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The U.S. continues to be the international destination of choice for Indian students. Indian Students comprise the largest number of international students in the U.S. .Indian students and their parents know that U.S. higher education prepares graduates for tomorrow’s careers. Whatever you have heard about the U.S., it's true. And getting an education there is probably the simplest and most reputable way of being a part of the great American dream.

The United States has one of the world’s finest university systems, with outstanding programs in virtually all fields. At the undergraduate level, excellent programs exist in traditional disciplines, as well as in professional fields. At the graduate level, students have the opportunity to work directly with some of the finest minds in their field of study, with the chance to become involved with exclusive research and educational opportunities. U.S. degrees are recognized throughout the world for their excellence.

The United States is home to several thousand colleges and universities, boasting at least ten times as many campuses as in any other country. As a result, the higher education system in the U.S. has something for everyone. Universities in the U.S. pride themselves on being at the forefront of technology, research and techniques, and in making the best possible equipment and resources available to their students.

EDUCATION SYSTEM

The US Educational System is very different from its Indian counterpart. USA has more than 3,300 accredited colleges and universities, which offer a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs.

Types of Programs

Undergraduate Programs (Bachelor Degree)
This is the first level of post-secondary education that begins after 12 years of primary and secondary schooling. It includes at least 4 years of education and earns a bachelor’s degree (Most Indian graduation courses are of 3 years duration). There are also two-year programs which earn an Associate degree. A student who has an associate degree has to study further for a minimum of 2 years to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Programs (Master's & Doctorate Degree)
This is the same as post-graduate education in India. It usually involves one year or more of education depending on the subject or course, and earns a master’s or doctoral degree like MBA, MS or PhD. Admission to a graduate program usually requires a minimum of 16 years of formal education. That is, 12 years of primary and secondary schooling and further 4 years of college education

Types of Institutions

There is no central ministry of education in the US and each institution can determine its own programs and admission standards. There are private as well as state funded colleges.

Universities are academic institutions that include one or more undergraduate colleges, as well as any number of graduate and professional schools, i.e. schools offering study for a single profession such as law.

Four year colleges are undergraduate institutions offering academic programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Community colleges or junior colleges are undergraduate institutions offering upto two years of academic instruction beyond secondary school at a relatively low cost. These offer certificate programs that last for a few months to a year as well as associate degrees.Institutes of technology or polytechnic institutes offer specialized programs in sciences and engineering, in addition to basic sciences, humanities and the social sciences, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Semesters

US universities offer two main semester intakes.

Fall Semester (September/October)
This is the main intake and almost all programs are offered at this times. More financial aid is also available for this semester and as funds are allocated for the entire year during this time.

Spring Semester (January/February)
This is the mid-year intake. There is limited financial assistance available for this semester as most universities allocate funds to projects in the Fall semester.
Some universities also have a Summer intake around July.

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