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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by international students. ​

Remember to check out The Ultimate Study USA Toolkit for in-depth resources and information about studying in the USA. 


1. What is a GPA?

​Answer - GPA, or Grade Point Average , describes the grading scale for students in the USA. A commonly used scale for university level is the following:

A = 4.0

B = 3.0

C = 2.0

D = 1.0 

F = failing/not passing 

These grades are averaged together based off of credits per class and amount of classes. 


2. How long does a bachelor's degree take in the USA?

Answer - A bachelors degree usually takes four-five years if students are attending classes full time. ​


3. What visa do I need to study in the USA?

​Answer - Most universities allow students to study on the J1, M1, or F1 visa. This website provides extensive resources on the F1 student visa. 

4. How do I apply to universities in the USA? 

Answer - Universities in the USA all have their own applications that can be found on the website. There is no one organizational body that students can apply to.

5. How do I pay for university in the USA? 

Answer - Students can use loans, grants, scholarships, and personal funds to pay for studying abroad. Exploring the cost of attending university in the USA is a key part of studying abroad. 

6. How long does it take to get a student visa? 

Answer - embassies around the world have peak times of the year when it can take longer. Some countries often take months to get a student visa approval, while some countries can take only a couple of weeks to schedule an appointment and get approved. Use this site to determine how long the visa wait time can be in your home country - Visa Wait Times


7. What does undergraduate student mean? 

Answer - Undergraduate can describe a student who is earning an associate or bachelors degree. It can also describe a first time in college student (freshman), or a transfer student who is still earning an undergraduate degree.


8.  What are credits? 

Answer - Credits are determined by the contact hours required for a class. In universities in the USA, most schools give 1-4 credits per class, and there are so many credits required to earn the degree. 

9. How do I know if I earned credit for any secondary or post secondary coursework in my home country? 

Answer - The best way to know for sure if you have earned any previous credits before coming to the USA is to have an official transcript evaluation. See examples of evaluation companies under the "Advising" resources.  

10. How do I pick a school in the USA?

Answer - I always recommend for prospective students to focus on programs, climate, and location when starting the school search process. Check out the blog for ideas on finding the best school in the USA!

Find additional FAQs for international students here - Education USA FAQs

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