This guide is designed for international students who are looking for study options in USA. This is a comprehensive guide explaining various types of study programs available , terminology used by US universities and how to find the right university based on what you wish to study

Study in US : Types of programs
  • Study in US – Undergraduate
  • Study in US – Graduate/Masters
  • Study in US – MBA
  • Study in US – Medical
  • Study in US – Phd
Study in US – Undergraduate

If you dream to study in US, SAT is needed for doing Bachelors/ undergraduate course, although instead of SAT scores some colleges accept ACT. You would require a SAT depending on the programs and colleges you are applying to for undergraduate programs in US.


For the college admission in US, SAT is a standardized test. The math section, critical reading section and writing section are the three different sections of the test. On a scale of 200 to 800 points, each section is scored and the requirement of the minimum score varies from college to college.

It is a standardized test for college admission in US. This test has 3 different section: Critical reading section, math section and writing section. Each section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. The minimum score requirement varies from college to college. Here are some college requirements of SAT score:

According to 2012-13 student profile, in University of California (Berkeley), the requirement of SAT score was:

  • SAT Reading ( 530-740)
  • SAT Math ( 660-770 )
  • SAT Writing (540-760)

The minimum SAT score requirement is 1500 (reading + maths + writing) in University of Houston out of 2400 in total.

Study in US – Graduate/Masters

To study Graduate Programs Or Master’s degree, GMAT is required and it’s also needed for an MBA program in the US, although instead of GMAT scores some colleges accept the GRE. You would need a GMAT or GRE depending on the college you are applying to for an MBA program.

GMAT score requirements:

For MBA admission, GMAT score is required, but some colleges accept GRE scores nowadays in lieu of GMAT scores. However, the score is not fixed and it varies college to college. All the the colleges have their own set of GMAT and GRE score requirements.

Study in US – MBA

Many international students who are not too sure of what they would like to study will end up doing an MBA in US. An MBA is also a very popular choice for professionals who are looking to switch careers or to boost their resumes. Unless you have very clear goals, it can be quite challenging to decide whether to go with an MBA or a Masters degree.

An MBA will give you many options as the skills will be relevant across industries. However, there is no guarantee that an MBA will net high pay. So if money is your only goal in picking an MBA, take some time to research specialized Master’s degrees as well.

Study in US – Medical

Medical school in the US can take anywhere from ten to fifteen years. The degree itself takes only 3 to 4 years, but there is a compulsory 3 to 7 year residency after you acquire your degree. Post residency, there is an option to further your education with a fellowship program.

Because medicine takes so long to study, it is also one of the more expensive paths to study in US. So it’s not a great fit for everyone. However, there is no better way to secure your future than a medical degree in US.

Study in US – PhD

A PhD is a Doctorate in Philosophy. This is the highest degree you can acquire in the US, right after a Masters degree. There are PhD programs in USA in all subjects, but it’s a serious commitment and requires much more work and effort than any other degree, which is why only the keenest students will pursue it.

You can begin with a PhD right after your undergraduate degree, or you can take the longer road and pursue it only after your Masters. Different universities have different requirements so you’ll need to first decide on the school, see if they have a PhD program you’re interested in, and then research the requirements.

Can I switch universities in USA ?

Some colleges and universities allow you to move to some other college or university. This is called transfer of credit and not every university allows it. You will have to check your college/university to find out if that is allowed. Almost one in every three students though end up to transferring college in US.

The reason to change the university or college could be funding issues like financial aid and scholarship, tuition fees or housing situation or on campus job or to move to a better college/university than the present one. The general process of transfer is, you have to take the consent of International Admission Advisor of both the university/college, and after doing all the required verification process if they are ready for the transfer then there is no problem.

General policies and conditions for transfer of university /college

The following conditions are mandatory for transferring college in US:

  • You should be admitted to the university with a valid form I-20
  • You should have an F-1 Visa in your passport.
  • The university/college, in which you intend to go, should be interested to accept your transfer.
  • You should not have any pending financial issues like tuition fees etc to the university/college you are transferring from.
Cost of Studying in US

The cost of study in US can vary greatly – anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 and up – depending on a variety of factors. Your tuition will be your most considerable expense while completing your program, but there are several other unavoidable costs you have to consider when planning your finances.

  • accommodation
  • text books, stationery, laptop
  • transport, whether it’s a monthly pass on public transportation or fuel and maintenance on a private vehicle
  • living expenses including food, eating out, clothes, social life
  • medical insurance

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