The United States is without a question every student’s first choice when thinking about studying abroad for master’s. To convert this dream into reality, many of you may have already started with your applications for the fall 2023 intake. Most universities began accepting applications in October. You might be thinking that it’s too late to apply for the fall of 2023 now that January has arrived. The good news for you, It’s not too late!
Let’s delve deeper into this topic.
Roughly 10% of the universities had their final deadlines on 31 December
Around 10% have their final deadlines on 31 Jan.
However, the majority (about 80%) of universities allow you to apply till March and some of them even accept applications till May.
Which means that you can still secure an admission in a good university even if you start with your applications now!
Why Fall 2023
Fall intake is usually the most preferred among Indian students and for good reasons
Fall intake offers a more diverse range of courses
Fall intake allows students a better access to funding
Many universities have waived of GRE requirement for Fall 2023
It also allows students to explore part-time on-campus job opportunities such as research assistant and teaching assistant
Probably the most important reason for the popularity of fall admissions is the higher availability of post-study work options for students who start their studies during fall
You must move quickly
Although most universities will still be accepting applications till march, you need to consider time required for documentation and university shortlisting. Documentation includes procuring transcripts, drafting SOPs, personal statements, diversity statements LORs and resumes. University shortlisting involves lot of research to select right universities according to your profile and interests. You also need to move quickly because even after securing an admission, securing a visa can be equally tedious considering you are already on a tight timeline.
We are here to help you
We at Dilip Oak’s academy are here to help you.
We are the best when it comes to admissions counselling. We will provide you with a well-balanced list of universities with safe as well as ambitious options, thus increasing your chances of admission.
We offer counselling for SOPs (statement of purpose), LORs (letters of recommendations) and resumes and help you prepare everything from personal statements to diversity statements
We also provide guidance for visa along with mock visa interviews
Dilip Oak’s academy can be your perfect guide into this often confusing admission process. We have been in this business since 1996 and we have more than 30,000 success stories to attest to our expertise in this field. Our counselors are experienced professionals who interact with every student personally to understand his/her unique requirements and provide guidance accordingly.
Along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a lot of international students are now pursuing Ph.Ds. at American universities because the programs are comprehensive and structured, and encourage a lot of independent research. Apart from world-class facilities, well-equipped research labs, and qualified professors, American universities also offer funding opportunities to deserving candidates which makes it easier for international students to pursue Ph.D. in America.
To pursue a Ph.D. program in any American university, students must have a minimum of 16 years of education, which means, they must have completed their bachelor’s degree at the least. Students can also apply for a combined program for MS and Ph.D. In order to qualify for a Ph.D. students should have a high score in the GRE (320+) and sometimes, in the subject GRE along with a GPA of 8.5 or above in their undergraduate program. If the master’s has been done from the USA, the GPA has to be 3.5 and above.
However, below are a few things you need to keep in mind and start preparing well in advance if you are planning to pursue a Ph.D. in a top American university:
Choose your research topic well in advance: Narrowing down your research topic in advance will help you a great deal in making an informed decision. Study the topics, and see which topic would be viable for a Ph.D. project. Choose your program accordingly.
Research your Ph.D. guide: When it comes to a Ph.D., a good research guide is far more important than a good university. Hence, study the research work performed by professors from various universities, get in touch with them, and see if you can get approval from them for supervising your work. For Ph.D. programs, it is always beneficial to first narrow down the right research guide and then finalize the university.
Lookout for funding opportunities: Pursuing a Ph.D. in America can be very expensive and hence it is recommended to first look at universities that offer funding opportunities, scholarships, and research/ teaching assistantships and make your Ph.D. tuition affordable.
Finalize the universities: Once you decide your research topic, supervisor, and funding opportunities, shortlist your universities and start the application process.
Last week, Dilip Oak’s Academy conducted a webinar on the current scenario in American universities, the impact of COVID-19 on admissions for Master’s degree, and funding opportunities in the USA. The webinar was presided over by Maggie Wolford, director of graduate admissions and recruitment, SUNY Binghamton. Here is an overview of her valuable insights into the scenario in America concerning several important pointers viz.:
Location: Universities in the major cities like San Francisco, Chicago and New York have been more affected by the pandemic as compared to those in remote areas, like SUNY Binghamton, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, University of Oklahoma, Norman, etc.
Financial impact: High class, Tier 1 research universities (those offering STEM courses) can sustain the effects of the pandemic, but liberal arts and other smaller universities have incurred significant losses.
Factors for resuming in-person instruction: Universities will decide whether to start the in-person instruction soon or wait, depending upon the number of COVID cases in the area, cost of testing, and testing policies. (whether they have compulsory testing, voluntary testing, or symptomatic testing, and the budget for each)
Spring semester schedule: The majority of the universities are quite likely to push their spring semester start dates. Usually, the spring semester commences in January, but universities might extend it to February. In that case, students will have extra time for project completion, but their holidays will be reduced.
Impact on funding: Due to online instruction, positions for Teaching Assistantships are likely to reduce. Research Assistantships will also depend upon whether the university is funded by the government or by private agencies. Government funding has been reduced significantly for other fields, but a few like Supply Chain Management and Healthcare Management will still receive enough funding. Graduate Assistantships won’t be affected since university jobs like web page development, networking, etc. will continue.
Impact on CPT and internships: CPT is activated only after completing two on-campus semesters. If you join in the spring semester, you cannot work on the CPT in summer. In that case, you can utilize the time for summer courses and graduate early, or take campus paid internships which don’t require CPT. For example, lab assistant jobs, office jobs, admin jobs, etc. You can also take up certification courses free of cost, which will add to your résumé.
Impact on admissions: Presently, the examination system all over the world has been disturbed due to the pandemic. Many universities have waived the GRE requirement, and they are accepting unofficial transcripts as well. But the situation will remain uncertain for a few more months.
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Many students are interested in joining American universities in January, that is, in the spring semester. But, there is a common misunderstanding that many universities do not accept students in the spring semester and that funding opportunities are also fewer. This, however, is not true. Almost 95% of American universities admit students for the spring semester.
Opportunities for financial assistance in spring are also as good as in fall. Of course, in some universities, a few courses are offered only in the fall semester, so students who join in spring cannot take them. However, with regard to financial aid, most universities offer Research and Teaching Assistantships, tuition waivers etc. only to students who have completed one semester, with a very good GPA (Grade Point Average). Hence, whether you join in the fall or spring semester does not really make a difference.
Are you worried about how to pay for the cost of education in an American university? Well, take heart, the costs need not be as high as you think. Over the years thousands of middle class (and even economically disadvantaged) students from India have managed to pursue Master’s and doctoral programs in American universities. The only reason why so many of them have managed to do so when the cost of higher education in American university can range from 20 to 40 lakhs is the generous financial aid given to students by American universities. With such financial assistance, which is given in a variety of fields, the cost can come down to 15 lakhs or even less!
Of course, such assistance is not guaranteed: first, you have to show that you are an academically excellent student. But, it you do so, you stand a good chance of being awarded one of the many kinds of financial aid that are available. Below is an explanation of some of the forms of aid that American universities give to their students.
Several universities award assistantships in the form of teaching and research assistantships to masters and doctoral program students. These require awardees to perform certain services for a specified number of hours in a week. The awards are usually for the current semester and may be extendable depending on awarding requirements of the department and the funds available with it. Continuation also depends on the student’s maintaining a good academic record.