Best Guide for Graduate study in the US | How to apply for graduate study for international students

Best Guide for Graduate study in the US

The United States, which ranks third in terms of both territory and population, is a global leader in almost every aspect of human endeavor, including politics, commerce, science, media, and, of course, education. The US has more overseas students than any other nation (approximately 1.1 million as of the most recent census) and is home to several of the most prominent colleges in the world (including half of the top 10 universities).

How to apply for graduate study in the US

You must hold a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, from an institution with international acclaim in order to apply for graduate studies in the US. You will often additionally need to provide the following in addition to your degree transcript:

  • One or more letters of recommendation.
  • A research proposal (for postdoctoral fellows and PhD candidates);
  • Good result on a graduate admissions exam, if one is necessary (such as the GRE or GMAT);
  • If you are not a native English speaker, proof of your English competence, such as the TOEFL or IELTS;
  • A statement of purpose stating your objectives and describing why you are qualified for the programme.

While some institutions accept applications continuously, the majority of institutions have two deadlines: an early deadline (often in December or January) and a normal deadline (usually from March to April). You can submit applications to as many US institutions as you desire, but most students select six to consider seriously. Although online applications may be cheaper or free, US institutions frequently charge an application fee, typically between $50 and $100.

How to apply for a student visa in the US

An F-1 nonimmigrant visa is necessary for international students. Only when you have been accepted to an institution that has received SEVP approval may you apply for this. You must also show that you will depart the US after your studies are through and that you have the financial means to support yourself at that time. You will be required to attend an interview at the US Embassy in your city, where you must present the required paperwork and your application.

You can study in the US without a visa if you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda. However, you will have to pay for SEVIS (Student Database and Tracking System) enrollment and get a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. Currently, a nonimmigrant visa application costs $160, while SEVIS registration costs $200.


Universities in the US are recognized for having expensive tuition. Private institutions often offer a single rate for both domestic and international students, and their tuition is typically higher. In-state students pay less at public colleges, whereas out-of-state and foreign students pay more. A professional degree like an MBA, JD, LLM, or MD will cost substantially more than other postgraduate degrees, so plan accordingly.

A tuition and financial assistance calculator is a legal requirement for all US institutions to have on their websites. Using this calculator, you can quickly determine how much your degree program will cost to finish and if you qualify for any grants.


The good news is that a lot of students may get financial help of some kind, and frequently the most competitive schools give out the biggest amounts. For instance, five prestigious US institutions are fully "need-blind" and dedicated to providing sufficient financial help to all applicants (local and foreign), regardless of their financial position. These universities are Yale, Princeton, Amherst, Harvard, and MIT.

You will probably find the finest sources of funding supplied by your selected college and/or other organizations, as federal financial aid programs and loans in the US are frequently not available to overseas students. Financial need, academic success, other abilities, as well as your history and topic of study, may all be taken into account when deciding which applicants to offer scholarships and grants to.

Although the highest end of the private sector frequently offers the greatest financial aid packages, many public institutions also provide other forms of assistance. One such is the CPT program, which allows students with F-1 visas to perform compensated internships outside of the university. The Fulbright program, a project of the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers another source of financing.

Cost of Living

The cost of living varies significantly depending on where you decide to study in the US. Unbelievably, the expense of living in the US is frequently lower than in other well-liked study-abroad nations. The South and Midwest's suburban and rural areas often have the lowest cost of living, but big metropolia like New York City have a substantially higher cost of living (New York University reports an average yearly sum of $24,000). You might hunt for part-time work on campus to boost your income. However, during your first year, there are restrictions on off-campus employment due to visa needs.

Working in the USA after graduation

F-1 visa holders can often intern in the nation for up to a year after graduation. You must do this within 60 days of graduating in order to avoid facing deportation. There are two kinds of internships: curricular and optional (OPT) (CPT). Both must be finished in a field closely relevant to your field of study, and they can be finished either during your studies or after you graduate. However, they cannot take more than 12 months. Some students majoring in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—may additionally extend their internships by an extra 24 months.

Work-Study Program

It is permitted for J-1 and M-1 visa holders to work part-time on campus. They are able to put in 20 hours every week. After their first year at the university, candidates can look for work in positions designed especially for international students in:

  • Optional Practical Training: OPT enables graduate overseas students to work in the US for a year following the completion of their degrees. This aids students in obtaining real-world experience after graduation in the sector of their choosing.
  • Curricular Practical Training: International graduate students can participate in co-operative education, paid or unpaid internships, and other professional experience opportunities through CPT. That can be advantageous for their work-study programme.
  • OPT and CPT cannot be chosen together. An applicant cannot choose OPT and CPT at the same time if the applicant has already chosen CPT..

The work-study program does not authorize employment off-campus. However, a candidate's experience is taken into consideration when they apply for a full-time post. The hourly wage for students is between $40 and $50. The full 450 USD monthly budget goes toward covering living expenditures.