In order to get admitted to a U.S. college or university, students have to meet certain criteria and requirements, regardless of whether studies are within an undergraduate or graduate program. Each institution sets its own admission standards depending on the field of study, program level, and each individual applicant. It’s important to know that entry requirements are subject to change at the time you start filling out the application form.
It is also important to remember that athletic recruitment and sports scholarships follow a slightly different timeline than regular applications, so it is better to start the application process 1-1.5 years before the actual enrolment deadline.
Although admission policies vary from school to school, below is a general list of documents that international students might be required to provide in order to obtain an I-20 and be officially accepted to a post-secondary institution in U.S.:
You will be asked to provide a valid passport (a scan of the photo identification pages). Note, your passport should be valid for more than 6 months at the time you submit the application.
You will be required to submit full official transcripts of all your relevant academic qualifications:
Most courses and universities in the U.S. require students to take one of the following standardized tests:
Each school sets a minimum SAT and ACT score that a student must achieve in order to gain admission.
International students are also required to take an English proficiency tests:
Please note that proficiency levels are determined by the institution, and may require higher scores, depending on the major of study.
Some graduate programs may require taking GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) tests.
Recommendation letters play an important part in admission especially in courses that may lead to a master’s or doctoral degree. Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving you the reference letter on your behalf.
It is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation in your application package, as they increase your chances of getting admissions.
A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular program, the suitability of education and experience for your chosen field, and your personal interests and goals. The essay or statement of purpose may help you in obtaining both admission and financial aid (if applicable).
Some universities and colleges arrange interviews with prospective students. The interview could be with college representatives, admissions counselors, or alumni of the institution, and may take place on campus or via Skype/telephone. These interviews are usually more informal and do not require much preparation in advance.