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September Intake in the USA (Updated Details)

Nov 05, 2023Date Published
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UniSearch - September Intake in the USA (Updated Details)

Considering the USA for education, but don’t know which intake you should apply for? Try the September intake in the USA - popularly known as the Fall intake. This primary intake is the most popular of the intakes in the States. The timeline is mostly August to December every year. This allows you to align your academic calendar with the US academic calendar and enjoy many opportunities in the US education system.

Whether you want to pursue a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D., the September intake in the USA is a great way to kickstart your academic journey. Studying in the USA can help you unlock your full potential and pave the way for a successful career. To know more about the September intake and how to apply, keep on reading.

What are the Intakes for the USA?

An intake is a specific period of time during which a school or university accepts applications and admits students. In the United States, there are typically three major intakes:

Fall Intake

It is another name for the September intake. This is the main intake season when most universities and colleges in the USA admit students to their regular academic programs.

The largest number of programs are on offer by the largest number of universities for this intake. The fall intake generally starts in August or September and runs through December. You will get a full range of programs available at most of the universities.

Spring Intake

Some universities offer a second intake season in the spring. It usually starts in January or February and ends in May. The spring intake is generally smaller than the fall intake and may have limited program options.

Summer Intake

Some universities in the USA offer a summer intake. This includes shorter academic programs, internships, or research opportunities. The summer intake generally starts in May or June and ends in August.

Here is a chart that shows the typical intake periods for undergraduate programs in the United States:

Program options Full range of programs
Limited program options
Shorter academic programs, internships, and research opportunities

Why Should I Apply for the September Intake in the USA?

The September intake is the academic term that, naturally, starts in September. It is the beginning of the academic year in the United States. Many - if not most - universities and colleges in the USA offer programs with a September intake.

This is important because it allows you to start your studies at the beginning of the academic year. This way, you can complete your degree on time with your peers.

Enrolling in a program with a September intake has 3 major benefits.

  • Firstly, you start your academic journey at the beginning of the academic year. This is a head start for you since you can kick off your degree right without too long a gap between qualifications. Plus, the sooner you start, the sooner you graduate and can enter the working world

  • Secondly, it gives you ample time to plan and prepare for your studies, such as securing accommodation, arranging finances, and obtaining visas

  • Lastly, if you join the September intake, you’ll have the opportunity to build connections with your peers and faculty members while the campus is in full swing. This can lead you to valuable networking opportunities and academic support

Popularity of the September Intake

In the academic year 2020-2021, there were a total of 1,075,496 international students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States. 70% of these (or 752,564) were international students who enrolled in programs with a September intake (Data from the Institute of International Education).

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international students enrolled in programs with a September intake in the USA remained relatively stable compared to the previous academic year. And now, after, COVID-19, the USA is accepting more applicants, to balance out the gap due to the pandemic. So, take this opportunity and apply for the September intake in the USA.

When to Apply for September Intake in the USA

If you're planning to apply for a September intake at a university in the USA, it's important to keep in mind that the deadlines can vary depending on the school and program you're applying to.

However, in general, you should start your application process around 9-12 months before the start of the academic year.

Deadline Types and Study Levels

For undergraduate programs, many universities have an early decision deadline in November. Applying for an early decision means you’re entering a binding agreement with a university.

We only recommend this if you are completely sure this is the university you want admission to. Once you file an early decision application, you must withdraw applications to all other universities.

If your early decision application is successful, no matter the offer or scholarship options, you must attend the university. If you’re going with an early decision, you will need to be sure you have the financial means to enroll in the program without aid.

Next is the more common deadline type, the regular decision deadline in January or February. All US universities have regular decision deadlines for applicants. For example, the University of Oregon’s priority deadline for application submission for Fall is December 1st the year prior. And its final deadline is usually January 15th.

For graduate programs, the application process can be more flexible, but we still recommend you apply at least 6-9 months before the start of the academic year. Many graduate programs have rolling admissions. This means the applications go into review as they are received, and there is no set deadline.

So, in a nutshell, if you're planning to apply for a September intake in the USA, it's best to start the application process at least 9-12 months before the academic year for undergraduate programs. That means, if you want to enroll in September 2024 intake, you can start the process by at least December 2023. The same goes for graduate and postgraduate programs.

Timeline for September Intake in the USA

Here's a general timeline for the admission process for September intake in the USA for 2024:

September - December 2023
  • Research universities and programs
  • Narrow down options
  • Prepare a list of prospective schools
  • Register for standardized tests such as SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL/IELTS if required by universities
January - March 2024
  • Be aware of the deadline
  • Request letters of recommendation
  • Start working on essays and personal statements
  • Complete and submit university applications
April - May 2024
  • Apply for scholarships if applicable
  • Wait for admission decisions
June - July 2024
  • Accept the offer of admission
  • Submit any required enrollment forms
  • Apply for a student visa
August - September 2024
  • Attend orientation programs offered by the university
  • Make travel arrangements and finalize housing plans
  • Start classes at the beginning of September

Popular Programs and Universities with September Intakes

In the USA, the September intake is typically referred to as the Fall semester, which is the most popular intake among international students. Practically all universities and colleges in the USA offer the Fall intake. Some of the most popular programs and universities for the Fall semester are:

University Name
QS World University Ranking 2024
Application Deadline (Regular Decision)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor#33February 1st
University of Wisconsin-Madison=102January 15th
University of California, San Diego#62November 30th
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
=132January 15th
University of Pittsburgh
Rolling admissions
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
#27November 30th
Duke University
=50January 3rd

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is a top-ranked public research university with a QS ranking of #33 in 2024. Situated in Ann Arbor, its popular programs include engineering, business, public health, and computer science.

Admission requirements vary by program but typically include standardized test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. The application deadline for most programs in the Fall is mid-January.

The University of Michigan's Master of Public Health program is very popular in the September intake. It’d be best if you’re seeking a career in public health policy, research, and management. The program offers a broad range of courses in areas such as epidemiology, health behavior and education, and health management and policy. You’d also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships and research projects.

At UM, you can have many opportunities to explore new interests and make friends. UM has over 1,500 student organizations, including many cultural and international groups. You can participate in activities ranging from sports and outdoor adventures to music and theater.

The University of Michigan offers an exceptional student life experience that combines academic excellence, vibrant campus culture, and a supportive community. The September intake is an ideal time for you to join the university and take advantage of all it has to offer.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a highly-ranked public research university in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. It currently occupies the #102 spot in the QS World University Rankings 2024. The university offers a wide range of academic programs across various fields such as business, engineering, agriculture, education, and social sciences.

The university is well-known for its strong research focus and has a number of world-class research centers and institutes in areas such as biotechnology, neuroscience, and energy research. In addition, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a vibrant student life, with over 900 student organizations, including clubs for sports, arts, and cultural activities.

The computer science program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a popular program among students. The program offers a strong foundation in computer science fundamentals as well as advanced courses in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science.

According to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the program ranks #14 in the nation for undergraduate computer science programs and #16 for graduate programs.

UW-Madison allows students to start in the fall, which is when the academic year begins. This means that you'll be able to take advantage of all the opportunities and activities that UW-Madison has to offer right from the start of your college career.

Starting in the fall also means that you can take advantage of the beautiful Wisconsin autumn. The fall foliage is stunning, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Plus, you'll experience some of the local traditions like attending the Dane County Farmers' Market or the annual Halloween party on State Street. So, if you want to experience all of these, you can choose the September intake at UW-Madison without any hesitation!

University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is a public research university with a QS ranking of #62 in 2024. It consistently ranks among the top universities in the United States and the world. This university has a strong focus on research and innovation.

UCSD is particularly well-known for its strong programs in engineering, computer science, biology, and psychology. One distinguished course that is popular at UCSD is the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) program.

This program snags the #10 spot in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. It also ranks among the top computer science programs in the United States.

Again, San Diego city has beautiful beaches, a warm climate, and cultural diversity. You’ll have the opportunity to explore all that San Diego has to offer, from world-class museums to delicious cuisine and exciting nightlife. San Diego is also a hub for international trade and commerce. You can seek numerous internship and job opportunities here while studying. So, UCSD can be a good option to choose for the upcoming September.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. It is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. It is part of the prestigious Association of American Universities and consistently ranks highly in national and international rankings. In the QS World University Rankings 2023, UNC is ranked =132 in the world.

UNC offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs across various disciplines. Some of the popular programs offered at UNC include business, journalism, public health, and psychology.

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC is highly regarded and offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs in business. The school is known for its focus on developing ethical leaders and innovative problem-solvers.

The undergraduate program in business at UNC is highly competitive and ranks among the top 20 undergraduate business programs in the country according to US News and World Report.

In addition to academics, UNC offers a rich variety of extracurricular activities. With over 800 student organizations, you can choose from sports and recreation clubs to cultural and artistic groups.

The university also has a thriving Greek life. There are numerous fraternities and sororities offering a sense of community and camaraderie. Thus, joining UNC in the September intake can open your doors to a life-changing experience.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh, nicknamed as Pitt, was founded in 1787. It is one of the oldest continuously chartered higher education institutions in the United States.

Pitt is known for its strong academic programs, world-class research facilities, and diverse student body. It is number #163 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2024, making it one of the most popular public universities in the United States.

Pitt offers undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, business, public health, education, liberal arts, and sciences. The application deadline for most programs is January 15th.

One popular program offered at Pitt for the September intake is Psychology. This program introduces students to the basic concepts, theories, and methods of psychology.

Topics covered in the courses include perception, cognition, learning, memory, motivation, emotion, personality, social behavior, and abnormal behavior.

Student life at Pitt is vibrant and diverse. You can explore over 350 student organizations on campus. These organizations cover a wide range of interests, including academic, cultural, political, and social issues. Pitt also has a thriving athletic program, with 19 varsity sports teams that compete in the NCAA Division I.

You can have access to a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities, including museums, theaters, music venues, parks, and sports stadiums.

Pitt also has a strong commitment to community service and offers many opportunities. You can get involved in service projects and volunteer work to gather work experience. So, the University of Pittsburgh can be on your bucket list for the September intake.

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

The University of California is a renowned public research university system in the United States, consisting of 10 campuses located throughout the state of California. The system is widely regarded as one of the world's most prestigious and respected public university systems, offering students a world-class education and research opportunities across a broad range of academic disciplines.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) ranks #27 in the world. It is one of the top public university systems in the United States and the 9th best university system in the world. This ranking is a testament to the system's academic excellence, research output, and global reputation.

The university system offers a vast array of academic programs, spanning from undergraduate to doctoral degrees, in virtually every field of study imaginable. This diversity of academic offerings ensures that students can find a program that matches their interests and career goals.

One popular program the University of California offers is the September intake for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the Haas School of Business, located at the UC Berkeley campus.

The Haas MBA program consistently ranks among the top business programs in the world, offering students a rigorous and comprehensive business education with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

In addition to academic excellence, you can enjoy a vibrant student life, with a plethora of clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities to participate in.

From sports teams to cultural clubs to volunteer organizations, there are endless opportunities for you to get involved and make the most of your university experience. Thus, UCB’s September intake can be a great opportunity for you to achieve your dream of studying in the USA.

Duke University

Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. It was founded in 1838, ranking consistently among the top universities in the world. As of 2024, Duke University ranks #27 in the QS World University Rankings, making it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Duke University offers a variety of programs in business, engineering, law, medicine, public policy, and arts and sciences. One of the most popular subject-specific programs of the September intake at Duke University is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the Fuqua School of Business. This program aims to prepare you for leadership positions in business and emphasizes a collaborative and diverse learning environment.

Student life at Duke University is vibrant and engaging. There are over 400 student organizations on campus. From cultural clubs to sports teams to academic societies - you will find almost everything you could imagine.

The university also hosts various events throughout the year, such as concerts, guest lectures, and community service opportunities. Additionally, Duke University is very famous for its athletics program, particularly its basketball team, the Duke Blue Devils.

The September intake can provide you with a great opportunity to begin your academic journey at Duke and pursue your desired career paths.

Applying for the September Intake in the USA

Applying for the September intake in the USA is no different than the other intakes. All you have to do is follow the right steps and wait for the response from your desired institution. To enroll in a program with a September intake in the USA, here's what you need to know.

Step 1: Choose a School and Program

First, you need to decide which school and program you want to apply to. Look for universities that offer your desired program and check if they accept international students.

Step 2: Check Admission Requirements

Once you have found a suitable school and program, you need to check their admission requirements. Usually, you need to provide your academic transcripts, English proficiency test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Some schools may also require you to take the SAT or ACT at the undergraduate level or GMAT and GRE scores at the postgraduate level.

Step 3: Apply to the School

Now it's time to apply to the school. You can apply online through the school's website or using a common application platform like the Common App (for undergraduates). Make sure to submit all the required documents before the deadline.

Step 4: Apply for Financial Aid

If you need financial assistance, you can apply for scholarships, grants, or loans. Check with the school's financial aid office for available options. Provide sufficient documents and follow the required process to get financial support for your studies.

Step 5: Wait for the Decision

After submitting your application, you'll have to wait for the school's decision. Some schools may require an interview or additional information before making a decision.

Tips and Advice for the September Intake

If you're considering applying for the September intake, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a successful application process. First and foremost, it's essential to start early.

Giving yourself enough time to gather all the required documents and complete the application will help you avoid any last-minute stress or complications.

After that, meeting the English language proficiency requirements is crucial. Taking the necessary tests, such as the TOEFL or IELTS, will demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in English and increase your chances of being accepted.

When it comes to your personal statement or essay, you should put your best foot forward. Write a strong statement that highlights your achievements and goals, showcasing your unique qualities and experiences.

Letters of recommendation can also play a crucial role in the application process. Asking your teachers or counselors to write a letter that showcases your skills and potential can be a powerful endorsement that sets you apart from other applicants.

Consider attending a summer program or taking online courses to demonstrate your academic ability and interest in the program. This can show admissions committees that you're dedicated to your education and eager to learn.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to the school's admissions office or your school counselor if you have any questions or concerns. Remember, applying to a program can be a daunting process, but with the right preparation and support, you can increase your chances of success. Best of luck with your application!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is September intake available in the USA?

Yes, the September intake is available in the USA. Most universities in the USA have a fall semester that starts in late August or early September. Popular schools like the University of Arizona, Michigan State University, and the University of Iowa accept applications for this intake.

What is September intake called in the USA?

The September intake is the Fall semester in the USA. The academic year in the USA typically runs from August/September to May/June, with the Fall semester starting in August/September and the Spring semester starting in January.

The University of California, Davis, the University of Florida, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, among many others, all have September intakes.

When to apply for September 2024 intake in the USA?

The application deadlines for the September 2023 intake in the USA will vary depending on the institution and program. Generally, we recommend applying at least six months in advance to allow enough time for the application process, obtaining necessary documents, and securing funding.

Which intake is best for the USA?

“Best” is subjective. There is nothing called the "best" intake for the USA. It depends on your preferences and circumstances. However, the September intake is usually the most popular as it aligns with the academic year and offers a wide range of academic programs and opportunities.

Our Concluding Thoughts

The September intake in the USA can be a fantastic opportunity for you to pursue your academic aspirations and explore the rich and diverse culture of the country.

By enrolling in a program of your choice during this intake, you can benefit from the best educational resources and gain valuable skills that will enhance your future career prospects. So, if you're planning to study abroad, consider the September intake in the USA and take the first step towards achieving your goals.