Today, I am going to teach you something fundamental to your application into BS/MS/PhD programs in USA colleges/universities. You cannot apply to all 4000+ schools in the USA. Considering funding, diversity, ranking, & overall suitability, you need to choose right.
This article is going to attempt to teach you how to start from point 0 (the beginning). It is not an attempt to confuse you but to help the helpless.
For a successful BS/MS/PhD education in the USA, you need to identify a suitable school for yourself. This is where I come in.
Let me be clear about something, you will do the work. I will only guide you. You will search, compare and decide.
The good thing is that the process is not boring. It is achievable and seem less. You just need zeal and whatever is pushing you to desire to study in the USA.
In the past, I have written an article on this topic. In following up with that, I will be touching general scenarios in this new one. If you have not read the previous one, access it here: How To Properly Select Foreign Universities To Which You Should Apply For Graduate Studies
Go and read it and then continue this thread. Very important. Now, that you have read that thread, I will continue the good work here 😁.
Let’s talk universities
1. Let me start by saying that one of the strong tools people use is the power of recommendations. A lot of people in USA schools learnt about those schools because someone told them how “suitable” the school is for them.
Some went to schools because a relation or friend did.
This can happen for different reasons. One interesting one is that some people end up applying to certain universities because they know someone who was “funded” for a program there.
2. That being said, another reason is career development e.g, internships.
If you want to undertake an internship at one point during your studies, you need to identify states that have a large cluster of companies you will be interested in. Schools in that state may just be your best bet.
Personal and Career Development
The idea is that there is a fat chance that these companies will regularly attend the Career Fairs, organized by those schools, to recruit students.
E.g, if you intend to intern in the petroleum industry, schools in Texas are a good choice.
For Tech companies, California or Washington are good choices.
This is not to say that companies do not recruit outside their states of domicile. I am sure you understand my perspective.
3. Let us consider diversity. In the Human context, you may prefer a school that has a “specific” spread of demographics on campus. You need to identify these schools.
One of the popular questions I have been asked is how to locate a Historically Black and University (HBCU). In response, I wrote a thread on this. See: Historically Black Colleges And Universities (HBCUs) In USA
Asides the Human context, some people want schools that have a lot of programs to choose from. For example, schools with bigger Colleges of Engineering or Colleges of Arts and Sciences.
Whichever one works for you, please go for it.
4. Consider the state the school will be located.
Since you will be spending a lot of time on that campus (effectively in that location), some people expressively decide which states they are open to living in. Reasons for this can be anything from the availability of an @NFL team, parks like @DisneyParks, mountains, to the reputation of people in those states.
5. Consider the ranking of schools.
One of things about rankings is that it will make sense however you choose to look at it.
Some schools are number 1 overall however, when it comes to the ranking of a certain program, that school becomes number 21. E.g, XYZ Unievrsity may be number 2 in the USA but regarding Civil Engineering Department, she can be number 39 in the country. This underscores the need to look at ranking more closely to determine what appeals to you more.
Personally, I recommend that you consider the program rankings more. There are a number of resources for this.
Do you remember that thread, I shared earlier in this article. The procedures to search for schools are there. I do not want to engage in unnecessary repetition. If you are in doubt, you can always just search online for any rankings.