Applying to Undergraduate and Graduate School in the USA Dr. Henry Flores Dean, Graduate School St. Mary’s University San Antonio, Texas
Initial Steps • Visit web sites of university to determine whether you would be interested in studying there. • Principle Considerations • Program of study is what you are interested in. • Is there a sufficient number and type of faculty to teach the program. • Size of the school. • Whether public or private. • If private what type of private. • Can you afford it?
Applying to USA Schools • Need to submit a signed financial statement, even if you are going to receive a scholarship or assistantship. • Submit scores for either the TOEFL or IELTS, some schools take either or both. • Once you are admitted, we send you the I20 form together with your letter of admission so that you can obtain your student visa. • Of course, do not forget to have a passport.
Considering Where to Study • Size of the school. Small versus large. Small allows for more faculty/student and staff/student interaction. Some of these schools are well known for their academic advising and mentoring systems. • Rural versus urban. If you want to be in a large urban environment then you should look for schools in the large cities; if you prefer more quiet, provincial atmosphere look for schools in rural or suburban settings. • In the United States we have both large and small schools scattered throughout large and middle size cities as well as rural environments.
Considering Where to Study • Some private schools are church affiliated, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish so if you wish to have a religious affiliation you can find many privates that belong to religious orders or specific religions. • We even have a system of colleges and universities where military officers are trained but the officer trainees are really university students.
Considering Where to Study • You can begin by looking at a specific program, school, or location. • Some schools have great reputations, Harvard, Yale, Michigan, but may be too difficult to get into or too expensive. • The USA has a great system of higher education and so there are very many good lesser known schools that may fit your needs.
Considering Where to Study • The public universities tend to be less expensive than privates. • But the privates generally have less extra fees than the publics. • So shop very carefully.
Considering Where to Study • Look for the programs that interest you. For example, if you wish to study urban planning you may wish to look at the website of universities to se if they are strong in these areas. • Another area that is growing in the United States currently is that of undergraduate research opportunities. You may wish to see, inquire via email into which universities have strong programs in this area. • Other universities focus on service learning opportunities, internships or specialized study abroad opportunities such as sending students to study in a country that is specializing in sustainable development projects.