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Requirements to Study in the USA for Indian Students


Dreaming of studying in the United States? For many Indian students, this dream can feel both exciting and daunting. Our comprehensive guide is here to simplify your journey. From navigating US university admission requirements to understanding the student visa requirement for the USA, and ensuring you have the right USA student health insurance - every aspect is covered here.

Join us as we explore each critical phase, packed with practical tips and essential insights. Whether it's achieving the necessary USA language proficiency or deciphering the various test requirements to study in the USA, this guide is your ultimate resource. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge and confidence, transforming your American educational aspirations into reality. 

Understanding the Requirements to Study in the USA

Embarking on an educational journey to the United States is a dream for many Indian students. It's a path filled with opportunities and experiences. But before setting foot on this exciting journey, understanding the requirements to study in the USA is crucial.

For Undergraduate (UG) Students

Requirement Type


Importance Level


Academic Records

Completion of 10+2 education with a focus on relevant subjects is vital


Average acceptance rate: ~60%

Standardised Tests

SAT (average score range: 1060-1240) or ACT (average score: 23-29)


Average ACT score: 23-29

English Language Proficiency

IELTS (avg. score requirement: 6.5) or TOEFL (avg. score: 79-100) for USA language proficiency.


Mandatory for non-native speakers

Extra-curricular Activities

Participation can enhance the application.


Leadership roles valued

Personal Statement/SOP

Outlining career goals and motivations.


Tailored to Course Preference

For Postgraduate (PG) Students

Requirement Type


Importance Level


Bachelor's Degree

A four-year degree from a recognised institution.


Relevant field of study required


GRE average score: 150-160 (Verbal), 160-170 (Quantitative). GMAT average: 550-600.


Essential for technical and business courses

Work Experience

Especially for MBA programs. Avg. experience required: 2-5 years.

Medium to High

Adds practical perspective


Beneficial for research-oriented programs.


Demonstrates expertise


Required by some universities


Personalised to university's ethos

These tables provide a structured overview of the key academic and test requirements to study in the USA. Remember, every university has its unique criteria, so thorough research and preparation tailored to your chosen institution are crucial.

Navigating the University Application Process in the USA

Researching and shortlisting universities that align with your academic goals is the first step in the university application process in the USA. Understanding each university's unique admission criteria, including academic achievements and USA language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL, is crucial.

  • Research and Shortlisting Universities: Begin at least 12-18 months before the application deadline. Focus on finding institutions that align with your academic goals and meet the admission requirements to study in the USA. Utilise resources like 'AECC Search' to streamline this process.
  • Understanding Admission Requirements: Each university in the USA has its unique set of criteria. These often include academic achievements, standardised test scores, and USA language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Preparing Application Documents: This step, crucial in the university application process in the USA, involves compiling academic transcripts, letters of recommendation (LORs), and a well-crafted statement of purpose (SOP). Kickstart your application preparations 6-12 months before the deadline.
  • Standardised Tests: You may need to take SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT tests, depending on your chosen field of study. These scores form a vital part of the test requirement to study in the USA.
  • Submission of Application: Adhering to application deadlines is critical. For undergraduate programs, applications are typically submitted through the Common App, while postgraduate courses may have specific portals.
  • Interview Preparation: If required, university interviews are a platform to demonstrate your motivation and communication skills. This forms an integral part of the USA university admission process.
  • Visa Application: Post acceptance, the next step is applying for the student visa, a crucial aspect of the student visa requirement for the USA. This involves gathering the necessary documents and preparing for the visa interview.

Key points to note:

  • Interestingly, about 75% of applicants find their way into U.S. universities.
  • Just so you know, setting aside $50 to $100 for each university application should cover your bases.
  • The timeline for university responses post-application varies from 2 to 6 months.
Understanding and meticulously following these steps can significantly enhance your chances of being admitted to a U.S. university. Each stage, from initial research to visa application, is a stepping stone towards achieving your educational aspirations in the USA.

Visa Application: A Key Step to Your USA Education

Obtaining a student visa is integral to studying in the USA. An F-1 visa is standard for full-time academic courses, aligning with USA university admission protocols. The DS-160 form, a non-refundable visa application fee, and preparing for an F1 visa interview are critical components of the student visa requirement for the USA.

  • Visa Type Selection:  The F-1 visa is the standard choice for Indian students pursuing full-time academic courses in the USA, aligning with USA university admission protocols.
  • Admission Confirmation: Obtaining admission from a SEVP-certified school is the first step in fulfilling the admission requirements to study in the USA, which subsequently leads to the visa application process.
  • Filling out the DS-160 Form: This detailed online form is a cornerstone of the student visa requirement for the USA. It requires comprehensive information about the student's study plans and background.
  • Application Fee Payment: Paying the non-refundable visa application fee is an essential step, directly tied to the university application process in the USA.
  • Visa Interview Preparation: A critical stage in the USA student visa application process, the interview requires students to clearly articulate their study objectives, financial readiness, and intent to return to India after their studies.
  • Gathering Necessary Documents: Key documents include a valid passport, Form I-20, DS-160 confirmation, fee receipt, academic records, and proof of financial stability, addressing the test requirement to study in USA and USA language proficiency.

The visa approval rate for Indian students is notably high, reflecting a supportive stance towards educational aspirations and the average processing time from application to interview ranges between 3 to 5 weeks.

Thorough understanding and meticulous preparation for each step of the visa application process are indispensable for Indian students. It's a pathway that transforms their dream of studying in the USA into a tangible reality.

Feeling uncertain about the student visa requirement for the USA? Let AECC simplify it for you. Our experts provide tailored visa guidance to ensure a smooth application process. Reach out to AECC for a free consultation, and confidently embark on your American educational journey!

Health Insurance: A Must for Indian Students in the USA

Selecting the right USA student health insurance is crucial. Comparing university-provided plans with private options can help you find comprehensive coverage. Remember, the average cost for health insurance ranges between $500 - $1,500 annually.

Key Points on Health Insurance:

  • Mandatory Insurance Requirement: It's common for U.S. universities to require health insurance for international students, aligning with admission requirements to study in the USA. This is to ensure students can manage the high healthcare costs in the USA.
  • Comparing University and Private Plans: Universities might offer health insurance, but students can also explore private USA student health insurance options for potentially more comprehensive coverage.
  • Understanding Coverage Necessities: A robust plan should include emergency services, mental health care, and coverage for chronic conditions, reflecting the essential USA health insurance standards.
  • Cost Analysis: Insurance premiums can be influenced by the chosen coverage level and the student's age. On average, students might spend $500 - $1,500 annually on health insurance, a critical factor in financial planning for US university admission.
  • Timely Procurement: Arranging health insurance before departure from India is crucial. This forward planning is part of the broader university application process in the USA, ensuring immediate coverage upon arrival.

Your journey to study in the USA is filled with opportunities and challenges. By understanding the essentials, from university admission requirements in the USA to visa application processes and health insurance coverage, you're setting yourself up for success. 

At AECC, we're committed to guiding you through each step, ensuring your transition to studying in the USA is seamless and successful. Reach out to us for a comprehensive, student-focused approach to achieving your American educational dreams.


What are the main requirements for Indian students to study in the USA?

Academic records, standardised test scores, English proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL), and financial proof.

How high should my IELTS score be for USA university admission?

Typically, a score between 6.0 and 7.5 is required, varying by university.

What minimum CGPA is needed for pursuing an MS in the USA?

Generally, a minimum CGPA of 2.5 to 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, depending on the specific program and university.

Can I study in the USA if I'm not proficient in English?

Proficiency in English is mandatory. Non-native speakers must submit IELTS or TOEFL scores. ESL programs are available for language improvement.

What's the process to apply for US universities from India?

Research and prepare applications with required documents and English proficiency scores. Post-acceptance, apply for a student visa.

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