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There are three primary ways to complete short-term study or research in the US at the postgraduate and postdoctoral levels:
It is possible to apply directly to US universities to attend under non-degree seeking or visiting student status. Under these arrangements, students may be able to complete postgraduate coursework (including research-based classes for credit) and/or have access to university and department facilities for research, similar to that of degree-seeking students.
As a non-degree seeking or visiting student, you will likely pay similar tuition fees as degree-seeking students. You will likely be unable to apply your UK government student loan or grant to cover costs of the programme, as you will pay tuition and fees directly to the US institution or programme.
To begin researching universities and choosing a degree programme, you may wish to read the choosing a degree programme section of this website. Alternatively, you may wish to network through UK colleagues or contact US-based researchers who have published or recently presented at a conference in your field.
To apply, you may be asked to submit a transcript, personal statement, recommendation letter(s) and/or plan of study. For more information on completing an application, please see the application process section of this website.
If you already hold a PhD, it is also possible to coordinate an arrangement to lecture, consult or conduct further research at a US university as a visiting scholar or fellow. Visiting scholars and fellows would also have access to university and department facilities for research, similar to regular faculty members.
These positions can be coordinated with a university department directly or may be part of an established exchange programme. For a list of US government sponsored exchange programmes, visit the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange website.
To begin researching universities and choosing a degree programme, you may wish to read the choosing a degree programme section of this website. Alternatively, you may wish to network through colleagues or contact US-based researchers who have published or recently presented at a conference in your field or via the websites of professional associations and journals in your field. Research opportunities are also posted online at The Chronicle of Higher Education and HigherEdJobs.com.
Most visiting scholars/fellows are expected either to be self-financed, whether through an external funding body or a salary from the scholar’s home institution paid while the scholar is on sabbatical. Please note the Fulbright Commission offers awards for postgraduate study and research, as well as distinguished scholars and fellows programmes.
Some American universities offer joint degree programmes with universities in the UK allowing students to earn a degree from both universities. Most of these programmes are at the master’s level. Some examples of joint degree programmes between universities in the US and the UK can be found below:
• University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Transatlantic Master’s Programme: This programme offers two different master’s degree tracks in international relations. Students can study in the US for a semester or a year and can complete their degree in any of the 10 European universities participating in the programme, including Bath University.
If you are travelling to the US for any purpose aside from personal travel, you will need to secure an appropriate visa. The most common visa categories for short-term programmes are the F-1 Student Visa and J-1 Student Visa. For more information, please see page on visas for US study.
Our staff is not trained to handle specific enquiries related to visas in the US. For specific enquiries, information is available on the US Embassy in London website. Alternatively, you may call the US Embassy at 020 3608 6998 (Operator Assisted £1.20/minute) between the hours of 7 am - 7 pm Monday - Friday.