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Questions and answers on training and visas in the USA

What is the difference between colleges and universities?

In the United States, these two concepts are generally equivalent and mean the same educational institution. Usually, colleges are smaller and offer only bachelor's programs , while in universities you can get a master 's degree , a doctor and pass a post-doctoral course. In each college and university there are separate schools: for example, the school of business, arts or sciences.

For what periods is the academic year divided?

In general, this division is common for all universities, but some differences are permissible. Students study from September or early August until the end of May, the year is divided into semesters (for 18 weeks); Additionally, it may be proposed to divide into trimesters (or quarters, for 12 weeks each). In addition, in the summer time, additional semesters are often organized at 6-8 weeks: its students attend at their choice. The summer semester can help to get a diploma in a short time, to give an opportunity to retake, if in the examinations were received unsatisfactory grades, and also to reduce the load during the main academic year. Long holidays are provided for Christmas (2-4 weeks) and in the spring (week in early March or mid-April).

What does the degree of bachelor, master and doctor mean? What is an associated degree?

The bachelor (4 years) and associate degree (2 years) are students immediately after graduating from high school, this basic, basic higher education. The degree of doctor and master can only be obtained after receiving a bachelor's degree - a master's degree is a complete higher or second higher education, and a doctoral degree is a profile education that is very valuable in the labor market.

How can I check if my chosen university is accredited?

Alas, there is no single central body that deals with accreditation in the US. Non-governmental authorized bodies can voluntarily accredit higher education institutions , schools and colleges, and determine whether they comply with national educational standards. You can use the information on the websites http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ or http://www.chea.org . Remember that if you choose a non-accredited higher education institution, you will most likely be refused a US student visa.

If I choose the MBA program, what will be the duration of the training? Will I be able to work during my studies?

Traditionally MBA is a two-year course, but depending on the chosen institution, you can choose an accelerated one-year program.

Foreigners can work on campus (20 hours per week) during the first year of study; After that you can try to formalize work permits outside the campus (also 20 hours a week) - but this is only possible if your activities are related to the field of study and specialization. Also there is an opportunity of summer internship or seasonal work after 1 course. The application must be approved by the office for work with foreign students.

Are there age restrictions for applicants for American universities?

Usually universities accept students at least 17 years old (if it is a question of undergraduate programs), but even from this rule there are exceptions. Students from 21 years old can apply for master's programs and MBA.

Can I get a doctorate or a master's degree while studying remotely?

Yes, many American universities provide this opportunity. Make sure that the remote online program is accredited - you can help portal http://www.detc.org/ .

Is there a difference between distance learning and online learning?

Principal - no: online learning is a form of distance learning. With distance learning, teachers and students are in different places, outside one audience. The synchronous type provides that information is given at a certain time - say, a schedule of webinars, online exams, etc. Asynchronous type allows you to study at a convenient time, receive tasks and send results by mail. In general, the types of distance learning are as follows:

  • By mail
  • By phone, using voice messages
  • Interactive: radio and TV, satellite communications and audio files
  • Via videocassettes or CDs
  • Electronic messages and online training, the use of Skype.
What can be considered a local college? What are the privileges of his students?

Local colleges are often called incomplete, as they offer a reduced course of study in 2 years. In the US, there are many such institutions, about 170, and the majority receive substantial support from their state, a small part is private and independent.

Such colleges mainly offer Diplomas of Associate Degree, vocational education and technical training. Additional plus - strong links with local state colleges, which allows graduates to easily move from one educational level to another, to carry out an educational transfer across the state. Graduates can study the final two grades and get a bachelor's degree after only 2 courses at the university - many Americans choose this way. In addition, the cost of studying at a local college is significantly lower than in a classical four-year college or university.

What is the rating system in the US? What is GPA?

In the American educational system , the letter designation of the student's knowledge level is accepted, and each letter has a digital analog - the latter is used to derive an average score, which is the GPA. This is the average score for all courses studied during the course of the study; Usually the scale includes values ​​up to 4.0.

  • 90-100% = score A = 4 = excellent
  • 80-89% = score B = 3 = good
  • 70-79% = score C = 2 = average
  • 60-69% = point D = 1 = below average
  • 50-59% = E / F = not dealt.

To continue the training, it is necessary to obtain grades not lower than C (65-70% of the correct performance), often using the notation P (passed, counted), S (satisfactory), N (credit not fulfilled).

What is the fundamental difference between a bachelor's degree and an associate degree?

So, what is an associated degree? This is the level awarded by the university or college after the completion of the full study program in 2 years (or its analog Part Time). If you complete a course in two years, which is similar to two years of four studies in a classical college, you get an associate degree in the field of humanities (AA) or natural (AS) sciences, and if you have completed a professional or technical course, Then you can apply for an associate degree in applied sciences (AAS). A program that allows you to get this degree, can be a semester, lead to the beginning of a professional career or be a stepping stone to further studies for a bachelor.

A bachelor's degree is usually awarded after a 4-year course at a college and university, and after the completion of an equivalent program. The most common types are the bachelor in the field of humanities (BA) and natural (BS) sciences, there is no difference between them except for specialization. One of the tangible advantages of the American bachelor degree is its flexibility: you can choose for yourself suitable courses and create your own training program, the main thing is to recruit a certain number of loans. Usually the first course is Freshman, the second is Sophomore, the third is Junior and the fourth is Senior.

How can I transfer to an American university or colleges from a university in another country in the world?

The translation program in America is well established, but it should be borne in mind that differences in the structure of training courses and diplomas are almost inevitable. The Admissions Committee in the USA carefully examines all the courses and directions that you have studied and issues educational loans according to the assessment. There are several principal points:

  • Is your educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education of your country or at least by other state and non-state structures?
  • Are the courses that you have already taken are similar to those that are offered for training in the US? What is the percentage of similar programs?
  • How appropriate are the disciplines you have completed to receive the chosen specialty, do they meet the general academic requirements?

This decision is made already when you arrived at a new place of study. It is especially difficult to recalculate and evaluate the passed courses for profoundly professional disciplines: engineering sciences, journalism, architecture.

To successfully transfer to an American university , make sure that all your academic documents are official, have a stamp and stamp of your institution (ideally - printed on the letterhead of the institution). Provide in English the content (short) of all the subjects that you have already passed: the topics studied, the number of classes or academic hours (lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions), the duration of the semester and the academic year. Also indicate which tutorials and books you used.

In general, US universities and colleges are fairly loyal to foreign students transferred from other countries - even part of the program for secondary school can be counted if it corresponds to the program of initial courses of the American educational institution.

What are the differences between master's and doctoral degrees?

A master's degree is necessary for complete higher education in a specialized field, this is a more in-depth and profile training than a bachelor's degree. Mainly Master's programs are divided into professional and academic programs; Most often awarded the degree of MA (Master of Arts), MS (Master of Science), and the highest is The Ph.D. (Doctorate of Philosophy, Ph.D.). The latter can be obtained by studying for a minimum of three years and defending the thesis (for the rest, as a rule, two-year training is sufficient). The degrees MA and MS are most often awarded in the humanities, natural and engineering (engineering, agriculture) sciences, as well as in art.

If the student does not plan to pursue a doctoral degree in the future, he will receive a professional master's degree: MBA (Master of Business Administration), MSW (Master of Social Work), M.Ed (Master of Education), MFA (Master in Fine Arts). Also a professional master's degree can be obtained for public administration (MPA) and public policy (MPP), in the field of international relations, urban planning, journalism and architecture.

The doctoral degree is necessary for students who plan to become scientists, teachers in colleges and universities, this stage means the readiness to independently conduct complex specific studies. Usually a doctorate is awarded in every single profession: in addition to the above Ph.D., there are degrees of Ed.D. Or Doctor of Education, DBA or Doctor of Business Administration (business and business administration), etc. Education for a doctorate degree is associated with writing complex term papers, thesis (original research) and attending a multitude of seminars and lectures. After you have received a bachelor's degree, it may take 5-8 years to obtain a doctoral degree in addition (depending on the chosen specialty).

How to transfer from a local college to a university?

It is not out of place to clarify whether there are partner agreements between educational institutions: availability will make it easier and faster to credit educational loans and passed courses. Many state-owned local colleges work closely with state universities within their state, forming a single educational space for a convenient transfer.

Some universities can not accept pupils of certain courses from schools and local colleges - this is due to high introductory requirements or accreditation specifics. Therefore, before the start of the transfer, be sure to consult your tutor and tutor to understand which courses can be credited to you.

There is a simpler way: many institutions accept students at once for a two-year and a four-year program, so after two years of training you can easily transfer to a bachelor's degree.

Is there a rating of colleges and universities? A certain specialty interests.

In the US , many publications, magazines and brochures are published on the ratings of American educational institutions, but there is no official unified rating. Each source is guided by its criteria for evaluation. We can advise you one of the most priority and respected resources on the portal http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges . Here you can get acquainted with the level of assessment of universities, choose for themselves the primary priority options and discuss them with our consultant.

What are the requirements for applicants regarding the level of English?

Certainly, a high level of English is one of the main, key requirements for applicants entering colleges and universities of the United States . Foreigners must confirm their level of knowledge with an IELTS or TOEFL certificate (the exact criteria are approved on an individual basis, depending on the institution chosen).

Many universities offer conditional admission for foreigners who do not know English well enough. This means that you are attending ESL courses (English as a second language), and once your level reaches the required level, you begin your degree studies. But remember that good knowledge of English is necessary not only for admission, but for obtaining a student visa, so additional intensive training is required in any case.

Can students form their own curriculum? Or is there a fixed set of items that must be followed?

Of course, the compulsory subjects exist - this is the main backbone of the disciplines that you must pass for obtaining a diploma. In addition to them, optional electives are selected, and here you can already rely on your own taste. Typically, universities still structure the set of courses, as well as the time of their study, which are mandatory for mastering the chosen specialty. Requirements for each direction are better checked individually in each university.

What is the difference between public and private colleges or universities?

State educational institutions (also called public ones) are financed by their staff and are most often founded by the municipality, which makes it possible to make the cost of training in them as low and affordable as possible. Usually these are very large universities that accept a wide stream of students, but it should be borne in mind that for foreigners the fee will in any case be slightly higher than for residents of a certain "native" state.

Private colleges and universities exist at the expense of students (tuition fees, donations and gifts of graduates), as well as grants for research, so the cost of training in them is more expensive. Usually they are smaller in size than public ones, can have a religious orientation or adhere to separate education (only for boys or only for girls).

What is the College of Humanities and what are the advantages of such an education?

This is a unique feature of the American educational system : a structured academic education aimed at actively developing verbal, written abilities and reasoning skills, analytical thinking. Students start their education immediately by a large list of subjects - usually these are foreign languages, humanitarian and social directions, physical sciences; Then the subject for specialization and additional classes in the chosen direction are selected (the latter make up 25-50% of the total curriculum).

Humanitarian education helps to develop knowledge in a complex way, to improve the ability to construct reasoning and form conclusions - this is a valuable common skill, favorably different from highly specialized skills in the exact sciences. As a rule, humanitarian colleges are excellently equipped, have advanced IT equipment, offer excellent living conditions and qualified experienced teachers, many of whom are professors. Also a plus is a real opportunity to transfer to a large, more rated university after the initial courses, considered as preparation.

Humanitarian education will help to increase your cadre in the world labor market. According to statistics, graduates change 8-10 jobs for the entire duration of their career, so there is a great chance that your main specialty and workplace are just being developed! That is why the students of the humanitarian direction have a better chance of finding employment and adapting to the modern rapidly changing world due to their ability to critical and analytical thinking, reasoning, developed communication skills and excellent written and spoken language.

What requirements do you need to meet in order to enter a university for a bachelor's degree?

You will need a diploma or a certificate of completion of high school, a certificate (or test results) for proficiency in English , as well as the results of a qualification test for the level of knowledge (in the American system it is ACT or SAT ). Each university can set its own requirements for applicants, so it is better to clarify this issue in advance at the priority university. Please note that the secondary education certificate should indicate that you have studied the main subjects of the program: English, math, social, human and natural sciences, and an additional foreign language will also be your advantage.

Are there any university exchange programs?

Of course: many American universities support student exchange programs with universities around the world. So pupils from different countries can receive valuable diverse experience of living and studying, study the programs and disciplines of various educational institutions, get acquainted with new cultures and customs.

But for a diploma, usually the courses that you took in the main country of your education are fundamentally important - usually programs lasting from 1 semester to 1 academic year. The bonus of exchange programs is the fact that you pay for tuition in the main country, even if the cost of studying at a partner university or college is higher.

In order to participate in the exchange program , contact the Office for International Programs and Relations at your university or school, ask if the institution participates in the transfer programs, specify the conditions of its work and the criteria for student participation. Financing from the universities themselves for such programs is limited - you can get help for training on transfer through public and social organizations, from representatives of local business or international companies.

What is the procedure for submitting documents for the Bachelor program applicants?

It will be necessary to fill in and prepare a sufficiently large number of documents by a certain date, including an obligatory application form. We recommend starting the preparation process in advance, approximately 12-18 months before the expected start of the training. Academic year in the United States begins in late August-September, so you need to attend to the filing of applications from November to January of the previous year.

First, select educational institutions that have the required specialization or direction. To do this, you can apply directly to universities and colleges, consult our specialist or view information on our website. Clarify the introductory requirements, the set of necessary documents and the rules for filling the application application. When submitting, be sure to indicate the main academic field interesting to you, check the correctness of writing all the data (the name must match the model that is printed in your passport). Find out for yourself whether your level of preparation corresponds to academic admission requirements, and also specify the cost of training and check whether you are able to provide for yourself while studying. We recommend submitting documents to 3-5 universities at once, not limited to one priority: so we will insure ourselves in case of refusal in one of them and increase the chances of entering at least one selected university. If the decision of the selection committee is positive, you will receive an official invitation and a letter of admission, which is necessary for the registration of a student visa in the United States.

Be ready to pay for consideration of your documents in the shortest possible time: contributions are accepted in US dollars (bank transfers from the account or cards, money orders). Many schools will not consider your application form without an appropriate fee.

You will also need to produce a report card with your grades from the secondary school (both in Russian and English, if necessary, we will implement a professional quality translation for you). All official documents must be printed on the school letterhead, include a seal or stamp and be signed by authorized persons. It is better to produce original documents, photocopies are considered in exceptional cases and by far not all institutions (in any case, it will be necessary to officially certify that they correspond to the original).

Foreigners must pass the English language test : usually it is TOEFL or IELTS . It is better to clarify passing scores in advance at the selected institutions. In addition, qualification exams confirming the level of academic knowledge are waiting for you: SAT , ACT applicants for bachelor's program pass, GRE and GMAT are needed for graduate students.

It is superfluous to prepare letters of recommendation and characteristics from your teachers, consultants, mentors and professors: this can show you as a promising and talented student, increase the chances of successful enrollment. US universities are interested in attracting gifted and capable students, so any confirmation of your knowledge and abilities will be very useful.

Be sure to confirm your financial solvency, prove that you have money for study and a long stay in the country: it can be a scholarship or a grant received, a sponsorship letter, a bank statement, etc.

Submit your application and the collected package of documents in advance, carefully observe the deadline for submitting applications! Consider possible postal delays and other force majeure: the period for processing applications can be 6-8 weeks, so it's better to insure that you have enough time to get a visa, passport registration, etc. Usually schools, colleges and universities send letters of admission and invitations in March-April - in this case you can start training in the next semester (end of August - September). Remember that it is considered polite to notify the university, if you do not accept their invitation (for example, find a more advantageous or priority option), do not leave the letter unanswered.

How can a foreign student get a master's or PhD degree from an American university?

You can apply for a seat in these programs if you already have a bachelor's degree or study in the last year. Your chosen higher education institution will consider your diploma, the list of subjects studied and credits for them, and correlates with your own requirements for graduates (and these requirements may vary depending on the institution chosen). We recommend that you apply in advance, about 1-1.5 years before the expected start of studies in the fall semester (late August-September).

To get started, find out all the information about the institutions you have chosen that offer an interesting program: go to the profile directories, look at the information on our website or contact the Smapse consultant. Each university may have a different standard of application form, as well as a mandatory package of documents (but usually their list is approximately the same). In the application you will need to indicate your specialization and area of ​​expertise, available professional experience, to prove why this specialization and profession interests you; You can indicate the names of famous teachers and professors from whom you can and would like to study. Correlate the introductory requirements and the content of the program with the level of your preparation, objectively assess whether you meet the requirements of the university. Be sure to make sure that all the data in your application and questionnaire are clearly and accurately indicated (for example, the name must completely correspond to the one that is written in your passport).

We recommend that you apply to several selected universities: so you can insure against a refusal in one of them and maximally guarantee yourself a successful entry. If the university charges a fee for reviewing documents (and this is a fairly common practice), do not forget to attach to the general package and application a receipt for the Application Fee payment, otherwise the application will not be considered.

You will need to translate the report card with your grades, as well as a diploma or a certificate in English (this can be done by our professional experienced translators). All official documents from the school or university must be printed on a letterhead, with seals, stamps and signatures of authorized persons. If possible, submit the originals to the highest priority institution, any copy must be notarized beforehand. Be sure to attach the time sheet with your grades, a list of all passed courses and points received for them, the results of the annual examinations and the date of graduation.

Foreigners must also pass a TOEFL or IELTS language exam in advance and demonstrate a high level of English, as well as prepare for the passing of the GRE or GMAT qualification tests. It is worthwhile to enlist both letters of recommendation, characteristics from your teachers, mentors and curators, professors and leaders.

Confirm your financial solvency - you need to prove to the admissions committee that you have money for your studies and a long stay in a foreign country. You can get a sponsorship letter, a certificate of a scholarship or a grant, an extract from your personal bank account.

Be sure to take into account the deadline for submission of documents - deadlines can vary in different educational institutions! Consider possible postal delays, as well as a possible large flow of applications, because of which time for consideration of your application may increase. You need to send the documents in advance in time to issue a US student visa. Usually it takes 6-8 weeks to review: universities send letters of admission and invitations in March-April, while the beginning of classes is given for August-September.

If you received an invitation from a university in which you do not plan to start your studies (for example, a more convenient and advantageous option came up), then do not leave the letter unanswered - it is courtesy to give a relevant short refusal and express gratitude.

How do I apply for admission to the US community college?

Colleges of this type usually have a very flexible policy regarding entrants, they do not accept strict selective selection and are open to foreigners - but minimal requirements still exist. The selection criteria may be different, but the basic standards are the same:

  • Correctly filled in application
  • Certificate of completion of secondary school (ideally - 12-year-old)
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English ( TOEFL or IELTS )
  • Proof of financial solvency and solvency.

The required level of English here is usually lower than in universities, there is also a conditional enrollment: you begin an intensive English ESL course, and after its successful completion begin the main course with the rest of the students.


What are the requirements of US universities to apply for applicants for master's and doctoral programs?

There is no single unified procedure for filing applications and evaluating candidates. Usually in the reception office are sitting members of the faculty and administrative officials responsible for a particular department or direction.

In order to successfully enter the selected program, you should show not only the collected documents, but also your personal research conducted during the training at the bachelor's degree . The Admission Committee assesses the specifics of your topic and area of ​​academic interests, relates them to the capabilities of your faculty and institution: for example, you may be refused if the admissions committee considers your topic highly specialized and will be able to offer you limited resources for further study. Also, the results of the research will show you how much you have the skills of critical and analytical thinking, collect information, draw conclusions and generalize facts, and rank them.

To apply for a master's or doctorate degree, you must already complete the basic higher education program (or be at the final stage). In the US, this process usually takes 4 years (bachelor's degree in a college or university ), that is, it takes 16 years to get a secondary and basic higher education.

The admissions committee will need to demonstrate excellent results of studies and high scores - according to the American system it is not lower than the average B score for all the basic courses of the bachelor's program. You can always get additional advice on the translation of your estimates into equivalent scores on the American system. A positive impression will be made by the corresponding work experience in the profile specialty. And, of course, you must be sure of the high level of your English - both oral and written.

What are the requirements for applicants for the MBA program?

As elsewhere, the specific introductory requirements may differ, but there are general rules, and we strongly recommend that they be adhered to.

To begin with, it is worthwhile to find out the introductory tests and the required level of knowledge and training that all students must meet. For example, you may need some specialized knowledge of business disciplines, which you will study in more detail in the future. Carefully fill out the application form (now it can be done online in most schools and universities); Specify about the possible application fee, which is obligatory for payment for consideration of your application and documents.

For admission to the MBA, you should already have a bachelor's degree with relevant applications (the higher the GPA average, the better). In addition, you must have hands-on experience: prepare competent summaries, characteristics and letters of recommendation from your employers, business partners, colleagues, supervisors and subordinates.

Usually qualification tests are waiting for MBA applicants: most often GMAT , sometimes GRE (their results are valid for 5 years after delivery, please note). Attached to him is a written essay essay in which the student talks about himself, strengths and virtues, your goals and achievements. Of course, foreigners must confirm a fairly good level of English (usually require a TOEFL certificate), go through a personal interview-interview.

Can I enter a medical university in the United States if I received a bachelor's degree in another country?

Theoretically, yes, but the competition for medical specialties is very, very high: on average, less than 50% of American applicants and less than 3% of foreign candidates are accepted for training, most of them still receiving a bachelor's degree in the USA . This is due to the fact that medical schools (especially private ones) are financed mostly at the expense of state taxpayers, respectively, and only institutions of citizens of their state try to accept institutions. Some regions in principle support the initiative to provide medical education only for American citizens, but so far this rule, fortunately, is not fixed in law.

Can I enroll in an American university without taking TOEFL or IELTS?

This exam is compulsory for you if you are a foreign citizen and English is not your native language. The exception is those students who have already received education in English in any other country. Keep in mind that usually the level of language proficiency that Russian students receive in high school is recognized as insufficient.

What documents can serve as proof of financial solvency?

Usually a special form is used, "Declaration and Certification of Finance" or written confirmation of financial support, which is attached to the package of documents sent. The main thing is that they must be signed by parents or other sponsors of your training and certified by a lawyer or your bank. A copy of this document should be kept - it is also submitted to the consulate for the registration of a student visa. At a minimum, you must have the means to pay for the first year of schooling (this rule is present in schools ), but usually you need to confirm the availability of funds for the entire period of study.

If you are applying for financial aid, a grant or a scholarship in a college or university, indicate in advance the amount you are counting on-you will not be able to specify it after the admission, it will be too late. Universities issue a certificate and an invitation (which must be submitted when applying for a visa) only if you reliably and correctly indicate a reliable source of full funding for your education.

What does a graduate of a medical university need to do to enter a US medical school?

Usually in American medical schools they study for 4 years and get MD degree. Applicants must provide an existing bachelor's degree (best if it's an accredited American university ). You must pass the required number of hours of instruction in mathematics, social and human, as well as behavioral sciences, chemistry and biological disciplines. Applicants must demonstrate a brilliant level of academic and language skills, experience in volunteer organizations; Successfully pass the profile exam MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Annually, a special guidebook is published for the best medical schools in the country, including ratings, useful information on admission and statistics - it is issued by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

To be able to practice on the territory of the country, all graduates of medical schools and colleges - both American and international - must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a first profile diploma from an institution accredited by the Committee on Medical Education
  • To finish postgraduate medical education
  • Pass Licensed exams, the standards of which are set separately for each state.

Postgraduate practice for US doctors usually consists of residency (a certain period of clinical practice). To enter this stage, you will have to withstand a very high competition, in particular, to pass a certified program administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). Many foreigners who have received medical diplomas are not in the United States , nevertheless it is easier to get into the residence than to the first professional course.

After the profile examinations are passed and the ECFMG certification is received, you can apply for a place in the residency in the unit that you choose - usually applications are accepted in September and October. Promising candidates are invited to a personal interview in November and January, and in February the assessment is carried out through the National Resource Selection Program for Resident Training (NRMP): this is a special service that coordinates the opportunities and preferences of the candidate and program. If the decision is positive, then the medical school sends you a contract and information package - you can issue a J1 visa, typical for residents of this level.

Let's take a look at the medical licensed tests. There are several steps:

  • Step 1 (first level) can be done at accredited centers around the world. The exam lasts 8 hours and is conducted using a computer. The task of the test person is to choose the right answer. The bases of all medical sciences are checked: interdisciplinary topics, anatomy, behavioral psychology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, physiology, pharmacology.
  • Step 2 CK (Second level), or the Clinical Knowledge examination (Clinical Knowledge Examination) can also be given in accredited centers. The exam is also conducted using a computer and takes 9 hours; It is devoted to clinical sciences, principles of medical care, diagnostics, mechanisms of various diseases.
The Step 2 CS is dealt only in the US, in regional centers - the exam takes a whole day. The applicant examines 12 patients (each has 15 minutes each), must correctly diagnose and make a Patient Note, a written record for the patient. Not only academic knowledge, skills and level of English are assessed, but also your compiled medical history and communication, personal and interpersonal abilities.
Can I go to college or university in the middle of the school year, not in September?

In general, yes, such a situation is possible - many institutions leave the possibility for students to begin training in the middle of a semester: for example, in January or March. The exact dates depend on what intervals the academic year is divided into - terms, terms or quarters. Deadline for filing documents - usually 6-8 months before the start of classes.

Can I go to another university if I recently joined an American college?

Yes, you can. The only thing you need to consider is that it takes some time to review your transfer application, so plan your transition about a year (12 months) before the expected start of training in the new institution. View the transfer catalog of your college or college - usually there is full information on the possibilities of transferring students.

In general, the transfer process is not much different from the process of enrollment of new entrants - a new application form is filled in which the following information is indicated:

  • The reason you want to change the institution and chose this is probably the most important part of the application. Try to explain convincingly why a new college or university is better suited to you in an academic plan
  • List of courses and academic areas that you have already passed or are still going through at the moment
  • What kind of experience did you acquire at the previous place of study, what did you learn, what are your results and achievement, the feedback of your teachers and mentors.

The package of documents for you will be the same as for "new" entrants, including essays. Consider that many prestigious and rating colleges and universities for transfer students set even higher requirements than for ordinary entrants - pay attention to the official statistics that each university exposes.

If you have already studied at an American university before the transfer, you will most likely not have a problem translating training courses, scores and credit units. But sometimes the discipline requirements in one institution may not coincide with the requirements in the other - for example, be more complex or detailed, so on this issue, be sure to consult both your "old" college and the "new one".

What is "early action on admission" and "early decision"?

If you have finally decided on a priority college, you can file documents and applications in it as soon as possible (early November) and, accordingly, before you receive a positive or negative decision on your enrollment. Already in December and January (and not in the spring, as the main stream of students) you will know whether you were accepted or not. To some extent this provides the best chances for admission, as it demonstrates to the admissions committee your ardent desire to study at this educational institution. This is the early submission of documents, or early actions on admission.

Before you send documents in advance, specify all the rules of your chosen college, the rules for considering the application package, etc., ask for help and advice to your tutor. Early serve is possible in one single college, and in several options, if it is possible according to the established admission rules - but if one of the educational institutions takes a positive decision on you, you should immediately recall all the others. Once you receive an invitation to study, you must pay all the entrance fees and deposit (no later than May 1).

Some colleges impose restrictions on early action - sending documents to them, you can no longer claim a place in another educational institution. Be sure to specify this point in your priority institution.

What tests will I take when I enroll in a master's or doctoral program?

The general compulsory tests that all foreign students take are English language exams - IELTS or TOEFL . In addition, you can offer the following options for testing knowledge:

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is especially often established in master's and doctoral programs, if the latter are not related to narrow professional (that is, it is not medicine, dentistry or law and law). The exam is divided into General Test and Subject Test.
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is constantly used in business schools and profile departments: it allows you to assess the level of knowledge of the applicant in English, assess the qualifications of business processes and management.
What tests should I take if I enter the undergraduate program?

Tests for knowledge of English are mandatory - TOEFL and IELTS are accepted. Additionally, the following tests can be installed:

  • SAT I (Scholastic Assessment Test) assesses the level of critical and analytical thinking, the skill of solving various problems and difficult situations, the knowledge of mathematics and writing skills in English
  • SAT Subject Test is aimed at testing knowledge in certain areas or subjects, so this exam is one of the most popular among American colleges and universities. Typically, each school establishes a list of items for delivery and a passing grade level, which you must dial, but some universities leave the choice of subjects at the discretion of the applicant
  • ACT (American College Testing Assessment) tests the level of English, math skills, reading ability and scientific reasoning.
Can I apply to American colleges and universities online, without personal attendance?

Yes, this practice is very widespread. You can even fill in the application form online, on the site of the chosen institution - many institutions do not even require a fee for reviewing documents in this case. This can also speed up the review process, as electronic applications are more convenient to work with.

Are there deadlines (deadlines) when submitting documents?

Of course, yes - every school establishes its terms, within which documents are accepted. As a university or college is more popular and prestigious, the less this affordable period can be, and the stricter they will be regarding the observance of deadline. Usually for American universities the deadline is set between January and March, the exception being the "early decision" (in November) and the additional set in June (if one is provided for). There are some colleges working on the so-called Rolling basis: they accept and reject student applications until the first courses of specialties are filled in completely - so you have a chance to be enrolled, even if you filed documents later on the basic dates of admission.

Remember that it is you who are responsible for ensuring that the documents have been delivered to the admissions office on time, as well as the points for all the passed entrance examinations. Send the application packet with a certified courier mail with official registration, do not be lazy to call the selected institution and confirm that they have already received your documents, keep a copy of all the sent files (in case the package is lost in the way and you will urgently need to send it again ).

What are the main ways of financing study for US students? The bachelor's program is of interest.

The main sources of cash are several:

  • Payments from the student's home country (place of permanent residence)
  • Payments from colleges and universities
  • Funding from the exchange funds
  • Subsidies from the US Government and government agencies
  • Diverse loans and loans.

In the USA, for the undergraduate students, several main types of scholarships have been established:

  • Merit-Based Scholarships - the scholarship is awarded for high academic success and does not depend on the material condition of the student
  • Need-Based Scholarships - issued for the academic success of the student and takes into account his inadequate financial security, is calculated taking into account personal financial circumstances
  • Athletic Scholarships - awarded for outstanding achievements in sports (individual or team).
Is the essay important in the general package of documents submitted?

Indeed, most American colleges and universities (as well as all over the world) ask the entrant to attach to the package of official documents his own written essay . In it, the future student talks about himself, his talents and abilities, goals and achievements. Reading the essay helps the admissions committee to understand how prospective the prospective student is and how much the institution meets his needs and requirements. Some set some basic questions, which the essay should contain an answer, some adhere to the "open-ended" policy. The essay will give you the opportunity to receive personal information about you that can not be found in the list of official figures, points, list of items, etc. In addition, the essay provides an opportunity to understand how you can accurately formulate your thoughts and judgments, draw conclusions, assess your organizational and written abilities, understand if the specialty you want to study is suitable for you. In the essay, you should show loyalty and courtesy, curiosity, broad outlook and maturity of your thinking.

We recommend you start writing essays in advance: so you will get time to objectively evaluate it, correct any parts and paragraphs, more accurately formulate your thoughts and make sure of its consistency and logic. We can give some general tips on what to do:

  • If you have a list of questions asked, try to stick to it and answer the questions as clearly as possible and in the case
  • If you describe a specific event, an event, an achievement, describe it in detail and in detail, focus even on small features, make it as attractive as possible
  • If you have unusual circumstances that have affected your life, success or choice of the academic path - explain them, give them your own assessment
  • It is superfluous to show the essay to other people to avoid possible mistakes due to "zamylivaniya eyes."

What not to do:

  • Any dishonesty, deception, evasiveness, concealment of facts
  • Exceptionally positive facts - it can tell about your bias, the desire to "whitewash" yourself in the eyes of the admissions committee
  • To give a very limited set of information - use the essay to the maximum to convince the admissions office of your talents and abilities
  • If an educational institution requests more personal information and information about yourself, do not refuse, expand your letter
  • To write an essay literally on the eve of the day of sending documents, to delay the writing process until the last day of the deadline.


Most of all admission commissions appreciate honesty, frankness and openness - try to give yourself a truthful description and at the same time emphasize your strengths and virtues. The essay is the factor that distinguishes you among other students: it must prove that you are the most profitable candidate for a place in the chosen course.

Are there colleges and universities that do not take into account the financial condition of a foreign applicant at the time of review of the documents?

There are such institutions, but there are very few of them. The strategy of examining documents, exam results and interviews without linking to the student's ability to pay for their training is called need-blind admission. Usually this scheme is used by very prestigious, large and rating universities that have the opportunity to give some financial relief - but you must eloquently demonstrate your outstanding academic, sporting, cultural potential, have high skills of social work and social life, excellent erudition and horizons. Below we have indicated several examples of such universities:

Will the active social position and participation in public school life help me in obtaining funding?

Yes, American colleges and universities always take this factor into account. Do not forget to mention this fact in your questionnaire and essay, mention the projects you worked on, tell us about your impressions and results, how it affected your future goals and priorities. Ideally, your active participation in the public life of the school should be supported by letters of recommendation and characteristics that are written for you by the director, class teacher and teachers. Active social position and social work can be a significant advantage over other students, as well as the basis for awarding you a scholarship or other kind of material assistance.

Are there special scholarships for students demonstrating outstanding sports achievements, participating in national teams and national teams? If so, how can I get financial help on this basis?

Yes, the Scholarships scholarships, of course, exist - they are awarded to students for outstanding achievements in any sport (but there are certain limitations, so you can specify the details in your chosen institution). The process of applying for and receiving a scholarship is quite complicated and takes a lot of time: you will need to provide all kinds of confirmation of your achievements (athlete's card and profile, photos and videos, recommendations from the coach, feedback from his team-mates, etc.).

Can I get a loan from an American bank to study at a US university?

For foreigners, this option is available only if there is a US citizen guarantor (co-signer): he undertakes to cover all expenses and pay the loan if the student can not do it on his own in the future.

It is best to seek an opportunity for lending in your home country, since it is incredibly difficult to find a guarantor among US citizens. Also, you can view the list of universities offering scholarships to foreigners, or clarify the possibility of receiving financial assistance in your chosen institution.

Is it possible to receive a scholarship for all 4 years of study in a bachelor's degree, or will it have to be confirmed every year?

Universities provide scholarships only for one year with the possibility of extension for the entire period of study (this is possible if the student continues to demonstrate outstanding academic achievements). In general, scholarships are allocated every academic year anew: academic, sporting, creative successes, social work, recommendations of teachers and coaches, as well as general financial support of the university (which, of course, can vary depending on the situation in the country and other external economic factors) are taken into account. .

I plan to get higher education in the US, but I need full financial support - can I get a grant program or scholarships for foreigners?

Today this opportunity is provided by more than 350 US colleges and universities : there are grants of $ 20,000 per year, scholarships of more than $ 40,000 per year, including for foreign students. A full scholarship usually covers both the cost of training, and the cost of living (for basic conditions). There are specialized Education Centers in the United States , which form special mailings containing information on the current grants and scholarships provided. Information Centers receive directly from official representatives of colleges and universities and distribute it among all interested students - you too can subscribe to the dispatch of this information.

But keep in mind that competitions for such grants and scholarships are incredibly high - among your competitors there will be both Americans and foreign citizens. At a minimum, you must have an excellent knowledge of English at the level of the carrier and outstanding academic indicators that distinguish you among other students and applicants.

What documents need to be provided in order to get funding from the university?

Specific requirements should be clarified directly from the representative of your chosen institution in order to have the most accurate and up-to-date information. You will need to fill out a form for financial assistance: this document is sent to the special department until the deadline (financial aid deadline). Many universities use the standard CSS Profile form developed by the American College Board organization, but some universities use their own form - be sure to specify this fact in the chosen institution.

Can I count on financial support if I'm going to study English in the US?

No, all of the program of English - English Language Programs - to be funded by the students themselves.

Where is the probability of obtaining funding: at a private or state university?

Your chances increase a little when enrolling in private universities, but public universities also provide assistance to foreigners - in this situation everything depends on the specific choice of the institution. For example, some state institutions equate foreigners with residents of the state and provide a discount for study. This makes it possible to significantly limit spending, since the cost of studying at public institutions of higher learning is usually lower than in private ones. But mainly financial assistance is still given to the residents of the state, American citizens, as they are taxpayers and cover part of the expenses for the life of the institution. Private universities have more additional contributions, donations, grants, and therefore have more opportunities to finance students, including foreign ones.

Are there grants for research projects on bachelor programs?

Yes: there is a certain number of colleges and universities that give research grants to students of undergraduate programs . Usually these grants are limited to 4-5 thousand dollars - this is a small amount, especially with regard to grants for graduate students.

What exams to take in order to get funding from the university? Is there a certain passing grade for them?

This question should be specified in the specific educational institution chosen. Usually, you will need to pass TOEFL and SAT Reasoning, as well as SAT Subject (the latter requires especially prestigious and rating universities). A certain threshold of scores is not established, but we can recommend seeking 100 points in TOEFL iBT and 600-700 points for each SAT Reasoning section.

I collected the amount necessary to pay for tuition in an American university - if it is indicated in the application package of documents, will they deprive me of the opportunity to receive financial assistance?

No, this is not an unambiguous reason for refusing you financial support, granting a scholarship or grant. Pay attention to the types of payments that do not depend on the financial security of the students: Merit-Based scholarships, Sport / Athletic scholarships, Music scholarships (achievements in the field of music and art).

Are there any exchange programs for Russian students in the 1st and 3rd year or schoolchildren who plan to study in the United States for one academic year?

Yes, the US government sponsors similar exchange programs in some countries of the world - we recommend that you contact the US Embassy or the US Department of State (in the nearest department). According to the latest data, the program Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) is working for high school students, and for Global Students 1 to 3 courses - the Global Ugrad Exchange Program.

Can I count on the assistance of private foundations in paying my tuition?

It depends on the fund that you choose, but in general this is a rather rare case. If you still decide to try, at the same time select funds of this type and colleges that provide full funding for students. Be sure to specify the requirements for applicants, as well as deadlines for submitting documents for a grant, scholarship or other type of material assistance.

Is it possible to work on campus and so cover part of the cost of training?

The US Student Visa allows you to work no more than 20 hours per week during the academic term (this limit is increased to 40 hours per week on holidays), if the International Department of your university has given the appropriate permission. At the same time, you can not specify this type of earnings when filing a financial application form and application form as a way to cover the cost of your training - work on the campus is not considered a reliable source of funding. Even if you find yourself a relatively regular job, it will not be able to cover your training costs, but will only facilitate daily personal expenses. But there is also a positive point - if the university itself has previously made you an offer to work with a specific salary value, this information can be included in the financial form.

I collected the money for training at an American college, but it is not enough to cover all costs without exception. Can I expect to receive the remaining funding from the university?

We recommend that you assess objectively in advance how much you are able to pay for training in the US and how much you are willing to spend on it. Ask if the university you choose provides financial assistance for foreigners. But even if such support programs exist, no one can provide a guarantee of receiving money-you can not say with certainty whether you receive a scholarship or a grant, such issues are resolved on an individual basis. At the same time, if most of the amount you have already collected, then the university may be easier to give preference to you than to pay for someone the full cost of training.

I study at the 2nd year of the Moscow University and plan to transfer to the USA for the completion of higher education. Is it possible to receive financial assistance?

Students of your category (transfer students) have small chances in comparison with other students to receive full financial assistance - such benefits and payment offers only a small number of educational institutions.

Is financial assistance provided to community colleges students?

These institutions provide financial support to their students very rarely, in exceptional cases, and often only from the second year of study. Nevertheless, the fee for education in community colleges is still lower than in standard colleges and universities, so many students prefer to start training here, and then transfer to the third year of the corresponding university, saving a considerable amount.

What are the main costs that await me during the higher education in the US?

- tuition fee

- accommodation and meals (room on campus, hostel, hostels, apartment rental, etc.)

- medical insurance

- teaching aids, books and materials

- transportation costs (and they fall on every day)

- personal and pocket money.

I know that the competition for scholarships and grants in American universities is simply gigantic - how to increase your chances of success?

We recommend that you begin the process of collecting and submitting documents as early as possible, as well as searching for sponsors and a source of financial assistance. Submit documents to several institutions at once and find out in them the conditions for supporting foreign students, subtleties and complexity, requirements.

Can I work during my studies to pay for my studies on my own?

A student visa allows you to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week during the academic term and up to 40 hours a week during the holidays. Open recruitment opportunities are constantly recruited, despite the relatively low level of salaries and required qualifications - any student work will not be able to pay for your studies, but will only facilitate daily personal and pocket expenses. In addition, if you study on a master's or graduate program, there will most likely not be enough free time in such quantity. And, of course, do not forget that when applying for a visa, you can not indicate potential work on the campus as a reliable source of funding.

Does the financial aid from the university extend to the members of the foreign student's family?

Almost always. The exception can be if the student has earned a very large stipend, almost equal to the average salary of an American: this can be done by working, for example, as an assistant at the university. In other cases, the family costs are borne directly by members of this family.

What are the average criteria for obtaining Fellowship or Assistantship if I apply for a seat in the MBA? I only know that on GMAT and TOEFL I need to score the maximum points.

For MBA applicants, an important criterion is the availability of practical work experience (3-5 years and more), a well-written strong essay, valuable letters of recommendation with good characteristics and a strong resume indicating all the merits and talents of the student.

You need to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are capable of fast and stable career growth, are ready for a gradual expansion of career duties, strive for participation in public life. Show that you appreciate the opportunities that the chosen university and your specialty are ready to provide to you.

Universities can provide financial assistance to undergraduate students, but in rare cases and in a limited amount - you can specify more accurate and up-to-date information in the profile department of your university.

I have a master's degree in philology, I plan to defend my dissertation in the United States. Is there an opportunity for me to receive a scholarship (postgraduate study in the field of linguistics)? How to find a good scientific adviser?

According to the American system, you are applying for a PhD degree, respectively, and for direct funding from the university - Assistantship (Teaching or Research).

To find a supervisor, you can:

  • View information about professors working in the profile faculties of your university
  • View professional mailing lists
  • Visit professional conferences in the chosen direction
  • Communicate and consult with your colleagues and supervisors in your home country
  • Apply to professional magazines and relevant articles.
I plan to send an application package to several US universities - the LLM program is of interest. Can I qualify for financial assistance not from university sources?

Of course, you can, and we recommend that you take care of this issue in advance in order to accurately imagine the requirements for students from various potential sources. For example, some require your final admission to the chosen training program: you will get a solution from the University of Conditional Approvement. This means that the student is accepted for the course, but the issue of payment is not resolved to the end (for example, a student loan, etc.).

I finish the law faculty and I want to study in the magistracy of the USA in the same direction. How can I get financial support for international students?

Most likely, you are applying for a place in the most popular program of continuing the legal education of LLM (Master of Laws). Since the course is extremely popular, financial assistance for its participants is extremely rare, and if present, at a minimum: most students make out a student loan, which is formalized with the obligatory presence of a co-signer and co-signer. The latter must be a US citizen.

There are two courses of academic exchange for students who have already graduated in their native country in the specialty "Law": this is a program for them. E. Maski www.irex.ru and the postgraduate program of the Fulbright Foundation.

Can I apply for financial assistance if I study in the Master's program in absentia (via the Internet)?

For students of this category, financial support is almost never available, we would not recommend counting on this opportunity.

I graduated from the Economics Faculty in Russia, I want to graduate in the USA - do I have a chance to receive a scholarship?

Such an opportunity exists, but usually financial support for undergraduate students is minimal. Most often, universities automatically determine the circle of students who are worthy of receiving a scholarship, considering their application packages, the results of entrance tests and language tests, average grades of diplomas and certificates. Additional documents may be required - exact requirements for applicants can be specified at your university directly in the profile department (or in the Financial Aid section on the university website).

He graduated from the Technical University with a degree in Design of Architectural Environment, now they receive a second higher education ("Management of the Organization"). What do you advise me to choose as a master? Where can I get more financial help? Perhaps the presence of a second higher has a positive effect on increasing the scholarship, or at least on the decision to award it?

Usually financial assistance to undergraduates is not provided, and if there is, then in the minimum amount (you can cover your expenses or their part for accommodation and meals). The choice of a specialty for studying in a master's degree, therefore, depends entirely on your academic requirements and preferences - but keep in mind that when you enter the "Management" area, you will most likely need to confirm practical work experience of at least 3 years in your specialty.

I study in the direction of "Linguistics", but I do not pretend to a red diploma - can I get full financial help in this case?

This decision will depend on the particular institution. Usually, the highest score is not required, the decisive is the average score for all academic disciplines and several priority ones. The decision to grant you full financial assistance also depends on the program you are applying for (Masters or PhD): a linguist applying for PhD will receive a scholarship more difficult than students in the field of social, technical or natural sciences.

What financial documents can I submit to the university, if I am already a student, and my parents are already retired?

Prepare a certificate from your former university (years of study, the amount of scholarships received), as well as documents confirming the pension status of your parents (from which year they are pensioners and what is the size of their pensions).

I am 25 years old - can I still qualify for financial aid or have some age restrictions?

This is the lower limit for Graduate School students, that is, you can (theoretically) claim all kinds of material assistance for foreigners. Scholarships are defined depending on the age of the students, but here each institution establishes its own framework and standards.

What part and type of expenses can be covered with the help of Assistantships?

For a master's or graduate student, Assistantships means full coverage of tuition, accommodation and meals, books and study grants, often this cost includes medical insurance, small pocket and personal expenses. The cost of Assistantships is calculated individually depending on each region, state and city, as well as a university or college.

My university agreed to cover part of the cost of my training. In what time should I confirm the existence of the balance for full payment?

All of your reliable financial sources should be listed in I-20, the form of the university, which you apply for a US student visa in April-May. These documents must be in your hands at the time of personal interview at the embassy or consulate.

What are the chances of the foreign student to receive material support from the University of the United States?

Education in the United States is a highly competitive environment: institutions compete for the most talented and gifted students, and students for financial assistance and scholarships. Material support is the best of the best: admission commissions carefully review all submitted documents, assess how well you can show yourself and what potential you have for development within the walls of the American university.

The main criteria for awarding scholarships in the US are academic achievements (Merit-based) and financial needs (Need-based). The main, key factor is still the academic successes and perspectives, although personal need for funds in most cases is also taken into account. If you are studying on a postgraduate program (for example, a master's or graduate school), the decision to award a scholarship depends largely on your earlier achievements and merits: research, teaching experience, work as an assistant or an employee of the secretariat, etc.

When should I submit documents, if I look forward to financial support from my university?

Financial questionnaires are submitted together with the main application package. But it is worth considering that sometimes the deadline for filing documents is set earlier than the standard - in December and February; You can get detailed information in your university.

What types of material assistance are offered to foreign students in American universities?

The main types of payments are the following (this includes both partial and complete ones):

  • Teaching and Research Assistantships
  • Institutionally-Sponsored Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Tuition Waiver
  • Graduate
  • Fellowships.
Besides the university, what ways of financing education are available for foreign students in the US?
  • These are special training programs (usually two-year ones) that are sponsored directly by the US Government. Usually it is a master's course or a one-year internship (in the latter case, the degree is not awarded)
  • Private agencies and organizations, corporations and professional associations interested in expanding the programs of international exchanges, including student
  • Corporations and companies in your home country, interested in qualified specialists with an American diploma
  • Special educational loans (student's loan), issued in the presence of a US citizen-co-signer (co-signer).
How can foreign students enter the upper classes of American schools?

For primary (kindergarten - 8 class) and secondary (9-12 grades, High School ) schools there are certain restrictions concerning foreign students:

  • You can not attend public elementary schools, as well as programs for adult students, funded by public organizations
  • The maximum period of study in secondary school is 12 months
  • The full cost of training should be paid for by yourself, without any subsidies
  • Only students with an F-1 visa can study.

These restrictions apply to you, if you have already studied at an American school , have left for your homeland and would like to return again (with F-1 visa), and also if you want to transfer from a private school to a state (public) school. Students who received a different type of visa (J-2, L-1, M-2, or G-4), as well as holders of F-1 visa, attending private schools, trainings or language programs are exempt from restrictions.

The total cost of training, which foreign students must cover independently, is from 3 to 10 thousand US dollars.

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