How To Apply To Universities In The US

When to apply

To make sure you complete the application process in time, start contacting universities and colleges you are interested in attending 12-18 months in advance.

So if, for example, you are looking to begin studying in autumn 2018, you should start contacting universities in spring 2017.

American universities admit new students twice a year - although the largest intake is usually in the autumn, students are also admitted in the spring semester which starts in January.

Therefore if you want to start in January of the year 2019, start researching and contacting universities in July 2017.

How to apply

Applying to American universities is a lengthy process compared to the UK undergraduate application system.

To apply for a U.S undergraduate programme, you must submit your application directly to the individual university rather than a centralised body such as UCAS.

Each institution has its own application deadlines and procedures, although 392 American colleges and universities subscribe to a Common Application Form  in order to help streamline the undergraduate applications process.

Each institution will have a section on their website for international students who wish to apply for their undergraduate courses.

This should include a link to the application form (sometimes this will be a link to the common application form mentioned above), which you can either fill out and submit online, or print off and send via post.

If you are using the common application to apply to a particular institution(s), bear in mind that once you have filled it in and submitted it, it can not be changed.

You will have to contact the university or college directly if you need to correct a mistake or provide more information.

Check deadlines for applications carefully, and remember that the application process can take a long time, so make sure to fill in and submit your application as early as possible. This means getting started on writing your college essay as soon as you can.

If you can not find all the information you require to apply to a particular university or college, contact the institutions’ admissions office.

Further information

For more help and advice on applying to university in the U.S, please see: