You are here

Study in

the United States
Admissions and application guidelines

Are you thinking of applying to university in the United States, but are unsure where to begin? The United States have over 2,500 academic institutions offering a wide array of departments. Each campus has an identifying way life and can vary acceptance of applications and admission. Not sure where to start? Below you will find some U.S. school admission and application guidelines to help you on your collegiate journey.

There are so many different campuses available to choose from so the only consistency between all of them is the necessity to double check entry requirements on your own. Start early. Give yourself a year and half before the semester you want to start your studies to begin fielding questions to admissions staff members. Just remember that emails must be professional and without grammatical error. Imagine these first correspondence to be your initial part of application. After learning the entry requirements, begin applying.

Types of applications

The Standard Application is the style used by many private institutions and can be submitted online or by print. Personal information, your choice of major and minor, as well as necessary test scores will be required. On top of this, you will be asked to submit a non-refundable application fee, college essays, high school transcripts (which may require translation if not in English), proof of English fluency, financial documents to demonstrate your ability to pay for the education, references, and a health evaluation. Some departments may require a portfolio to showcase work as a part of the admissions process - double check if your intended major will need this.

The Common Application is designed to be a simple procedure for students applying to university or colleges that accept this application. This application has the same requirements as the standard application, but can be used to apply to more than 450 schools across the country.

Early Decision/Early Action Applications enable the student to get word of their acceptance much sooner than the Standard Application. This relieves the stress of waiting for decisions. Both options can only be submitted to one school. In this sense you are placing faith that you will be accepted to the institution that you choose. With early decision, you can also submit standard applications to other schools. You cannot do this with early action. If you are accepted by early decision you can decide right away or wait until the following spring if you would like to attend the school. An early action decision requires that you commit to attending that school.

After word of acceptance, finalise your decision pay the school deposit. With this fee, you are considered a student and in many cases, it makes you eligible to apply for campus housing.

Applying to U.S. schools might seem like a daunting task, but by giving yourself enough time and following these guidelines, you will be on your way to attending the academic institution of your dreams.


*Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

Other country guides for study abroad