Short-Term Graduate Study in the USA

Short-term Study in the USA

A wide range of short-term study programs are available in the USA, as you can learn from the dedicated section on the U.S. Department of State’s EducationUSA site.

Short-term programs last less than 12 months.  U.S. universities and other organizations offer such programs in which you can study, teach, conduct research, get training, demonstrate special skills, and more. The U.S. Department of State adds to this wealth of short-term program through the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program.  In Romania some of the programs listed below are administered by the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission.

Program types include but are not limited to:

  • Certificate/Diploma programs;
  • Exchange programs;
  • University exchanges;
  • Executive education programs;
  • Internships;
  • Visiting fellowships and scholarships.

As there is no official ranking system for short-term programs  in the USA, the best college or university for your short-term program is the one that best meets your academic, financial, and personal needs. You would be well advised to start your search for a short-term program at least a year before the period when you expect to attend a short-term program.


Certificate/Diploma Programs

Such programs can be pursued over summer, as summer schools, or as longer-term commitments. International student have a wide choice of summer programs and summer schools If you plan to build skills in a certain area of interest, short-term certificate programs offer coursework within an area of specialization. Upon successful completion of program requirements, the institution awards a certificate to recognize expertise or skills gained. For the longer-than-summer stidu commitment the options are outlined in


Exchange Programs
Exchange programs in the USA offer excellent opportunities to know the American culture first-hand by living and learning in a diversity of cultural settings. Exchange programs may come in a variety of forms, i.e. an academic exchange between two universities, a short-term professional program, etc. The U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program website will highlight the options available. The flagship exchange program of the U.S. government is the Fulbright program

University Exchanges
Although at the moment we are not aware of any long-term U.S.-Romanian university exchange, we expect them to happen in the future. Partnership agreements between a U.S. university and a Romanian one facilitate student exchange opportunities. As such, coursework taken in the USA may count toward a degree program at your home institution, or you may decide to take a few courses at a U.S. university just to experience the U.S. academic environment and get enriched, personally or/and professionally.

Executive Education Programs
Such programs have a lot in common with the Certificate programs highlighted above, but tend to be geared to professionals. Educational institutions may offer certificate coursework at graduate-level or programs for working professionals to gain advanced skills and expertise in their fields.

Exchange Visitor Intern Program is the perfect website to visit in order to learn about the short-term internships available for international students.

Visiting Fellows and Scholars
U.S universities offer Ph.D. holders significant short-term opportunities for conducting advanced research in their field. This research program can be complemented by the visiting fellows’s opportunity to audit graduate-level courses and to have access to academic facilities for personal research. In order to explore such opportunities, you need to contact university faculty or academic departments directly.