English Language Programs: Often referred to as ESL Programs (or English as a Second Language Programs), these courses vary from elementary through intermediate to advanced. Duration also varies, depending on the intensity of the course. At the beginning of the program, many institutions offer a widely recognized exam that measures your English proficiency in a variety of ways. They may also offer the exam at the end of the program, to measure your success. One popular exam is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a product of Education Testing Services of New Jersey. Other exams, such as MELAB or IELTS, are gaining popularity. Some exams are computer-based, while others are taken with pencil and paper. During 1999, about 44 percent of students enrolled in Intensive English Programs were from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Business / Management: These fields comprise the most popular subject of study among foreign students in the United States, with about 20 percent of that particular population. Examples of Business / Management courses include Accounting, Business Administration, Advertising, Electronic Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Sales Management, Industrial Management, Health Care Management, Human Resources, Information Systems Management, Materials Management, Production / Operations, International Business, Management of Technology, Quality Management, and Supply Chain Management.
Engineering: The field of Engineering enrolls just under 15 percent of international students in the USA. Examples include Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Engineering Applied Mathematics.
Math / Computer Sciences: Enrollment in Mathematics and Computer Sciences has risen sharply, by 18.7 percent. According to Open Doors, the figures reflect the enrollments of Chinese and Indian students who constitute a significant proportion of international students in those fields.
Social Sciences: The Social Sciences make up eight percent of international enrollees in the States. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy defines the term as the study of how groups of people behave, often in an effort to predict how they will behave in the future. Technically, the Social Sciences include economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, and aspects of psychology and history.
Physical / Life Sciences:About seven percent of non-U.S. students are enrolled in this field. The phrase Physical / Life Sciences identifies an area of interest that spans a large part of Natural Sciences: Biological Sciences, Botany, Marine Science, Microbiology, Medicine, Physiology and Zoology, for example. There are also many courses which address biological issues in Human Ecology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Physics, among others. U.S. colleges and universities are increasingly tolerant of interdisciplinary studies, which combine two or more different disciplines.
Health Professions: These fields comprise about four percent of the U.S.' international student population. Courses include Health Information Technology, Emergency Medical Technology, Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, Child and Adolescent Health, Behavioral Health, and Adult / Gerontological Health.
Education: The field of Education interests less than three percent of international students as a major field of study. The broad course may be divided into sections such as Adolescence to Young Adult, Early Childhood, Intervention Specialist, Middle Childhood, Secondary Education, Multi-Age, Vocational, Counseling, and Special Education.
The Arts:The Arts make up a small portion of non-U.S. students in the States. Particular subjects include Art, Art History, Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Studio Art, Communication, Dance, Theatre, Interior Design, and Music.
Technical / Vocational: Campuses featuring these types of programs are often referred to Specialized Institutions. According to the 2000 Carnegie Classification*, they typically award a majority of degrees in a single field. Examples include schools of business and management; schools of engineering and technology; schools of art, music, and design; health profession schools that specialize in chiropractic, nursing, pharmacy, or podiatry.
* The 2000 Carnegie Classification includes all colleges and universities in the United States that are degree-granting and accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The 2000 edition classifies institutions based on their degree-granting activities from 1995-96 through 1997-98.