In 2020/21, 167,582 Indian students went to the USA to pursue higher education, second behind China as per Statista.
The US has long been a favourite destination for pursuing higher studies. What makes US universities so special? What are the popular areas of higher studies there, and how to get into them? Let’s read further to know more.
Why is the US a Hot Destination for Students?
- World-Class Universities
The US-based universities have consistently dominated most global top 10 rankings across different fields. Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Caltech, and many other US universities carry a strong brand value and reputation.
Cutting-edge technological advancements, well-funded research in various fields, upgraded infrastructure and easy access to modern resources are some of the hallmarks of most reputed US universities.
- Flexibility in Learning
The US universities are renowned for providing one of the most flexible learning environments where students can avail of the following benefits.
- Customized Curriculum
The course design in most US universities is highly flexible, giving students a great deal of liberty to explore different fields before zeroing on to their subjects of interest. For instance, students can choose from a wide range of elective courses and combined degrees while pursuing graduate degree programs.
- Credit Transfer Facility
One of the unique features of US universities is that students can easily transfer their credits from one university to another university. This motivates students to score good credits to try for a better university for completing their degree.
- Low Student-to-Faculty Ratio
The student-to-faculty ratio is relatively low, providing enough scope for the students to connect with their teachers and develop deep bonds. As a result, there is a free flow of ideas in the classroom, and teachers often become mentors to the students.
- Job Readiness
US universities often provide a good mix of academic and practical training to students, which helps them deal with real-world problems and their solutions. Additionally, students can apply for an assistantship in teaching or work with their professors on research projects as well.
Top Education Streams in the USA
The USA is a top destination for students aspiring to pursue higher studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The likes of Harvard, MIT, Caltech, etc., are at the forefront of running cutting edge research on a wide range of subjects. Therefore, students get exposure to the latest happenings in technology and get to be a part of it.
Applicants can enrol in a 2-years MS (Master of Science) program after completing their undergraduate studies in the related STEM subject.
- Business Management
Several thousand students flock to various US universities every year for admission into an MBA program for all the right reasons. In fact, top US B-schools consistently feature in the global top 10 rankings released by most reputed firms.
Furthermore, MBA programs in US universities offer flexibility for different students. While the 2-year regular MBA remains the popular choice for most applicants, there are other choices as well, such as accelerated MBA program, Executive MBA, Part-time MBA, or online MBA.
7 Reasons to Pursue MBA from the USA
- Top Quality Program
Most US B-Schools regularly update their management program so that the course curriculum remains highly effective and in line with global businesses’ current and future requirements. Therefore, MBA from a reputed US B-school can provide you with a good return on investment for the rest of your life as your resume will be automatically highlighted in the eyes of the recruiter.
- Great Faculty
Noble laureates, former industry leaders, and acclaimed experts in their fields constitute the faculty in reputed B-schools in the USA. You will have the opportunity to learn from the bests and think like them.
- Different Learning Approaches
While Harvard University emphasises case studies (300 in two years), Stanford, on the other hand, likes to give a free hand to the faculty members to design their course curriculum and teaching methods. Other B-schools might have some other way of teaching.
It is a win-win situation for the students as they get to experience different, sometimes radical, learning methods apart from the traditional ones.
- International Exposure
Most US B-school campuses thrive on diversity, with international students from different nationalities and cultures being a part of them. This can provide you with an excellent opportunity to understand diverse cultures and expand your views and thought processes.
US B-schools emphasise developing entrepreneurial values so that you can envisage starting a new business at some later point in your career.
Top B-Schools in the USA
|1||Graduate School of Business||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
|2||Wharton School||University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA|
|3||Booth School of Business||University of Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|4||Kellogg School of Management||Northwestern University||Evanston, IL|
|5||Harvard Business School||Harvard University||Boston, MA|
|Sloan School of Management||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA|
|7||Columbia Business School||Columbia University||New York, NY|
|Hass School of Business||University of California- Berkeley (Haas)||Berkeley, CA|
|9||School of Management||Yale University||New Haven, CT|
|10||Tuck School of Business||Dartmouth College||Hanover, NH|
|Leonard N. Stern School of Business||New York University (Stern)||New York, NY|
Source: US News
[READ: The ROI of MBA from the USA]
- Physical and Life Sciences
It is another immensely popular study stream in the USA. Apart from the traditional favourites like medicine and biology, many new fields, like healthcare business analysis, have emerged from this stream that attracts numerous international students.
Steps to Get into a US college
- Send Application Forms
Most US universities and colleges make their respective application forms available on the official website of their institutions. Check for the application process there and apply in the requisite format and all the supporting documents.
- Take Admission Tests
Many US universities have or had suspended the requirement of submitting some of the test scores due to the pandemic. However, it is advisable to clear and score high on these admission tests to edge over others.
TOEFL/IELTS GRE/GMAT are some of the tests you will need to undergo for admission into a graduate program.
[READ: GRE VS GMAT]
- Wait for Interview/Acceptance Letter
Once you are done with applying, wait for the acceptance letter that usually arrives through email. Receiving an acceptance letter means that you have been accepted into the course. You will now have to pay the required deposit to confirm your admission into that course.
Some programs like MBA would require you to appear for a personality interview before being cleared for acceptance.
Tips for Students
- Begin Early
The admission process in most US universities is a long and tiresome process involving multiple rounds of scrutiny that generally takes 24 months to complete. So, you need to make up your mind early on and begin your preparations accordingly.
- Score High on GMAT/GRE
A good GMAT/GRE score not only helps in getting admission to the college of your choice but can also help in getting scholarships or grants. Furthermore, these scores remain valid for four years. Therefore, you should try to secure a high score beforehand so that you can concentrate on other areas of your application.
- Write a Great Essay
The US admission system requires you to write personal essays as a part of the admission process. The quality of the essay can play an important role in determining the fate of your admission. Therefore, it is vital to spend ample time drafting your essay.
- Letter of Recommendation
In the case of MBA programs, you will typically need two letters of recommendation. Select your recommenders carefully and give them ample time so that each of them can draft a good recommendation letter to strengthen your application.
- Seek Professional Help
You can seek professional help from an admission councillor who is an expert in overseas MBA admission. An expert can provide you with valuable tips at every stage of the admission process and even help you select the right program.
Entering a top US university is difficult but not impossible. The admission process in most of these universities is highly transparent, and every individual has an equal opportunity to get onboard an academic program. All you need is a strong determination and perseverance to break into the league of a select few.