More than 1,200 accredited U.S. institutions offer graduate study. Of these, approximately one-third offer doctoral degrees. Most doctoral-level institutions are large, public universities.
American institutions are either public or private, and there is no official or implied distinction in quality between the two. Nearly all states support at least two public universities.
It usually takes a minimum of 12 months to select universities, complete the admissions process, and apply for financial assistance, scholarships, etc.
Graduate study in the U.S. is expensive. Annual tuition costs may be as much as US$24,000, while living costs may range from US$9,000 to US$15,000.
Some institutional financial aid is available to international students at the graduate level. Most of it is merit-based rather than need-based; so only students with truly outstanding academic records can expect to receive financial assistance from the university, which grants them admission. At the graduate level, the primary sources of funding for international students are personal and family sources (47% of students), and U.S. institutions (38% of students).
Scholarships and other forms of financial aid will not cover the total cost of study in the U.S. You will need to find additional sources of funding.
There are no athletic scholarships for graduate study.
Universities charge an admission application fee which ranges between US$25 and US$150.
Entry to top U.S. graduate schools is very competitive. Some of the most selective graduate schools may accept fewer than 20% of all applicants.
You will almost certainly be required to take at least one standardized admission test, which will cost anywhere from US$140 to US$225.
Work opportunities for international students are very limited and tightly regulated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. You cannot expect to support yourself by working.
Before you can be issued with a student visa, you will need to prove to the U.S. Consulate that you have adequate financial resources to pay for your education and living costs. Potential income from working while studying cannot be counted as part of your financial resources for the purposes of obtaining a student visa. In addition to tuition, fees, room and board, travel and living expenses, you will be required to pay for health insurance.