Why USA ?
It can take longer to apply to a US institution due to the various stages you must negotiate. It’s advised that you apply 12 to 18 months in advance. There’s no limit on the number of universities you can apply to, but the Fulbright Commission recommends that you apply to no more than six institutions. This will allow you enough time to focus on each application while giving you an increased chance of success.
There is no central organisation that facilitates applications to American universities. To study in the USA, all students must apply directly to their chosen institution and sit a multiple choice admission exam. Most universities require students to sit SAT or ACT exams. They can be taken in test centres around the UK and cost roughly £50 each. Kaplan provides free SAT practice tools as well as SAT and ACT test preparation courses.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide:
- an application form
- a personal statement
- transcripts of academic records
- two or three recommendation letters
- admission exam scores.
For graduate programmes you may have to provide a research statement and CV and also attend an interview.
All students must pay an application fee to each university, usually $50 to $100 (£38.15 and £76.30 respectively).
Application deadlines for postgraduate study vary but most fall between November and February.
Courses in the USA are taught in English. If English is not your first language then you will be required to sit an English language proficiency test. The TOEFL and IELTS tests are widely accepted.
Comparison to UK qualifications
As mentioned, there is no direct comparison of UK and USA grades and qualifications. The good news is that qualifications gained at American institutions are widely respected and recognised around the globe.
Check with your chosen university to be sure that your degree is recognised in your home country.