Basic requirements for international students in order to obtain admission in US

United States is one of the hub for international students when it comes to pursuing their higher studies whether it is for undergraduate or postgraduate. Moreover, it is undoubtedly the hub of world class institutions such as Harvard and Yale.

However, every program chosen by the student has its own requirements and pre requisites to be met in order to secure an admission in a relevant university.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate in USA for  Students

  • Personal Statements

It is a piece of paper which imparts the first impression of an individual to the university as a result of which it plays the vital role in the application process. It compromises of a short essay by the applicant in which he is required to explain that why is he choosing a relevant university, why does he want to apply for a certain program and what are his/her goals or ambitions that they intend to achieve by applying for this program.

  • Academic References

Further on the letter of recommendations plays a significant role in the application process. It is an overview provided by anyone who knows an applicant professionally or has been there professor in past in the relevant subject. The letters are supposed to depict the applicant’s strengths, weaknesses, qualities and any other information which is pertinent about the applicant to the applied program.

The referee should indicate his position along with the time period for which they have known the applicant. They should discuss the importance of the program to the applicant that they are willing to undertake along with ranking the applicant’s personality. The referee should also highlight the applicant’s qualities with concrete examples.

  • Transcripts

While the student is in the process of their application it is inevitable that all of the universities will request the applicant applying for undergraduate or bachelors program to submit their academic transcripts of the final exams or a secondary school report. If the transcripts are in any other language than English they must be translated in English before being submitted otherwise they are not fit to be accepted.

  • The Tests Required for the Admission

There are number of tests which are required by almost all of the American universities which includes SAT, ACT and TOEFL.

  • Eligibility

In order to apply for admission in College or University in United States it is mandatory that the applicant has completed twelve years of education.

  • Financial Support

In case an applicant is looking for financial aid they are required to submit a financial aid application which has to be backed up by the documents like family’s financial resources so that the school can assess whether an applicant is in need of financial assistance or not. An applicant is also required to submit a bank statement which depicts the applicant’s financial stability to support their education other than the financial aid.

  • Interviews

There are number of number of universities which require the applicant’s interview which can be scheduled with the college representative or a third party or it can be an interview over the telephone. The aim of the interview is to see through the applicant in order to assess their abilities.

United States is known for the wide variety of Postgraduate programs that it has to offer which includes masters and PHD programs. However, the basic requirements for both are the same varying to a certain extent. Thus, the requirements for both are mentioned here in below. 

Admission Requirements for Master’s in USA for Students

  • Eligibility

Almost all of the American universities require U.S Bachelors Honor Degree (Four Year Degree program equivalent to sixteen years of education.

  • An Astounding Academic Record

It is the most important piece in securing an admission in the college abroad as a result of which almost all of the universities require an astounding economic record varying on the universities requirement. The applicants are required to submit the authorized transcripts from college or university which they have enrolled after secondary school with credits and details of the subjects for each year along with any proof of courses or diploma.

Moreover, the transcripts should be sealed in an envelope along with being attested and sealed by the registrar. In case the transcripts are in language other than English they should into English by the relevant university.

  • A Concrete Work Experience

A solid work experience illustrates that an applicant is passionate to pursue the ambition in which he has worked and gained experience for number of years. Thus, in perspective of this, number of American universities requires the Curriculum Vitae of the Applicant especially for the MBA course. In light of all of this, it is advisable that it should include the details of the applicant’s work experience along with designations and achievements achieved by the applicant.

  • Personal Statement

It is a document which allows the universities to go into the depth of the applicant’s personality and assess them in a better manner. In order to appeal to the universities the statements must be transparent, honest and meaningful laying down the applicant’s interests and passions. It is a chance for an applicant to create an everlasting impression and stand themselves out by writing a statement which distinguishes them from the other applicant’s. The statement should include the reasons to choose a particular course along with the career goals.

  • Proof of Proficiency of  English Language

All of the students whose first language is not English they need to pass certain tests such as TOEFL having a minimum score of 570 at a paper based test and 320  on a computer based test. Tests required for other programs includes GMATGRE, LSAT and USMLE. Moreover, an applicant needs to score the minimum marks in all of these tests.

  • Letters of Recommendation

They are of pivotal importance when it comes to master’s admission and can only be written by a person who knows the applicant in either academic capacity or either has a relationship with the student of an employee. The main things which such letter should include are the applicant’s strengths and their achievements gained either in academic or professional capacity.

  • Financial Aid

All of the students seeking the financial aid are required to submit a financial aid application for graduate studies in the United States University. The universities require the evidence of financial support so that the documents needed for visa application can be issued. The applicant is also required to submit the documents pertaining to families financial resources in order for the university to access that the applicant is in need of financial need or not.

  • Interviews

Normally all of the applicants applying for masters are required to give interviews to certain universities the aim of which is to analyze the applicant’s interests and capabilities.

The interviews are normally taken by a university representative or a third party.

Admission Requirements for PHD Programs in USA for  Students

  • Eligibility

Almost all of the universities accept the bachelor’s degree when it comes to the admission for PHD programmes. One of the advantage of enrolling for PHD in United States is that there is no compulsion to obtain master’s degree in order to pursue with PHD. In addition to this, all of the major universities require sixteen years of education in order to enroll for PHD.

  • The Tests That are Required

There are certain tests which the applicant’s need to give before applying for PHD. Those tests include GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS.

  • Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is one of the most integral part of the application for the purposes of applying to PHD. It should lay down the applicant’s commitment in joining the PHD program and their goals. It should be as concise as possible laying down what the candidate aims to grasp from the programme.

  • Letter of Recommendation

It is a letter to assess the candidate’s potential by an employer or an academic professor who knows the applicant in that capacity. Almost all of the universities require two to three recommendation letters.

  • Resume

Unlike for any other program the PHD program requires an applicant to submit a resume along with the application.

  • Academic Transcripts

The applicant is required to submit all of the qualifications mentioned and obtained along with the transcripts preferably from October.

  • Professional Experience

In some cases the applicant may require to submit the professional experience if needed to demonstrate that they do acquire the experience in the relevant field.

  • Photocopy of a Passport

In some cases an applicant will be required to submit the copy of the passport if requested by the university.

  • Certificates of the Participation in Extracurricular Activities if Required

Number of universities offering PHD programs requires the students to submit the proof that they have participated in number of extracurricular activities.

  • Interview

Almost all of the universities in USA have a distinct round of interview for the PHD applications. However, the students who are selected for the admission are the only ones which are called for an interview by invitation.


American Universities are known for providing support to students for whom one of the biggest obstacle to pursue their studies is the cost of it. This is done so either through financial aid or scholarships which are offered to wide number of international students though it involves tough amount of competition. Scholarships vary in nature as some of them are targeted according to the origin of the Applicant, ethnicity, gender and race.

Every university has its own criteria when it comes to providing scholarships for example some universities provide full bright scholarships that covers the cost of tuition of the student which the family is not capable to pay. However, the possibility of scholarships arises only after the applicant has secured an admission and has been accepted by the university. The universities which provides such scholarships are ranked amongst the biggest names in education such as Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale and Dartmouth College.

Thus, it would not be wrong to say that applying to an American university is a tedious process due to which the applicant needs to be aware of the admission process, the requirements and the deadlines pertaining to the admission.