How to apply to American Universities?
Updated on Mar 18, 2017 - 10:45 a.m. IST by Mrinalini Batra #United States of America
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The United States is a popular destination for international students as it offers a vast number of academic options and it is always possible to find the one programme that matches your interests. Mostly, students wanting to study in the US go for a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree or a PhD.

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Bachelor’s Degree 


For admission to undergraduate programmes, you are expected to hold secondary school qualifications that would admit you to higher education in your own country. Colleges expect students to have English, Mathematics, Science, one other subject, plus an aptitude test. This is most often the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).


Admissions criteria:

  • Strengths and weaknesses as represented by the applicant’s participation in extra-curricular activities.

  • Performance in admissions tests such as SAT I, ACT and/ or the SAT Subject.

For more information on the test, please check


Master’s Degree
For admission to graduate programmes, again the basic qualification is an undergraduate degree. However, some degrees are often of three years duration like in India while US degrees are of a minimum four years duration. Hence, there are many programmes that will require an additional year of study in a Master’s programmes or the completion of a master’s programmes for a student to be eligible for admission. This is what is commonly referred to as the 16th year requirement!


Admissions criteria:

  • A number of science and arts-based programmes require experience in the area of study you are interested in such as in projects and internships that convey your focus, achievement and dedication.

  • Strengths and weaknesses as represented by the applicant’s participation in extra-curricular and community activities. The universities especially look for leadership qualities.

  • Performance in GREGMATTOEFLIELTSPTEA;  Applications to Business schools demand GMAT scores while those to MS and MA programmes require GRE scores. Some programmes such as the MBA specifically require you to have worked in the industry for a minimum of two years

The research Doctorate (PhD)
One generally applies for admission after the completion of a graduate programme in a related area of study. However, there are PhD programmes that include a Master’s degree and such programmes accept students who have completed their undergraduate education in the field.


Admissions criteria 
It always helps if you can demonstrate your ability to research and present papers. 
Performance in GRE General and often GRE Subject Tests.


The dreaded visa process!
Students need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. The offer of admission to an accredited programme in the US does not guarantee a student visa! Students are usually admitted in the F-1 category. People who will be participating in an exchange visitor programme need to apply for the “J” Visa. The officer who interviews you is highly trained so be alert, answer questions with confidence and support responses with relevant documents. Your visa interview typically lasts for 5 minutes but can go up to 15 minutes! Be forthcoming in the interview. May, June, July, and August are the busiest months in most consular sections. So begin early and be prepared.


Terms you must know

Form I-20 is a government form that is issued by the educational institutes once you are admitted to an approved programme.

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a mechanism for electronic verification of prospective student status. There is a one-time SEVIS fee which is separate from and in addition to the visa application fee.

Documents for the visa interview

  • Your passport (and your old passports)

  • Your application photo

  • The DS-160 barcode page (you will not need the full application)

  • Form I-120

  • The HDFC visa application fee receipts and SEVIS fee receipt

  • VFS appointment letter

  • Final mark sheets and degree certificates

  • Score reports of TOEFL, GRE, SAT and/ or GMAT

  • Acceptance letter

  • Financial documents to show you    can fund your education

Admission Process

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Questions related to United States of America

Showing 19 out of 19 Questions

How to get admission in university to do phd (computer science).How to approach university.Can i do Phd after completion of msc?

Ina 6th Feb, 2020


Hope you're doing well.

Yes, you can do PhD after completion of M.Sc, Even you can do Integrated PhD while perusing your M.Sc. For PhD, you must need to complete your masters in the same area of specialization.

Most Universities/Colleges offer admission based on the score of CET (like UGC NET) or conduct their own entrance test (like JNU) for admission into Ph.D. courses hence students would have to make an application for such exams.

For Reference of colleges here is the link:

Thank you.

All the best for your bright future.


Top Hospitals in the USA which will pay higher for Neurosurgeons and their Salaries?

Sanjay Khandelwal 25th Jan, 2020
It is difficult to name which hospital pays more salary to neurosurgeon in USA, it will depend upon which city you are getting recuited or where you are living. Salary will depend upon the hospital, whether they are big well known hospitals or small in size. It will depend on many factors. So if you can tell me the city i can answer further.

Top cities in the USA where Neurosurgeons are paid higher?

prerna vats 25th Jan, 2020

Hello dear student !

Salary of neurosurgeons is quite good worldwide, especially in USA . In USA  also, the salary differ as per the cities and is different in different cities. The top cities in USA , as per the data, where neurosurgeons paid highest are :

San Jose , California

New York City

Los Angeles



Hope this will help you!

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