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Education USA

General Information

FAQ

Study in the U.S.A.

Higher education in the United States is quite multi-faceted and decentralized. It is characterized by competition afnd autonomous institutions of higher learning. Presently, there are around 4,180 colleges and universities in the US. Of these, over 1,700 are so-called “two-year institutions,” and 2,450 are “four-year institutions.” In addition to the roughly 1,700 public institutions (which are operated by the states, cities, or counties in which they are located), there are also more than 2,480 private colleges and universities. “Community colleges” make up the bulk of the American two-year institutions and are quite practical for beginning students wishing to take introductory or general language courses. There are currently over 14 million students registered at US institutions of higher learning, and the vast majority of these students – some 11 million – study at public universities and colleges. Women make up the majority (over 56%) of American university students. Also of interest is the high percentage (nearly 40%) of part-time students, who attend university while employed full-time.

Most American universities and colleges have early deadlines. You must write to American universities a year before you plan to begin your studies and obtain application forms. Many schools have later deadlines. To go to a language school, you must write three months before you plan to begin your studies.

American universities and colleges will require you to fill their application forms and send it to them with the application fee before the deadline. Normally they will also require transcripts showing your G.P.A., reference letters from your teachers, results from TOEFL, SAT, or GRE or GMAT tests. If your English is not excellent, you will not be able to pass these tests.

American universities, colleges and language schools charge tuition. In order to study in America, you must be able to pay for your school and maintenance expenses. Total expenses (tuition + maintenance) for one year normally varies from $15,000 to $45,000 depending on the school and area.

In general, foreign students are not allowed to work off campus. Even if you are given permission to work after you go to America, what you might earn will not normally cover your expenses. Therefore, you should not count on financing your education by working in the United States. The exception is if your university offers you an assistanship.

In order to receive financial aid or assistantships from American universities and colleges, you must have excellent English and grades, must be one of the top students of your school or department, must score very high on the required tests and have your teachers send very good reference letters. 

For more information about Fulbright Scholarships and studying in America, please visit:

For more information about studying in America, please visit the EducationUSA website (www.educationusa.state.gov) or contact an educational advisor at one of the following EducationUSA affiliates in Turkey:

Fulbright Eğitim Komisyonu
Şehit Ersan Cad. 28 / 4
Çankaya 06680 Ankara
Tel: 428 48 24 Fax: 312- 468 15 60s
e-posta: advising@tr.net
Lara Meltem Bilikmen 

Fulbright Eğitim Komisyonu
Istanbul Irtibat Bürosu
Gümüşsuyu, Dümen Sok. 3/ 11
Taksim Istanbul 34437
Tel: 212- 244 11 05
Fax: 212- 249 75 81
email: fulb-ist@tr.net

Türk-Amerikan Derneği (TAD)
Cinnah Cad 20
Kavaklıdere  Ankara
Tel: 312- 4670820 / 426 26 44
Fax: 312- 468 25 38
email: useducation@taa-ankara.org.tr
Aylin Dewan

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to college or university in the US can be a bewildering and frustrating experience. This FAQ (PDF 743KB), created by the cultural section at the US Embassy and EducationUSA in Turkey, aims to answer Turkish students’ most common questions about applying to and successfully entering a US college or university.

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

    Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

    • Besides academic courses of study, institutions of higher learning in the US also offer praxis-oriented programs for advanced vocational training. Such programs are found mostly at two-year “community colleges.” In addition to certificates and diplomas, a student can earn an “associate degree” after two years of study.

      The typical academic degree earned by American students is the “Bachelor of Arts” (BA) or respectively the “Bachelor of Science” (BS). These degrees are awarded following the completion of four years of studies. In the first two years of their studies, American students take a number of required courses in general subject areas. After the second year, American students take a major (or two), and spend the remaining two years taking courses in these academic disciplines (although they are not limited to them). After having earned the “bachelor’s,” most Americans end their “academic careers” and look for jobs. One calls the four-year course of study for the BA/BS the “undergraduate studies.”

      Those who decide to pursue their education further can earn a Master of Arts or Master of Science, respectively, in one to two years. These so-called “Master’s Degrees” are offered only at universities, and not at colleges. Likewise, only universities offer professional degrees, as for example the Juris Doctor (for law), the Doctor of Medicine (for medicine), and the well-known Master of Business Administration, or MBA. It usually takes two to four years to complete these professional degrees.

      Earning a doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D.) in the United States takes between four and six years. The first phase of one’s doctoral studies usually lasts two years and is concluded with an extensive examination in all the subject areas studied until that point. This examination is known as the “preliminary examination” or alternatively as the “qualifying examination.” Following the successful completion of this examination, the student may begin his research for his doctoral dissertation.

      Continuative studies which lead to the M.A./M.S., professional degrees, or the Ph.D., are known as “graduate studies.”
  • Classification and Admittance of Turkish Students into the U.S. System

    Classification and Admittance of Turkish Students into the U.S. System

    • U.S. institutions of higher education decide for themselves whom to admit and how to classify them. Normally all degrees received from Turkish institutions are accepted by American universities and colleges.

      Please note that a degree from an American university does not automatically convey a right to a work or residency permit in the United States. Those students who enter the US with a J-1 Visa in order to study must leave the US for at least two years if (1) they receive financial support from the US Government, their own government, or from international organizations; (2) their studies are included in the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for their country; (3) or if their J-1 Visa was issued after 10 January 1977 for the purpose of studying medicine. One may apply for an exception to these rules and regulations, and more information on this subject is to be found at the website of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Services.
  • Find a School

    Find a School

Specialized Professional Study

  • Examples:

    Examples:

  • Dentistry

    Dentistry

    • Dentistry (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)
      In the United States, dental study usually begins after four years of undergraduate study. The first professional degree in dentistry, titled either the doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) or the doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree, requires four years of study. Admission to a U.S. dental school is highly competitive, with about twice as many applicants as positions available. After receiving the D.D.S. or equivalent, dentists may apply for postgraduate training at hospitals or dental schools. No one process exists to qualify internationally trained dentists seeking to study in the United States. One common requirement is that applicants must pass one or both parts of the National Board Dental Examination.
  • Medicine

    Medicine

    • Medicine (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)
      In the United States, medical study generally follows completion of a bachelor's degree. Medical school usually lasts four years and students graduate with the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Admission to medical study is very competitive. In 2004, 35,727 students applied, among them 1,025 non-U.S. Only 17,652 were accepted, among them 270 non-U.S. Many foreign nationals who receive their first degree in medicine (M.D.) in their home country choose to continue their graduate medical education in the United States. U.S. graduate training for physicians generally involves completing a prescribed period of clinical training in a chosen medical specialty, usually called a residency. To obtain residency positions or other training involving patient contact, graduates of medical schools outside the United States must pass a certification program administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
  • Law

    Law

    • Law (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)
      The U.S. first professional degree, the juris doctor (J.D.), provides an education strongly focused on preparation for U.S. practice, with little opportunity for comparative or specialty study. For this reason, and because preparation in U.S. law will not easily transfer toward practice in other countries, the J.D. is usually inappropriate for foreign nationals. J.D. degree programs involve three years of study, and are entered following four years of undergraduate study in any major. Competition for admission is intense for both U.S. and international students.
      The master of comparative law (M.C.L.), also known as the master of comparative jurisprudence (M.C.J.), is a particularly appropriate degree program for international lawyers. These programs acquaint lawyers from other countries with U.S. legal institutions and relevant specialties of U.S. law. Another graduate option is the master of laws (L.L.M.), a degree offered in a variety of specialties or as a self-designed program, with appropriateness for the international practitioner varying from program to program. Programs in international law or international business law may also be of interest.
  • Nursing

    Nursing

    • Nursing (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)
      Basic study for the nursing profession in the United States takes place at the undergraduate level. The professional-level "registered nurse" (R.N.) has a bachelor's degree in nursing and must fulfill state licensure requirements to practice. Each U.S. state has its own criteria and regulations for licensure; however, every state uses the same licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN, which must be passed before a license is awarded. Most states also require nurses educated outside the United States to be certified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) before taking the NCLEX-RN. Certain graduate programs in nursing require state licensure or CGFNS certification, depending on level of patient contact and the laws of the state where the program is offered.
  • Veterinary Medicine

    Veterinary Medicine

    • Veterinary Medicine (Education USA/U.S. Department of State)
      Veterinary school is generally entered following completion of a bachelor's degree program. Only 27 schools of veterinary medicine exist in the United States. Of these, 25 are largely state-financed, with tax money from state residents supporting the school. Therefore, applicants from that state are generally given first preference. Only about a third of all those applying to U.S. veterinary schools are accepted by any one of the schools that they apply to, and the number of international applicants accepted is extremely small. Most veterinary colleges participate in the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), which allows applicants to submit a common application for multiple schools. Several alternatives for postgraduate training in the United States exist for foreign-trained veterinarians with the equivalent of the D.V.M.

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