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Roadmap to Study in USA

Following timeline and checklist will give you a guideline for admission to US for Fall and Spring semester. Months listed are for best case scenario. Many students for Fall semester take GRE in Feb/March and still able to get admission for Fall semester.

Following checklist will undergo changes, so check back periodically and don’t forget the check the comments. I plan to add links to all the sections below.

Exams (Fall – Aug ; Spring – May )

  • Get Passport (Surname(or last Name) is Mandatory
  • Register for GRE Test
  • Register for TOEFL
  • Prepare for GRE Exam
  • Browse Universities
  • Take GRE (or GMAT)
  • Report Scores to 4 Universities (at end of the exam)
  • Take TOEFL
  • Report TOEFL Scores to Universities

University Selection (Fall – Oct, Nov; Spring – June)

  • Browse Universities
  • Research – University Deadlines, Fees, funding, cost of living, safety, etc
  • Finalize programs
  • Finalize Universities

Application Documents (Fall – Oct,Nov; Spring – Jun, July)

  • Collect Required List of Documents (per school)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Recommendation Letter
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Bank Statement
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Certificates and other supporting documents
  • Copy of front and last pages of passport
  • Copy of online application submission conformation

Application (Fall – Nov, Dec; Spring – Jul, Aug)

  • Fill out online Graduate School Application
  • Fill Department application (if any)
  • Pay Application Fee (online or send dd)
  • Confirmation number or application id
  • Submit Application (online)
  • Mail Application documents – Express Mail (courier)

Admission (Fall – Feb, Mar, Apr; Spring – Oct, Nov, Dec)

  • Check Application Status (Takes 2 to 4 months)
  • Plan for Visa Bank balance and expenses
  • Receive Admission Decision ( Admission Letter + I-20 form)

F1 Visa (Fall – Jun, July, Aug; Spring – Dec, Jan)

  • Learn about F1 Visa Interview Process
  • Pay SEVIS Fees
  • Bank Statement
  • Affidavit from Sponsors
  • Other Required Documents
  • F1 Visa Questions and Answers

Travel to US (Fall – Aug; Spring – Dec, Jan)

  • Find friends to travel together
  • Book flight ticket
  • Arrange for Pickup and Accommodation
  • Buy stuffs
  • Buy Suitcase
  • Find Health Insurance Requirements
  • Carrying Money to US (DD, TC or Wire Transfer)
  • Leave a copy of documents at home

After Reaching US

  • First few days
  • Attend orientation
  • Open Bank Account
  • Shopping

I will be able to improve this check list only based on your feedback. So, post your questions specific to your situation and if it applies to larger group, I will add to the above checklist.