In Taiwan, a student picks his major and a college he wants to apply to before getting into college; he has to choose both at the same time. So it’s natural for me to say, “I applied for Medicine at Taipei Medical University.”
However, it seems it’s a bit different in the US. Not all universities have the same application system, so ‘apply for a major’ is probably bewildering. Some students don’t need to decide their major when applying to a school at the undergraduate level; they can indicate their areas of interest, but they are accepted by/at/into a school before declaring their majors. ‘Major’ is also more commonly used at this level, not for graduate students.
The 10th mistake in the above video is about what I am talking about:
I still need to apply to university.
The sentences below are from the Internet and this thread (1443870) on Wordreference:
You would apply to the University of Chicago; You might apply for a place to do history at the University of Chicago.
I’m applying to Durham to do/study/read French and Spanish.
I’m applying to do/study/(rare)read French and Spanish at Durham
While I was at University A, where I received my bachelor’s degree, I applied to University B for graduate school.
I’m applying to the architecture program at Rice University.
I’m applying to the admissions department at Chicago U.
Apply for admission to Stonehill College/Graduate Studies.
apply for ___ at a school: apply for History at Oxford (controversial)
Apply for school (school is an abstract idea about education, controversial. Some people say, “apply to school.”), apply to a school
declare/choose/undertake a major
I would apply for something specific that had an application process: for a grant, a scholarship, a fellowship, a job. I would also say “I applied for work at the local factory” or “I applied for financial aid after I had been admitted to Exemplar College.”
But I wouldn’t say “I never applied for college” as a general statement. I would say something like “I never tried to get into college” or “I never tried to go to college.”