Why study in USA?

Land of opportunity that offers courses in cutting-edge technology and with fantastic research opportunities.

USA for many years has been the hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. The past couple of decades has seen United States paving way for new age technology and been a world leader and the by far the strongest economy in the world.

Indian students for many decades have been looking towards USA to expand their horizon and employability. The Indian diaspora in the United States has grown exponentially thanks to the Information Technology revolution.

USA is home to worlds best universities like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, MIT and many more.

How can you study degree in USA?

USA has broadly 4 types of educational institutions. Public Universities, Private Universities, Ivy League (also private) and Community Colleges.

These universities typically offer:

Associate Degrees- 2 Years offered by community colleges with an option to transfer to a University to complete the rest of the programme

Bachelor Degrees  - Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) etc., typically for the 4-year duration – Needs SAT or ACT scores along with TOEFL or IELTS score of 6.0 and above

Masters- 2-year duration ( some are for 18 months) normally known as Graduate programmes in the USA like the Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (MEng) etc., Needs applicants to have either GRE / GMAT along with TOEFL 79 or IELTS  6.0 and above. Usually requires 16 years of education but some universities accept 15 years of education as well if the student has graduated from a reputed University in India.

Doctorate- Ph.D. programmes may range from 3 to 5 years- Needs applicants to have either GMAT (for management courses) / GRE (for non-management programmes) along with TOEFL or IELTS  6.5 and above.

Two most popular intakes are Fall – August / September and Spring – January / February

While Fall is a major intake Spring has limited offering of courses.

North American Universities usually mention Grade Point Average (GPA) as the entry requirement.

Comparison of GPA and Percentages

Grade Point Average (GPA) – Scale of 4

Percentage Conversion -100%










80% and above


Working in USA and Stay back Options

Students who are on F1 visa are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during their term time and 40 hours per week during vacations. On campus jobs are usually in the form of Teaching or Research  Assistantship or working as laboratory assistants, food services, library assistants etc.

They have two possible options for working and staying back after the course.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)-  Student on F1 visa will be eligible after at least 9 months of full time study and this is integral part of the curriculum like an internship or a Co-op programme.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)- Students on F1 visa will be eligible for OPT after being a full time student for at least 12 months. The job has to be in a relevant area of their education and this can be up to 12 to 36 months.

Management graduates get 12 months and students in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or  Mathematics) qualify for up to 36 months of stay back with OPT

Should an employer sponsor a student’s H1B visa they can convert the  F1 visa to a full time work permit

Accommodation & Living Cost

Average accommodation and living costs per annum is approximately $15,000 to $18,000. It of course depends on the student’s lifestyle. It is common for many students to recover a part of the living costs from their part time job earnings. However the above figures are to be budgeted to make sure students do not face and financial hardships during the course time.

Tuition fees

Tuition fee for the courses to study in the USA can drastically vary from one institution to the other and from one course to the other. It would be wise to budget for approximately $20,000 to $25,000 per year towards the tuition fee.

Should one qualify to get a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship the cost of education can be reduced to a major extent. Getting a full fee waiver cannot be ruled out in exceptional cases.

Immigration & Visa

The US Consulate in India would assess student’s ability to fund their education without any financial hardships in the United States. The Visa officer would also like to understand student’s intention to return to his home country.

Typically the finding required for purpose of visa is to show readily available funds to support student’s education and stay in the USA during the course of study without causing financial difficulty to the family in India.

During the visa application process student need to pay the SEVIS fee $200 and complete the DS160 form to schedule an appointment.

The following link should be a useful reference to understand the Student Visa process:

Remember under the US Visa process every non-immigrant visa applicant is viewed as a potential immigrant and the interview is based on this premise.

UniStride is the topmost USA Education Consultants in India. Please, Consultant us for Study in the USA and for expert advice on your US visa application and do not take chances with incomplete paperwork risking a visa refusal.


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