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Study intakes for international students: USA

August 2021

The USA, a hub of higher education and home to a number of top US state universities, many students prefer to study in USA. Admissions to universities in USA depends on several factors viz. the availability of your desired program, one's academic qualifications, test scores of the required examinations, acceptance rates of US colleges and universities, employment opportunities available and one's willingness to pursue the program whilst making a decision.

Top US State Universities



The intakes for admission into US colleges and universities is divided into 3 categories:

  1. Fall intake
  2. Spring intake
  3. Summer intake


1. Fall intake in the USA

  • Also known as the September intake.
  • Begins in the month of September and ends in December or early January.
  • This is the major or primary intake in the USA.
  • A vast array of courses for international students to choose from are offered by all universities in USA.
  • In USA, more funding is provided for the Fall intake.
  • Numerous US colleges and universities have only the Fall intake for the admission process.
  • Opportunities in terms of scholarships is the most in the Fall intake.
  • As the pool of applicants is the largest, networking options with other students is better in this intake.
  • In the Fall intake, part time work opportunities viz. teacher or research assistant jobs are more.
  • Students seeking admission for the Fall intake meet the 9 months criteria before applying and therefore, they can easily apply for internship opportunities.
  • Easier for a Fall student to lead a social group as these groups are created at the start of the year.
  • Post study work opportunities for Fall students are more in number as placement drives at US colleges and universities begin during that time.
  • Competition among students at universities in USA is maximum in this intake.


2. Spring intake in the USA

  • Also known as the January intake.
  • Begins in the month of January and ends in May.
  • This is the secondary intake in the USA.
  • The Spring intake can be applied for by students who have missed the Fall intake.
  • However, in comparison to the Fall intake, fewer courses are offered by universities in USA for international students in the Spring intake.
  • As compared to the Fall intake in the USA, opportunities in terms of funding and scholarships in this intake are fewer in number.
  • As this intake begins mid-year, on-campus part time work opportunities and as a researcher, are lesser.
  • Students applying for the Spring intake face the eligibility problem of nine months enrollment condition to work with any company as an intern.
  • Since social groups are already formed at the beginning of the year, Spring students would find it difficult to show their capability as a leader of such groups.
  • Majority of the Fall students have already been employed by companies and therefore, in comparison to the Fall intake, post study work opportunities in the Spring intake are limited.


3. Summer intake in the USA

  • Begins in the month of May and lasts for about 2-3 months.
  • Though few universities in USA accept international students for the summer intake, only a few departments for those US colleges and universities are open for courses in this intake.
  • Thus, the summer intake is available for limited colleges and programs.
  • Mainly language programs for non-English-speaking students or a few specialized cultural programs are offered in this intake.
  • The pool of applicants is the smallest in the summer intake.

Steps for international students to study in USA for the September (Fall) intake:

1. Do your research: Begin by shortlisting 8-12 universities in USA that you wish to apply to. Your research should begin by April. One should visit the university websites and take note of the application requirements, due dates etc.

2. Take the required exams: One should appear for the IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, GMAT or GMAT tests around June.

3. Begin documentation viz. SOP, LOR, Application Essays as well as the Visa process and apply for your Student Visa in time.


Steps for international students to study in USA for the Spring intake:

1. Do your research: One should complete shortlisting US colleges and universities and all other important research by August.

2. Take the required tests: Appear for the required English Language and other eligibility tests by September or October.

3. The third step is to begin the application process. Also focus on the Visa requirement to departure.

For further assistance or queries students can contact us, Edwise International, and avail for our wide range of services for students on destinations like Universities in USA, study in USA, study in UK, study in Ireland, study in Canada, study in Australia, study in New-Zealand, study in Singapore and many other countries.

Universities in USA for International Students




Also read: Why choose universities in the USA? Top 5 Reasons



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