United States of America


Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a country other than one's own. This can include primary, secondary and post-secondary students. In the United States, 260,327 students studied abroad for academic credit in 2008-2009, which represented a modest decline of 0.8% from the previous year's record high of 262,214, according to the most recent "Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange" report. The number of students studying abroad still represents only about 1% of all students enrolled at institutions of higher education in the United States.

While the majority of foreign students who study in the United States are pursuing a full degree, most outgoing U.S. students study abroad for one or two academic terms. The majority of US students now choose short-term study abroad programs according to the most recent Institute of International Education Open Doors Report. In the 2008-09 academic year, the five countries US students chose to study abroad in most were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and China. The total number of US students studying abroad during 2008-09 was 260,327, compared to 262,416 the previous year, a modest decline of 0.8%. The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education with funding from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. However, the report found that there were notable increases in the number of U.S. students going to study in less traditional destinations. Fifteen of the top 25 destinations were outside of Western Europe and nineteen were countries where English is not a primary language.

American degrees are based on a Liberal Arts philosophy, which requires that students take a wide variety of courses in the arts and sciences before concentrating on one academic area so that they gain a well-rounded education. The American Bachelor degree consists of:

  • a major, which is a concentrated field of study
  • general education courses in a wide range of subjects
  • supporting courses for the major
  • electives, which are a student's free choice

A degree is designed to be completed in four years, although there is no fixed timescale. Instead, a degree is awarded after a student has completed a required amount of coursework, expressed in terms known as credits/units or semester hours. Usually a student will need to accumulate approximately 110 to 130 credits in order to graduate, with each course on average earning 3-4 credits. Continuous assessment is a feature and each course (class) per term is graded and then converted into a numeric equivalent called a Grade Point Average on a scale of 0 - 4.0 which indicates how well a student is performing. Colleges and universities both award undergraduate degrees and colleges are in no way inferior to universities. Indeed, the terms ‘colleges’ and ‘universities’ tend to be used interchangeably. You should note that medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and law are not subjects studied at undergraduate level in the United States.

Each institution has its own application deadlines and procedures, although nearly 300 American colleges and universities subscribe to a Common Application Form in order to simplify the undergraduate applications process.

American colleges expect you to hold secondary school qualifications that would admit you to higher education in your own country. Colleges expect students to have English, mathematics, a language, a science subject and one other subject, plus an aptitude test. This is most often the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Top fifty Institutions in U.S.A

S.No.Name of UniversityPercentile SAT
1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA 2100-2380
2 Yale University New Haven, CT 2080-2370
3 Princeton University Princeton, NJ 2080-2360
4 Stanford University Stanford, CA 2000-2310
5 Columbia University New York, NY 1990-2290
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 2040-2310
7 Brown University Providence, RI 1990-2290
8 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 2020-2320
9 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 1990-2270
10 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 2150-2350
11 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO 2055-2295
12 Georgetown University Washington, DC 1950-2235
13 Cornell University Ithaca, NY 1920-2220
14 Duke University Durham, NC 1990-2290
15 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA 1790-2160
16 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 1930-2230
17 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 1910-2180
18 Rice University Houston, TX 1950-2260
19 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 1910-2220
20 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 1760-2090
21 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 1860-2140
22 Tufts University Medford, MA 2010-2230
23 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 1900-2190
24 Northwestern University Evanston, IL 1980-2250
25 Emory University Atlanta, GA 1950-2205
26 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 1920-2025
27 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 1940-2210
28 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA 1870-2160
29 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Chapel Hill,NC 1780-2070
30 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 1670-2020
31 University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville, VA 1800-2120
32 Brandeis University Waltham, MA 1890-2190
33 New York University New York, NY 1860-2140
34 George Washington University Washington, DC 1770-2060
35 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 1740-2020
36 University of Chicago Chicago, IL 1740-2020
37 Northeastern University Boston, MA 1980-2295
38 University of Rochester Rochester, NY 1845-2130
39 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 1710-2040
40 Fordham University Bronx, NY 1695-1995
41 Wake Forest University Winston Salem, NC 1860-2115
42 SUNY at Binghamton Binghamton, NY 1770-2010
43 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1580-1890
44 Spalding University Louisville, KY 1193-1359
45 San Diego State University San Diego, CA 1410-1740
46 Baylor University Waco, TX 1665-1965
47 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA 1790-2060
48 University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA 1700-2030
49 Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI 1370-1800
50 University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD 1755-2070

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