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FAQ

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required for Master’s and Doctoral Degree courses in all subjects other than Management (Engineering, Physics, Biology, Pharmacy, Computer Science, Psychology, etc.)

The GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is required for all Management courses. It is also advisable to take the GMAT® if you are applying for an MS in related fields like Finance, Accounting, Marketing and allied fields

The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is required for all undergraduate i.e. bachelor’s level courses

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for all International students whose native language is not English and are seeking admission to American universities.

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    Most universities do not have a ‘cut-off’, but to secure admission to a good American university the score required in these examinations is:

    The GRE test: 300+ out of 340 for admission. For financial assistance, your            score should be more than 1400. Of course a student can get admission even if his   score is as low as 900, but in that case he cannot apply to a high ranked university

    The GMAT test: Good business schools require a GMAT score of 600 out of 800 for admission. Obtaining financial aid means getting a score of more than 730. Of course a student can get admission even if his score is as low as 450, but in that case he cannot apply to a high ranked university

    The TOEFL test: Most graduate/undergraduate schools require a minimum score of 80 (out of a maximum of 120) for admission, but some good universities demand a score of 100.

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    The tests can be taken more than once. Universities generally consider the best score but sometimes they may consider the average score. The decision is totally at the discretion of the university concerned.

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    Students aspiring to join American Universities in the Fall Semester beginning in August/September should take the examinations latest by January of that year. Students planning to join in the Spring Semester beginning in January should take the examinations latest by July in the preceding year.

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    American universities are not generally willing to accept bachelors or master’s degrees obtained through correspondence courses. Also, degrees offered by institutes not affiliated to recognised universities are not accepted.

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    Nowadays apart from a good GMAT score, many universities ask for work experience of at least 2 years.

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    It is not possible for M.B.B.S. degree holders to obtain visas for further studies in medicine in the United States unless they pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). But M.B.B.S. degree holder can seek admission in M.S. or Ph D programs in non-clinical subjects such as Immunology, Bacteriology, Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Pathology, Bio-medical Engineering, Public Health, Biotechnology etc. For this they will have to take the GRE test and the TOEFL test.

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    No, this is not true. The American education system and job market needs students from various fields. In fact non-engineering students stand a better chance of getting financial support from US universities. Every year we send several students in the fields of Sociology, Psychology, Geography, Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Literature and Languages, Environmental Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology, Physiology, Biomedical Sciences, Toxicology etc. A majority of these students secured admission in the top ranking universities with financial aid.

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    Most universities offer substantial financial assistance to their students. They can be divided into three types: – Fellowships/Scholarships, Teaching or Research Assistantships, Campus Jobs.

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    The cost of education in the United States ranges from $15000 to over $40000 per year. In addition to tuition fees, books and food, you have to plan for the expenses towards housing, health insurance and transportation.

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    US laws do not allow students on study visa to work off-campus. But on-campus job opportunities are available. It is possible to work for up to 20 hours per week and the pay can vary between $6-10 per hour, depending on the area and type of work. Jobs can vary from working in a computer lab to library work or dishwashing in the cafeteria.

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    Generally yes, but relevant work experience is more likely to be considered e.g. if you are applying for Environmental Engineering, then you must have worked in the field for at least a year. You must send your work profile, duly authenticated by your employer, along with the application form.

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    Yes. If you are not satisfied with your university, after you join it, you can apply to other universities and transfer your credits to the university you choose. You can do this at any time, but usually most students transfer admissions after the 1st or the 2nd semester. You should be aware that the new university may not accept all your credits and may ask you to take some extra credits. You can also take transfer, if another University is giving you financial aid.

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    Yes. The American system is very flexible. So you can change your field of study while studying in a particular university e.g. a student doing his M.S. in the engineering or the physics department can shift to the computer science department. But it often happens that when you transfer your terms for some other subject, the new department may not accept all your earlier credits. They may treat you as a fresh admission and accept only those credits that are similar in both courses.

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    At least 18 months in advance of your intended date of enrollment at a US university. For example, if you wish to enroll in August/September 2010.You should start the process around April/May 2009. Be sure of the deadlines of the programs.

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    Approximately, Rs.50,000 for applying to an average of 7 universities. This includes test fees, application fees, communication, and mailing expenses.

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    The cost (tuition + living expenses) could range from $15,000 to $40,000 for a year, depending on the course. The average cost for a year of study is $20,000.

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    The process takes about a year from the time of application.

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    The IELTS score is valid for 2 years. While obtaining admission to an educational institute, the latest IELTS score is considered.

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    It entirely depends on particular students but 3 hours per day for 30 days is more than sufficient.

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    In the UK most PhD programmes last for three years. Students are expected to submit a thesis within 12 months of the end of the programme (and preferably within the three year period). There are an increasing number of programmes, such as the New Route PhD scheme or the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD scheme, which incorporate a number of taught modules into the programme which increases the length to 4 years.

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    It’s not really for us to say what you might be asked. PhD interviews vary tremendously     depending on the supervisor concerned. It is likely however that you will be asked about your third year project or any other research experience you may have.

    If you have been given details of any particular references then make sure you do your best to read them. If you’ve not been given this info, then use the web to find relevant papers (particularly those by your potential supervisor). You are not likely to be examined on these things, but the supervisor will be looking to see that you were at least interested enough to read them.

    The other question you are likely to be asked is why you want to do a PhD in general, and this PhD in particular. You should think about the answers to these questions before you go to the interview. Many people apply for a PhDs because they can’t think of anything else to do. A good supervisor will try to avoid these people.

    Finally, remember to find out as much as you can while you’re there. Try to speak to PhD students working in your potential new lab/Department and see if you like the atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to ask the PhD students about the quality of supervision. Three years is a long time to be stuck with a bad supervisor or to work in an unfriendly environment.

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