I have completed my B. Pharmacy with an aggregate of 60 per cent. I want to pursue M. Pharmacy from a university in USA? Please advise me what I have to do. What are the certificates, bank documents, exams, I have to take?

M. Pharmacy is a much sought-after course in the US. Getting admission into the top three pharmacy schools such as University of California, San Francisco, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Minnesota, etc. could be tough with your aggregate scores. Universities such as Auburn University (Harrison), West Virginia University, Washington State University, St. Louis College of Pharmacy may be inclined to consider your application.

Rankings

For a complete list of the latest rankings, you may want to refer to US News.com which gives a comprehensive list of graduate pharmacy programs of the US colleges which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. You have a choice of doing everything yourself or approaching a reputed consultancy firm to help you with the process.

After selecting a few colleges from the US News list, you may want to do further research by visiting the college websites or by writing to them to get comprehensive information.

The information could be regarding their requirements, deadlines, fees, funding, cost of living, safety, etc. to finalise the program and the universities to short list. If you are not going by that list, please take care to see that the master’s program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Go to the websites of at least 20 to 30 schools, do research and narrow down your choices.

Based on the research on colleges you choose, draw a timeline and checklist for yourself.

This will give you a guideline for admission to the selected US colleges for Fall and Spring semesters. Assuming you have a passport in place and have taken GRE and English proficiency test (TOEFL/IELTS), you should have at least 4 to 6 months lead time to apply by fulfilling all their requirements.

Documents

The required list of documents may vary from one school to another. However, most schools will broadly require among others, the filled in Application, Application fee, Statement of Purpose, Recommendation Letter, Résumé, Transcripts, Bank Statement, Affidavit of Support, Certificates and other supporting documents, copy of front and last pages of passport, copy of online application, submission confirmation, etc. Before you receive the college’s Admission Decision (Admission Letter + I-20 form), you may want to plan for visa, bank balance and expenses and learn about F1 Visa, application and the interview process.

The bank balance required should normally cover the college fee for one year and your expenses in the US based on the college you finalised. After receiving the admission letter and the I-20, you apply for the F1 Visa, pay SEVIS Fees, put together all the documentation including Bank Statement, Affidavit from Sponsors, Other Required Documents including the items you submitted to the college and the documentation they forwarded to you.

After you get your visa in hand, plan the travel to US. Broadly speaking, book flight ticket, arrange for pickup and accommodation, research on the climate and buy stuff you require and suitcase to carry, fulfil Health Insurance requirements, carry money to US (DD, TC or Wire Transfer) and don’t forget to leave a copy of documents at home.

After reaching the US, the first few days are important for you to adjust yourself. So, planning ahead is advisable.

The important things you will need to do during the initial days are attend orientation sessions, open bank account, make friends, and go shopping for the essentials.

TMI e2E Academy

(Queries to this column can be sent to collegian@thehindu.co.in)

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