USA Admission Cycle

US Admission cycle: Know all about Spring, Summer and Fall

US Admission cycle: Know all about Spring, Summer and Fall -Do you know that unlike India, US has as many as three admission cycles during an academic year?It is true! Some of the US varsities conduct their admissions thrice in an academic year. The cycle, a US alternative for the semester systems in India, is broadly divided into three part - Spring, Summer and Fall. For those who have never ventured outside the Indian education system, these terms might seem alien with respect to education. However, you should note that Spring, summer and Fall form the most crucial aspect of US admission cycle.

So, what is Spring, Summer and Fall? How important are they in your admission process? How do they impact your education in the USA?

Unlike in India where the registration process opens only once a year, in US, fresh admission can be taken in all the three semesters. Though, Fall is considered the most feasible US admission cycle for Indian students given its sync with Indian academic cycle, the remaining two seasons do actually help candidates to take admissions as per their convenience and requirements.

However, not all US universities offer admission in all the semesters. Of the three US admission cycles, Fall and Spring are the most popular time when admissions are open at US universities. Summer, which is the shortest of the semesters usually, covers special programs by the Universities.

There is another semester- Winter- between Fall and Spring. But, Many universities consider Winter to be within Spring itself.

It should be understood, though, that the admission process of the semesters do not vary. It is only the timeline that varies.

Here, Careers360 delves into the three main semesters of US education. Read ahead to know more!


Starting around August, the fall semester is the first semester of an US academic year. The roughly 13-weeks long semester continues till late December or mid January. With the application process for fall beginning one year before you join the course, this semester witnesses the biggest rush, especially from international students. In fact, many universities accept application only for Fall.

Below is the application timeline for Fall semester:

August: The application forms for Fallare usually out by Augustor September the previous year. You can start looking for the forms and financial aid forms at this time. Also, there are more chances of bagging financial support for admissions in fall.

September to December: The deadline for submitting the forms is usually in December. You are required to arrange your recommendation letters and also start taking the standardized tests mandatory for admission at the particular university you are applying to. You also need to ensure that the score cards of your academic performances as well as the standardized tests are submitted at the time of application.

April to May: In thisperiod, you start receiving acceptance or rejection letters from the universities. Applicants will also be presented with the financial aid possibilities that they can tap. Most importantly, you will have to decide on the program and submit any forms from his/her university of choice. Organize finances and show proof of funds to the graduate school so that the international student office can prepare your immigration form.

May to August- Applicants should start applying for student Visa in this period. You can also confirm your arrivals plans with the institution.


The Spring semester starts in January and ends in May. Generally, a 16-week semester, full term spring semester is the second most popular semester among students taking admission to US universities.

However, the application procedure for Spring is more or less the same as fall.

Below is the timeline for Spring semester

  1. September- The application process for spring starts during this period which gives the student roughly 4 months before the classes. It is around the same time that admission for Fall starts.
  2. November: The deadline for submitting forms is usually November. Candidates should arrange their reference letters and get their score cards ready.
  3. January: The orientation program begins in January. From early January the semester will last till mid may. You should confirm your arrival dates with the University beforehand.


Summer is the shortest of the three semesters in the US. Generally, beginning in June, the semester lasts roughly for two months. Intake in summer is restricted to few universities. Even if the University as a whole accepts applications for summer, the concerned departments may not open its seats for enrollment.

However, some universities do have specially designed summer programs. For example: Stanford University offers the Hopkins Marine Station Program, English for Foreign Students Program, American Language and Culture Program and so on. Applications for the Summer sessions are usually out four to six months prior to the start of the term.

Does terms like Regular admission, Early decision confuse you? Click here to understand what is the admission process of US universities is like!

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