USA Student Visa Guide & Assessment:
To study in the United States you need to possess a student visa. Advantage cannot be taken on the Visa Waiver program when it comes to studying in the US. Even a visitor visa will not suffice for studying in the US. Usually a student is required to possess an F-1 or M-1 visa to study. This depends on the kind of study or course being undertaken.
If, you are studying in a professional academic course and are enrolled in a University, College, High School, Private Elementary school, Seminary, Conservatory or a language training program, then you require an F visa. If, however, you are opting for vocational study in a non-academic institute then you will be requiring an M1 visa.
Even if you have taken admission in a short course but will be attending classes for more than 18 hours a week, then you will need an F1 or M1 visa.
If you are taking admission in a short course of study or simply recreational study, then you will need a visitor B visa. When in the US on a B visitor visa, you cannot take admission in a certification or degree course. Visiting the US for a conference or specifically for credit towards degree does not make you eligible for a B2 visa.
Before you can apply for an F or M visa, you need to be accepted at an SEVP school. After enrollment and acceptance, you will have to be inducted into the SEVIS program.