Doctoral programs in the United States

Posted: Posted Date – 11:28 PM, Sat – 7 May 22

A few universities in the United States only offer fall semester admission while others offer both fall and spring semester admission.

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Send your questions and doubts to ‘’ to be answered by subject matter experts, from the degree and study program you can pursue to what the application process entails, on universities, how to prepare resumes, financing your studies and even what it is like to live and study in the United States, all are welcome.

Q. When are admissions for undergraduate programs in the United States and what are the application deadlines?

A. Registration and application deadlines for undergraduate (bachelor’s) programs in the United States vary by university.

The fall and spring semesters are the two main academic admission periods. The fall semester runs from mid-August to September, at the beginning of the academic year, while the spring semester begins in January, at the middle of the academic year.

A few universities only offer fall semester admission while others offer both fall and spring semester admission. It is important that students check the university website for admission periods and respective application deadlines before working on their application.

Admissions to bachelor’s degree programs at US universities have different application deadlines: Regular Decision, Early Decision, Early Action, and Rolling Admission. You can refer to our old chronicles to understand the difference between these different application deadlines.

Q. How can one practice law in the United States?

A. To practice law in the United States, after earning a degree in the field of law from a US institution, students must pass the bar exam and other requirements in the state where they wish to work.

Juris doctor (JD), Master of Law (LLM) and other master’s degrees (MJ, MCL, MCJ, etc.) are degree considerations in the field of law for international students. Eligibility requirements to take the bar exam vary by state, and students should check state-specific requirements before applying for the exam. You can find more information about the bar exams on the American Bar Association website

Q. What are the different types of doctoral programs in the United States?

A. At the doctoral level, the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is the most commonly awarded degree in academic disciplines. A Ph.D. degree is designed to train academic researchers and, in many cases, future college and university faculty members. Received a Ph.D. degree certifies that the student has demonstrated ability as a qualified researcher in a specific discipline.

The Ph.D. degree is awarded to students who complete significant original research, write a thesis describing that research, and successfully defend their work before a panel of faculty members with expertise in the discipline.

It may take another two to three years. To obtain a doctorate, it can take five to eight years beyond the bachelor’s degree, depending on the field of study.

Doctoral programs can also be professional leading to licensure in specialized fields, such as law (doctorate of law) and medicine (MD). Other doctorates in professional fields include Ed.D. or Doctor of Education (Education), DrPh (Public Health) and DBA or Doctor of Business Administration (Business Administration).

Q. How should transcripts be prepared for US college undergraduate applications?

A. Academic records are commonly referred to as transcripts in the US higher education system. For an undergraduate applicant, US institution admissions offices review a student’s academic record for the past four years, i.e. records for grades 9 through 12.

If the student is currently in 12th, records up to 11th standard must be submitted at the time of application along with any mid-year grades or predicted scores for 12th standard.

American universities require academic documents or transcripts in a particular way. Very important, the transcript must be officially issued by the school or the school board where the student continued his studies. Photocopies of grade sheets or report cards are not acceptable. In addition, the transcript should list all subjects/courses the student has taken during each year of their studies, with the corresponding grades/marks received for each subject.

All academic records must be in English and must bear the school/school board seal or stamp to be considered official.

Generally, getting a set of these transcripts (one for each grade level i.e. 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th) should suffice. At the time of application, school counselors scan/photocopy the grade sheets and upload them to the application portal. For final admission, original score sheets are checked against transcripts by the U.S. institution of admission.

Q. What are Fulbright scholarships?

A. Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright scholarships, supported by the U.S. and Indian governments, enable the most outstanding students, scholars, and professionals from India and the United States to study, research, and teach in the host country. Program recipients are selected through a rigorous application and interview process for these awards. These scholarships provide J-1 visa assistance, a monthly stipend, an accident and illness exchange program in accordance with U.S. government guidelines, economy class air travel, applicable allowances, and fees. modest membership fees, if any.

There are different types of Fulbright scholarships for students. For more information on these scholarships, students can visit

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