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How Semesters And Admissions Work For U.S. Graduate Schools by thenaijaus: 8:42am On Aug 09, 2020
In Nigerian schools, you have 2 semesters – Harmattan and Rain, with summer holidays in between. And depending on the Nigerian university you went to, each school semester could be 3 months or more.

For US universities, things are a little different.

For US schools, the academic calendar is still split into two – Fall and Spring. Each semester runs for about 4 months each, with the Summer semester (also for about 4 months) in between both semesters.

As an example, for the academic year 2020/2021, the Fall semester starts sometime in August/September 2020 (depending on the school) and runs till December 2020, while the accompanying Spring semester runs from January 2021 to May 2021.

And the Summer 2021 semester runs from early May 2021 to late August/early September 2021 (again, depending on the school).

And the cycle goes on like that.

Ideally, US schools admit students for all 3 semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

HOWEVER, most US graduate programs admit the majority of their international students in the Fall, and take in fewer students in the Spring, with little or no admission going on in the Summer.

There are several reasons for this (which we won’t get to here), but it’s good enough to know that:

You’d want to target the Fall semester to get admitted, especially if you’d like to get funding from the school.

There are a few cases of international students getting admission and funding offers for the Spring semester (case in points, yours truly – I got my admission and funding offers for the Spring), but those cases are very few and far between.

Also, admissions at a lot of US graduate schools run through a year.

Which means, if you plan to start studying at your desired school by Fall (August) 2021, you’d need to:

Start your application process before/by January 2020; and
Apply to your desired schools by August 2020-December 2020/January 2021.

To Do:
- Decide when you plan to graduate from your Nigerian university and complete your NYSC service year
- Use that information to decide what time you’ll be ready to start grad school in the US (ideally, a year from now)

Note: Going to or completing your NYSC service is not a requirement for admissions or funding for US graduate schools.

Post: https://thenaija.us/ms-phd-us-basics/

Check out more useful articles on MS & PhD graduate school admissions in the U.S.: https://thenaija.us/ms-phd-us/

Cc: Lalasticlala & Mynd44.

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