Application to Master's Degree programs in the US
This reading contains some good advice and instructions on how to pursue graduate degree programs in the US.
Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well.
I wanted to share my experience today so you can use this reading as a guide in your graduate degree program search&application process. Now, here are things to know;
1) If you are from a non-English speaking country, regardless of the language of the instruction of the last program that you have completed, you have to take either the TOEFL IBT test or IELTS. This is an obligation.
2) If you are seeking a graduate degree ranging between Master of Science, Master of Engineering, MBA, and stuff, you have to either take the GRE test or GMAT.
3) Engineers mostly take the GRE, (the revised computer version of the GRE, not the subject test!) while business people take the GMAT exam.
4) Standardized test score requirements vary by program and institution, so you have to do your own research to find out what are the requirements of the program you intended to apply to. However, I can provide some pieces of information on this.
5) You have to check out the "graduate admissions" page of the institutions that you wish to apply to. All of the requirements for international students and domestic students are outlined on those web pages. For instance, if you wish to pursue a degree program at the University of Texas at Arlington, then you have to check the UTA graduate admissions office's website to find their application portal and the requirements of the graduate degree that they offer out there.
6) A majority of mid-tier universities require you to obtain at least a score of 80 on the TOEFL IBT to be considered for admission. Some programs may require +90 with no less subscores than 20.
7) If you are a PhD applicant who is seeking out some sort of financial aid or at least a graduate assistantship position(teaching&research assistantship), you have to at least score 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL IBT test. That's what the institutions in America mostly require you to accomplish.
8) If you wish to be considered for an admission decision, I strongly encourage to do your best on the GRE test to score at least +150 on the verbal section and +155 on the quantitative section. Your overall score should be +300 if you want to stand out from the crowd.
9) You may apply to multiple programs and institutions at the same time to increase your chance. I submitted 12 applications, received 5 admissions and 7 rejections.
10) Once you get the admission letter, you need to obtain an F1 student visa. For this, you must first obtain your I-20 document from the institution that you have been admitted. However, you have to be aware that you must be financially eligible to request the I-20. For instance, if your graduate program's tuition and total expenses cost something like 45,000 USD, you must be able to prove that you have this amount of money in your bank account. Otherwise, your institution cannot process an I-20 document for you. Because they are officially prevented (under US law) from issuing I-20 documents to the candidates that are not financially ok.
11) If you get multiple admission decisions from the higher educations in the US, according to the US supreme court, you are allowed to enroll in only one program. You cannot hold multiple places at a time. You must pay the deposit fee and submit your intent to enroll.
12) Things to consider when you are applying to any graduate program are as follows;
-On-Campus and Off-Campus housing, meal plans and fees (if you apply to an on-campus housing program),
-Transportation, text-books and a bunch of other living expenses,
-Graduate scholarships, grants, and loan possibilities.
Please note that non-resident aliens (international students) cannot apply for FAFSA (the portal that manages all forms of official financial aid offers)
I wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits.