Which intake to choose: Fall or Spring has always confused many international students. We at ABHYAAS OVERSEAS PREP will try our best here to provide you with an impartial comparison to this question.
It is first important to understand what the Spring and the Fall semesters are.
- Many universities abroad have two study admission intakes every year, for most of the classes and courses.
- The fall semester begins in September and ends in December
- On the other hand, the Spring semester starts in January and ends in May.
- Reasons why universities accept students in two different intakes: Firstly, too many students in a single semester, which is a hassle, task for universities to go through so many applications. Secondly, there are many around the world who wouldn’t be able to submit their applications in one intake because of numerous reasons.
Around 35% of international universities in the USA do not offer Spring admission. Nevertheless, having said all the facts, let us discuss which semester should you apply for and why.
As already discussed above, a significant number of top 100 universities do not have any admission intakes for the Spring at all. You can just scroll through the university websites and get this information very easily after researching a few of them. You should do this research much before you prepare to give subject-specific exams such as GRE, GMAT, or even English Proficiency tests such as PTE, IELTS. This choice will help you conclude if you have enough time to prepare for the exams.
Therefore, if you wish to apply for the Spring intake, you need to be 100% sure of the admission process of the university you are interested to get into.
In case you might have compromised with the ranking of your college, you are allowed to apply for a transfer. Therefore, if you joined the college in the fall then by the next semester you can get transferred. This implies that you won’t have to wait the whole summer which you could have utilized by doing an internship or a research project.
2. Acceptance Rate
Most of the universities have fixed allocations of admissions count for each semester. Spring admissions have a low intake compared to the Fall Intake. This means you might have a better chance of getting admission in Fall intake. This is the most important reason that discourages applicants to not going with Spring intake.
Internships are an important phase in a master’s journey because chances of a final placement offer from the same company increase. There is the probability to get more opportunities for students to obtain on-campus jobs and internships, specifically for research-based courses in the Fall semester because the academic year begins in that semester. Many professors begin their research at the start of the academic year. Hence, they will not recruit new assistants in the middle of the year. Your chances of becoming research assistants or teaching assistants are more during the Fall semester as you may fulfill the eligibility criteria of a minimum of 9 months of enrollment.
4. Job Opportunities
During the second year, job fairs and campus recruitments are conducted. This implies that the student from the fall intake might have completed three semesters whereas the student from spring class will have completed two semesters only. The student from fall intake will thus have finished more projects, have more leadership roles, did more activities, etc. These little extras roles and responsibilities will help you gain an advantage over those from the Spring semester student.
5. Courses Options
Most of the core courses are offered in Fall intake by universities. Therefore, you will have a lot of choices of more courses. If you enroll in a Spring intake, you may find it a little tough to plan your coursework. This may indirectly affect your performance during the Masters’s course. Searching the suitable projects, the best internships, and final placements are a lot dependent on the kind of subjects that you choose.
6. Leadership opportunities at the student level
Fall intake would be more preferable to be involved with a student organization. This can be the most suitable option if the student is keen in winning a prestigious position and a leader in the student club. This is for the reason that the new leaders are always elected at the end of the Spring semester. If you join in the spring semester, you might not have enough time to show your potential. On the contrary, you aim to just be a member; it doesn’t matter which intake you join.
Some of the Universities allow their students to complete their postgraduate degree within a three-semester duration. This can help students to start earning earlier than expected. It is therefore more convenient to graduate in three semesters in the fall intake; in the meantime, you will finish your course by the next Spring semester. You can then still have a few months before campus recruiting begins. During those months, one could apply for an internship or any part-time job. This extra one semester, extended stay, more opportunities, more knowledge will increase your chances and provide you with an extra edge when it comes to getting a job.
8. Study Visa
You can get a student visa irrespective of what intake you choose. It completely depends on your overall profile and your university profile. You will not be at a disadvantage even if you are joining a college in the spring intake as a visa requirement.
You will have to face extreme weather conditions if you have taken admission in the northern part of the country during the spring intake. The average temperature goes several degrees below zero during that time of the year. Acclimatizing is tough and important. Many students in the past have returned due to harsh weather conditions in foreign countries.
Thus, it completely depends on which factors are important for you to choose from the Fall or Spring intake. You should do extensive research on your university and the course for which you are applying. Interact with the senior to know more facts and which would help in making your correct decision.