Short-term programmes in USA - 
Covering 23% of the international students’ market, the USA is, perhaps, the most favored education destination for students abroad. While the country is popular among students planning for postgraduate studies, an increasing number of aspirants are also exploring short-term programmes offered by many of its universities. Two of the major advantages of pursuing short-term programmes in the USA are: First, they are cost effective and, secondly, they have the time advantage letting students to enroll in courses between their full-time degree programmes.

Short-term programmes in USA


Students can pursue short-term programmes in the USA mainly through four platforms. They are:


Certificate programmes: The sought after short-term programmes in the USA are certificate programmes. Certificate programmes are short-term courses that enable a student to pursue a diploma or certificate course with specialisation. They are usually skill-based programmes.


Exchange programmes: Short-term exchange programmes are most popular among international students. Exchange programme may include a year of study abroad or just a couple of sessions.


Summer courses: Most of the top universities in the USA offer summer programmes at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These short-term programmes in the USA last for 3-5 weeks through the summer. They cover a variety of skill-based courses within the university syllabus.


Executive programmes: Majority of the executive level courses are offered under the management department and may be covered within a couple of months to a year. Executive programmes are, generally, open for mid-level professionals with more than 6-7 years of experience.

Below are some of the short-term programmes in the USA offered by some of its top universities:


MIT professional educationMIT professional education:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers 40 short-term professional programmes lasting between 1 and 5 days. Interestingly, around 30% of the students enrolled in these short-term programmes in MIT are from overseas. Also, majority of the students are mid-level technical, business and government professions. MIT offers short-term courses in the following departments:

  • Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical

  • Computer Science

  • Crisis Management

  • Data Modeling and Analysis

  • Design, Analysis, and Manufacturing

  • Energy / Transportation

  • Imaging

  • Innovation

  • Leadership / Communication

  • Radar

  • Real Estate

  • Robotics

  • Systems Engineering

  • Sustainability

  • Tribology

Duration of the course - 1 to 5 days in June, July and August.

Fees: $900 to $1,000 per day or $1,800 to $5,500 per course


When and How to apply?

Applications for summer short-term programmes in the USA are available from January. Aspirants can apply for the course online. International students are required to present proof of English proficiency like IELTS or TOEFL.


stanfordStanford University

Stanford offers over 175 summer short-term programmes in the USA, covering around 35 departments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Summer programmes are, generally, covered over an 8-week period. The Stanford Summer Academic Resource Center (SARC) is comprised of two main programs: Summer Tutor Program and Academic Advising.


Besides summer programmes, the Stanford Graduate School of Business also has a six- week executive programme for mid-level professionals.


Duration of the course- 8 weeks for the summer programme and 6 weeks for the executive programme at Stanford GSB.


Fees: For undergraduate summer programmes, the total expenses covering tuition fees, housing and miscellaneous expenses may run up to roughly $14,000 while for graduate programme, the expenses can be around $16,000.


For the Stanford GSB executive programme, the tuition fees is approximately $63,500 USD.


When and How to apply?

Stanford summer programme:

Applications for the Stanford summer programmes are available online. Summer admissions at Stanford are usually done on a Rolling basis.  Applications open around January and close by May of the same year.


Stanford GSB executive programme:

For the executive programme, applications are available online. Besides the form, aspirants are also required to download and submit a confidential statement completed by the applicant's sponsoring corporate or organizational officer. The applications close by April end and the sessions start in June.


HarvardHarvard University:

Well known short-term programmes in the USA are offered by Harvard. The Harvard summer school offers over 300 short-term programmes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Mainly, these short- term programmes are offered in the following fields:

  • Arts, humanities, & social sciences

  • Business

  • Computer science, maths, and engineering

  • Sciences

  • Foreign languages & literatures

  • Writing & journalism

Some of the short-term courses which are popular among international students are:

  • Judgment and Decision Making

  • Money, Financial Institutions and Markets

  • Financial Accounting

  • Corporate Finance

  • The Art of Communication

Duration of the course - Seven days or three-week sessions


Fees: Around $13000-$15000, including housing and miscellaneous expenses. Fee depends on the number of credits.


When and How to apply?

Registrations open by January of the given year and aspirants are required to create a login id and password to apply. As a student, you will be enrolled full time with 8 credits to be eligible for the F-1 student visa.  Summer school candidates are also required to show proof of English proficiency. Admissions are even offered on a rolling basis, so if there are seats available there is a chance you will be accepted even after the deadlines close.


University of ChicagoUniversity of Chicago:

The University of Chicago offers some of the popular short-term programmes in the USA which last up to 3- 5 weeks in the summer academic sessions. Majority of the short-term programmes are offered at the undergraduate level. It offers 29 subjects for study and most of the programmes are available for international students, too.


Besides the summer short-term programmes, the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business offers executive management programmes in Comprehensive Management, Finance, Leadership and Strategy and Marketing.


Duration of the course: 3- 5 weeks for the summer school programmes and over 3 weeks for the executive level programmes.


Fees: Tuition fee for the summer courses can be between $12,000- $14,000 depending on the subject.


When and How to apply?

Applications for the summer courses are available online. International students have to meet specific English language proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL and apply by April end. Most of the summer session classes begin by June.


john hopkinsJohn Hopkins University:

John Hopkins University is another destination for short-term programmes in the USA. John Hopkins University offers over 240 odd courses, including certificate programmes, across all its departments. John Hopkins certificate courses encompass innovative subjects like Applied Behavior Analysis, Business of Health Care, Climate Change, Energy, Sustainability and International Studies, among others.


Besides certificate programmes, John Hopkins University also offers summer short-term programmes for visiting students both in its Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering.


Duration of the course: The summer courses are held in two terms and usually last 4-5 weeks. Term 1 is held between May to June and term 2 between June to July. The length of the certificate courses depends on the required term credits of the articular programmes.


When and How to apply?

Applications for the summer programmes open in December of the previous year. International students requiring an F-1 Visa will receive an email titled "Request for Information: Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins- Request for I-20 from the admissions office to apply.  The requirements for the summer courses are similar to that of regular courses. Aspirants require the following:

  1. A writing sample

  2. SAT or ACT score

  3. English proficiency test scores

  4. Two letter of recommendations

United States of America Updates and Articles

Questions related to United States of America

Showing 37 out of 37 Questions

I wish to become a Neurosurgeon, but first I wish to practice in the United States or Singapore for half of my career and to spend last half of my career in India. Whether my wish is a good one? Is it possible? Is my decision is correct? Kindly commend on my wish?

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020

Raja, we have been discussing your career and aspirations for a while now and we appreciate that you want to take Career360's opinion on the matter of your career. So by now, you are aware of the fact what it takes to become a neurosurgeon and what it is to clear USMLE, practise as a resident in the US. We also have discussed the life style and the salary part. Now regarding the first half and later half of the career, we only wish we could predict our timeline on this planet. We do not which might be the first half or which might be the later part. But no wish is bad. If you want to achieve something, you should lest you regret for the rest of your lofe. Now to practise in the US, you may have to appear for USMLE, clear the step 1 and then practise as a resident before you can get the license to practise as a full time neurosurgeon. That is a long process that might take good 4-5 years. You study MBBS in India for 50 months and then complete the 1 year rotational internship and it takes you as many as 5 years. And appearing for USMLE and then working as a resident take another 4 years and so 10 years of your life are spent getting a valid license to practise in the US. And then lets say after 5 years you want to move to Singapore, that takes a whole different processing because you need to appear for their license exam. And you work in Singapore for lets say another 5 years and you come back to India. 15 years of your life are spent studying and getting licenses. But the beauty is within 15 years you can actually get license to practise in 3 countries. So you need to take a call. Or how about you finish MBBS in India, move to Singapore to study your MD/MS and plan on moving to the US? That way the transition is going to be smoother.


Is there any age limit to take admission into Ph.D in USA?

lakshita shaan 3rd Apr, 2020
Hey vasu,
The age limit which almost every University demands is 35 years. If anybody is above that they can might miss the chance to get enroll theirselves for phd.
This age is decided because phd is all about researching and writing ,they usually demand people who is also iinvolved in academics and departmental works.
Good luck!

Are Neurosurgeons happy in San Francisco?

Animesh Vats Student Expert 5th Apr, 2020


Well I guess they are because they get very good six figure salary and have a great job security although it's stressing but still they like their job cause they got into it knowing the stress it may carry. Neurosurgery is very much in demand and is a very great speciality in medical field.

I hope my answer helps.

All the best.


Are Neurosurgeons happy in New York?

Manish Singh 2nd Apr, 2020

It will all depend upon the lifestyle and the office hours you put in the work. The number of opd days, OT days and the visit to the wards for rounds. It all affect the free time period for a doctor. In USA,you have to pay tax for the services thus it can be little less than what you make in india


Are US Neurosurgeons rich enough to live a comfortable life in the United States?

Nikki Nair 2nd Apr, 2020

Hello Aspirant

It will totally depend where are you working and what are you getting paid.

As US is anyways costly ,there lifestyle tends to change.Neurosurgeons in Us are paid according to their qualification as well as where they work

According to research

The average income for a neurosurgeon is $775,968

The middle range income is approx $704,170

the lowest paid are $350,000

And the top 10 % of the neurosurgeon get a pay of $1,229,881 per year!

So it totally depends upon your qualification and the place you work if you can have a comfortable life or not


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