Upcoming Intakes to Study in USA

Studying abroad is a major undertaking as well as a decision. And, like any major undertaking, it requires long-term planning and careful decision-making.

If you are planning to study in USA, many things that you need to carefully consider are deciding on which intake you intend to apply and the deadlines. To help you make meaning out of the confusion of intakes and deadlines and make an informed decision, here is a guided tour of intakes of the US universities and colleges.


US Universities’ Intakes: The Basics

In US universities, an academic year is divided into two semesters. Unlike India, universities and colleges across the US enrol students three times in an academic year: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Here is a snap view of some of the principal facts about the intakes.


(Also known as August intake)

August August–December Primary/Major intake Most popular intake for international students because:

  • A huge number of applicants
  • Competition is intense
  • US Universities and departments commence their flagship and major programs during this intake only
  • A wide variety of courses are offered
  • Greater opportunities for funding such as scholarship and financial aid
  • On-campus jobs, Teaching Assistantship (TA), Research Assistantship (RA) become available
  • Helps those who intend to earn leadership positions in student organisations because new leaders are almost always elected at the end of the Spring semester

(Also known as January intake)

January January–April Secondary intake
  • You have the chance to apply if you miss the Fall intake (provided the university offers a Spring intake)
  • You get more time for preparation of what the university requires
  • Gives you extra time to prepare application materials and obtaining a US visa
  • You get extra time to improve your English language skills
  • Does not offer as many courses as the Fall intake
  • Internship opportunities get circumscribed as you will face the 9-month enrolment criterion to be hired by any company as an intern
  • Might be grouped for some of the classes with Fall intake students who are ahead by a semester
SUMMER May May-August Not offered by all US universities
  • Of short duration
  • Mostly offer language programs for non-English speaking students
  • Very few US colleges and universities offer
  • The pool of applicants is very small
  • Enhanced chances of getting an offer

Which Intake for Me?

You need to decide carefully which intake best suits you. You must consider the fact that the deadlines for applying to an intake are usually a few months before the date of the starting of the semester. Ideally, you should begin applications 9-12 months before the intake. US universities usually take about 8-10 weeks to process the applications.

However, Fall intake is usually the preferred intake. Not all universities offer the Spring or the Summer Intake.


Fall vs. Spring: Undecided?

Now that you know about the main intakes in the US, you might be asking, “I am planning for an MS in the US. What should I opt for? Fall or Spring?” Or you might be planning to undertake an MBA at a top Business School. We suggest that before you decide, consider the following.


  • Many of the top 100 US universities do not have a Spring intake for MS programs. E,g., Carnegie Mellon University
  • Research thoroughly your university
  • What kind of classes do you stand to gain or miss by choosing your intake?
  • What part of the US would you like to study in? Weather can bring either an advantage or a disadvantage for you. You will be thinking twice if you are planning to pursue a program in the northern part of the country and arrive there in January amidst snow and hail.
  • If you are keen on joining the Orientation sessions of your university, you have to opt for the Fall intake because US universities offer orientation only once a year in the Fall intake
  • Fall intake has greater financial aid opportunities
PhD in USA
  • Networking with a professor whom you can assist in his/her research is important
  • Intake is less important for a Ph.D. applicant
MBA in USA Columbia Business School offers Spring intake. However, most B-school applicants opt for the Fall intake




Application deadlines are important milestones in your application process. Different universities have different deadlines. Top universities normally set their deadlines 8-12 months before the commencement of the program. Hence, you must be very clear about your deadlines. Here is a general guideline.

  • Fall Intake
    • Top Universities (A, A+): November/December of the previous year
    • A-, B, B+, C grade universities: February/March of the same year
    • C-, D grade universities: June/July of the same year
  • Spring Intake
    • Top Universities (A, A+): March/April of the same year
    • A-, B, B+, C grade universities: July/August of the same year
    • C-, D grade universities: October/November
  • Summer Intake: March


Types of Deadlines

MS: In the case of Master’s, there are generally two types of deadlines:

  • Financial Aid deadline
  • Regular deadline

MBA: Most B-schools have various rounds of deadlines: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, etc.

  • Round 1 deadline for B-schools is generally in the month of September or October
  • Round 2 deadline is usually in the month of January
  • Round 3 deadlines are usually for domestic applicants in the US

Round 1 and Round 2 are for international applicants. A sizeable number of applicants target Round 1. However, if you are a B-school applicant and your application is not ready for the Round 1 deadline, then you should focus on honing your application and target the Round 2 deadline.

UG: In the case of UG in USA, there are usually three types of deadlines:

  • Early Action deadline (Deadline is in November)
  • An applicant targeting this deadline will expect an early admissions decision; it is not legally binding
  • Early Decision deadline (Deadline is in November)
  • An applicant targeting this deadline will expect an early admissions decision; it is legally binding
  • Regular deadline (Deadline is usually in January for top colleges)

To help you get an idea of application deadlines, here is a sneak peek of the representative deadlines for Fall and Spring 2022 of a few MS programs in some US universities. However, owing to the extraordinary situation because of the CoViD-19 situation, we strongly recommend that you check out your target university website before applying.


Purdue University, West Lafayette Fall 2022 MS Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering 15.12.20 Late November/Early to mid-December Mid-December
Virginia Tech University Fall 2022 MS Aerospace Engineering 30.12.20 Late November/Early to mid-December Mid-December


Before we end, here are a few deadlines for the Fall 2022 intake in some top B-schools in the US.

2022 MBA Application Deadlines by School
B-School Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Columbia Business School October 2, 2021 (Early Decision August 2022 start and Regular Decision January 2022 start) April 8, 2022  NA NA NA
Harvard Business School September 8, 2021 January 5, 2022 NA NA NA
UPenn/Wharton September 15, 2021 January 4, 2022 NA NA NA


If you are feeling confused, you can reach out to us at Manya Education. We would be happy to assist you with all your queries.


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What are the benefits of Fall Intake?

As fall intake is the most preferred intake for students wanting to study in USA, Universities are well prepared for it offers many advantages:

  • Courses- Fall intake has the maximum number of courses to choose from as almost all colleges offer a wide range of programs for fresh intakes.
  • Orientation- Students during their fall intake have a smooth transition as they have enough time to settle into a new life and culture.
  • Employment- As fall intake is the highest for any university, on-campus employment opportunities for students is more compared to other intakes.
  • Internships- As fall intakes have more college experience they have early access to internships.

Which universities in the US are accepting applications for 2022?

There are several universities in USA for Indian students to choose from, following are a few top US universities open for 2022 intake:

  • University of Dayton
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Utah
  • George Mason University
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Oregon State University
  • Suffolk University, Boston
  • University of Kansas
  • Adelphi University
  • Auburn University
  • Texas A & M Corpus Christi
  • Hofstra University
  • University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • American University
  • University of South Florida

What is the fall intake in the USA?

Fall intake is the most popular intake for universities in USA. Most of the students globally apply for spring intake which starts in September every year. To apply for fall or September intake students need to start preparing for it at least 9-10 months in advance considering the need to appear for exams such as SAT/GMAT/GRE/IELTS and other application and visa formalities. An overseas education consultant can be the best guiding expert in your study abroad journey with support on the admission process to test prep to visa application taken care of by experts.

What are the steps to Study in USA for January 2022 Intake?

January intake is also known as spring intake. This is a secondary intake as the most popular one is the September intake also known as the fall intake. To make it to a US university by January, applicants should:

  • Be over with their university shortlisting by May-June 2021, simultaneously prepare to appear for exams like GMAT/GRE/IELTS as applicable.
  • Appear for exams between June to November 2021, giving oneself time to reappear if required.
  • Apply to Universities from August to September 2021.
  • Review acceptance letters and appear for interviews between October and November 2021.
  • Apply for Visa between November 2021 and December 2021.


What is the spring intake in the USA?

Admission in US universities is open for fall, spring and summer which correspond with the months for these seasons. Spring intake in January is the second most popular intake after September intake. Spring intake helps those students who for some unforeseen reasons could not apply for fall intake. The delay could be due to financial reasons, health or education. Whatever be the reason spring intake provides them with a second chance. However, the number of courses offered during fall intake are more compared to spring intake.

Which universities are accepting spring intakes in the USA?

List of a few top universities in USA accepting spring intakes in USA are:

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • University of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Central Florida
  • Washington State University
  • University of Dayton
  • Pace University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Columbia Graduate School of Business
  • UMass Boston
  • Loyola University Chicago – Quinlan School of Business
  • St. John’s – Tobin College of Business
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Maryland
  • Washington School of Business



Which universities are accepting fall Intakes in the USA?

List of a few top universities in USA accepting fall intakes are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Stanford University, California
  • Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
  • Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Illinois, Champaign County, Illinois
  • Auburn University, Alabama
  • University of Dayton, Ohio

Which intake to choose: Fall vs Spring Intake in the USA?

The choice between fall or spring semester to apply for in a university in USA depends on many factors such as:

  • Courses- Fall intakes have a better choice of programs. Most of the courses at US universities are open for September intake. However, if your choice, of course, is offered during the spring intake you may give it consideration.
  • Acceptance rate- As fall is the most popular intake at universities in USA, the acceptance rate is higher compared to spring intake. Colleges want the classes to run at full capacities hence there is a better chance of acceptance. However, that doesn’t undermine the need of a strong profile with good academic performance.
  • Weather- Both fall and spring are different seasons where the weather conditions differ. Harsher weather conditions may make it difficult to settle in a new place.
  • Employment- Fall intakes have early access to on-campus and internships.

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