Friday, 24 September 2021

How to get Admission to Canadian/ USA Universities with Scholarships?

If you want to pursue your higher studies (master’s or Ph.D.) in Canada/ USA, this post will help you get an idea of the admission process and scholarship. It is ideal to apply in the fall semester (September) because most universities take students in this term and many scholarships are also available.  

# Application Package: To complete your application, you need to have  

Passport, CV, Marksheet/ Transcript, Certificate, Experience (optional), SOP/ Research Proposal, IELTS, Research work/ Publication (optional), 2/3 References (LoR) and application fee.

Full Plan to Come to Canada/USA as an International Student (Fall Semester)

     1/List universities and professors (As soon as possible)   

You can choose your desired educational institutions based on

Ranking (1-500? One of the factors!),

Location (temperature; your family/relatives/friends may stay there). For example, I did not select any university in Quebec because I need to learn French in the future.

Tuition fee & Scholarship (tuition fee needs to be affordable so that you can pay easily. Big universities have huge facilities and research funds),

Job and part-time jobs opportunities (try to find someone who studied in that university)

Other opportunities (your criteria)


You will find all information on the university website. There are sections like:

Admission, Prospective Student, How to Apply, Online Application, Admission Requirement …….


2.     2/ Email to the professor (Timeline: September to November)

After listing five universities (more or less), you must send emails to the teachers of your chosen department. You can send emails to more than one faculty in the same department (no problem). However, your research interest must be aligned with the professor’s interest.    


In most cases, your admission and scholarship/fundings depend on the decision of the professor who will be your supervisor in the future.  


How to convince a professor?

> Research the professors (try university website, Google Scholar, ResearchGate),

> read his/her research articles,

> understand his/her recently published articles,  


> take time and send emails properly.


You will find everything online.


Admission and Scholarships depend on

a. Research experience and/or

b. Publication and/or

c. Statement of Purpose (SoP)/ research proposal and/or

d. Letter of Recommendation (LoR) and/or

e. CGPA! and/or

f. GRE!  and/or

g. Convincing a professor

Check your writing and Grammar free!


With a better CGPA and IELTS score, you may pass the preliminary test but you need to have strong a, b, c, d, e, f, g……. to be selected.  


SoP is very important. Don’t copy from others. Make it original and keep it concise. Develop your SOP & recheck with seniors or teachers (if possible).  


LoR: collect LoRs before the application. Time management is crucial in the application process. Make a draft copy of LOR since professors are busy and it may help them preparing LoR for you.


CV: develop a professional CV and update regularly.  


Application Timeline = September to January  

Application fee = 0 to 150 CAD


Hard Copies Submission (Jan to April)

Some universities require hard copies of your transcripts/ certificates. So, you need to tell the officials of the registrar building and collect hard copies and envelopes. 

Send files with the envelope via DHL or FedEx but write your educational institute’s name instead of yours in the sender section.


Final Decision = Wait and check your email. Don’t forget your passwords.


IELTS Preparation

Timeline: April to June (3-5 months is enough)

IELTS exam is costly (17,000+) so take preparation carefully otherwise you will have to take the exam several times.

Tips: Advanced tips for getting IELTS score 7+

IELTS Exam = July & August (2nd time if needed). Get the IELTS certificate before the lockdown. A passport is required to sit for the IELTS exam.

Covid 19 alert! Some universities are accepting students without GRE scores due to the closure of the exam venues.  


Apply for Visa: as soon as possible

Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) = validity 6 months only.

IELTS = validity 2 years


NB:  Collect/ correct your Birth certificate/ NID, Passport, Educational Certificates as soon as possible.


Keep your parents happy because, without their blessings, you cannot prosper in life.

Author: Shoukot Ali, a full funded MA Student at SFU in Canada