• 2 years ago •
Admissions Advice

What is the best semester to apply for, for university/college?

As an international student, we can only start school/university in the Fall semester but to the best of my knowledge, in USA you can start in either the Fall, Spring or Winter semester.

I don't particularly want to apply for the Fall semester, but i was hoping that people could tell me if it is the most worth it to apply then, as opposed to the other semesters and vice-versa?

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@DebaterMAX2 years ago

I would encoarge you to see if the colleges you like have those semesters open for applying and their deadlines

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• 2 years ago

While you can start in the fall or spring at most US schools, the vast majority of students start in the fall, and the application process is set up for fall admissions. Most US schools will not let you start in the winter, as there really isn't a winter "semester" at most places. Schools will sometimes offer a short (3-4 week) winter term to help students make up lost time or take any credits they might need to graduate on time, but it's not a full semester. Same goes for summer—only fall and spring are actual full semesters at most places. The only exception to this is schools that work on a quarters schedule, like Northwestern, Drexel, Dartmouth, Stanford, etc., but even those schools will typically want students to start in the fall.

As for the spring, applying to start in the spring might mean you're competing with fewer people, but you're also going to have far fewer spots to apply for since most schools build the majority of their classes in the fall. Spring admissions will be more competitive at a lot of places. It could also place other limitations on you depending on the individual school, like what classes you'll be able to take and how quickly you'll be able to graduate, because a lot of course sequences (two-part courses like Calc I and Calc II) will have their first half in the fall and second half in the spring. That means you might need to wait an extra semester before taking intro courses, and that might end up pushing back your graduation.

Bottom line is, unless you have a really, really good reason, you should apply for the fall. That's how the entire system is built and starting in the spring, while possible, can come with a lot of headaches.


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