There are currently over 1 million international students in the USA.
What do you think it took for them to apply and be admitted?
Let’s review some key points on planning, developing and submitting your application.
It is never too early to start your application. In between academic work, exams, extracurriculars, professional or practical experience, test prep, university selection, EDMERICA workshops, statement of purpose reviews, and obtaining the perfect recommendations, you’ll have your work cut out for you, whether you’re an energetic do-er or a meticulous planner. It is wise to allow 12-18 months between starting the application process and starting university (for example, if you want to apply during your final years of undergraduate/graduate studies, start planning the application at the latest during the previous March-August interval). However, one application calendar doesn’t fit all. Contact us to plan your own application calendar!
The U.S. educational system is decentralized and each university – in fact, each program – may decide on application dates, requirements, and financial aid. Deadlines usually start in November and continue through February or even later in spring for some programs. Admissions arrive on a rolling basis or until the spring. Also, some graduate programs allow you to start in the Fall or Spring semester, which may mean more application calendar flexibility for you.
The Application Package
Admissions procedures and requirements for admission of international students vary among U.S. graduate programs. However, applications usually include the following items:
- Application form (usually, university-specific);
- Official transcripts/educational records (“foaia matricolă/supliment la diplomă”), original and translation (don’t rush to the translator’s office before talking to us) – partial or complete, depending on when you are applying (i.e., as a last-year student or as a graduate);
- Standardized test scores (GRE/GMAT – these may be optional or excluded at some programs, but an English proficiency test such as the TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic or Duolingo English Test is usually required if you haven’t, say, completed a four-year Bachelor’s program in English);
- Statement of purpose, also called personal essay: program-specific;
- Two-four letters of recommendation from school and professional/extracurricular sources;
- A separate application for funding, if requested;
- Non-refundable application fee of $30-150 or a fee waiver request (you can ask if schools offer waivers for current students or recent grads etc. – the worst than can happen is they’ll say no).
The holistic application includes quantitative and qualitative elements. This way, the universities you are targeting can get both objective and subjective insights into your preparation level, personality, and potential for future academic and professional success.
U.S. universities encourage academic performance, but they are also very interested in what you do with your spare time. For the U.S. application, everything about you – especially if presented in the appropriate strategic manner – is relevant. Herein lies one of the unique features of U.S. admissions: given proper timing, strategic planning, and dedicated work, together we can craft an application that maximizes your chances at admission and funding!
Grad school key words to research or ask us about
GPA, faculty, professor, professorial link, curriculum, campus support system, credits, class, graduate study, assistantship, fellowship, grant, scholarship, research, teaching administrative support