FAQs - Graduate Study

I'm just getting started. Where can I find general information on undergraduate study opportunities in the U.S.?

Read the detailed information in the undergraduate study section of this website and follow the steps in the application timeline.

As you begin the process of applying for U.S. study, consider taking advantage of our advising resources, many of which are free. Visit an EducationUSA centers in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata and attend one of our regularly scheduled free basic information sessions. Or call our EducationUSA Help Desk (coming soon) or attend a free online webchat.

I don't want to go to an agent, how can I find accurate information about U.S. study?

USIEF operates 4 EducationUSA advising centers in New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata. There are other EducationUSA centers in India where you can find authentic, unbiased information and authoritative resources on higher education opportunities in the U.S.

Who is eligible to apply to the U.S. for higher studies?

The U.S. has over 4,000 institutions of higher education, including 1,700 institutions which grant Master's and PhD degree. Anyone with a consistently good academic record and proficiency in English can apply to the U.S. for higher education.
It is often best to check the websites of the specific university or universities to which you intend to apply. Admission criteria vary from university to university. It is often necessary to take standardized admission tests to be eligible to apply.

When can I begin graduate (master's and doctoral) studies in the U.S.?

You can start your graduate studies in the U.S. after you complete 16 years of education in India, including 3-4 years of college education. The planning should begin 12 -18 months in advance.

I have a three-year bachelor's degree from India. Am I eligible to apply for graduate study in the U.S.?

It is advisable for you to complete an additional year of formal studies to be stronger applicant for a Master's or PhD degree in the U.S. However, some students with a good track record are able to secure admission after a three-year Bachelor's degree. Please check with university admissions offices for more information on eligibility.

When should I start the application process?

It is important to begin the application process as early as possible, and at least 18 months before your intended date of enrollment at a U.S. university. For example, if you wish to enroll in August/September 2014, you should start the process around April or May 2013.

Does this application process cost me money?

Yes, it does. If you intend to apply to an average of seven American institutions or universities, the average cost will be approximately Rs.50,000. This includes fees for standardized tests, application fees, and communication and mailing expenses.

Will I get financial assistance?

Colleges and universities offer scholarships, various types of assistantships and fellowships to competitive students, largely based on merit, but also taking into consideration the student's background, skills, and other factors. Competition for financial assistance and availability varies from university to university.

What are the advantages of studying in the U.S.?

Some of the advantages of studying in the U.S are:
  • Variety of educational opportunities
  • Global acceptability of degree
  • Flexibility
  • State-of-the-art research and training
  • Global exposure
  • Academic excellence
  • Financial aid opportunities
  • Internship opportunities
  • Warm and welcoming campuses

I have always been advised only to apply to accredited schools. Where can I find official information on US accreditation? 

The U.S. does not have a central government office that approves educational institutions. Instead it relies on a system of voluntary accreditation carried out by non-governmental accrediting bodies to ensure that schools meet standards.

For accreditation information see the following website:

U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
Department of Homeland Security’s Database.

Are there rankings available for U.S. universities?

There is no centralized, authoritative ranking system of U.S. universities. Unofficial rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review and the THS-QS World University Rankings will give you a general idea of the academic reputation and relative prestige of a university. However, it is important to recognize that a top 20, or even top 100, list of universities covers only a small percentage of the universities available. You should read the fine print on how rankings are determined. Rankings are not always based upon factors that could impact you or your child's quality of education most, such as class size, teaching quality, student advising, faculty access and opportunities for research, internships, campus activities, etc.

What type of visa do I need to become a student in the U.S.?

  • F1 Student Visa: Most students pursuing full-time study at an educational institution recognized by the U.S. government will enter the U.S. on an F-1 Student Visa.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is for students, visiting scholars or lecturers pursuing an exchange program.
  • M-1 Visa: This visa is for those who will be engaged in non-academic or vocational study or training at an institution in the U.S.

Can I work in the U.S. on a student visa?

According to current immigration regulations, international students can work part time  up to 20 hours per week - on campus while school during the academic year, and up to 40 hours per week during school vacation periods. Students working 10-20 hours a week can earn enough to pay for incidentals such as books, clothing and personal expenses, but should not expect to earn enough to pay major expenses such as tuition or room and board.

Where can I get a document attested or verified?

You can get your transcripts/mark sheets attested at EducationUSA centers across India for a nominal fee. EducationUSA centers in India can attest transcripts that have been issued by institutions recognized by AICTE/UGC/AIU. USIEF will not attest CA (Chartered Accountants) or ICWA marksheets and certificates. Only documents issued by duly recognized Examination Boards, colleges and universities will be attested.

For any query on U.S. higher education, call us on our EdUSA toll-free hotline 1800-103-1231 between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm (Monday-Friday)