- Academic Records
- Standardized Tests
- Work Experience Details
- Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Financial Support
- Interviews (If applicable)
The Importance of Networking in Admission
Decisions and Aid
|Send enquiries at least
15 to 18 months before the proposed date of admission. There are two ways to get
Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities
website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to
request application material.
Forms via Air Mail : The other way is to send a request by airmail for
application material. The request should contain a brief description of your educational
background, academic objectives, source of financial support, English proficiency and
standardized test scores.
Downloading from the
university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print
versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just
as regular forms.
Most schools require
qualifications comparable to a U.S. Bachelors (Honours) degree (Four Year Degree
Program). That means a minimum of 16 years of formal education. In the
Indian context, it implies qualifying in a professional four-year degree like engineering
or other such courses.
For Doctorate programs, most universities require a Masters degree in that subject.
In a few exceptional cases like a good undergraduate engineering degree, they may offer a
direct admission to a Doctorate course.
If you have completed a three-year degree program in India, the advisable plan of action
to maximize eligibility for U.S. graduate schools is to apply for a Post Graduate degree
here in India. A one-year university affiliated program will make up for the fourth year
of a U.S. Undergraduate degree.
Professional programs like the
CA, ICWA, part time diplomas from a university such as those in management, communication
may or may not be accepted. Though many universities, especially Business Schools, have
started recognizing the Indian CA.
Independent certificate courses
offered by private institutions like Aptech, NIIT, etc. may or may not be accepted based
on each individual universitys evaluation.
One-year education of a two year
degree course (like M.Tech, MA etc) may not be accepted by most schools. The full course
has to be completed for qualification, unless there is a recognized university exam at the
end of one year.
standardized policy exists regarding the acceptance of such programs. Some universities
may accept the three-year Indian Graduation Degree for a few programs. Confirmation can
only be obtained by either writing directly or formally applying to the universities
Your past academic record is
one of the most important deciding factors in securing admission to a college abroad. Most
schools require you to have a reasonably good academic record especially for programs and
courses offering a masters or doctoral degree. Each university has its own minimum
requirement for its programs, which are flexible depending on the candidates
Universities in USA have their own marking and evaluation systems, which are considerably
different from the Indian system. They follow the GPA (Grade Point Average) system which
is based on the 5 points scheme A,B,C,D & F.
It is advisable not to convert your marks in the Indian system of grading to the American
Grade Point Average system or any other system since the conversion may not be accurate.
You may attach an explanatory note from your college to indicate your rank in your class
and/or university. The letter may also indicate your relative place in the class and the
university average, along with the number of students in the class and the number of
colleges and students in the university. You may also provide any other information or
documents that you feel may help you in the admission process.
Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official
transcript (mark-sheets) from each college or university that they have attended after
secondary school with complete details of the subjects/credits involved (for each year)
and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the
transcript (mark-sheets) to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the
seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you
have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one copy of the transcript.
If the transcripts are in a language other than English, they must be translated into
English only by the issuing authority or university.
Many Courses and Universities in US require you to
take one of the standardized tests like GRE, GMAT along with English Proficiency tests
like TOEFL, TWE and TSE.
English Proficiency Tests
TOEFL: This test is mandatory for International
students applying to a Graduate course or University in US. The minimum score required by
most universities for admission is 570 (Paper-based test) and 230 (Computer-based test).
TSE : This test is important if
you intend to apply for a Teaching Assistantship. Though many universities dont
mention it, but it is advisable to take this test if you are looking for a Teaching
Different programs require you to take certain standardized tests for admission and there
is a certain minimum that you have to score in those tests to get admitted to those
The various tests are:
GMAT : For Graduate Courses in Management.
GRE : For Graduate Courses in fields
other than Management.
Admissions to Law Schools.
USMLE :For Admission to Medical
For other tests, click on Tests to be Taken
|Work Experience Details
A number of professional and vocational courses require
relevant work experience. For instance, many MBAs or masters courses in information
studies require at least a couple of years work experience. Most Australian
universities are pretty strict about this.
A detailed R�sum� is an important part of your application. It should include all
information of professional work experience along with the details like positions held,
achievements and range of work.
|Find Resumes a
problem? Check out our Resume section for tips.
|Letter of Recommendation
Letters of reference or recommendation letters play a very important part
in your admission especially in courses that earn you a masters or doctoral degree.
A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well
professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are
applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and other such
The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant
and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of
the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank
applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret
the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of
recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who
know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give
concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.
Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the
person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not
give enough information, can jeopardize a candidates chances of selection.
Even if not mentioned, it is advisable to include at least two letters of recommendation
in your applications as they increase your chances of getting admissions.
|For more details on
letters of recommendation, formats and tips, check out Letters of Recommendation
|Statement of Purpose
The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, play a very important
role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial
aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant
impression of you as an individual. This section is the key to distinguish your
application from other suitable candidates and a chance to market yourself.
A personal statement should include your reasons for choosing a particular course, the
suitability of your education and experience for the chosen course, your personal
interests and career goals.
Some courses like Business school courses will have their own essay questions and format.
Others may ask for a r�sum� or reasons for applying to that particular course.
|For more details on
various essay topics, tips, sample essays, check out our Essays/Statement of Purpose section.
You must submit a financial aid application if you desire financial help
for your graduate studies in a US university. Financial assistance for non-US citizens is
The evidence of financial support is required by universities to issue the documents
needed for visa application. Although it is a requirement for application, it is usually
not taken into consideration into factors that determine admission. Most universities make
their admission decisions without regard for the source and amount of financial support.
You would be required to submit documentation of your familys financial resources to
help schools assess your need. Most of the universities have their own financial aid form,
which you would have to complete.
You would also be required to submit a bank statement demonstrating your financial
capacity to support your education in US. Some US state institutions offer tuition waivers
to international students in return for some type of educational contribution.
Interviewing prospective candidates is getting common in the US admission
structure. A few universities may take your interview to know you better. The interview
could be with a college representative or "third party" representatives, staff,
faculty or alumni of the college or simply a telephonic interview. These interviews are
usually informal and more of an opportunity to exchange information. The interviewer will
try to judge your abilities and interests.
more details and tips on interviews, check out our Interviews section
Importance of Networking in Admission
Decisions and Aid
Many graduate departments at universities offer teaching assistantships or
research assistantships to their graduate students (students pursuing a master's or
doctoral degree particularly in engineering). Assistantships usually involve a tuition
award and some sort of salary in return for teaching or research duties. Every school has
a limited number of openings for assistantships based on the amount of funding allocated.
As a result, such scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are competitive, based on
your academic performance to date.
Individual departments at the university generally control funds. It always helps to
write directly to the department to inquire about available funding. Students who
are research oriented or have published papers in a particular field should contact
professors interested in that field. By contacting professors in advance and
building a relationship, you can greatly enhance your chance of getting aid.
Unfortunately, there are many deserving students who do not get aid along with the
admission. If you are one of them and plan on joining anyway, we strongly recommend
you arrive a few days prior to the registration time. This will give you an
opportunity to personally talk with the professors and sell your skills. Professors
usually have funding available for various projects and you may be able to find something
that matches your skill set. We also strongly recommend that you dont restrict
yourself to your particular department. There are several opportunities in other
departments particularly for students with strong computer skills. You have to be
aggressive and persistent in your approach. Although there is no guarantee that you
will get financial aid, it is well worth the try. Always remember, if you dont
ask, you dont get. We have met a number of students who have received
assistantships in several U.S. universities after joining the school.
The story is very different for MBA programs. There are very few MBA schools that
provide any assistantship to international students. There is no assistantship
available in private schools. Some state schools receive funding for projects and
provide some opportunity to receive aid. However, if you have skills that you can
sell, we would recommend you try to find aid from other departments (engineering) even if
you are applying for MBA. Its a long shot, but you have nothing to lose.