Undergraduate Study in U.S.

The first level of higher (postsecondary) education is undergraduate study and includes two-year and four-year programs. Two-year programs generally lead to an associate degree earned at a community college, whereas four-year colleges and universities offer programs that lead to a Bachelor's degree.

The first two years usually are spent in courses that give you a broad foundation for future specialization. They may include history, sciences, languages, humanities, etc – along with courses determined by your chosen field of study. The second two years are devoted to your major academic subject.

Size: Institutions range from fewer than 1,000 to more than 50,000 students.
Student Body: Most colleges are coeducational, but there are 66 for men and 53 for women only.
Selectivity: College admissions policies range from highly selective to open admissions.
Setting: Campuses are located in small and large cities, suburban areas, and rural communities, and in a variety of climates.
Field of Study: With more than 600 major fields of study to select from, you are likely to find a program that suits your interests.
Type of Institution: Choices range from liberal arts colleges that emphasize broad preparation in academic disciplines to technical schools that provide focused, career-related training. Some offer vocational programs, and a growing number of college's offer option sin distance learning. There is no official ranking system for the 4,000+ colleges and universities in the U.S. When choosing a school, it is important to consider many factors including size, location, price, academics, financial aid and international student services. Here are some useful search engines to help you find the right fit:

The Application Process

Planning ahead will give you sufficient time to make successful applications to the colleges of your choice.

Admissions - What the School Looks for

  • Academic Fit
  • 12 years of formal schooling
  • Academic record - transcripts
  • Standardized Tests - SAT I (Link to Testing)
  • English Proficiency - TOEFL (Link to Testing)
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Common Application/Individual College Application
  • Admissions Essays
  • Funding (Link to Financial Aid Page)

Application Calendar

  • 18 months - Choose schools; register for tests
  • 15 months - Take standardized tests (SAT, TOEFL, etc)
  • 12 months - Request applications; ask for recommendations; start preparing transcripts; retake standardized tests if needed
  • 11 moths - Write personal statements
  • 10 months - Complete application
  • 4-5 months - Acceptance; apply for visa; housing arrangements
  • 3 months - Travel arrangements
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