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Winter Intake in the USA 2024-25

Updated on 21 March, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Opting for the winter intake in the USA will be a good decision on several counts. Firstly, this serves as an ideal period for those looking for a sizable number of universities to apply for their chosen courses. Secondly, they can also tap into available mentorship programs and orientation programs during this time, unlike the intake in the fall. 

Merits and Demerits of the winter intake in USA

Before you start firming up your application and study visa plans, here is a closer look at the pros and cons of the winter intake in the USA. 


  • This intake has several universities offering admission to multiple courses. 
  • Indian applicants usually finish their courses by May/June, which means they can easily apply in the fall intake. However, the January intake is always available if they miss out. 
  • After graduation, those requiring jobs or internships will need more time to settle everything. They will find the winter/spring intake ideal for a smoother transition. 
  • Spring or winter intake students will benefit from readily available orientation or mentorship programs. 


  • Limited programs and courses in the winter/spring intake if seats are majorly filled up in the fall. 
  • Fewer opportunities in terms of financial assistance and scholarships. 
  • On-campus opportunities are fewer in number at this point of time. 
  • Students will not be eligible for the minimum enrollment guidelines of nine months to pursue summer internships at universities. 
Important Resources to Read About USA
Top Reasons to Study in the USAWhy study in USADifference Between L1 and H-1B Visa
Study in USA After Class 12Post Study Work Permit in the USASalary After MS in USA
Best Cities to Study in USAStudy in USA for Indian Students After 12thMasters in USA Costs
Requirements for Studying in USAStudy in the USA from IndiaCost of Studying in USA


Learning all about the winter intake in USA

The winter intake in  USA needs to be understood carefully. Winter is a semester nestled between the spring and fall semesters. It is shorter in comparison to other semesters. The winter intake begins in December or January. This is when courses are available in abundance, although they are still fewer compared to the fall intake when most students choose to take admission. 

Universities offering courses in the winter intake in the USA

  • The University of California (Psychology, Chemistry, Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 
  • The University of Detroit (Engineering, Biological Sciences, Architectural and Building Sciences) 
  • University of Florida (Journalism, Business, Marketing, Management) 
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (Biological Systems Engineering, Actuarial Science)
  • The University of Alabama, Huntsville (Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Sciences)
  • Oklahoma State University (Marketing, Management, Biological and Biomedical Sciences)
  • George Mason University (Computer and Information Sciences, Health Professions and Related Programs, Homeland Security)
  • Wichita State University (Data and Web Security, Fine Arts)
  • The University of Houston (Psychology, Engineering, Kinesiology)
  • Northeastern University (Engineering, Journalism, Biological and Biomedical Sciences)
  • Iowa State University (Computer and Information Science, Veterinary Science)
  • Kent State University (Visual and Performing Arts, Education) 
  • Michigan Technological University (Economics, Natural Resources and Conservation, Engineering) 
  • University of Arizona (Psychology, Journalism, Management) 
  • Cornell University (Business, Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences)
  • Purdue University (Education, Nursing, Audiology, Pharmacy)
  • Western Michigan University (Marketing, Business, Management) 
  • University of South Carolina (Clinical Nursing, Psychology, Advertising and Applied Communications)
  • The University of Central Florida (Psychology, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences)
  • University of Kansas (Finance, Accounting, Pharmacy)
  • The University of Nevada, Reno (Finance, Human Development and Family Studies)

Step by step guide for winter intake applications

Here  are the  guidelines that one  can follow for winter intake admissions: 

  1. April-May– You should start your preparations by April itself. Start by short-listing the universities that offer the winter or January intake and then the courses you would be applying for. After shortlisting the universities and courses, visit the official websites of these universities for their specific deadlines, application procedures, requirements, etc. Also, you must narrow down scholarships and education loans depending upon availability. 
  2. June-August– Sit for the entrance examinations that are needed, including GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, etc as per the university and the course demands. You should book the tests earlier since a buffer time is required if you wish to retake the examinations for a better score. This period also encompasses your preparation time. 
  3. August-September-. During this time, you need to start your application process that involves getting in touch with the university professors and direct managers for the reference letters. Shortlist options and prepare all documents, including the SOP or application essay. Get hold of LORs and apply well before the deadlines. 
  4. October-November– Once you have received a letter of acceptance from a university, respond immediately and submit a video or take a personal interview if required. Quickly inform the institution about your admission decision before the deadline. Pay the non-refundable deposit of confirmation. 
  5. November-December– Apply for your study visa by submitting all the required documents, paying the requisite charges, and filling up the application form online. You can also apply for your education loan at this time. Make sure that you have sufficient time in hand. 
  6. December-January– Book your tickets and get your international credit/debit card before leaving for USA. Have all your documents and their photocopies in place and double-check everything by ticking off every item on your checklist. 

Necessary Documents 

  • Updated CV/Resume. 
  • Scores in GMAT, GRE, ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, and other tests. 
  • Academic transcripts. 
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose). 
  • LORs or letters of recommendation. 
  • Application fee payment receipt. 
  • Sample of writing or essay if needed. 
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Masters in Public Health in the USAPhD in USA for Indian StudentsUSA Study Visa Requirements
Cost of MS in USACost of PhD in the USACost of a bachelor’s degree in the USA
Study Medicine in the USAHow to Study Master’s in the USA without GRE?F1 Visa Documents Checklist

Deadlines for applying 

The spring intake deadline for applications is usually between August and September and it can go till October or November for some universities. Some universities may start taking applications even earlier. 


The winter intake in the USA can be beneficial for those missing out on the fall intake, needing a transition period, and looking for mentorship programs in the USA. The winter intake will also increase your chances of admission since competition could be lower at this time. 

Also Read:

Important Link to Study in USA

University of Chicago Acceptance Rate for International Studentsthe Johns Hopkins UniversityJobs in USAHubert H Humphrey Fellowship
Acceptance Rate of Columbia UniversityCalifornia Institute of Technology Acceptance RateMassachusetts Institute of Technology Acceptance RateUniversity of California Berkeley Acceptance Rate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Jan intake called in the USA?

The January intake in the USA is also known as the spring or winter intake. The duration is between January and May. The admissions are usually done by August-September. Some institutions take applications by October-November as well for the January intake. Those missing out on the fall intake may consider applying for this particular intake. The intake starts from end-December or early in January in most cases.

What is the last date to apply for January intake in USA?

The best time to apply for January intake is between August and September, or even from July if universities are starting to accept applications for the January intake. You should begin preparing your SOPs, CVs and other documents in advance while getting your LORs likewise. Make sure that you apply well before the deadline to get a seat at the institution and course of your choice. There is no fixed last date; it all depends on individual universities.

Are there any advantages of winter intake in the USA?

There are quite a few advantages of applying in the winter intake in the USA. They include lower competition while applying to universities and more chances of getting admission. At the same time, those looking for mentorship and orientation programs will benefit from applying. There are quite a few institutions available during this period and those missing the fall intake can embrace this transition period and settle in before applying.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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