Documents to Apply to the US Universities

Apply to the US Universities

Documents to Apply to the US Universities

Planning to Study in the USA, the land of dreams? USA remains as the topmost choice for Study Abroad Destination for International students. If you are also one of the aspirants to apply to US universities but are confused about the Documents apply to the US University Admission, this blog post is for you. To complete the application process, all students are required to submit a number of documents, right from academic transcripts to financial documents.  Here is the list of some necessary Documents to Apply to the US Universities. Let’s check them!

Documents to Apply to the US Universities Admission

  • Passport- This is one of the most important Documents to Apply to the US Universities Admission. In case you don’t have one currently, please immediately file for it. Keep it ready before you fix your entrance exam dates. Also, keep ready copies of the first and last pages of the passport. Please ensure that the validity date of your passport should be at least six months after your planned return date.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae- This will provide information about your objective, education qualification, internships (if any), work experience (if any) academic scores (yearly aggregates and 10th, 12th final aggregate), projects worked on during your undergraduate program (and during your internships/full-time job as well), and mention of extra-curricular activities.
  • Transcripts- Transcripts for US universities is a single document issued by an institution. It basically contains the complete scorecard of the student along with full details about the courses he pursued at the undergraduate level in a concise format. Students who are applying in the final year need all the academic scores available till that date.

For eg. For engineering students, the transcript should carry all the score details for semesters 1 to 6. For aspirants applying after the completion of Bachelor’s, the transcript should carry scores of all the years of the Bachelor’s program. A student should be issued a minimum of 2 copies of a transcript for one University. Each of them should be attested from the concerned university itself.

  • Marksheets and Pass Certificates- Students also need to submit copies of their relevant mark sheets and pass certificates. For example, Indian students applying for masters programs in US universities require mark sheets of 10th, 12th, all exams passing certificates. Each application requires at least one set of copies. All the copies should be properly attested by the concerned authorities.
  • Letters of Recommendation- Letters of Recommendation (LOR) are one of the important documents required to apply for undergraduate and graduate programs to US universities. Your professors or managers should describe your skills, achievements and experience at the college or professional level in your LOR. The standard is that at least 3 recommenders should be there.

While some universities may ask recommenders to send the LOR directly to the graduate admissions department online, many universities request hard copies especially for Master’s program applications.  The content of the LOR  should be printed on the organization’s header paper, properly sealed inside the official envelope with stamps and signature on the seal. This is to indicate that the letters are confidential and were not shown to the applicant.

  • Entrance Exam Scorecards- Students have to appear for certain entrance exams to seek admission for Universities in the USA. Check for the program you’re applying to and keep your entrance scores ready before you apply to the universities of your choice. Some of the important entrance exams are:
    • SAT:  Almost all universities in the USA accept SAT scores for admission to undergraduate programs.
    • ACT: It is another important exam while seeking admission for undergraduate programs in the USA.
    • GRE: It is essential  for most of the MS level programmes in the USA, including the popular Business Management programs.
    • GMAT: It is required for applying to  B-Schools in the USA.
    • MCAT: This exam is to be attempted by students interested in pursuing medical studies in the US.
    • LSAT: It is necessary to seek admission to Law schools in the USA
    • English Proficiency Test Scores- Those Students who belong to non-native English-speaking countries have to score the desired marks in an English language proficiency test. This is essential because you will study in the US in English and the Universities have to ensure that language won’t be a barrier in your studies. IELTS & TOEFL are some of the most popular English language proficiency tests. GRE/GMAT/SAT and TOEFL/IELTS scores have to be sent online to universities
  • Statement of Purpose- Applicants may be asked to submit a Statement of Purpose either online or via courier. If you’re sending via courier, it has to be printed on a good quality paper with a header containing student name, userid and the program you wish to apply for. University website mentions font size and spacing preference.
  • Work Experience Letters- Don’t forget to attach your letters of experience, if you have interned or worked. The experience letters has to be from the concerned organizations
  • Application Confirmation Copy- Once you’ve paid the online fee for the University after applying, you’ll be redirected to a confirmation page and a confirmation email will be sent to you. A copy of the confirmation email has to be sent.  Copies of certificates for awards, participation, volunteer work, technical papers and published papers have also to be sent.
  • Essays- Many Universities in the USA may ask students to submit an essay on a random topic or a topic that reflects the candidate’s interest in the field or program. This essay has to be submitted along with the application. Most universities may ask from a minimum of 1 to maximum of 3 essays.
  • Proof of FundsOne of the very important Documents Required for Applying to US universities is the Proof of Funds. Universities need this information so that it can assess your capability to afford the US education. It also helps in assisting universities whether you need any aid/scholarship. For this purpose, some of the universities may ask for bank statements also. The university may ask for a letter from the bank declaring your savings. Bank will issue the statement and copies of this need to be attested by the same bank. Please don’t send the loan letter along with this. They should not know that you are applying for an education loan.
  • Research Proposal/Portfolio/Project Description- For admission into some of very specific research-based programs or courses, the universities may also ask students to submit a Research proposal or Portfolio or Project Description. Research Proposals are required to be submitted for research-based programs including Doctoral and post-doctoral degrees.

Project description is one of the documents that need to be submitted for admission to Masters in USA for programs related to research. This submission is generally part of the program.

Candidates seeking admission for Masters in the Arts, Design and Architecture subject areas have to submit Portfolios. This assists the concerned university and college in assessing your experience and talent in your field of study.

  • Certificates for Extra-Curricular Activities- If you’ve excelled in some extra-curricular activities during your school days, make sure you add your relevant certificates supporting your claim. This will increase the appeal of your application to your favorite college and university.

Documents to apply for the Masters In the USA

  • Passport
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Mark Sheets and Passing certificates
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • GRE/GMAT Entrance exam scorecards
  • English Language Proficiency Test Scores (IELTS/TOEFL)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Work Experience Letters (if any)
  • Application Confirmation Copy
  • Essays
  • Proof of funds to show you can afford Tuition Fees
  • Research proposal/Portfolio/Project Description (for Specific arts and architecture courses)

Documents to Apply to the US Universities Undergraduate

  • Passport
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Marksheets and pass certificates
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
  • SAT/ ACT – Entrance Exam Scorecards
  • English Language Proficiency Test Scores (IELTS/TOEFL)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOPs)
  • Essays
  • Work Experience Letters (if any)
  • Extra-curricular activities certificates
  • Application confirmation copy
  • Proof of Funds to show your sustainability


Most of the Universities in the US prefer those students only who’ve appeared for some entrance exams such as GMAT, GRE, ACT or SAT or some English language proficiency tests such as IELTS or TOEFL. You must have all your documents in place for making a smooth application. Make a list and arrange all the required documents in time. This blog has presented a list of all the necessary documents to include in your application package. They should all be packed in a green threaded cover. Hope you’ve liked this post! Please like and share it!

Read More- Entrance Exams to Study Abroad

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