If you are applying for fall 2014 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Review this Application Timeline for Fall 2014 immediately and get to work. Here it is:
June-August 2013 – Review you goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize.
- Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by September.
- Register for the Subject GRE– important for doctoral programs in pure sciences, the biological sciences and master’s programs in computer science in top schools.
Note: the exam is held once in a year in November, however, seats usually get filled up by August.
August 2013 – Make a preliminary list of about 30 universities which meet your requirements considering:
- Broad specializations you are interested in (for departments and specializations see the ‘university info‘ page on online.dilipoakacademy.com)
- Recommendations by seniors, your professors etc.
- Whether your academic profile fits the universities requirements.
- Arrange for 10-13 sets of transcripts in sealed covers from your college or university – some universities insist on university transcripts
- Choose your recommenders (generally 3 recommendations are required, at least one of which should be from the educational institute last attended) and give them the necessary details – resume, copies of your mark sheets etc.
- Start working on your Statement of Purpose (target date for completion 31 October 2013) and resume
- Take the GRE and TOEFL exams latest by 20 December
- Carry out a comprehensive review of the 30 universities considering:
- Your academic performance in bachelor’s degree
- GRE and TOEFL scores of students admitted in the past
- Any minimum cut-offs with respect to GRE and TOEFL scores
- Whether courses of your choice are offered in the Fall semester
- Cost of education
- Make your final shortlist of 8-10 universities.
- Complete your Statement of Purpose (SOP) and resume
- Request the ETS to forward your GRE and TOEFL scores to the universities you are applying to, specifying the correct codes for the universities/departments you are applying to.
Note: some universities require certain documents to be sent to the department you are applying to
- Complete online application process and send the required documents by courier
This completes the application process; however there are further steps to be taken:
- Track the status of your application on your status page of the university’s website. Though universities generally communicate decisions or requirements by either e-mail or post, it often happens that the only source of information is your status page.
- If there are any deficiencies in your applications (missing documents, non-receipt of GRE or TOEFL scores, recommendations etc.) act immediately to correct the deficiencies.
- When you receive an offer letter from the universities (or when an admission decision is indicated on your status page) email your acceptance. This is very important especially when you are offered funding.
- When you have accepted the university’s offer of admission and the documentation formalities are complete the university will send you the 1-20, an immigration document, which is essential for obtaining a visa.
- When you receive the I-20, check that it is correct in all respects:
- Your name and date of birth should be exactly as in your passport
- Your course and course duration are correctly specified
- The financial sources indicated exceed the costs etc.
- Prepare the visa documentation
- Study the visa application formalities specified on the websites of the applicable US Consulate and the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services)
- Apply for a visa interview date – you can apply for a visa interview 130 days before the joining date mentioned on your I-20.
For further details on the F-1 visa see our previous blog on the subject.