This post brings together a list of must-see links to our most important posts on ‘Admissions to American Universities’. The links are arranged under different headings:
- university deadlines (spring 2014, fall 2014)
- selecting which semester to join
- step-by-step explanations of the application process
- tips on the F1 visa and on preparing your Statement of Purpose
- and several others.
This is important information. Don’t miss out on it!
Deadlines for Application
Did you know that there is no standard deadline for application for American universities? Deadlines for fall range from November of the previous year all the way up to August of the year in which you will join your university. Deadlines for spring range from June of the previous year to Jan of the year of joining. Your planning of the application process depends on the deadline for the most important university you are applying for. Check out the deadlines for your university through the links below.
- Spring – 107 universities accepting students in spring (2014). Remember to check out the timeline for applying for spring (available December onward).
- Fall – 125 universities accepting students in fall (2014). Remember to check out the timeline for applying for fall (available April onward).
to find out what universities to apply to check out a list of the top 220 American universities at online.dilipoakacademy.com
– look for ‘university information’ under the ‘applications’ button. You will find the following information:
- departments and courses
- university rank
- documents required for application
- the university website URL
For more information on these useful online services see:
Continue reading →
If you are reading this blog the chances are that you are a net savvy user, you have accounts on Facebook and Twitter and you are a student going to America for higher education. But have you ever thought of signing up for a LinkedIn account? Probably not: LinkedIn is supposed to be meant for professionals, and none or few of your friends are on it, so what good would it do a student to have a LinkedIn account?
When you don’t know many people on LinkedIn, it is easy to think that it doesn’t matter. Actually however, there are 5 reasons why having a LinkedIn account is very useful if you are heading for higher education in the States.
- LinkedIn offers several tools to help get information and ideas from experts in your field viz.:
- LinkedIn Groups
- LinkedIn Answers
- LinkedIn Today
For college students these tools offer a great way of learning the professional language of your field, keeping up with the latest trends and topics in the field and becoming a well-informed ‘insider’. With more than 120 million users worldwide, LinkedIn offers a lot of potential avenues for learning.
Continue reading →
Here’s your checklist of tasks for this month – and note there’s a lot of heavy documentation work that you have to be doing, so be prepared to do a lot of running around to your college and your university
- Arrange for 10-13 sets of transcripts in sealed covers from your college or university – some universities insist on university transcripts
- Choose your recommenders (generally 3 recommendations are required, at least one of which should be from the educational institute last attended) and give them the necessary details – resume, copies of your mark sheets etc.
- Start working on your Statement of Purpose (target date for completion 31 October 2013) and resume
Note: for the full schedule see: timeline for fall 2014
Recommendation Letters – What They are and Who You Should Get Them From
In the context of higher education in America, recommendation letters are statements by teachers, supervisors or employers which highlight your qualities, background and achievements and show that you are a good candidate for a doctoral or master’s program of studies.
To make sure that you are an applicant of good caliber every university will ask you to submit at least 3 recommendation letters along with your application form. If you are a student, these recommendation letters should come from teachers who have taught you important subjects or supervised relevant project work, research papers or seminars. If you are a working professional and your work experience is relevant to the field you plan to do your degree in, one letter can come from your immediate superior in the organization (if you have been working for a very long time then you can take letters from two people in organizations you have worked with, but at least one recommendation should be academic).
Continue reading →
If you are thinking of getting admission in fall 2014 the clock is ticking and August is drawing to a close. So, if you want to be in your American university at around this time next year, what should be your priorities in the next couple of months (and as you can see from the picture above, it really is beautiful there during fall). Hint: one thing that you will need to do is start thinking about which universities to apply to – and then there is going to be a lot of head scratching that you will have to do to select universities to apply to …and so much interviewing and researching that you are going to feel .like a news reporter! The details are below. Ready to read? Well, get set and go!
Continue reading →
The best time to apply for the spring semester is around June or July of the previous year, which is fast approaching. Of course, many universities accept applications in August and even in September, but if you want admission to a good university, it is better to apply before July of the previous year. Submitting your application early will also help you to get your I-20 early and thus you will be able to apply for a visa by October or November, or at least in early December.
We strongly recommend that you write the GRE and TOEFL before the 15th July so that it will be possible for you to submit all your online applications and courier the necessary documents before 25th July.
Therefore start preparing for GRE and TOEFL now and book your test date at the earliest. Simultaneously, start preparing documents like your Statement of Purpose (SOP), transcripts, and recommendation letters. Check the websites of different universities and list the names of universities where your specialization is available.
There are good opportunities in spring. Make sure that you don’t miss them! If you are not too sure of whether you should apply for the spring semester or not read our post titled “Should I Apply for the Spring Semester (January)?”
Also, look out for our post: “Applying for Spring (Jan) 2014 – A Step-By-Step Explanation”
If you are applying for fall 2014 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Review this Application Timeline for Fall 2014 immediately and get to work. Here it is:
June-August 2013 – Review you goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize.
Continue reading →
So, you’re in the thick of things. You have written out your SOP, you have got the transcripts and letters of recommendation, and you have filled up the University application. But, you still have a question: “Is this enough? Or, is there something else I can do to make my application really stand out from the rest?”
Before you submit your application, consider this: what makes a “good” application a “great” one is the extra effort you put in. So, here are our three top tips for fine-tuning your application and making it one that is really great:
- Research the school website – There are a lot of subtle hints which you can pick up from college websites, so take a little time to browse through the sites carefully. One thing to look for is the graduate student handbook which you should download and read. It is important to go through details about the faculty research and labs. Doing this will help you to to get a clear idea about what you can focus on during your studies in the university you are considering, and it is therefore very important in deciding which universities to apply to. It will also help you to decide which research areas to highlight in writing your SOP.
- Connect with somebody – It’s a good idea to connect with either staff or seniors at a grad school beforehand (preferably do both). You can email the member of faculty that you find most impressive and would like to work with in the future. This will help if you want to establish contact – a bonus when you already have a proven and focused research interest. But remember, that it is dangerous to do this without having a clear idea of what you want to do, or why you want to do it. Also, don’t overdo it – you might end up boring the professor and make him or her completely unwilling to respond to you.
- Proofread your documents – Make sure that you don’t end up sending SOPs to a university which mention a different one as the one you are applying to – at best this will be seen as a sign of carelessness, at worst it may even be taken as an insult; and it’s surprising how many students make that mistake. But also, send copies of your draft SOP to to a teacher, or guide who knows your work and progress and to at least 3-4 trusted friends. They can tell you whether what you are saying makes sense or not.
And do take the time to draft a good SOP– it has a weight and importance of its own and can give you the opportunity to present your strengths in a way that no other document can. (Click this link to get an idea of how to do this.) But don’t get too worried if you can’t do this, the staff at DOA’s counseling center can help you put your SOP into top shape!
The importance of the SOP (or application essay)
How to write a good SOP
The SOP, an essay of specified length which brings out your academic and professional background and achievements, is a uniquely important document. It is a crucial element of your application for MS/PhD programs in American universities.
Continue reading →