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Fall Intake in USA 2024: Discover Universities, Programs, and Application Requirements

Updated on: Jul 10, 2024
Fall Intake in USA 2024: Discover Universities, Programs, and Application Requirements
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USA universities are known for their outstanding education and research, which is why they receive numerous applications from all over the world each year. The fall intake in the USA, also called the September intake, is highly sought by students.

In this context, fall 2024 means the admission session that starts in December. If you are considering studying in the US for Fall Intake 2024, this article provides valuable information on universities, courses, requirements, deadlines, answers to FAQs, and more.

What does fall intake in USA mean?

US universities offer three intakes: fall, spring, and summer. The fall intake is the most popular of these three, and many universities admit the largest number of students during the fall intake in USA admission session. Some institutions only admit students during the fall or September intake. This intake also offers a wide range of courses. It usually lasts from September to December. It’s also the most popular intake among international students seeking a master’s degree in the US.

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Pros and cons of the fall Intake

The fall intake is considered the most preferred admission session because it offers several benefits but has some downsides. The pros and cons of the fall intake are discussed below:


  • The academic year begins after the fall intake, giving students access to the flagship courses of many universities. 
  • Students can access more scholarships and financial aid opportunities during the fall. 
  • It’s easier for students to find internships and job opportunities after gaining admission during the fall because of the influx of new students. 
  • Since there will be more students and larger classes, the fall season also gives you more networking opportunities.
  • You can also get into more on-campus extracurricular activities since you will have been in school for the required months.
  • With more programs and bigger classes, it may be easier for students to gain admission during the fall intake.


  • The fall intake typically has limited opportunities for on-campus housing.
  • Students need to prepare their applications several months in advance because many universities have early application deadlines for the fall intake in USA admission.
  • Fewer courses may be available in some universities than during the January intake.
  • Because this admission session is so popular, competition for the top universities may be high.

Top universities for fall intake in USA

Many top universities in the US take admissions during the fall, offering a wide range of programs in different disciplines, such as arts and humanities, social sciences, engineering, business, and natural sciences. Here’s a list of top universities for fall intake in USA in 2024:

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford University
  • University of Utah
  • University of Minnesota
  • George Mason University
  • Boston University
  • University of Dayton, Ohio
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of South Florida
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Louisiana State University 
  • Colorado State University
  • Columbia University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Georgia Tech

“A college degree is rapidly becoming the price of admission to the global economy.” - Evan Bayh.

Click here to start exploring top universities and suitable courses today.

Requirements for fall intake in USA

Most universities offering admissions during the fall intake in USA have several requirements, and you need to ensure you have the required documents to be eligible for admission. Some of these documents include:

Academic transcript

An academic transcript is a document that contains your scorecard and any relevant information about the course you studied or are studying at your undergraduate level. If you’re applying in your final year, your transcript should ideally reflect your scores until then. The institution itself must issue this document. This means it must be attested and sealed by the school’s registrar. 

You should visit the official websites of the institutions you want to apply to to find out their requirements for submitting transcripts. Some universities offering fall intake in USA require World Education Services (WES) evaluations, especially if you apply for a master’s program. You may need to submit two or more copies of duly attested copies of your transcript to each university you apply to.

Standardised test scores

Many universities offering fall intake in USA may require students to take standardised entrance tests and submit test scores to be eligible for admission. The test you take usually depends on the program, so you should research and ensure your scores are ready before application. For graduate-level programs, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) may be necessary. You need to pass the GRE to apply for most MS-level programs in top universities, including business management programs. However, some top universities offering fall intake in USA have waived the GRE requirement, offering a more streamlined and accessible admission process.

If you’re applying for undergraduate programs, you may need to submit the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) scores, depending on the institution’s requirements. Students pursuing medical studies and law degrees may need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT), respectively. 

English proficiency test scores

International students must also submit English proficiency test scores as part of their application documents and reach a minimum score to be eligible for admission. These proficiency tests evaluate your basic knowledge of the English Language. High English proficiency test scores reassure your institution that you can’t communicate in the English language and language won’t be a barrier to your learning. The most popular and widely accepted English proficiency test scores include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A score of 100 in TOEFL or 7 and above in IELTS is acceptable in many US universities. You can take most English proficiency tests as many times as needed. 

Letters of Recommendation

You will need to submit two to three Letters of Recommendation (LOR) as part of your application. These letters should describe your abilities and achievements as a student or working professional. Generally, your letters of recommendation can be written by anyone from your professors to managers at work, as long as it’s in their professional capacity. 

“We strongly urge that PhD applicants get a minimum of two of the letters from a professor familiar with their academic work.”  - Standford’s Guide for Recommenders.

However, for students with no experience, only their teachers can write their letters of recommendation. For people with work experience, it’s recommended that one of their recommendations comes from a manager. While you can submit your LORs online, some universities offering fall intake in USA require hard copies, especially if you’re applying for a master’s degree. In those cases, the letter has to be printed on the institution or organisation’s header paper, signed, sealed, and stamped.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a personal statement that explains a student’s motivations for applying to the program and why they’re an excellent candidate. It’s typically in the form of an essay, but it can also be question-based, depending on the institution's requirements. The SOP is very important because it’s the only document that shows personality and is a great way to show real talent and your uniqueness.

SOPs contain a lot of information, but some vital elements that should be included are personal background, academic details, motivations for choosing the institution and course of study, and career goals. You can also include published works or papers if you have them. Other elements include your interests, hobbies, and extra-curricular activities.

Don't miss these proven Statement of Purpose (SOP) templates. Download now for free!

Other documents

Some other additional paperwork that you may need to provide include:

  • Passport
  • Resume/CV
  • Marksheets and pass certificates
  • Application confirmation copy
  • Passport size photographs
  • Proof of funds
  • Certificates for extra-curricular activities
  • Research proposal or project description
  • Essays
  • Work experience letters (if applicable)
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When do applications open for fall 2024?

Fall intake admissions generally kick off in September, but the semester's start date differs in each university. You should check your institution’s official website at intervals to be up to date with the stage of the admission process. However, you can follow this outline to make your preparation process easier:

TimelineWhat To Do
September - November 2023Research and make a list of top universities offering fall intake in USA and their programs that align with your preferences. Ensure you consider fees, your preferred degree, and the course you want to study.
November 2023 - January 2024Take standardised tests so the scores can be ready when you send applications. 
February - March 2024Gather all the documents you need for your application, such as your resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. 
April - July 2024Start sending in applications to your chosen universities with the necessary paperwork and complete all additional steps, such as admission interviews.
June - July 2024Track your applications, and once you’re accepted, start exploring any available scholarship or financial aid opportunities and apply for a student visa. 
July 2024Start preparing for the session by booking your flight, making housing arrangements, and more. 

Start your application process now before it’s too late.

Deadlines for fall intake

The fall admissions in USA 2024 deadline can be the priority or regular deadline. Priority deadlines are earlier, and you get more time to decide or apply to additional universities, if necessary. Here is a table that explains what US universities' deadlines for fall 2024 mean:

Application TypesApplication DeadlineAdmission Decision
Early ActionNovember 2023December 2023
Early DecisionNovember 2023December 2023
Regular DecisionJanuary/February 2024March/April 2024
Rolling AdmissionVaries by institutionWithin 4-6 weeks from start date

Deadlines for fall 2024 USA masters programs

Just like the general US university deadlines for fall 2024, the deadlines for fall intake in USA 2024 masters programs may vary depending on the institution you’re applying to, but they typically follow the same timeline explained in the table above.

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Frequently asked questions

What is fall intake in USA?

Fall intake in USA is the initial intake for the academic year, which begins in September and lasts till December or early January.

Which exam is required for MS in USA?

The exams required to study MS vary depending on the program or institution but the basic requirements include standardised test scores (like GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT), English proficiency tests and previous undergraduate or postgraduate education. GRE is mandatory for almost all MS-level programs, and you need a GMAT to pursue an MBA.

When should I start applying for college in 2024?

As a rule of thumb, you should start working on your application a year before your program starts to give you enough time to gather the necessary documentation. You should start submitting your applications for early action or decision in November to ensure you meet the admissions for fall intake in USA 2024 deadline. 

Is fall intake better than spring? 

Due to higher admissions, more choices of courses, scholarship opportunities and other advantages discussed earlier, the fall intake in USA is generally more favoured than spring admissions. However, spring intake also has certain pros, including being less competitive and offering more time for preparation.

How much IELTS score is required for USA?

The minimum score in IELTS may vary by institution and program, but it’s generally between 6.0 and 7.5. However, some universities may have higher requirements or require a specific band score in each section.

Let Edvoy be your guide

To begin your journey towards pursuing higher education in the USA, you can explore the opportunities and resources Edvoy provides. Our team of experts can guide you through the application process and help you make informed decisions to achieve your educational goals.

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