed with the knowledge of all the academic and funding choices you have. A mistake in the application can cost you your dream … a dream of studying in the US.

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Jithin Antony : hi sir i m pursuing b.pharm in PSG college of pharmacy and goin to complete in August 2012.
i want to study further from usa and want to do ms in pharmacology so please guide which exam should i attempt n what is the right time to attempt it.

lizy agrawal : hello sir,
I have completed MA in psychology in 2010.nw i wannna go for Phd from USA,how can i apply plz guide me.....

vamsi : hi i am completed the diploma and i want to do aeronautical engineering in usa plz kindly forward me the procedure

kamil shah : hi this is kamil shah i have done graduation i want to do mba in us so plz tell me how to do

priscilla ghazes : hi friends i have completed and wish to study medicne abroad ps. tell me the procedure.

Abhineet : Hi frnds.. I've completed Class 12th and wish to study engineering abroad.. Kindly forward me the procedures..

Rajinder singh gahlyan : Hi Dear frinds try & agen try
Rajinder Singh

santhosh : i am santhosh completed btech in this year 2010 i hv scored 87 in toefl so can i ggo to u.s wid this toefl scr and can u prefer me some of the unversvites
plz my email id is santhosh_chow44@yahoo.com

NAVEEN : helo this is naveen .i just completed my 12th...i mean intermediate with A+ grade... i wish to study engineering in abroad ...in USA... so kindly mailed me the college,fee structure and how to join in that colleges detaily... mail me on naveenroyal.roddick@gmail.com

Rambabu gopisetti : ramu how to apply the gre & ielts my email id rambabu_gopisetti678@rediffmail.com

Rambabu gopisetti : Iam ramu completed in B.Tech 2009 how apply the ielts. fee detils. gre fee details

suresh : Dear sir i m suresh panchal from india i m recently compaleted my MBA with FINANCE. after that i want to go USA for mor study. so o request you sir please send me all procesure that has been for going to USA...please send me my on mail ID.

Mohammed layeeq moinuddin : hi am mohammed layeeq,i have done my graduation b.com computers,now i want to do post graduation in USA.so tell me please the rules and regulations to get admission.what will be the correct time for applying ?plz reply to my email id layeeq_h@yahoo.com

chirag jain : i m pursuing mba in marketing and international business from greater noida and goin to complete in june 2011.
i want to study further from usa and want to do ms in marketing or international business so please guide which exam should i attempt n what is the right time to attempt it.

jogireddy : hi!! i hav done B.Sc,B.Ed.i want to apply for an animation course in USA. please guide me how to go about the procedure and which are he universities teaching 2d and 3d animation. please mail contact me on jogireddy9@gmail.com

Manasi Wagh : hi!! i hav done my interior designing diploma after 12th...i want to apply for an animation course in USA. please guide me how to go about the procedure and which are he universities teaching 2d and 3d animation. please mail contact me on mastanimator2010@gmail.com

MOHD YOUSUF ALI : Hi! iam H.M YOUSUF ALI pursuing B.Tech final year,after that i decide to do M.S in U.S.So kindly request you to plz guide me what type of courses that i have to doto reach U.S.My B.Tech is going to complete in 2011(insha Allah).Plz guide me with all the comfortables.My contact no:+91 9700528419 and E-Mail:hm_engineer786@yahoo.com

Gujjula praveen : am dng my b.tech 3rd yr after that planing to do ms in us so what are the requirements mainly to go

Patel Kaushal : i will complet my B-pharm in november 2010. and i want to take admission in M.S. so please replay.

Hrishikesh Nath : im going to complete my btech deg. course in the yr. 2011, i want to go abroad for higher studies ... anything related to the nanotechnology area, please someone guide.... my email address_ johnhrishi@gmail.com

swathiravula : i completed my btech and i am planning to do ms i dono which course to study and please guide me regarding the courses for ms in us

PRAVIN SHIVAJI GHARGE : I am working as lecturer in engg. college. my educational qualificationis M.Sc(electronics).Now i want to do phd in usa, so please guide me. How can i get admission for phd? What should i do? plz help me, my emailid is ravingharge196@yahoo.co.in

shreyas jagtap : i hav jus passed tenth n i will b doin 12th in india n thn i want to do engg in usa
wt shud i do ?
plz help.......email me at jshreyas786@gmail.com

Lovsy Shine Abraham : my self shine, and currently am doing my b.sc plant biotechnology, 3year course. if i want to get an admission in us or u k , what should i do .. what are the rules and regulations to get admission for post graduate courses in best universities. am doing my 3rd year now, what will be the correct time for applying?

Shivraj Rameshrao Sonawane : Hi I have done MSc in computer science and now I wanted to MS from any of university from USA so what should I do now?

tejaswaroop : Teja: hi i have done by B.sc. Do i have to do one more year regular course to do MS in USA? Or can i do woithout also in the desired universities?

GIFTSON DANIEL : hey i m a student of 12th. I wish to do aeronautical engineering. please reply me soon

anjani shruthi.bonala : i want 2 study M.S in abroad.help me for this

manju nath.s.hedage : hey dudes i wan 2 study engg abroad n i only applied 4 c.e.t exm of karnataka so plz tell me wat should i do ..........................................

Mouriya : hi right now i am doing my BSc COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY. i want to do MS in USA. can you send me procedures how to apply for exams and give few tips about courses there.

Nandita Sanyal : Hi Iam greencard holder. I am M.D. in Ob. Gy. Iwant to appear for licence exam of U.S.A.

PAYAL PANIGRAHI : hey plz reply m waiting....

PAYAL PANIGRAHI : plz reply to my email id -payal_123p@rediffmail.com

PAYAL PANIGRAHI : heloo i m a student of 11 class cbse pattern.
looking to do mbbs abroad .so kindly reply to my querries
how to apply in your university what are the requirements.what is the fee structure.and aslo about the hostel fee

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