The first level of higher education in USA is referred to as the ‘Undergraduate’ level; it awards a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree.
Most USA study programmes for undergraduates require four years of study, and a completed secondary school education is sufficient to enroll as an undergraduate student. First-, second- and third-year college students can transfer into U.S. undergraduate degree programmes and finish the remainder of their programmes over there.
Graduate education in the USA refers to Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (M.Sc), or Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.
Students who have completed their undergraduate education are eligible to apply to graduate programmes. Master’s degrees in the USA are usually awarded after two years of study. The Ph.D. is the highest academic degree amongst American study programmes. This degree follows a Master’s (or Graduate) degree, and typically requires at anywhere between three to six years.
TYPES OF U.S.A STUDENT VISAS
There are three categories of visas available for education in the USA:
- F-1 (Student Visa):
The F-1 visa is for full-time students who want to study in the USA and are enrolled in an academic or language program. Students holding an F-1 visa can stay in the USA for the full length of their academic programme plus 60 days. Students must maintain a full-time course load and complete their studies by the expiration date listed on their I-20 form. Apply for a multiple entry F-1 student visa, as you will be able travel between US and Nigeria any number of times while pursuing a programme.
- M Visa (Non-Academic or Vocational Studies):
This visa is appropriate for people who want to study or train at a non-academic institution in the USA, such as an apprenticeship or a finishing school.
- J-1 (Exchange Visitor Visa)
The J-1 visa is issued to students who need practical training that is not available in their home country in order to complete their academic program. The training must be directly related to their academic program. In the J-1 visa, the student is obliged to return to their home country for a minimum of two years after the end of their studies in the USA before becoming eligible to apply for an immigrant (permanent residence) visa.