Study in USA: Before you pack your bags and head to the USA, you must know what the country has to offer you– in terms of education and opportunity to broaden your experience. What would it mean to have a degree from US university on your resume? Would employers pick your resume over others? It would mean that you not only have a tangible degree and certificates but a whole experience summarising who you are. USA is the first choice for majority of international students for studying, and residing in another country in itself is a courageous and life changing experience.

Here, we provide you some of the frequently asked questions by many international students who dream of getting a degree from one of the top universities in the US.


Study in USA— Know all about studying in USA: FAQ

Q: What are the top universities in the USA?
 There are a number of US universities that feature in the top 500 list by the ranking conducted by popular agencies such as:

  • QS World Universities Ranking

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Top US universities ranking 2016-17:


QS World Rank

THE Rank

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



Stanford University



Harvard University



California Institute of Technology






Check to know the top universities in USA.

Q: How to get admission in a US university?
 There are various steps involved while seeking admission to a US university. Here you will find the steps required to make it into a university of your choice.

Step 1: The first step towards US admission is to take the standardized tests —GRE and TOEFL. Every university has a minimum score required to obtain admission. If you plan to get into universities in the US, you will need an average score of 90 in TOEFL and 305 in GRE. However, to study in some of the top US universities, you must have an average score of 100 in TOEFL and 340 in GRE.


Step 2: Once you get good score in the tests, the next step is to research for colleges, courses and start applying. The application timeline generally starts around October– November in majority of the top universities.  There are certain documents you must submit along with the application form:

a)     Academic transcripts

b)     Resume

c)      Letters of recommendation

d)     Test scores

e)     Statement of Purpose


Once you submit the application form along with supporting documents, the university concerned will assess it and take a final call. Until then, you can arrange for college tuition fee and student visa to study in the USA.


Step 3: As an international student, you must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient tuition fee to complete your course at university concerned along with living expenses. After which international students can apply for various scholarships. If you plan to take a loan, you must start the process soon to make necessary arrangements.


Step 4: Once the university offers you admission, you will have to respond by accepting the offer and commit to pay the required fee. The university will then send you the I-20 form essential for visa application.


Q: What are the qualification exams?
The major qualifying exams to get admission in US universities are GRE and TOEFL(if you are applying from a country where English is not the first language). 


Q: What are the popular courses in the USA?
STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects are popular among international as well as domestic students in the USA. However, Psychology, Business Administration, Education, Economics and Political Science are some other popular courses in the education hub.


Q: What are the major scholarships for international students in USA?
There are a number of scholarships for outstanding international students in the US. Some of the major and widely-known scholarships are:

Fulbright Program: This program provides opportunities to graduates and young professionals from their native country to study, conduct research or teach their native language in the US.

Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship: It is awarded to outstanding candidates who want to undertake postgraduate study in selected fields like Education, Human Resource Management, Public Health and Communication, among others. The scholarship covers the entire tuition fee and living expenses in the country.

Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to applicants from developing countries with professional experience. The scholarship is also awarded to Japanese citizens     who are mid-aged working professionals. Joint Japan scholarship covers tuition fee, monthly stipend, round trip flight fare and travel allowance.

Q: How to get US student visa?
If you are going for full-time undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral studies in the USA, you have to apply for F-1 visa. Here are some major points you must keep in mind before heading to the US:

  • The Embassy or Consulate in your application form must be the same as the Embassy or Consulate that you choose for the interview

  • You must upload your passport size photograph that is not older than six months

  • You must answer all questions in English language only, except in the place where you are asked to provide your name in your native alphabets

  • It is important for you to complete the application form in 20 days. If you do not work on the application for more than 20 days, your session will expire.

  • Once you complete the DS-160 visa application, it will generate an alpha-numeric barcode confirmation page. Take a print out of this page and keep it safe as it will be required for the visa interview.

  • After you print the barcode application form, hit the “Back” button and choose the option of sending the form to your email to have a backup.

The US student visa application checklist must include:

  • 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

Q: What is the cost of studying in USA?
USA, being one of the top destinations to study abroad, is also one of the most expensive study abroad destinations. For instance, the estimated cost of studying MBA in the USA is around $50,000 per year, whereas the cost of living depends on the type of accommodation you choose in the country. There are various types of accommodations such as Dormitories, On-campus accommodation, Off Campus accommodation and Homestay (living with a host family).

The average cost of dormitories is $600 to $1000 per month. If you are planning to live with a host family, the expense will be around $400 to $700. If you want to go for sharing campus apartment, it will cost around $400 and if you want a single occupancy apartment at the university it will cost $800. You are likely to spend minimum $300 to $600 approximately per month for a rented apartment.


Q: What are the work-during-study opportunities?
International students are allowed to work 20 hours a week. The minimum wage is between $7 and $8.


Q: How to get work after study visa in the US?
In the US, the international students holding F-1 student visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which allows them to stay back for one year after completion of the course, provided they work in their field of study. Students who hold a degree from the US government’s designated list of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects can extend their OPT by another 17 months which allows them to work in the US for 29 months. During this period, students can find a permanent job and apply for long-term visa.


 Stay tuned to for more news and updates on studying in USA


Also Read:

Things to know before studying in USA

Study in US - Admission Cycle

Work opportunities while studying in US

Explore Country

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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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