Student Cover’s guide to studying in the US: Part 2 – Identifying the requirements

In Part 2 of 5 part Student Cover’s Guide to Studying in the US, we focus on the essential homework that a student must do before going ahead and preparing oneself for the admission process.

After getting him or her acquainted with the Universities and colleges and deciding on the degree course to pursue, one should then go ahead and find out what are the actual requirements for getting admission into those courses.

Academic Requirements

For Bachelor’s Degree Course

To get admitted to a bachelor’s degree program popularly known as UG (undergraduate) degree, one must have the necessary educational qualification. Those who wish to get admitted to an undergraduate degree program must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Student should have at least 12 (10+2) years of regular schooling but they are required to produce the mark-sheet and passing certificate of only higher sec.(X) & senior sec. (XII) examinations.
  2. Although the medium of instruction other than English language at primary levels is not an issue for getting admission in the US. However, higher & senior secondary examinations ought to be in English language.
  3. For courses such as Engineering and Medicine, a student is required to show that he or she has taken science stream/subjects in Class XI and XII.
  4. A student should have good academic record. Almost all universities/colleges seek higher first division in Class X & Class XII examinations from applicants.
  5. The student must have done schooling from a school recognized by the government of his/her respective country.

For Master’s Degree

Unlike India where the bachelor’s degree program is of 3 years (except Engineering, Law and Medical Science), all UG degree programs in the US have duration of 4 years. As a result, Indian students applying to this course fall short of the credit points required to get admitted to a Master’s Degree program. They can meet this shortfall either through research projects, work experience or through bridge courses. The other requirements are

  1. A Government recognized bachelor’s degree certificate
  2. Graduation from a recognized university/college where medium of instruction & examination is English.
  3. The student’s CGPA, CPI or total score during graduation should fall in the category of 1st (first) division (i.e. 65% or above).
  4. For specific programs such as Science, Engineering, Medicine, Law etc, the student must have pursued bachelor’s degree in the same or allied discipline.

Language Requirements

All international applicants who come from countries where English is not the native language are required to prove their proficiency in English. This can be done by taking Standardized Tests for English Proficiency. There are two such standardized tests whose scores are considered by colleges and universities in the US. They are

TOEFL – It stands for Test of English as Foreign Language. It is a standardized test most widely accepted in the US. It is conducted throughout the world including most major cities in India. An estimated 2.3 million appear for TOEFL tests every year. The test is of 4 hours and has total score of 120. These 120 marks are divided into 4 categories i.e. Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Most good universities demand that an applicant should have scored at least 75-80 marks in TOEFL exam.

IELTS – It stands for International English Language Testing System. Although many US universities accept IELTS scores as well, it is more popular in commonwealth countries of UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It is of two types – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Tests. While IELTS General Training is usually taken by those seeking work or PR, students applying in US Universities and Colleges need to sit for IELTS Academic test. The total score for the test is 9 marks and consists of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking Section. It is conducted by British Council (also by IDP in India) located in different countries and take 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

Let’s Wrap Up!

To get admitted in a college or university in the US, a student should not only have good academic credentials, but should also meet the credit requirements for admission. A higher first division at higher secondary, senior secondary and graduate level is preferred by universities and colleges. In addition to academic qualification, students must also prove their proficiency in English language by scoring well in standardized English proficiency tests such as TOEFL and IELTS.

Disclaimer: The content of the following article is based on the personal research of the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion. Student Cover will not be liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this article.

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