Admission Intakes In US Universities 2023-2024

Admission Intakes In US Universities 2023-2024

7 mins read1.1L Views 90 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Oct 18, 2023 16:33 IST
An academic year at American universities usually has two intakes, namely Fall and Spring. Unlike India, US universities follow a bi-semester system where an academic year is divided into two semesters. Thus, students applying to study in the US have to choose between any one of the intakes in the USA. Apart from the Spring and Fall intakes in the USA, there is another intake month in the USA i.e. Summer. Most of the courses begin in the Fall semester.
Admission Intakes In US Universities

There are some exceptions and a few courses accept applications for the Spring semester as well. But most of the time, the semester available is not a choice as most of the popular and important courses commence only with the Fall semester. The Fall intake in the USA is popular because the scholarships and financial aid are aimed at this semester. In case students miss out on Fall intake deadlines, they have the option to apply for the Spring intake in the USA.

Duration of Intakes in the USA

The following table throws light on the intakes of USA and the duration, along with the application timelines and when the applications open:

USA's Three Intakes Timeline of the Application Applications open
Spring intake Between January to May Between July - December
Summer intake  Starts from May Between January - March
Fall intake  Between September to December Between November - May

More details on each of the intakes in the USA are as follows for international students' reference: 

  • Fall semester: The fall intake in the USA is the most opted one by Indian students. The fall months in the USA are from September to December.
  • Spring semester: The spring semester starts in January and ends in May. The spring intake in the USA begins in October or November. 
  • Summer semester: This intake is for limited programs and courses and usually starts in May.

Thus, there are two major intakes in the USA namely - Spring and Fall, while there is also a Summer intake for those looking at short-term courses instead of long-term ones. 

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Top US Universities Offering Admission in Spring & Fall Intakes

Check out the top 10 US universities offering admission to international students in Fall and Spring intake:

Top US Universities Offering Admission in Fall Intake Top US Universities Offering Admission in Spring Intake
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cornell University
Stanford University Rice University
Yale University Case Western Reserve University
University of Pennsylvania New Jersey Institute of Technology
Princeton University Brown University
Columbia University Purdue University
CalTech Iowa State University
George Mason University Northeastern University
University of South Florida University of Texas
University of Kansas University of Arizona

Please note, that not all courses may be available for a particular intake, thus, applicants should be aware of the intake of the course and then apply for admissions accordingly. 

Which Intake Season to Choose: Fall or Spring?

Confused about when to begin applying for admission to US universities? Check out the following details on which intake season to choose - spring or fall?

  • If you are aiming at the Fall semester, you should start your research in April. Then around June, you should be over with the exams required for admission. For the rest of the months, you can devote time to writing essays, SOP, LOR, CV, etc.
  • However, if you are planning to apply for the Spring semester, then research should be done around April, and the exam should be dealt with by June-July.
  • The fall season is the popular choice for study abroad aspirants as the choice of universities are wide as most all the universities open their admission in the Fall intake of USA.
  • Another reason for Fall being popular is that students who go in spring intake do not get the chance to undertake an internship in the immediate summer break i.e. in May as they need to complete at least 9 months in full-time academics. Students going in the spring season join the programme in January, whereas, the students going in Fall join in September, so, they are eligible to undergo an internship programme.

Check out: High Acceptance Rates Universities in the USA

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Difference Between Fall Intake & Spring Intake in USA

Given below are some of the factors that students must consider before choosing the intake in the universities of USA.





During the fall intake in the USA, students can get scholarship opportunities. This semester also has an upper hand when it comes to networking with other students

In this intake, there are fewer scholarship opportunities available for students. This is because most of the funding is availed at the start of an academic year

Courses Options

Universities offer a wide range of course options in the fall intake

Comparatively, a limited number of courses are available in the Spring intake

Internship Opportunities

Students during the fall intake can apply for internships. This is because, during the fall intake, students meet the 9 months of full-time academic criteria before applying

Students in the Spring semester in the US somehow face the eligibility problem of meeting the 9-month eligibility criteria before working as an intern

Post-study work opportunities

Many job options are available for students who are enrolled in the fall semester as the placement drive generally starts during this time   

Few job options are available during the Spring semester because most of the positions have been filled by students from the fall semester

Have more questions related to when to apply, comment below your queries, in case you want a detailed discussion, sign up for free counselling at - and our team of counsellors will get in touch with you.

Two main intake seasons of US Universities FAQs

Q. How many intakes are there in USA?

A. Typically, there are two intakes in the US; Fall and Spring. However, there is one more intake season, the Summer semester. In total there are three intake sessions in the USA. Aspirants who are international prefer to get admission in the Fall intake. However, some applicants can choose to apply in the spring intake in case they are unable to apply for the fall intake of USA and vice versa. 

Q. Which intake is best for the universities in the US?

A. If we look at this, then ideally you should begin the applications 9-12 months before the intake. The universities in the U.S. usually take 8-10 weeks for processing the applications. The fall intake is generally the preferred intake for international students. Admissions are open for spring intake as well but some courses may not be available for spring intake of USA as they are available in the fall intake session only. Thus, applicants must check their courses for application and apply accordingly in USA. 

Q. What are the months for fall and spring intake in the USA?

A. The fall intake in the USA starts around September and ends in December. The spring intake in the US starts in January and continues till May. By August the admission decisions are to be accepted and students have to decide on accepting or rejecting or ever deferring their offers. By the end of August or starting of September, applicants can attend the orientation at their respective US universities and begin attending classes thereafter. 

Q. Is fall intake better than Spring in the U.S.?

A. During the fall intake, the class sizes are larger. This means that you have a better chance of getting admitted. During the spring semester, if your profile is above spectacular, then there can be a chance of admission during the Spring semester. During the fall intake of the universities in the U.S, students will have more scholarship opportunities, course options, part-time work opportunities, internship opportunities, and post-study work opportunities.

Q. Is the summer semester considered good in USA?

A. The summer semester is not the first choice of students because fall and spring semesters have more universities under the umbrella. However, the summer semester can be good if your preferred choices are available. A lot of short courses are a part of the summer intake in USA. International students who are in high school or in college willing to pursue a short course can apply for one during the summer intake of USA. Since these are short courses, their duration is not very long and hence they finish in shorter duration like a couple of days or weeks.

Q. What is January intake known in USA?

A. The Spring intake is known as January intake in the U.S. This intake starts from July and ends in November or December. All those students who have missed the fall intake in USA can take admission in this intake. Please note, some courses offered in fall intake may not be available for spring intake of USA, hence, aspirants are required to be cautious while applying for certain courses at specific US universities. 

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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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Nida Ahmad

2 years ago

Hi... i am nida ahmad. I want to apply for a college in usa and germany 2022 but i have doubts to when to apply and how to apply .could you please help me here . Thank you in advance

Reply to Nida Ahmad


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

a month ago

Hello Nida, you can apply for free counselling by signing up here - and get a solution to tour queries.


Anil Sharma

3 years ago

Hi,I've done my B.Tech in Civil Engg. but I am planning to change my major to MIS. 1. Will the transition be a big concern for MIS considering the fact that I have workex in an IT MNC? 2. Considering I start preparing from 1st January 2020,Should I apply for fall or Spring Intake? Thanks in advance.

Reply to Anil Sharma

Shilpa Saxena

3 years ago

Hi Anil, To answer your queries: 1. Based on your work experience in IT MNC, you should not have any troubles in transition. 2. For Spring 2020, you should have started the preparations in Mid-2019. However, if you have your GRE and IELTS scores handy (or are planning to appear for them in March),


timeline for spring intake for us please?

Reply to Samanvitha Dutta


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

a month ago

Hello! Please refer to the article above for the details.


Utsav Bajaj

4 years ago

Hi..I am utsav bajaj..I have 5.5 bands in IELTS. I want to do pgdm MBA...for 2020 Jan intake.. can I get..?

Reply to Utsav Bajaj

Shilpa Saxena

4 years ago

Hi Utsav, The deadlines for January 2020 intake would have closed by last month. You may, however, try your luck in Fall 2020 Intake. Check out the step-by-step process for USA Fall 2020 Intake here Al


Hai this is krishnaveni .iam in my graduatin final year & would like to take ms in us and iam planning for fall 2020 can u please guide me

Reply to Godugu Krishnaveni

Shilpa Saxena

4 years ago

Hi Krishnaveni, you may refer to this timeline to prepare step-by-step for the Fall Intake in USA

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