Requirements to Study in USA for International Students

Requirements to Study in USA for International Students

4 mins read15.3K Views 35 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 15, 2023 19:32 IST

Why students opt to study in the US because of its high-class education, renowned degree programs, opportunities to learn and well-paying jobs. There are International students who are planning to pursue their higher studies in the USA need to fulfil a couple of eligibility requirements in order to apply for admission to US universities. Students may have to appear for a couple of competitive exams like SAT or ACT if applying for undergraduate courses and either GMAT or GRE for a postgraduate program. 

study requirements in usa

Apart from this, those who want to go for subject-specific studies also need to give exams like PCAT, VCAT, MCAT, and DAT. Apart from these, there are English language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS which are widely accepted across US universities by international students applying for admission. The following article aims to throw light on the basic educational requirements in order to apply for admission to US universities as an international student.

General Exams Required to Apply for US University Admission

In this section, we will tell you which exam is required to study in the USA? and the eligibility to study in the USA. 

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GMAT - The Graduate Management Admission Test is given by those who want to pursue an MBA or business or management-related courses. The aspirants are measured on English, mathematical, and reasoning skills.

GRE - The Graduate Record Examination is also taken by students applying to graduate schools to pursue an MA or MS. Also, many business schools accept GRE scores for granting admission for pursuing MBA or business or management courses.

LSAT - The Law School Admission Test is a standardized test and is taken by students who want to take admitted to law schools. The students are evaluated on the basis of reading and verbal reasoning skills.

SAT - The Scholastic Assessment Test evaluates the aspirants on the basis of literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in higher education. This test measures how well the aspirants can solve problems-skills they learned in school which they will be using further in college. The SAT exam is generally taken by students who completed their schooling or students in high school who want to get admission to UG courses.

Also read: Cost of Studying in the US

English Language Requirements in the USA

In this section, we will tell you about the language requirements to study in the USA for Indian students.

TOEFL – It is the most popular English proficiency exam accepted by the majority of American universities. The TOEFL tests the students’ usage and understanding of the English language as it is used in communicating in college and university settings. One can appear for this exam unlimited times. This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which conducts the test and sets the test paper.

It is advised for students to thoroughly check the entry requirements of the university/college they are applying to, then go for the exam accordingly. Many educational institutes accept some specific exams whereas some institutes allow students to give the exams of their choice. Therefore, before preparing for the exam students should check with the university they aspire to get into.

IELTS – It stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an English language test for study, migration or work. More than three million people take this test every year. IELTS is accepted by more than 11,000 employers, universities, schools and immigration bodies around the world. IELTS is accepted by more than 3,400 institutions in the USA, including boarding schools, associate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and law programs. 

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Application Requirements in US Universities

Apart from the above-mentioned tests, there are other requirements for applying to educational institutes in the USA.

Letter of Recommendation – Students also require a Letter of recommendation (LOR) while applying to different universities. The LOR should be from a faculty member from your previous education institute.

Statement of Purpose – Apart from the LOR, students also need to submit a Statement of Purpose highlighting their achievements and learnings. Some universities demand Admission Essays in place of a Statement of Purpose. Essays are generally required for pursuing a specific course like MBA.

Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, students applying to undergraduate courses should have completed 10 2. Also, those who are applying to graduate courses must have completed 16 years of education, some schools also accept 15 years of education, and you should check it while applying to the university. In addition to all this, students also need to show proof of their finances to the universities in order to secure admission. Few universities give admission without asking for proof of funds, however, in the majority of cases, students need to show financials.

Resume/CV – Universities/Institutions/Colleges require a CV of yours. You need to prepare a professional Resume/CV and apply for admission. It is required by most of institutions except a few. 

Check: Best Student Cities in USA

Cut Off for Exams

All the major universities and colleges also set cut-offs for various exams that students need to obtain in order to get admission. Before applying to their preferred universities, aspirants should check the cutoffs and then start preparing for the exams accordingly:

The minimum requirements may vary per US university per course, hence, students should check their requirements carefully before making a choice.

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About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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With 6 years of sound experience in abroad education industry, Nidhi has helped more than 250+ students to get the admission in their dream universities in USA, Canada and Australia. Before moving to the full time c... Read Full Bio




Shravni P

3 months ago

Hi, my name is Shravni. I have completed my Bachelor of Computer Science 3 year degree. Which universities can I apply for Masters in computer science?

Reply to Shravni P


Divya Garg

3 months ago

Hey, I have scored 82 percent in 10th class and want to opt for SAT exam . Can you recommend me what to do and how much is the scholarship according to indian standard of rupees?

Reply to Divya Garg


sonia saluja

11 months ago

What is the eligibility for ug computer course in usa universities after 12th

Reply to sonia saluja


Piyush Kohli

11 months ago

Hi Sonia, please refer to the below URL and check out the admission criteria for UG Computer Science in USA:


Shaili Mehta

a year ago

Hello, I'm an Indian citizen I have scored 52.46% in Science Stream in the year 2016. Graduated with Bachelor of Management Studies- Finance & scored 'B' grade in graduation that is in commerce in the year 2021. Now I want to do a Bachelor in Nutrition at US University is there any chance to get adm


Reply to Shaili Mehta


Aprant Agarwal

a year ago

Hello Shaili. Please remember that your academic scores are only one part of your application. Universities in the US usually look at your profile holistically. It is definitely possible to get admission in the US. However, make sure that you start planning your application, test scores, and other r




a year ago

Hi, i have completed bcom degree in the year 2010.from 2011 to till date am working in airlines as aenior security executive. Can i study ms? What are the best courses to pick.

Reply to Srilatha


Piyush Kohli

a year ago

Hi Srilatha, you can apply for MBA with any specialization in Commerce related subjects or General MBA is also fine. Since, you have vast experience, so, you can go for MBA.

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