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Application Process for an Engineering Degree


Study Engineering

International students considering studying engineering should have an understanding of the application process for an engineering degree. Engineering degree programs involve a slightly different application process then other schools. Undergraduate student and graduate students alike must apply to be accepted into their program.

If you are interested in studying Engineering, then to be successful you must understand the application process. In this section we will explore the process and give you tips that will help you along the way.

Undergraduate Application Process

The process for an undergraduate student will typically depend on the school. Generally speaking for undergraduate programs in the United States, students do not necessarily apply to a specific program – you will apply to the school and then declare your Engineering focus.

There are two options for international students to study abroad: to apply as a freshman (new student) or as a transfer student.

1. Applying as a Freshman

If you are a recent high school or secondary school graduate and are looking to step foot on a campus for the first time, then you are going to be applying as a Freshman. You will apply directly, and once accepted, you will have the opportunity to declare your major and enroll in classes with the help of an academic advisor. The application process requires you to:

  • stay on top of deadlines,
  • obtain official transcripts from your secondary school,
  • complete all fields on the application
  • submit SAT or ACT scores
  • submit letters of recommendations
  • complete letters of interest or personal statements.

2. Applying as a Transfer Student

Some international students may want to switch schools even though they have already started their degree program. Students who have taken college courses and have reached the junior level of study must apply as transfer students. In cases like these, the application process for an engineering degree is a bit different. Students must have obtained between 60 and 90 semester credits. Collegiate transcripts are required and you will be asked questions about your future goal. At many US colleges and universities, international students who are transfer students will apply directly to the engineering program. On the application, there is generally a section that advises the transfer student to select which program they want to apply to. Depending on the school, extra application procedures may apply.

Graduate Admissions Process

The graduate application process for engineering is quite different from an undergraduate student. Graduate students must submit two applications:

  1. Apply to the university to gain admissions
  2. Apply to the engineering degree program directly

Graduate students also need to confirm that they have an undergraduate degree. If this degree was obtained from another country, then an English translation must be provided. This foreign transcript will be evaluated to make sure that the international student is qualified and capable of pursuing their graduate studies in Engineering.

After filling out the application, graduate students must also submit:

  • GRE test scores,
  • Two to three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Test scores and GPA are major admissions factors and the better your scores the more likely your chances are of admission. In addition to these requirements, schools often require a resume or CV to establish any career objectives, educational awards, or honors an international student may have achieved. Some schools also require students to complete a certification that assures that they have the finances available to live in the United States.

Regardless of the level of the engineering program, international students should give plenty of time during the application process to ensure they answer every application question. Students should put extra care into their personal statement to sell themselves to the admissions officers as well as demonstrate all of their accomplishments future potential.


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