USA has been a favourite study abroad destination over the years for international students. For obvious reasons, many Indian students want to study in USA for their further studies. With so many complex theories about US student visa and stay back option; here we have simplified the matter. You will require these fundamental things if you want to study in colleges and universities in USA. Each of them hold their own importance, and are somewhat necessary to get admission in an institute.

Study in USA Requirements

A valid Passport

You will be in need of a valid passport to pursue your study in the USA. Universities in the USA ask the international students to submit their passport number on their application. Without a passport, the institution will not be able to issue the essential forms for a USA student visa.

Academic qualifications

Verified copies of mark sheets of class X, XII, and the Bachelor's degree (if applying for post-graduation course).You should have good grades in previous academic study or high school diploma or an undergraduate degree which is equivalent to the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for entry in your selected college. If you are not eligible to enter directly to a bachelor’s degree in USA because of your low GPA, You may have the option to join an undergraduate pathway program.

English Language Proficiency

Universities in USA are English speaking Universities. The teaching and assessment both are done in the English Language. Therefore, it is important for international students who are coming from a non-English speaking country to prove their proficiency in reading, writing listening and speaking in English. Most of the Universities across USA will ask for IELTS or TOEFL scores before admissions. In some cases, even after you have cleared IELTS or TOEFL, you are likely to be asked to give the University or College’s own proficiency test.

Top Universities in USA and their IELTS requirements:

University Minimum IELTS bands required
Stanford University 7.0
Princeton University 7.0
Yale University 7.0
Columbia University 7.0
7.5 (School of Continuing Education)
8.5 (Graduate School of Journalism)
California Institute of Technology 7.0

Entrance Exam

Entrance exams like GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), etc. are required for special coursed. The test to be taken depend upon individual’s choice of course and Universities. GRE is taken for general admissions, while GMAT is a specialisation test for management students who want to apply for MBA of management programs. SAT is asked for undergraduate scores.

Specialisation Tests:

Specialisation Required Tests
Undergraduate Studies SAT
Graduate Studies GRE (General or Subject)
Graduate Studies (Management) GMAT
Fine Arts TOEFL with portfolio
Medicine MCAT
Pharmacy PCAT
Dental DAT
Veterinary VCAT
Public Accountant CPA (Certified Public Account Accountant Examination)
Medical Licensing USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)
Foreign Nursing School CGFNS (Council for Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools)

Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

The people who have been in contact with you professionally write letters of Recommendation for you. It is written by the professors of your last academic institution, or your immediate supervisors from where you had worked. Teachers will write an LOR for bachelor’s degree aspirants. If you are pursuing Master’s or MS, it will be written by the professors of your college / university.

Letters of Recommendation are written to give an idea about your academic and career professionalism and ethics. The sole purpose of LOR is to tip the scales in your favour with admission committee. It helps them understand you better as a person.

Statement of Purpose / Application Essay

The College / University you have applied to can ask one of these two. Both of them serve one purpose: An introduction about yourself and the reasons why you have applied to study in that particular institute. Statement of Purpose are normally about 1000 words long. An SOP contains information about yourself, your long-term and short-term goals and passion. You will have to write how the particular university or the college you have applied for will help you in achieving your plans and career goals. One have to keep the SOP simple, error proof, and in a single flow for the reader to understand it. No high level English or Technical words are required to make any impressions.

Monetary Funds

Even after the university and college you have applied for have accepted you, there will be an intimidating process to prove to the college / university and the visa officials that you have enough monetary funds to sustain your studies and other expenses for one year without any other financial help. You can show your funds, apply for a scholarships and / or international student’s loan if you are short on the funds you are asked to show to have a student visa for USA.

Apply for your visa

  1. When you are accepted by the university or college, they will send you the I-20 form to be filled and apply for the student visa.
  2. In the next step, apply for an online DS-160 form for USA visa.
  3. Fill that form carefully and take a printout of the confirmation page to carry it to the visa interview.
  4. Pay the Fees for Visa.
  5. Schedule biometrics (a photograph is taken, fingerprints are scanned) and interview appointment.
  6. Give the interview. It will consist of questions related to the choice of your college, course, and intent to come back to your home country. If you pass the interview, the passport will be taken to get the Visa Stamped.

Now you are aware of all the study requirements you will be needed to pursue your studies in the most popular study abroad destination, USA, start preparing for it as soon as you decide to go for it.

About the Author:

Dhruv is Content Creator at He is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing the information and helping others in the process.

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