| COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE GRAD SCHOOLS
| Grad schools in all states of the USA are mostly comparable in terms of how they are run, what they offer, etc. The information given below is therefore a general guide for students researching grad schools in the US, and has applicability to institutions in each state. For the most current and specific details, students should also refer to individual state higher education agencies, as well as individual universities offering graduate programs.
What kinds of graduate programs are available?
American grad schools offer thesis- and non-thesis-based master's degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate diplomas and graduate certificates in virtually all areas of study. Graduate certificates are generally designed for working professionals to develop their skills and knowledge in a particular area of specialization (for example, a law school might offer a graduate certificate in conflict resolution).
Can international students take some graduate courses without enrolling in a program?
Yes. Students who take graduate level courses without enrolling in a degree program are known as unclassified students.
How do I apply to grad school?
Many grad schools in the US allow you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you can request an information package or paper application from the program you are interested in. Applicants who demonstrate the ability to succeed in a graduate program but do not meet the published minimum academic requirements due to exceptional circumstances may qualify for special admission. Read more in our Applying to Grad Schools section.
When will I know the results of my application?
It generally takes a minimum of one month from the application deadline before any offers of admission are sent out.
What if I am offered admission and I need to delay starting my program?
Grad schools in the US may allow international students to defer their acceptance for up to a year. Contact the graduate studies office of the institution you have applied to, since cases are usually assessed on an individual basis.
How much does it cost for international students to study at grad school in the US?
It depends greatly on the school and, sometimes, the state: there is a wide range of international student tuition fees.
Is financial aid available for international student graduate study?
Yes, from a variety of sources. See our section on international student scholarships for grad schools in the US for more.
Are international graduate students eligible for teaching assistantships?
International grad students may be able to work as teaching assistants (TAs), depending on their school. If so, their school should be able to provide them with the forms necessary.
Can I work while I'm at grad school in the US?
Student visas allow students to hold a limited amount of work off-campus after the first year of study in the US.
How long will it take to complete my graduate study?
It depends on the type of graduate program you are taking and whether you plan to study full-time or part-time. Master's degrees typically take between 1 and 2 years of full-time study, while doctoral degrees take between 4 and 7 years. Length varies according to the program and whether it is a thesis-based or course-based degree. Some degrees (like the MBA) may be available in accelerated programs.
Can I apply to a doctoral program if I don't have a master's degree?
It depends on the institution and the program. Some grad schools allow exceptional students to apply directly to certain doctoral programs with only a bachelor's degree. Check with the individual institution.
Can international students apply to post-doctoral programs in the US?
Students may be able to apply for an extension of their student visa, but will more likely be required to return to their country of origin and reapply for a new visa in order to pursue their post-doctorate degree.
Is housing available for international graduate students?
Generally, yes, but not at every school. Be aware that a grad school's housing department's application process is entirely separate from the admissions process: don't wait until you're admitted to Graduate Studies before applying for housing. Grad schools may even have what are called "residential Colleges" devoted to providing housing and a stimulating academic and cultural environment for graduate students.
Who can I contact if I have problems or questions?
It depends partly on the nature of your problem or question. However, some key places to find help are a school's Graduate Students' Society, the Graduate secretary for your program, graduate advisors, the Faculty of Graduate Studies office and the international student office/ center (if the school has one). Grad schools everywhere in the US are used to welcoming international students, and most therefore have specific international student support.
Will a grad school in the US recognize my undergraduate degree from the university in my home country?
Academic institutions--including grad schools--in the US each set their own admission requirements; therefore, you should contact the registrar or admissions office at each grad school to find out what they require in terms of assessing foreign credentials. Most institutions have a special website section for international student admission requirements. You can also consult one of the US's credential evaluation services. For a fee, these offices provide an evaluation showing how your credentials compare with American credentials. These services cannot guarantee recognition of your credentials, and there is no federal or state regulation of these services. However, there are two national associations of credential evaluation services with published standards that members must adhere to. Choosing a credential evaluation service with membership in one of these national organizations is one way to ensure it is legitimate and professional. The two national organizations are the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) and the Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE).
Will a graduate degree from an Ameican school be recognized in my home country and elsewhere?
Generally, yes. US academic credentials are accepted and recognized around the world; however, a foreign degree--even a graduate degree--is valued differently by different countries, so it's a good idea to check with institutions and potential employers in your home country (if that's where you plan to work or continue your graduate education) before you leave.