The United States of America (USA or U.S.A.), commonly referred to as the United States (US or U.S.), America, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.71 million square miles (9.62 million km2) and with around 318 million people, the United States is the world's third or fourth-largest country by total area and third-largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

The United States is a developed country and has the world's largest national economy. The economy is fueled by an abundance of natural resources and high worker productivity.


Studying in the United States has many advantages. There is a wide range of choices and opportunities, and you should have all of the information you need to make a decision that is right for you.

The first level of higher education is undergraduate study; beyond an undergraduate degree a student may choose to receive a graduate education, also known as postgraduate work.

Under Graduation:

Students who have completed high school and would like to attend college or university must attend what is referred to as an undergraduate school. These are schools that offer either a two-year degree (called an associate degree) or a four-year degree (called a bachelors degree) in a specific course of study. That course of study is called the major. While most schools that offer a four-year degree will admit students who have not yet chosen a major, all students are required to select (or declare) a major by their second year at school. Students who complete an associate degree can continue their education at a four-year school and eventually complete a bachelor degree.


Students who have obtained a bachelor's degree can continue their education by pursuing one of two types of degrees. The first is a Master's degree. This is usually a two-year degree that is highly specialized in a specific field. Students are sometimes admitted to a master's degree program only if they have a bachelor's degree in a closely related field. However, there are many exceptions to this, such as with students who want to pursue a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree. Students who want to advance their education even further in a specific field can pursue a doctorate degree, also called a PhD. A PhD degree can take between three and six years to complete, depending on the course of study chosen, the ability of the student, and the thesis that the student has selected. The thesis is a very intensive research paper that must be completed prior to earning the degree. It is always required of students pursuing a PhD, and may sometimes be required of students pursuing a master's degree.

Traditionally these programs are undertaken on campus, however there is a growing number of accredited online college degrees that are appearing for students from all around the world. They can offer some fantastic benefits to international students.

Additionally, some other non-degree options exist outside of the traditional university setting which students should explore as another option.


A Bachelor degree with a 65% average or overseas equivalent is required for the Master of US Studies.

Students without a credit average may be admitted to the Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate. Applicants without a Bachelor degree may be considered for the Graduate Certificate with three years full-time employment in a relevant field.

Students in the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma courses may articulate into the Master of US Studies. Students who complete the Master of US Studies may apply to do the advanced degree.

All internationally educated students whose native language is not English are required to submit proof of English Language Proficiency regardless of citizenship and/or U.S. residency.

  • TOEFL: A minimum score of 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), or 80 (Internet based) is required for admission consideration. Generally, applicants should achieve at least 20 in all TOEFL subscores on the internet-based exam. When requesting official TOEFL scores, please refer to institutional code 4842 and department code 02. TOEFL score reports older than two years from the date of application are not acceptable for DU admission consideration.
  • Academic IELTS: A score of 6.5 or higher is required to be considered for admission. Each individual band score must be 6.0 or higher. IELTS score reports older than two years from the date of application are not acceptable for DU admission consideration.


There are majorly two admission sessions. These are commonly known as Fall and Spring.

Fall session begins in the month of August while the admission process for the same commences in the month of November of the previous year.

Another session is Spring which begins in the month of January. You need to begin with the admission process by the month of July of previous year for admissions.

Very few universities do offer admission for Summer intake which begins in May-June, but this intake will have limited options in terms of university and programs.

Popular Universities:

The most popular U.S. universities for foreign students are located on the coasts and in the Midwest. Here are the top 10 destinations for international students, along with their enrollment numbers:

  • University of Southern California (9,269)
  • University of Illinois (8,997)
  • New York University (8,660)
  • Purdue University (8,563)
  • Columbia University (8,024)
  • UCLA (6,703)
  • Northeastern University (6,486)
  • University of Michigan (6,382)
  • Michigan State University (6,209)
  • Ohio State University (6,142)

Scholarship Opportunities

The Scholarships in USA & the financial aid-fee waivers that are awarded to International Students are merit / need based. A candidate with strong academics, good performance on standardized exams & extra-curricular achievements would be eligible for scholarship awards or any financial assistance.

There are various types of Scholarships:
  • Fulbright Scholarship
  • Partnership for learning undergraduate studies (PLUS) Program
  • International Fellowship program (IFP)
  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
  • Dumbarton Oaks Trustees for Harvard University

Education & Living costs:

US Universities are either public or private institutions. Thus, public school tuition expenses are based on nonresident costs which are less expensive than private universities. It differs from university to university ranging from public cost $ 5000 a year to $ 30000 per annum for private institutes. Whereas, living expenses come to around $10,000 a year.

The course fee & living expenses are different for undergraduates, post graduates & for further studies. It even differs on account of the miscellaneous stream one goes for. Like, the average total cost per year for an undergraduate in a science stream comes to around 14,730 Pound Sterling while a postgraduate will have to bear the expense of 14,800 Pound Sterling in the same stream.

As an Indian student intending to study in the U.S.A., you will need to acquire a U.S.A. student visa from a U.S. Embassy near you. The U.S. Embassies in India are located in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai.

The type of visa granted to you will depend on the purpose of your visit to the U.S. For academic purposes, students will need to obtain an F-class U.S.A. student visa. These visas cover students planning to pursue full-time degree programs at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

When interviewing for your U.S.A. student visa, make sure not to arrive earlier than 15 minutes before your appointed time, and bring the following documents with you:

  • Valid passport and previously issued passports
  • Recent passport size photograph with a white background (50mm x 50mm)
  • DS-160 confirmation page with barcode
  • HDFC visa application fee receipts
  • VFS appointment letter
  • SEVIS receipt and I-120

What are the requirements for admission to U.S. colleges and universities?

Each institution has its own requirements for admission, so it is very important to carefully read information available on the school’s website or the directions on the application form before you begin. Most schools will require some or all of the following documents: an application form that includes important information about you, certified copies of all academic records (diplomas, transcripts, etc.) in both the original language and translated into English, standardized test reports (for example, the TOEFL and/or the SAT, GMAT, or GRE), a personal essay or statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and evidence of financial resources to pay for the education or a financial aid application. In addition, most schools charge an application fee

What tests must I take to be considered for graduate admission?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Almost all U.S. institutions require international applicants whose native language is not English to demonstrate their English language proficiency by taking the TOEFL before they are considered for admission. A new, Internet-based version of the TOEFL test (TOEFL iBT) is being introduced beginning in 2006. The TOEFL iBT score assesses speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE test is required for students to enroll in master's or doctoral programs in the arts, sciences, humanities, and engineering fields. It consists of two independent tests, the General GRE and the Subject GRE. The General Test is a computer test that measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing skills developed over a long period of time and not necessarily related to a particular field of study. The Subject Tests are designed to measure knowledge and understanding of subject matter related to graduate study in specific fields and also to assess whether a student has the prerequisite background to undertake graduate study in a particular field. Since most graduate departments within a university establish their own entrance requirements, including tests, you should write directly to the universities in which you are interested to find out whether the Subject GRE is required and in which subject.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): The GMAT is designed for business schools to assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. It does not test specific knowledge attained through college course-work or achievement in a particular subject area. It measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills developed over a long period of time.

How long does it take to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees?

Most undergraduate programs require four years of study and in some cases give credit for time spent studying in one's home country. Master's degrees typically require two years of study, awarded after two years of study. PhDs usually require at least three years of study and a lengthy dissertation