When talking about “Step 3. Complete your Application” from EducationUSA’s Five Steps to Study in the United States, we have so far learned about the various components of the master’s degree application package, how to prepare for the application process, and where and how to complete the online application form. Today, we will discuss another component of the master’s degree application: transcripts.
Universities in the US require students to submit their academic records in a particular manner – commonly termed the transcript. Transcripts are prepared and issued by the college or university from where the student pursued his/her bachelor’s programme. A transcript generally lists all courses that the student studied during each year of the bachelor’s programme, and corresponding grades received in each course. To be ready for submission to the US universities, the transcripts must be in English language and should carry the official stamp/seal of the issuing college or university. Students should approach the registrar’s office of their college/university to request transcripts.
If students are applying for their master’s programme of study in the United States during their final year of bachelor’s programme, then the transcripts up to pre-final year should be submitted with the application. However, if the student is applying right after completing their bachelor’s programme, transcripts should include the academic records from each year of their bachelor’s programme, including the final year.
For their master’s programme application to US universities, students should request one set of transcripts from their bachelor’s programme of study. Generally, US institutions only require a soft/scanned copy of the transcript that may be uploaded in the online application portal. If an institution requests hard copies of the transcripts, students should request more copies from their bachelor’s degree institution. The hard-copy transcripts should be sealed in an envelope and the flap of the envelope should be closed with the seal or stamp of the college or university before they are sent to the US institution.
Requesting transcripts and receiving them may take a few months, so it is important that students plan the process in advance of the application deadlines to avoid any delay in the submission of their master’s program application.
Q: I am currently doing my bachelor’s programme in nursing in India. I am interested in applying for my higher studies in nursing in the US and have heard about Nursing CAS. Can you please share what it is? – Rajeshwari
Ans: Nursing CAS is an online application service for students applying to nursing programmes at all levels (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States. For the list of participating nursing schools and application procedures, please visit http://nursingcas.org. Students are advised to look up individual nursing programme websites for academic eligibility, admission requirements, and procedures. If the nursing school of your choice is not among those participating in the Nursing CAS, then you should apply directly to the respective school.
Q: Are international students eligible for distance education courses at US universities? How to find accredited programmes of distance learning in the United States? – Naveen Kumar
Ans: Online learning, also known as distance education, is a great way to experience the US educational system. International students are generally eligible for distance education courses offered by US universities.
US institutions offer a variety of full-time degree programmes at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as individual courses. To receive credit from a US institution for distance learning, the student usually pays a tuition fee. In addition to full-time degree programmes or individual courses, some US institutions of higher education offer part-time blended programmes that may be partially online and require occasional on-campus attendance, called “low-residency programmes.”
To find accredited online distance learning programmes, please search the following website of the Distance Education and Training Council: http://www.detc.org/. The types of programmes/certifications offered and application process may be found on individual university websites.
There are options now also available for online learning such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are usually tuition-free, but in most cases do not offer credit. A few prominent MOOC providers include Coursera, Edx, and Udacity. You may check the website of each provider to understand the process of enrollment. The US Department of State also facilitates a free in-person MOOC Camp programme in many countries. You may check https://eca.state.gov/programs-and-initiatives/initiatives/mooc-camp for further details.
(The author is the Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the United States-India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad)
Things to know before completing your application for US varsities
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