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Study in the U.S.A: Application Deadlines for Top Universities

Shahid Baig Shahid Baig
Content Curator

Timing plays a very important role in the application process for a university or college in USA. A good application takes months to complete. When does an applicant start preparing and when to submit everything, depends on the application deadlines to study in the U.S.A.

The application deadline for different universities might differ but every university in USA offers 4 types of application deadline options. These are the following:

  • Regular decision
  • Early action
  • Early decision
  • Rolling Admissions

Under each of the above deadline options, a student can apply for fall, spring or summer semester. Most of the deadlines for fall and summer semester are same whereas spring semester deadlines are mostly not available in the early decision option. It isn’t necessary that each university in USA offers all the 4 options. Number of deadlines offered also differ from university to university.

Study in the U.S.A: Regular Decision Application Deadlines

Regular decision Application is the most preferred application deadline among the students. These deadlines usually fall in the beginning of January.

The most common Regular decision deadline is January 1 and January 15. University of California is an exception to this general phenomena. UC regular decision deadlines fall a bit early on November 30. These can differ slightly depending upon different courses and universities in the U.S.A.

Most applicants apply in early January and get confirmation about the admission in March or April. One advantage of regular decision application is that a student can apply in as many university as he/she wants.

Regular Decision Application Deadlines for Top Universities in the U.S.A

While applying to a University in USA, it is always recommended to submit the application a bit early before the deadline. Usually, Admission officers review all the applications together after the application deadline. However, submitting the application will not overcome any deficiency but it can surely be an indication of you being on top of your game and very much organized

UniversityFall/Summer Application
American UniversityJanuary 15
Georgetown UniversityJanuary 10
Boston UniversityJanuary 2
Yale universityJanuary 2
Princeton UniversityJanuary 1
Brown UniversityJanuary 1
Caltech UniversityJanuary 3
VillanovaJanuary 15
Columbia UniversityJanuary 1
Harvard UniversityJanuary 1
University of PennsylvaniaJanuary 5
Tufts UniversityJanuary 1
Duke UniversityJanuary 2
Cornell UniversityJanuary 2
UNC Chapel HillJanuary 15
UMass DartmouthMarch 1
WellesleyJanuary 15
University of Notre DameJanuary 1
Stanford UniversityJanuary 2
Johns Hopkins UniversityJanuary 2

There are a few universities that whose Regular decision Application deadlines fall in February, march, April, May, June, July and even September. These universities have been listed below. 

UniversityFall/Summer Application Deadline
Abilene Christian UniversityFebruary 15
University of British ColumbiaFebruary 2
Meredith CollegeFebruary 15
Massachusetts College of Art and DesignFebruary 1
Catholic University of AmericaFebruary 15
Boston Baptist CollegeMarch 15
University of North Carolina at GreensboroMarch 1
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyMarch 1
Appalachian State UniversityMarch 15
University of Minnesota, MorrisMarch 15
Berea CollegeApril 30
Georgia College and State UniversityApril 1
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical CollegeApril 15
Johns Hopkins University: Peabody Conservatory of MusicApril 1
University of the Virgin IslandsApril 30
American University ,CairoMay 15
Bayamon Central UniversityMay 6
College of Saint RoseMay 1
Texas State UniversityMay 1
University of Nevada ,RenoMay 31
Art Academy of CincinnatiJune 30
University of Alaska AnchorageJune 15
University of West GeorgiaJune 1
Virginia Union UniversityJune 30
University of the District of ColumbiaJune 6
Alabama State UniversityJuly 31
California Institute of Integral StudiesJuly 22
Louisiana Tech UniversityJuly 31
Manhattan Christian CollegeJuly 1
University of Texas, DallasJuly 1
Alfred UniversityAugust 1
Cleveland State UniversityAugust 15
Georgetown CollegeAugust 1
Western Kentucky UniversityAugust 1
York CollegeAugust 31

Study in the U.S.A: Early Action Deadlines

Early action deadlines push the application timeline early by a few months. The most common early action deadlines offered by universities and colleges are November 1 and November 15. Students are recommended to go through the application process to study in the U.S.A carefully before applying for the course. 

Under early action application, a student is either accepted, rejected or deferred. When a student is deferred, it means that his/her application will be revaluated in the regular applicant pool. The results are notified in December.

There are certain schools that have a restrictive early action application policy that prevents an applicant from applying to more than one school. A few of these schools are

  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Notre Dame

Early Action Deadlines for the Top Universities in the U.S.A

Although early action application already bring the deadlines early, still it is always advisable to not wait for the deadline date to submit the application.

UniversityFall/Summer Application Deadline
American UniversityNovember 15
Boston UniversityNovember 1
Johns Hopkins UniversityNovember 1
UNC Chapel HillOctober 15
Princeton UniversityNovember 1
University of MichiganNovember 1
CaltechNovember 1
MITNovember 1
Stanford UniversityNovember 1
VillanovaNovember 1
University of ChicagoNovember 1
Harvard UniversityNovember 1
Georgetown UniversityNovember 1
University of Notre DameNovember 1
University of VirginiaNovember 1
Yale UniversityNovember 1

Study in the U.S.A – Early Decision Application Deadlines

A major difference between early action and early decision application is that early decision applications are binding. When a student opts early decision application, he/she is expected to sign a contract with the school that they would take admission in the school if selected.

This contract puts a compulsion on students to attend the school if selected. This option is mostly selected by students who are very much sure about their choice. The students opting ED are expected to commit before exploring the financial aid opportunities of the school. The applicant must not depend on scholarships to finance his/her studies if opting ED.

Early decision application deadlines are of 2 types- ED I and ED II. ED I deadlines usually coincide with early action deadlines whereas ED II deadlines fall in January. Results are notified in February for both ED I and ED II.

Early Decision Deadlines of Popular Universities in the U.S.A

UniversityED IED II
Colby UniversityNovember 15January 1
VillanovaNovember 1N/A
Columbia UniversityNovember 1N/A
VanderbiltNovember 1January 1
UMass DartmouthNovember 1N/A
DukeNovember 1N/A
Bowdoin UniversityNovember 15 January 1
WellesleyNovember 1January 1
Brandeis UniversityNovember 1January 1
American UniversityNovember 15January 15
Brown UniversityNovember 1N/A
Cornell UniversityNovember 1N/A
Emory UniversityNovember 1January 1
Johns HopkinsNovember 1N/A
Wesleyan UniversityNovember 15January 1
New York UniversityNovember 1January 1
Northwestern UniversityNovember 1N/A
Tufts UniversityNovember 1January 1
University of PennsylvaniaNovember 1N/A
PomonaNovember 1January 1
SmithNovember 15January 1
University of ChicagoNovember 1January 2
Boston UniversityNovember 1January 3

Study in the U.S.A.: Spring Semester Application Deadlines

Spring semester deadlines are mostly available in Regular application option. Most of universities’ deadlines for spring semester admission fall in October or November. But it is advisable to send in the complete application package to the university by the end of August. Sending in the application a month or two before the deadline indicates a sense of eagerness to join the university which has a positive impact on admission officers.

Spring Semester Deadlines of Popular Universities in the U.S.A

UniversityApplication Deadlines
American UniversityOctober 1
Boston UniversityNovember 1
Columbia UniversityNovember 1
UMass DartmouthJanuary 1
Duke UniversityOctober 1
New York UniversitySeptember 15
Tufts UniversityOctober 15
Wesleyan UniversityNovember 1
University of PennsylvaniaDecember 1
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