Higher Study in USA

1. Introduction

Education in the USA is valued everywhere in the world. Some of the world’s top educational institutions are in the USA. Students who come to study in the USA can choose from over 3800 universities and colleges that facilitate several educational programs. There are both public and private universities that are well recognized for their excellence in providing education in the USA.

Education in all streams is available. Since multiple options are available students, who study in the USA, can focus on specific areas of their interest. The advantage of obtaining an education in the USA is that they can move to another university, city, or state, and can change fields at any time during their study often without wasting or losing any credits.

2. Education System

First Level: Undergraduate - "The American system is much more open. In Hong Kong, you just learn what the teacher writes on the board. In America, you discuss the issues and focus more on ideas." A student who is attending a college or university and has not earned a bachelor’s degree is studying at the undergraduate level. It typically takes about four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. You can either begin your studies in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a community college or a four-year university or college. During your first two years of study, you will generally be required to take a wide variety of classes in different subjects, commonly known as prerequisite courses: literature, science, the social sciences, the arts, history, and so forth. This is so you achieve a general knowledge, a foundation, of a variety of subjects prior to focusing on a specific field of study. Many students choose to study at a community college in order to complete the first two years of prerequisite courses. They will earn an Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree and then transfer to a four-year university or college. A “major” is the specific field of study in which your degree is focused. For example, if someone’s major is journalism, they will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. You will be required to take a certain number of courses in this field in order to meet the degree requirements of your major. You must choose your major at the beginning of your third year of school. A very unique characteristic of the American higher education system is that you can change your major multiple times if you choose. It is extremely common for American students to switch majors at some point in their undergraduate studies. Often, students discover a different field that they excel in or enjoy. The American education system is very flexible. Keep in mind though that switching majors may result in more courses, which means more time and money.

Second Level: Graduate in Pursuit of a Master’s Degree - Presently, a college or university graduate with a bachelor’s degree may want to seriously think about graduate study in order to enter certain professions or advance their career. This degree is usually mandatory for higher-level positions in library science, engineering, behavioral health, and education. Furthermore, international students from some countries are only permitted to study abroad at a graduate level. You should inquire about the credentials needed to get a job in your country before you apply to a postgraduate university in the USA. A graduate program is usually a division of a university or college. To gain admission, you will need to take the GRE (graduate record examination). Certain master’s programs require specific tests, such as the LSAT for law school, the GRE or GMAT for business school, and the MCAT for medical school. Graduate programs in pursuit of a master’s degree typically take one to two years to complete. For example, the MBA master of business administration) is an extremely popular degree program that takes about two years. Other master’s programs, such as journalism, only take one year. The majority of a master’s program is spent in classroom study and a graduate student must prepare a long research paper called a “master’s thesis” or complete a “master’s project.”

Third Level: Graduate in Pursuit of a Doctorate Degree - Many graduate schools consider the attainment of a master’s degree the first step towards earning a Ph.D. (doctorate). But at other schools, students may prepare directly for a doctorate without also earning a master’s degree. It may take three years or more to earn a Ph.D. degree. For international students, it may take as long as five or six years. For the first two years of the program, most doctoral candidates enroll in classes and seminars. At least another year is spent conducting firsthand research and writing a thesis or dissertation. This paper must contain views, designs, or research that have not been previously published. A doctoral dissertation is a discussion and summary of the current scholarship on a given topic. Most U.S. universities awarding doctorates also require their candidates to have a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, to spend a required length of time “in residence,” to pass a qualifying examination that officially admits candidates to the Ph.D. program, and to pass an oral examination on the same topic as the dissertation.

Classroom Environment - Classes range from large lectures with several hundred students to smaller classes and seminars (discussion classes) with only a few students. The American university classroom atmosphere is very dynamic. You will be expected to share your opinion, argue your point, participate in class discussions and give presentations. International students find this one of the most surprising aspects of the American education system. Each week professors usually assign textbooks and other readings. You will be expected to keep up-to-date with the required readings and homework so you can participate in class discussions and understand the lectures. Certain degree programs also require students to spend time in the laboratory.

Professor issues grades for each student enrolled in the course. Grades are usually based upon :-

  • 1. Each professor will have a unique set of class participation requirements, but students are expected to participate in class discussions, especially in seminar classes. This is often a very important factor in determining a student’s grade.
  • 2. A midterm examination is usually given during class time.
  • 3. One or more research or term papers, or laboratory reports must be submitted for evaluation.
  • 4. Possible short exams or quizzes are given. Sometimes professors will give an unannounced “pop quiz.” This doesn’t count heavily toward the grade but is intended to inspire students to keep up with their assignments and attendance.
  • 5. A final examination will be held after the final class meeting.

3. Top Universities in USA

  • 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • 2. Stanford University
  • 3. Harvard University
  • 4. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • 5. University of Chicago
  • 6. Princeton University
  • 7. Yale University
  • 8. Cornell University
  • 9. Johns Hopkins University
  • 10. University of Pennsylvania

**There are more than 150+ universities with incredible infrastructure in USA. So you have a chance to get admission in any university according to your subjects, marks and which course you want to study.

4. Top Courses

  • 1. Master of International Business (MIB)
  • 2. Master of Science in Applied Psychology
  • 3. Maths and Computer Sciences
  • 4. Social Sciences
  • 5. Master in higher education and student affairs
  • 6. Master of science and financial analysis
  • 7. Master of Information Systems Management - Business Information Management
  • 8. MPA Public Administration
  • 9. Medicine
  • 10. Law

**These are the top 10 courses for international students but you can take admission for any courses.

5. Basic Criteria to Apply

  • 1. Passport
  • 2. Passport-size photographs
  • 3. Unconditional letter of acceptance
  • 4. Fees receipt ( Recommended )
  • 5. Scholarship letter ( If applicable )
  • 6. Any relevant correspondence with the institution
  • 7. Financial documents
  • 8. Academic documents
  • 9. English language proficiency test scores (IELTS/TOEFL/PTE)( Minimun 65% or above )
  • 10. Work experience certificates ( If applicable )
  • 11. Medical report ( If already undertaken )
  • 12. High qualification's Marksheets ( Transcript if required )

6. Intakes for Admission Purposes

  • 1. August - September
  • 2. January - February
  • 3. April - May

7. Expenses

  • 1. Living Costs
  • a. Estimated Living Cost: $10000 - $15000 per annum ( This includes your accommodation (room and board), travel, food, and some university-mandated books ).
  • b. Heath Insurance Cost: $1750 - $2000 per annum ( This is mandatory for international students ).
  • c. Miscellaneous Charges: $2000 per annum.
  • d. Scholarships to Study The USA is the only country which offers up to 100% scholarships on tuition to deserving students. This may be based on the students overall profile, both academic or extracurricular profile and the financial need of the student. Few states may offer In- State Tuition waivers which work out to be 50% to 80% on the overall tuition fee.
  • 2. Tuition Fees
  • a. $15,000 - $40,000 per annum ( Undergraduate students )
  • b. $50,000 - $65,000 per annum ( Universities )
  • 3. Total Expenses
  • a. $30,000 - $85,000 per annum

8. Process

  • 1. Choose one university which can fulfill your all criteria ( Preferable course, marks, and fees )
  • 2. Write IELTS / PTE / TOEFL examination
  • 3. Write entrance examination ( If required )
  • 4. Submit application
  • 5. After completing the selection process apply for a student VISA.

9. VISA Processing

There are three types of student visas:

  • F-1 (Student Visa) : The F-1 visa is for full-time students who are enrolled in an academic or language program. F-1 students can stay in the US for the whole duration of their academic program plus 2 months. It is a prerequisite for F-1 students to maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on the I-20 form.
  • J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa) : The J-1 visa is for students who need practical training that is not available in their home countries in order to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to the academic program. The J-1 visa obligates the student to return to their home countries for a minimum of 2 years after the end of their studies in the US.
  • M-1: The M-1 visas for full-time students at vocational or other nonacademic institutions.

10. Work Option

USA F1 Student Visas are generally valid for a period of 5 years including OPT (optional practical training). During the study program, students can work only under certain conditions and in accordance with complex guidelines and restrictions issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). After meeting the guidelines and taking permission from the university where they are studying students are eligible to work for a maximum period of up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students can work full time (40 hrs) only during holidays. The average wage for part-time jobs is between $10 and $12 per hour. Students can opt for OPT which is related to their field of work. International students who have graduated from a university in the USA are eligible to work full-time for the remaining period of their visa in the USA. .

On-Campus Employment : As an undergraduate or postgraduate international student studying in the United States, employment is possible on a part-time basis for up to 20 hours every week.

OPT : Optional Practical Training (OPT) is the work authorization letter where students can work anywhere in the USA to get hands-on work experience related to the academic field of study. OPT is valid for one year and is extendable to 24 months for students who graduate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) field.

11. Conclusion

Few countries have captured the world’s imagination like the United States of America. Gaining its independence in 1776, the US is the world’s last remaining superpower. The home of innovation, capitalism, and wealth, there are very few top 10 lists that do not bear the US standard. The US is home to the most billionaires in the world, Hollywood, and more than half the companies on the Fortune 500. In education, America is no slouch either, education in the USA is one of its finest features with the US being home to 53 out of the top universities in the world.