US Admission- Know all about admission process - One of the major steps in the US admission timeline is applying for the universities. Once you have found the college of your choice, you will enter the second phase i.e., understanding the numerous ways of applying to your university of choice. However, consider the following questions before making your choice: Is the admission process in the USA different from that of your home country? If so, what is the admission procedure of US universities? What kind of flexibility do US offer in terms of admissions? What are the must know elements of US admission process?


As an aspirant of US based institutions, you first need to understand the broad structure of the admission processes of this most coveted country with respect to academics. The education system of USA has been devised in such a way that it benefits students from various educational as well as social backgrounds. As such, the US has developed a methodical and fairly complex system which makes its slightly difficult to comprehend, especially for international students. However compared to the international education set up, USA offers multiple opportunities even in the application process.


For example: In India, there is just one admission timeline and the process for admission is basically the same. Moreover, a student can apply for admission only when the applications are out on specific dates. However, in USA, an aspirant does not necessarily have to wait for the application process to open for the semester. The flexibility offered by the USA allows the student to apply for the course through three plans - Early admission plan, Regular admission and Rolling admission.


The Regular admission plan follows the same procedure of setting deadlines for admission by universities every year. Therefore, you have to apply within the timeline established for all the semesters i.e Fall, Spring and Summer. Of course, this is the most common admission plan to US universities. On the other hand, as the names suggest, early admission allows an aspirant to apply and fix his/hers admission before Regular admission starts while Rolling admission lets you to apply to your university anytime of the year , provided there are vacant seats.


Below , careers360 explains what are these admission plans and why you, as an international student, should opt for them.


1.    Early admission:

Early admission is an accelerated college application process in the US which lets students to apply to their choice of university early i.e., before the regular admission process. Under this system, students have to apply at the universities in November so that they can be notified about their selection by mid-December. The biggest advantage of early action is that it offers higher acceptance rates to students. It can either be binding or non –binding depending on the decision of the student. An advantage of Early admission is that the applicant does not have to worry about applying to a number of universities when the application season opens and, hence, be saved from the rush.

Early admission can be taken in three ways- Early Action, Early Decision and Single choice early action or Restricted Early action.


a.  Early Action: The Early action is a non-binding application program, which allows the applicant to choose a school other than the one he/she has been accepted to at the time of early admission. Such applicants can apply to other colleges under regular admission plans. Also, while students receive early notification of an acceptance, they are not required to make a decision until the regular May deadline. A major advantage of this system is that students who are not included in the early acceptance list can still be considered for admission with the regular admission candidates. International students can benefit from early action because it gives them more time to prepare for their move to the US. It also gives them more time to compare and arrange for financial aid.


b. Single choice early action: Offered by select institutions like Harvard, Stanford and Yale, the Single choice early action or Restricted Early action is an early admission plan that allows you to apply to only one school on an early action basis while you can apply to other universities on a regular admission plan. However, applicants can apply elsewhere only after they receive the early action result from the universities. Like Early Action, Single-Choice Early Action admission decisions are non-binding. You do not need to attend the school, if admitted. Further, since Single-Choice Early Action applicants have until May to make a decision, it allows applicants to compare offers of admission and financial aid packages from other colleges.


c.  Early Decision:Under the early decision plan, applicants are bound to the university they apply to. Hence, a student who is accepted as an Early Decision applicant is under a binding agreement to attend the university. The biggest advantage of Early decision is that the acceptance rate is higher for early decision than it is for regular admissions. The problem with early decision is that if an applicant fails to attend the college, he stands to lose his enrollment deposit. Also, if accepted, he/she has to withdraw other university applications. The biggest issue is that students have to decide upon the university before receiving a financial aid package- a problem for international students. Another flipside is that a student who is accepted through Early Decision has no way to compare financial aid offers. However, some colleges have two early deadlines, called early decision deadline I and early decision deadline II. They both work the same way, but the second deadline gives you more time to decide whether to apply early.


2.  Rolling admission:

Rolling admission offers students a large window of time to apply to a college or university. Under this system, applications of students are accepted for as long as seats are available in the university. The application window usually opens up in Fall, and may continue through Summer. A benefit of rolling admission is that under this plan universities accept applications as they are sent in. It does not have specific timeline. So, students who might have missed deadline for early or regular admission may apply under rolling admission plan. It also gives time to students to research about the universities without worrying about the deadlines. However, the problem lies in the fact that although there are no application deadlines, there are deadlines for scholarships, financial aid and housing application may make it impossible to get any decent financial aid.


Confused about Spring, Summer and Fall? Click here the admission cycle of US universities


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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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