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Studying in the USA

Where to study

Studying in the US

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Apply2university’s sister company, Jon Tabbert Associates, provides our US admissions support.

Since 1995, Dr Tabbert and his team have led the field in US admissions consultancy. Last year, their students received offers from dozens of top tier US universities, such as Stanford, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, Brown, Columbia and Cornell.

Read our full list of 2016 US University Offers >

Find out more about how Jon Tabbert Associates can support you >


Applying to the US: your choice of University


The U.S. offers a huge range of courses in more than 4,000 institutions. These institutions may be universities (those offering Master’s and doctoral programs, as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees); colleges (those without post-graduate programs); or community colleges (two-year programs, from which students transfer into a 4-year college or university). The Ivy League universities are famous worldwide and feature amongst the top world university rankings (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.).

The U.S. is a large country with highly varied regional differences in climate, urban, suburban, and rural environments, and culture. Admission to university can be highly competitive, so it is important to choose wisely. The majority of the universities in the U.S. use a semester system (Sept-Dec and Jan- May), and many offer two intakes a year, so you can start in either Fall or Spring. Note that Americans often refer to their universities as ‘schools’, which does not mean a high school, and the terms college and university are used interchangeably.

USA University system


Bachelor’s degrees usually take four years to complete, not three, and offer greater flexibility than degrees in the UK. American degrees are based on the concept of liberal arts and sciences, so that you may take a wide variety of subjects. The time for choosing your major varies according to the level of university, and on occasions it is only at the end of the second academic year that you need to make your final choice, which is ideal for students who are not sure of their specialization at the start of their degree program. Students coming from Europe, whether from a traditional program or via the international IB, have the possibility of exempting some, if not all, of the first-year courses, which can shorten the time needed for the undergraduate degree.


Master’s degrees vary in length from one to two years, and PhDs can take up to seven years.


Applying to university in the USA is complex. Every school (university) creates its own list of requirements. Even if the school uses what is called the “Common Application,” many have additional essays. Schools in the U.S. also require recommendations by teachers or guidance counsellors. For this reason you need to apply as early as possible. Most colleges require applications to be submitted by 1 January for admission to programs beginning in fall, however, some have ‘early decision’ or ‘early action’ requirements which must be completed by 1 November. A primary concern is leaving enough time to obtain your U.S. student visa. If you are a non-native speaker of English, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is usually required for acceptance and you may also need to take the SAT or ACT Test.

For each school we supply information on median SAT scores, required TOEFL scores, and the documents required in addition to the main application, such as teacher and counsellor recommendations, documentation of class rank, list of outside activities and specific essay topics. Our counsellors are highly respected American academics, who can advise which schools are appropriate to the level of an applicant, including those with high ranking world status.


We also have experience of university applications to Canadian universities, which are increasing in popularity. Their admissions process differs from the USA, and is slightly simpler. Canadian universities generally prefer IELTS to TOEFL as an English entry requirement.

Sports Scholarships

Our US admissions consultancy, Jon Tabbert Associates, has teamed with specialists who have many years’ experience working with sports scholarships in the USA through showcase events, and with direct contact with sports coaches for high level sports men and women.