Eligibility Requirements to Study in the USA

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Are you planning to study abroad? Dreaming about universities in the US? Well then, go on and keep reading!

It is an exciting decision to pursue higher education in one of the best international students’ hubs in the world. Being a provider of quality education, world-class digital facilities, vast research resources, and numerous courses, the US houses over 3,000 colleges and universities, and helps you achieve all your study abroad aspirations.

But, before choosing a course, you should be aware of the requirements to study in the US and crosscheck whether you are eligible to pursue your higher education in the country. The government and the educational institutions have stringent rules/eligibility requirements for any international student entering into the US for higher studies.

Hence, we have compiled a list of requirements that is to be looked into before you enrol in your favourite study destination.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. English Language Tests:

The English language test score (TOEFL or IELTS) is considered as a basic qualification in all the top study abroad destinations, and the US follows this rule strictly.

For TOEFL, international students have to secure a minimum score of 78. Even if a student has qualified in any of the tests like TOEFL/IELTS, in some universities or colleges, students are again asked to take up a separate English test as a part of their admission process.

  1. Statement of Purpose (SOP):

All universities in the US ask international students to write an SOP as a part of their application process.

So, What is an SOP, and how can you write one?

An SOP is a statement of Purpose and is written like an essay. As the name suggests, an SOP explains the purpose of studying in the US, the reason for choosing the university, the reason for electing the particular course and not preferring related courses (if available). In addition to this, an SOP is a first and primary communication between the university and students. So, the university assesses international students’ ability, skills, and aspirations with an SOP. 

  1. Admission requirements:

To pursue an undergraduate course, universities and colleges might ask international students to take up SAT Tests.

For securing a graduate course admission, international students should take up any one of the tests such as:

  • The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)- General Test
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)- Subject Test

Based on the university requirements, students could be asked to take up either one or a couple of the above-mentioned tests.

For securing admission in creative courses like Fine Arts, international students must pass the TOEFL. Alongside, the university authorities will ask for an innovative sample to assess your talent.

 Medicine  Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)    
Pharmacy Pharmacy College Admissions Tests (PCAT)  
Dental Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Veterinary Veterinary Aptitude Test (VCAT)    
Law Law School Admission Test (LSAT)    


  1. Student Visa Documents Checklist:

For pursuing a masters degree, the Bachelor’s Degree Certificate should be attested by the university’s Examination Controller/ Principle.

Recommendation letters are mandatory for Study Visa Document. For a bachelors degree application, a minimum of 3 recommendation letters is mandatory. Meanwhile, for a masters degree, 2 recommendation letters are sufficient.

  1. Proof of Fund:

As a part of the student visa process, international students are asked to provide evidentiary proof stating that they can pay their course fees and manage their living expenses until they stay in the US.

Some universities ask this PoF before their admission offer, and a few others ask for this document soon after sending the admission offer.

Documents accepted for Proof of Fund are:

  • Bank Account Statements
  • Loan Approval/ Disbursement Letter
  • Scholarship Letters
  • Affidavit of Support/ Sponsorship
  • Bank Letters
  • Loan Capability Certificate
  • Property Evaluation Report
  1. Types of USA Student Visa:
  • F1 Student Visa:

International students applying for any course in the US that requires over 18 hours of study in a week need an F1 Student Visa. All the undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses in the USA, including MBA fall under this category.

Documents required for acquiring the student visa:

  • Personal information (passport, photos etc)
  • Educational documents (academic transcripts, English test scores etc)
  • Work-related documents (joining letter, relieving letter and salary slips of six months)
  • Financial documents (saving bank account statement, tax returns etc)

•  J1 Exchange Visitor Visa:

The J1 visa is required for working professionals who wish to travel to the US on an exchange program. So the visa is named as an “Exchange Visitor Visa”. Through this visa, working professionals can apply for a ten-month vocational training course or fellowship. The educational institutions will notify the student to apply for their visas under the J1 category. Children or Spouses travelling along with J-1 Visa recipients will have to apply for a J-2 Visa.

•  M-1 Vocational or Non-Academic Student Visa

The M1 student visa is reserved for vocational and technical educational institutions. Though the process for applying to the M-1 and F1 visa is similar, the difference is that the M1 visas have stringent timing rules as students cannot overstay their visit.

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