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« Home | Statement of Purpose » | What Information Should I Include? » | How Long Should My Statement Be? » | Is There a Preferred Format or Style? » | What do Colleges Look for in an SOP? » | How Do I Start? » | Start Writing » | Editing and Rewriting » | Structuring Your Personal Statement » | Tips For Better Writing »

Application Process

Applying for a course in a US university requires you to fulfill certain eligibility criteria. Here we discuss about the application process for a graduate course in a US University.

The US academic year is usually divided into 4 semesters - Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. The semesters are usually 13 weeks long.
The Fall semester starts somewhere between August and September and ends in late December or early January.
The Spring semester starts in January and ends in May.
The Summer semester starts in late May or early June and ends just before the Fall semester begins.
Not all universities have a Winter semester but if they do, it is a very short semester squeezed between the Fall and the Spring semesters.
The semesters correspond very roughly with the eponymous seasons.

Most universities in the U.S. accept applications only two times in a calendar year for the Fall and the Spring semesters of the academic year. Please beware, some universities only entertain applications for the Fall semester. The application process for the Fall semester usually starts one year before your joining during October and ends on December or January.

For applying for a graduate program in US universities you need to take the General Record Examination (GRE). Apart from this you also need to take a Test Of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, if you are from a country whose native language is not English. (For more information on these exams visit our companion blogs about these exams.)

There are a number of documents you need to submit with your application. All universties have detailed and specific guidelines in their application brochure about the documents required. Here is a list:

  • Test Scores: You need to submit your GRE and TOEFL scores along with your application. In most of the cases, these scores are send by ETS directly to the University.
  • College Transcripts: A transcript is another name for a marksheet provided by your college or university at the end of each semester, that lists in detail the courses taken and the grades obtained in these courses. Since you will usually send out your applications before you have graduated from your college, you can provide the marksheets only up to that semester.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Most universities require you to provide three letters of recommentation. The faculty members in your department are the best people to ask for these letters. However, if you did an internship at another institution or corporation, getting a letter from your mentor or supervisor would be a big plus.
  • Statement of Purpose: This will possibly turn out to be the most important document in your application. A statement of purpose can best be described as a document for your academic past and the future. It should clearly describe why you chose your particular acadmic discipline, why you are interested in pursuing graduate study in that discipline and why you are interested in a different discipline than the one you did your bachelor’s degree in. It should also clearly outline the ideas you have about what you would like to do and what you are interested in researching.
  • Financial Support Statement: Another important document is the financial support statement. This is usually in the shape of a form provided with the application. In this document, you will usually provide declare your financial assets to show that you will be able to support the first year of your graduate education at the university. You will probably need to provide notarized bank statements along with this statement. However, it is entirely possible that you may not need to submit this until you have been granted an admission to the university. It usually depends upon the university admission policy.

A bit of advice: Apply to atleast 5-6 US universities. Your decision should be a mix of Excellent, Good and Safe. Excellent universities are those which have extraordinary rankings but is difficult for you to get in due to your academic records. These should be kept to a minimum. Good universities are where you have a fair chance of getting selected. Apply mostly to these universities. Safe universities are those which are not as good but you have an almost definite possibility of getting admissions. You should keep them to a minimum but don't ever leave these out.

Also, do keep in track with the application deadlines of the University of your choice.

Best of Luck!!!

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sir ,
i have to submit the document from the bank that this is the bank who is going to give me the loan . can you tell me what kind of letter has to be issued by the bank... if the bank can give me written on it's letter head will it be okay then...
please reply on harpreetsran@gmail.com
thanks.

thanks for this but as u mention,there are university which are excellant, good and fair. could u send me list of these universities according to ranking as i wanna persue degree of mph.my i.d. is archu_kmc@yahoo.com

sir,
I would like to apply for fall 2007. i would be grateful to u if u can send me the univ list and also some sample SOP's so that I can have a fair idea about an SOP.please mail me at divya_smily2003@yahoo.co.in

sir,
i have given my gre.....but i have one backlog of last semester is still with me....its result will be came in march....so can u plz guide me what i include in transcript....is univ cosider my application with this backlok...
plz rply soon
my id tarunsharma@yahoo.com
thanks

sir,
i wud like to apply for b.tech biotechnology in US....wid scholarship....cn u plz tell me how to apply for scholarships & proceed further???
my id is snazzy_praveena@yahoo.co.in
thnx

hi!
i would like to know if i am elligible for a Grad. course in journalism right after doing a 3 yr. under-grad degree in india? i also have a significant amount of work experience.

My email is mukherjee.mayuri@gmail.com

hi sir,


I am in a confusion in the selection of my university in us for the courses Information Technology and Computer sciences...
I got 1020 in GRE and waiting 4 toefl so can u suggest me to choose the universities...
Plz do reply to
munagalasandeep@gmail.com

how can we grade the collegs do we any site

sir igot gre 1050 and toefl yet to come. iam in a state of confusion wethher to apply for fall 2008 or spring , i wanted to parsue masters in ee and please suggest some universities.
pankajsingh.189@gmail.com

sir,
this is my profile sir ,please tell me where can i get admission??

GRE-1060(Q-740,V-320) awa -2.5
TOEFL-feb 9th
ACADS-73% {BACKS-1, cleared}
10+2:89.4%
10TH :83.3%
MAJOR :EE

Dear Sir,

I have one query hopefully putting it here.
I asked about solvency certificate to the branch manager of Maharashtra Bank. He said me to bring the property documents worth of 15 - 20 Lacs. I have obtained the documents of my uncle (elder brother of my father) worth of 23lacs. In this case the bank will issue me certificate stating my uncle as Sponser which i want to avoid as I will have to bring the Affidavit of support (Uncle stays abroad but an Indian resident). My question: Is their any other way i can make SC under my parents name with property evaluation of my uncle. I am also afraid that making uncle my sponser will be a threat during VISA .
Also i will really appreciate if u tell me, if at all i hav no other option but to make uncle the sponser what could be the action items for him?
Thnks in advance.
Please reply me on impulsiveaffan@gmail.com

sir,
my profile..
gre-1060 (quant-680;verbal;380)
BE- 59.9%
tofel-on 9th feb
I am applying for MS in chem engg for fall 2008.
I dont have any property or assets to show, so i will be taking bank loan. But i will make my meternal uncle as my sponsorer who is a very very big buisnessman and lives in the same city i do.
what are my chances for visa and is there anything in my profile that can stop me from getting visa.
Also i am working in IT sector since last two years, whereas i did me BE in chem.
Please reply on singh4365@yahoo.com

sir i need to know that some my final year marksheet of my bachelors will come in December so can i send my 3 yrs marksheet for the Fall admissions? will it effect my admission seletion?


please reply: mfshoro@gmail.com

hello ... i want some information
my profile is
GRE-1100 (Q-780,V-320)
TOEFL-91
ACAD-60% (5 backlogs cleared)
10th-82
12th -72.
major -EE
..... suggest me some better universities... i want to do specialization in communications ,or networking ...
please reply to .. rajeshknl@gmail.com

sir,
I have got 1050 gre score n still expecting toefl score.I have an aggregate of 70% in b-tech.Have an excllent academics background and have good extra cirricular background.
Can u plz suggest me appropriate yet good universities accordiny to my profile and moreover i need universities in the range of 5-7 lacks per yr expenses
And whats difference is there in applying to fall and spring???
reply at agarwal.tarun87@gmail.com

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

hi this is tejas...i am applying for ms in mis
my gre score is 1070
toefl score is 84
Plz suggest me the universities for the same.

Hi... Looking ways to market your blog? try this: http://bit.ly/instantvisitors

sir,
I got 980 in gre
and 115 in toefl
can u please tell me the best universities which suits to me..

thank you for posting this

it is helpful stuff. Please send top univerisity names
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Wow.. Thanks much for sharing.. My friend also recommended you so that i can have a helping hand to make my blog as effective as possible.
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