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Education TodayDestination USA: Short-term programs

Destination USA: Short-term programs

Published: 6th Nov 2021 3:34 pm

Hyderabad: If an individual is not currently enrolled at an institution for education, they may consider pursuing a certificate, diploma, or other type of short-term non-degree program at a U.S. institution. Such programs are generally designed for working professionals or recent graduates who are mostly seeking some form of additional professional credentials in their field of study. These programs allow participants to develop skills in a certain field or area of interest through coursework and/or practical exposure. These programs are available in multiple fields of study and students should carefully check the website of U.S institutions for the availability of the program in the subject of their interest.

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Some students also consider internships at U.S. institutions to pursue a research project during one of the summer breaks of their undergraduate (bachelors) program in India. Generally, students directly approach the faculty or department where they are interested in pursuing their internship. In addition, short-term internships are also available for international students through the website.

Finally, the U.S universities also offer short-term opportunities for individuals pursuing research. Having a doctoral degree is generally required for such programs, wherein the selected fellows audit graduate-level courses and conduct research in their field of study. Such opportunities may be identified through direct contact with the faculty, lab/center, or academic department at the U.S. institution.

There are some government exchange programs, like the Fulbright fellowships in India, that offer support for short-term research exchanges in the United States. Individuals may explore the Fulbright program options at the following website:

Overall, there are multiple options available to students, professionals, and academicians for short duration programs or exchanges in the United States. What is required is an understanding of such programs by the individual and then the identification of the right fit that matches one’s academic/professional goals.

— Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the United States-India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad. Please visit for more information)


Q. What are different intakes for master’s programs in the United States?
— Anshuman
A. Academic intakes for master’s studies in the Unites States vary by university. Fall and spring semesters are the two major academic intakes. Fall semester starts around mid-August/September, which marks the beginning of the academic year. The spring semester, on the other hand, starts around January – in the middle of the academic year. While a few higher education institutions in the United States only offer a fall semester intake, others offer both fall and spring semester intakes. Before students start working on their applications, they should make sure to visit the websites of their shortlisted institutions to check the admission intakes available at these institutions and the corresponding application deadlines.
Aside from fall and/or spring admissions, some U.S. institutions offer rolling admissions throughout the academic cycle. Such institutions have corresponding rolling deadlines for master’s program admissions.

Q. I want to apply to PhD programs in the United States. How should I search for a Ph.D. adviser?
— Sriven
A. You can search for a PhD advisor with the help of several resources. However, before starting the search process, it is important to think carefully and identify the area of research you want to pursue as part of your PhD program. Subsequently, you should search for universities that conduct research in your field of interest. You may use any of the below-mentioned websites to search the universities that offer a PhD program in your field:,,, and

Once you have identified the universities, it is important to check information about research interests of professors who work at the departments of your choice. You can easily look up this information on a department’s webpage on a university website. Other possible ways to identify professors working in your field of study include professional mailing lists, professional conferences, colleagues and research advisors in your home country, and professional journals.


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