Study UG in the USA
A full-time Bachelor's degree program in the USA is commonly a four-year program with a flexible model. Students study general subjects in the initial years (called freshman and sophomore years) to fully understand what subject areas interest them. A basis that they can opt for their major in their third and fourth year, called junior and senior years.
Students can also study a two-year program that leads to an associate degree at community colleges. These are geared toward imparting vocational skills; if students want, they can transfer their credits to enroll in a full-time Bachelor's degree program at a degree-awarding university/college.
Why choose to study UG in the USA?
The US is the leading study abroad destination for STEM-related courses; let's take a look at what makes it a preferred destination for international students:
According to the World University Rankings 2020 by Times Higher Education, seven US universities are in the top 10 list. Student satisfaction, quality and research focus are some of the reasons that help American universities rank higher. Universities provide students with the best of faculties, some of whom are distinguished personalities in their respective fields. For these reasons, a US degree is valued higher than a degree from any other country.
One factor that makes the US education system top-notch is the flexibility it allows its students to structure programs according to their convenience. Students are allowed to find their strengths and passion during their initial study years to decide their field of study later appropriately. They also allow students to choose from various subjects to pursue their major.
A decentralized education system allows each university to decide how they want to teach their students. Most degree programs require a certain number of classes in a discipline but let students choose the rest of their schedule. For example, suppose two students are studying International Relations at the same university at the same time. In that case, one might decide to do a minor in Philosophy or Chemistry. The other might change their major to Anthropology after a year of study.
Better Course Design
The curriculum gives students ample time to focus on research and assignments. The programs are designed to create a fine balance between the theoretical aspect and practical knowledge of a subject. Unlike in India, where theoretical knowledge is emphasized, courses abroad focus more on applied learning.
High Ranking Institutes and Wide Range of Courses
Universities in the US, especially in the field of medical, technology, and engineering, are renowned internationally, and the degree offered by them is valued globally. Most of the top-ranking institutes offering world-class UG degrees are in the USA. They offer a far more comprehensive range of subjects to specialize in and research.
Prepares for a Global Career
Studying in the US prepares students for an international career. College campuses in the US have a rich ethnic diversity. The multi-cultural environment helps students learn the value of diversity and racial and gender equality and acquire skills to foster cross-ethnic relationships. With technology advancing quicker than ever in a global economic set-up, irrespective of the field, a wide range of knowledge and agility is a skill sought after by employers everywhere.
Top Institutes for UG in the USA
According to the 2020 Times, Higher Education World University Rankings following are the top universities in the USA for Undergraduate Degree programs:
California Institute of Technology: Caltech has six academic divisions emphasizing science and technology teaching and research. It has a high research output alongside many high-quality facilities, both on campus and globally. This includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, and the International Observatory Network.
Stanford University: Stanford is one of the largest campuses in the United States with 18 interdisciplinary research institutes such as the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Graduate School of Education; School of Engineering; School of Humanities and Sciences; Law School; and School of Medicine.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology– MIT is currently organized into five different schools: Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Management, and Science. Scientific discoveries and technological advances accredited to MIT include the first chemical synthesis of penicillin, the development of radar, the discovery of quarks, and the invention of magnetic core memory, which enabled the development of digital computers.
Princeton University: Princeton is also one of the world's foremost research universities, with connections to more than 40 Nobel laureates, 17 winners of the National Medal of Science, and five recipients of the National Humanities Medal.
Harvard University: Situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the campus has 12 degree-granting schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The private Ivy League institution has impressive alumni of 45 Nobel laureates, over 30 heads of state and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners.
Yale University: It is a private Ivy League research university. It comprises 14 schools, and students follow a liberal arts curriculum, covering Humanities and Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences before choosing a departmental major. Students also receive instruction in writing skills, quantitative reasoning, and foreign languages.
University of Chicago- It is an urban research university with an interdisciplinary core curriculum and programs focused on developing students' critical, analytical, and writing skills. Faculty, researchers, and alumni have earned 90 Nobel Prizes and 50 MacArthur "genius grants" and numerous other national medals and fellowships.
Post Study Stay Back Options
F1-visa will allow students to stay for 60 days after a degree in the USA, and students have to apply for one of the following visas:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)STEM course/ Management courses
Optional Practical Training (OPT) refers to temporary employment for students in their field of study. Eligible students can receive up to 12 months – 24 of OPT employment.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) students can apply for a 24-month extension on their post-completion OPT, provided they have been granted the initial 12-month post-completion OPT. They are in the valid period of OPT.
Post-completion OPT: Students can apply for this option after completing their studies. OPT allows students to stay and work in the United States for 12 months. Those authorized for post-completion OPT can work either part-time or full-time.
The H-1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers. With an H-1B visa, one can live and work for up to 6 years in the US. An F-1 student visa can be transferred to an H-1B visa if one's US employer is willing to sponsor.