Most US Universities admit students in two intakes: The Fall and the Spring Semester. While the fall semester begins in August/September, the spring semester starts in January. This dual intake allows the universities the ease of accommodating a large number of students. At the same time, it will enable students who did not have the option to apply during fall to make up in spring.
Fall Vs. Spring: The Big Debate
So, here is a list of factors you should consider before deciding to apply for a particular season: –
1) Masters Applications – University Options
While you may be willing to give yourself the luxury of choice, several Top 100 Universities do not have any admission intakes in the spring session. Almost 25% of Universities do not offer courses for the spring semester. Thus, if you wish to apply for the spring session, you should carefully research and short-list the universities that accept the same. Most universities have the ease of accommodating options.
2) Masters Applications – Acceptance Rate
Contrary to popular belief, acceptance rates are dependent on the University. Therefore, the session does not have any bearing on the course. So, one must take into account that the class size and student intake in fall is much larger than the spring session. Thus, statistically, your application stands a better chance of getting accepted in fall if your profile is above average or above par. On the flip side, it also means that spring applications could be less competitive due to the lesser number of applications!
The number of applicants and student intake is high during the fall semester. Therefore, Universities usually offer their full spectrum of courses in this session. Since the number of students applying in spring is lesser, the chances are that unusual or some specialized courses might not be available in the spring semester. So one should do thorough research and check with your chosen college for Masters Applications before you decide when to apply.
4) Masters application – Assistantship/ Internship Opportunities
The fall semester heralds the beginning of the academic session in most foreign universities. Therefore, the number of internships and assistantships are more in the fall session. It is due to the simple fact that most research projects commence at the beginning of the academic session. Thus, most professors do not like to take in teaching or research interns’ mid-session for Masters application in fall vs spring. However, this does not mean that there won’t be opportunities in spring, just that they will be limited. Additionally, most universities require that students should have been enrolled for a minimum of 9 months before they apply for internships outside the college for Masters Applications. So, it could be a disadvantage for spring semester students. Most of the universities have the ease of accommodation options.
5) Masters Applications – Back-up plan
Applying in fall has an advantage that in a worst-case scenario, you have the option to fall back on another set of good colleges in the spring semester. So, if you apply late in the spring intake, then you might have to wait for an entire year in case you do not make the grade. Using in fall ensures that you have a back-up plan for the spring semester.
6) Masters Applications – Job Opportunities
Most Campus recruitments and Job fairs happen in the second year. So, the students who joined in the fall semester would be at an advantage in terms of an extra semester. With a more significant number of internships, projects, community activities, club memberships, and leadership roles to explore, the fall semester students will have the edge over their peers from the spring semester.
7) Masters application – Financial assistance
Again, as there is a higher number of student intake in the fall. So the number of scholarships on offer is higher as compared to the spring semester. However, it does not mean that there are no scholarships on offer in spring.
8) Masters application – Student Visa
It is entirely a myth that students applying in fall have better chances of getting a student visa. The worthiness of the profile of the candidate and the university profile are the only deciding factors for a student visa. The intake session has no bearing on it whatsoever.
Since most students complete their undergraduate degree by May, they can easily apply in fall. However, depending on an individual, one might not be ready to join quickly and need more time to get their application in order for Masters Applications.
Masters Applications – Fall vs Spring – The last word
To conclude, you should consider the above factors before you decide when and where to apply. Ultimately, the choice boils down to you! Your plans for the future and your specific needs should be the only criterion while deciding which semester to apply for. For more information on universities, please refer to www.planall.com. Also, universities have the ease of accommodating options.