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Masters Degree In USA for International Students

Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Charles Godson

The planet’s third-largest country by both area and population, the US is a world leader across pretty much every sphere of human activity – business, technology, science, politics, media, and of course education. If you’re looking to get your Masters degree in the US as an international student or the cost of master’s degree in usa for international students and got a little-scared researching fully funded masters programs in usa for international students  – fear not.

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Postgraduate Degree Programs in USA for International Students

California students: A world-class UC education is within reach |  University of California

Universities in the USA attract international masters students from all over the globe and this is because many
of the world’s best universities are based in America. Let’s take a look at the various considerations involved when choosing to study a masters in the USA.

Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, a Master’s degree program is an excellent way to dive deeper into a subject area and make yourself even more marketable to a potential employer.

Masters Degree In USA for International Students - College Learners

International students willing to apply to USA universities for an MS course need to complete 16 years of education. Additionally, you need to fulfilling English language proficiency criteria (TOEFL scores), have an average GPA of 3.0 or 80% and above. There are some more requirements to get admission to MS in US discussed below:

  • Standardized test scores of GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT depending upon the choice of course.
  • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities offering MS in the USA have either waived off or relieved the minimum score requirements for competitive tests.
  • The average tuition fee charged from international students for graduate study is around 30,000 USD per year.

Though on average studying master’s in the US can cost anywhere from 13,000 to 100,000 USD a year, based on the choice of university and specialization. Here is a detailed cost of MS in US for Indian Students looking for assistance on how much studying an MS degree in the US can cost.  

cheap masters degree in USA for international students

MIT ranks #1 globally followed by Stanford, Harvard, Caltech, and the University of Chicago among the top 10 universities in the world. A list of the top 25 universities in the US along with their acceptance rates for MS courses are as follows:

University NameQS Ranking 2021Fees (USD/year)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)#351,000
Stanford University#224,000 (minimum)
Harvard University#154,000
UC Berkeley#426,000 to 72,000
University of Chicago#1159,000
Princeton University#854,000
Cornell University#1258,000
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)#1053,000 to 72,000
Yale University#643,000 to 72,500
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor#1849,000

Top Universities for MS in US by Acceptance Rate

University NameAcceptance Rate (MS)Avg Fees in INR
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)12%13.06 lakhs
Stanford UniversityLaw- 8.72%; Medicine- 2.3%51.28 lakhs
Harvard UniversityMedicine- 3.5%17.60 lakhs
University of ChicagoSciences- 26%42.40 lakhs
Princeton UniversityEngineering- 1.6% Social Sciences- 13.4% 30.96 lakhs
Cornell UniversityResearch- 16% Graduate- 18.5%15.18 lakhs
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)Medicine- 78% (Fall 2017)41.60 lakhs
Yale UniversityMedicine- 6.5% Architecture- 68% Nursing- 1%31.77 lakhs
University of Michigan – Ann ArborMedicine- 5.9%15.62 lakhs
Most international graduate students in US on master's degrees | Times  Higher Education (THE)

Benefits of Pursuing MS in USA

Pursuing MS in USA comes with numerous benefits. There are over 2 million courses to choose from, an option of earning through the work-study program, stay back permit post-MS, research opportunities along with merit-based scholarships to support education are some of the benefits that can be availed by international students in the US while pursuing a graduate degree. Some other benefits include:

  • STEM courses are widely opted by students, because, one, it is in demand in the US; second, it gives students 17-month work visa extension post-MS.
  • The US government invests 476,452 million USD on research and development, which is 2.7% of its total GDP. Thus, pursuing an MS in USA betters the chances for research and funding it.
  • Post-MS there is scope for research, where students can apply for a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship (RA).
    • Students can earn 500 USD to 1,200 USD monthly if they work part-time as a TA.
    • While research assistants can earn up to 1,500 USD as a stipend every month.
  • Course curriculums are divided into pre-requisites, core areas and electives for any MS course. Thus, it increases the scope for pursuing research-based MS by more than 30%.
  • Average scholarship offered is 10,000 USD for one year to students pursuing an MS in any of the USA universities.
Full Scholarships and Fully Funded Master's Programs in the U.S. and Abroad  | ProFellow

Cheapest Masters Degree in USA for International Students

Some of the popular programs offered along with top universities offering them are as follows: 

ProgramUniversityTotal Program Fees (in USD)
MS in Finance in USAMIT, 
UC Berkeley,
Columbia University,
University of Southern California
60,000 – 120,000
MS in Data Science in USAStanford University,
Harvard University,
Yale University,
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn),
John Hopkins University
149,080 – 42,778
MS in Computer Science in USAMIT,
Stanford University,
Carnegie Mellon University,
University of California Berkeley,
Harvard University
13,500 – 141,000
MS in Marketing in USAColumbia University, 
University of Southern California, 
University of Texas at Austin,
Michigan State University,
Florida International University (FIU)
28,500 – 64,000
MS in Business Analytics in USAMIT, 
University of Texas at Austin, 
University of Minnesota, 
Michigan State University
20,000 – 80,000

Requirement for Masters Degree in USA for International Students

The eligibility to study in the USA can be in two categories- VISA related eligibility and University or Institute related eligibility. International applicants are more susceptible to VISA related rejections.

There are numerous requirements that must be fulfilled by international students. Various test scores, supporting documents, proof of subjects studied, mark sheets, transcripts, etc. are supposed to be submitted by international students seeking admission to a university in the USA. 

Where to Apply for MS in USA?

US universities accept applications through their respective application portals for MS. But for certain MS courses, there are around 40 central application portals designed for admission applications. They are known as Centralized Application Services (CAS), streamlined by Liaison. Over 31,000 applications for various courses for more than 1,000 universities are accepted annually through these portals. Applications are accepted for MS in the US only. Some of the application portals are:

Application PortalType of ProgramApplication Fees (in USD)No of Departments accepting Application
LSACLaw 185200
AMCASMedical programs175 for one college; 40 per additional college146
OTCASOccupational Therapy150 for one college; 65 per additional college130
Engineering CASEngineering58800

It must be noted by applicants that admission decisions are released by the respective university and not by the application portals.

Application Deadlines for MS in USA Admission

The deadlines for applying for an MS in the USA are usually during the Fall session. Application deadlines are in December for Fall and October for Spring. Deadlines for each university or selected MS specialization also vary in some cases.

  • Applications are accepted between December and January at most US universities.
  • After confirmation of application, the selection is intimated applicants have to confirm within 2-4 weeks for admission.
  • Officially they have to accept the offer of admission in May.
  • Some universities have rolling admissions. Thus, applicants can apply any time throughout the year.

Deadlines of some of the popular universities are discussed below:

University NameApplication 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Jan, Dec
Stanford UniversityJan 11
Dec 1
Harvard UniversityEA- Nov 1
RA- Jan 1
Princeton UniversityDec 1, Dec 15, Dec 31,
Jan 1, Jan 4
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)Dec 15, Feb 1
Yale UniversityDec 15
Jan 2, Jan 5
University of Michigan – Ann ArborDec 15
Jan 15

Applicants must note that different MS courses have different deadlines. 

Admission Requirements for MS in USA

  • 3 to 4 years bachelors degree in relevant field
  • 3.5 or higher GPA, equivalent to 87% in bachelors
  • GRE score of 330 or above
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 to 3 letters of recommendation
  • Research Internships
  • Participation in projects enhances the applicant’s understanding of the methodology, the reason for the project, and the ultimate goals through research are all incumbents to express knowledge while applying for MS admissions.
  • Research Papers published in a good conference add greater value in selection.
  • Social & Leadership Activities 

Standardized Test Scores Required for Admission in MS in USA

Various standardized test scores are required from the applicants along with their applications. The type of test score submission depends upon the applicant’s choice of course. Students willing to pursue MS courses in the US are asked to submit either of the following test scores:

Test NameConducting AuthorityCourses
GREEducation Testing Services (ETS)Engineering, Management, Social Sciences, Computer and Information Technology
GMATGraduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)Management
MCATPearson VUEMedical
LSATLaw School Admission Council (LSAC)Law

For pursuing MS in USA, students are required to submit standardized test scores, depending upon the choice of course. These test scores are required from the applicants to understand their aptitude and judge them academically only. In some of the universities, their submission is a mere formality.

Some universities admit students without these scores also. They believe that scores cannot define an applicant’s overall academic performance. These are:

  • University of Phoenix
  • Kansas State University
  • Virginia State University
  • Boston University
What is the best Masters degree for an international student to get a job in  the US? - Quora

Top Universities for MS in US: GRE Requirements

UniversityGRE Scores Required
Stanford University328
Carnegie Mellon University316
UC Berkeley324
University of Washington 300
NYU 310
UT Austin300
Yale University322
University of ChicagoQuant- 154
Verbal- 155
UCLAQuant- 169
Verbal- 158
University of MinnesotaQuant- 170
Verbal- 153

GRE/GMAT Waiver for MS in USA Admissions

Applicants applying for any MS course in the US university can request for a GRE/GMAT waiver. In turn, applicants must prove their skills in terms of analysis, applying reasoning skills, command over English, quantitative aptitude, etc.

  • It was recorded for 2018 admissions to top B-Schools, out of 12 schools only 5 schools have a prerequisite for GMAT/GRE waiver.
  • GMAT is waived usually for online Management courses only, and not for courses offered on-campus.
  • Less than 14% of students submitted the GMAT score, in comparison to 23% of GRE score submissions for 2018-19 admissions.
  • GRE is waived by more than 70% of the US universities, willing to pursue an MS in USA. But they must have exceptional research and professional experience.

A GRE/GMAT waiver can also be requested. It may be granted based on the following factors:

  • Good educational background with a proof of experience in the field of research, a waiver can then be expected. Along with the following criteria:
    • Excellent performance in the previous graduate program.
    • A good GPA score in the previous degree.
    • Exceptional track record of academic performance.
  • Work experience can also be a major deciding factor if applicants can apply for a GRE/GMAT waiver. Good experience in a professional sphere and a substantial level of involvement in handling situations actively can help applicants in getting a GRE/GMAT waiver.
  • If applicants had already taken GRE/GMAT but, the validity of the scores has expired, an applicant can request a waiver on the basis of their previous GRE/GMAT score.
  • Applicants can consult and request the faculty member guiding them with the admission process for the same with a valid reason.

English Proficiency Requirements for International Students

Students applying for MS admissions in the US must prove their English language proficiency by submitting scores of TOEFL or IELTS. More than 70% opt to take TOEFL in close comparison to 55% of those who opt for IELTS.

These tests are widely accepted by US universities. English language tests are also further divided into different parts. The following table shows the distinction between two tests. You can find out which is better for your IELTS or TOEFL, here.

FactorsTOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
Types of TestsIBT: Internet-Based Test
PBT: Paper-Based/Delivered Test
IELTS Academic
IELTS General Training
Application FeeIBT: 160 USD – 250 USD (varies across countries)
PBT: 180 USD (standard)
215 USD – 245 USD (varies across countries)
Score RangeIBT: 0 – 120
PBT: 310 – 677
0 – 9 band score
Testing ComponentsIBT: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
PBT: Reading, Writing and Listening
Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
Score Validity2 years2 years
Test Duration4 hours2 hours 45 minutes
Conducted in150 countries140 countries
Test Organized50 times in a year48 times in a year
Scores Accepted by10,000 universities and colleges9,000 universities and colleges

*Certain universities also accept scores of MELAB or PTE Academic. They may be an integral admission requirement or may be required in lieu of the above-mentioned tests.

Masters in USA | Universities, Eligibility Cost, How to Apply

How to Send the Transcripts/High School Marksheets

Transcripts should be in a sealed envelope, with the university/school’s stamp. They must be mailed by the respective school or university of the applicant under the head of the department (HOD)/principal’s stamp. If the envelope is received with a broken seal, without a stamp, etc. it is highly likely that it will not be accepted. International students must submit evaluated transcripts.

Transcript Evaluation Agencies

In the US transcript evaluation is known as Credential Evaluation Services (CES). various agencies offer these services. The transcripts are evaluated and translated by trained professionals. Applicants have to upload their high school mark sheets and university degrees at the chosen agency’s official website. Pay the required fee and track the progress.

A transcript evaluation is done by agencies that are recognized nationally. Some of them are:

  • NACES: National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  • WES: World Education Services
  • ECE: Educational Credential Evaluators
  • AACRAO: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers

Importance of transcript evaluation

Transcript evaluation is important because each country has its own system of higher education. The marking and grading system varies, thus to have an evaluation that matches with the US education system, evaluation is important. Applicants must submit the translated and evaluated transcripts along with their applications. Some universities accept transcripts without evaluation.

Application rejection due to transcripts: Around 60% of the universities in the US reject applications because of discrepancies in the transcripts received. There can be many reasons like students sending them on their own or if the envelope is not sealed properly or if the stamps seem to be fake. They are supposed to be mailed directly from the respective institution, in a sealed envelope with a stamp. Or they can be sent electronically. Every year the US receives over 10,000 transcripts for MS admissions, on the whole, from its approximately 4,000 institutions. 

The following universities that reject applications if transcripts are not sent in a specified manner are:

  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • University of Washington
  • New York University
  • University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego)
  • Boston University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Application Rejection

Around 4-5% of students decide to apply at the last moment. With this comes various aspects of the application that are overlooked and ultimately leading to a rejection of the application. Since the reviewing process of the applications is extensive, the following reasons could be held responsible for application rejection:

  • Applying to a few universities.
  • Not researching well about the course/university applying to.
  • Not adhering to the deadlines for documents or score submissions.
  • Not spending enough time writing personal essays and CV.
  • Letter of Recommendations not from trusted sources.
  • Taking help from inexperienced counselors.
  • Deciding to apply at the very last moment.

US Study Visas

  • F-1 Visa: This visa is usually offered to non-immigrants who are willing to pursue higher studies or research in the US. The applicants must be admitted to a recognized US institution. Also, the applicants must have received the I-20 form from the university he/she has been admitted to.
  • The admitted students are not permitted to take up full-time employment, but they can work part-time. Only 20 hours per week is permissible for working on-campus. There are different types of F visas. They are as follows:
  • F-2 Visa: This visa is for the F-1 visa dependents.
  • F-3 Visa: This visa is granted to Mexican and Canadian applicants only.  They can be enrolled in part-time or full-time study, but are not permitted to work, unlike F-1 visa holders.
  • J-1 Visa: The applicants who go to the US for scholars and professors or visiting exchange students, are eligible for the J-1 visa. The exchange students must prove their English language proficiency.

They must also have medical insurance before going to the US. Proof of funding for the students from the government, banks or respective institution must also be submitted. 

These U.S. Universities are Unbelievably Affordable for International  Students -
  • The J-2 visa is applicable for dependents of J-1 visa holders. Only if the J-2 visa holders have Employment Authorization Document (EAD), can they work in the US.
  • M-1 Visa: The M-1 Visa is offered to those non-immigrants who wish to pursue vocational or non-academic courses. These applicants are not permitted to work off-campus, while their study duration in the US.
    • M-2 Visa: This visa is also for dependents of M-1 visa.

US Visa Denial Reasons

F-1 or J-1 visas can be denied due to a number of reasons. The denial rate for an F-1 visa noted for only Indian students was 27% for 2018. There are a few mistakes commonly made which must be avoided. Reasons for visa denial are:

  • Filing Late Applications: One of the major drawbacks of visa denials is applying late for a visa when the courses are already running at the university. The university may enrol the applicant in the next session until then the I-20 form is not processed.
  • Inability to Prove Financial Aid: Visa can be denied if the applicants are unable to prove the financial resources, required for staying in the US. DS-2019 or the I-20 form must show resources more than required else the visa may be denied.
  • Lack of Interest in Going Back: Since more than 70% of MS aspirants look forward to TA/RA/GA, they are disinterested in going back to their home country. The US is brimming with non-immigrants and thus, this can prove as a composite reason for the visa denial.
  • Inadmissibility: There are numerous reasons for inadmissibility like criminal records, drug abuse, history of trafficking and terrorism. Even if one of the points prove correct against an applicant, they may be denied the visa.
  • Unable to Pass-Through Security Check: CLASS or Consular Lookout and Security System database, must not have the applicant’s name. If at all the name appears, there may be a visa denial depending upon the reason that reflects.

Cost of Master’s Degree in USA for International Students

The average tuition fees in a public state university are 35,000 USD and a private university fee is around 45,000 USD. 

Estimated Fees for MS in USA

A school in a rural area costs less than a school in the urban area. An apartment in the urban region is almost double of the same in a rural region. The same concept applies to the cost of different amenities in different regions.

The average expenditure of public and private school: –

  1. Average annual expenses for public state university – 35,000 USD to 45,000 USD.
  2. Average annual expenses for private state university – 65,000 USD to 75,000 USD.

Note: The figures include tuition, books, board and room, and miscellaneous.

Initial Budget

Apart from regular expenses in the U.S., there are expenses before you reach the university. These expenses are one-time and are in a considerable amount.

  • Flight Charges
  • Visa Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Registration fees of exams required to study in USA

In case, the students get an assistantship, they will be paid at the end of the month. Meanwhile, they must survive to complete one month on their own funding resources.

Budget Universities for MS in USA

Though the majority of universities in the U.S. are expensive there are certain well-known institutions which offer reasonable tuition fee to international students.

Mentioned are those universities along with the corresponding tuition fee:

UniversityFees in INRTuition Fee (USD)
Cameron University, Oklahoma11.37 lakhs15,510 
Alabama State University, Alabama14.22 lakhs19,396 
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities21.20 lakhs28,910 
University of North Carolina15 lakhs20,457
California Polytechnic State University17.12 lakhs23,349
Florida State University15.90 lakhs21,683 
Angelo State University15.15 lakhs20,665 
Truman State University10.88 lakhs14,842 
Purdue University, Indiana10.88 lakhs14,842 
Shepherd University13.24 lakhs18,052 
Average Tuition Fees for Master's Degree in USA for International Students

Cost of Living in USA

Mentioned are the factors considered for expenditure in daily-life. The average expense range is mentioned along with the estimated percentage contribution of each item in a month.

ItemPercentage ContributionApproximate Expense Range (Monthly)
Rent of Apartment35.6%1,000 USD to 2,000 USD
Meals22.58%30 USD to 40 USD (one-meal)
Transportation7.45%100 USD to 300USD
Personal Expenses15.99%300 USD to 600 USD
Health Insurance18.33%450 USD to 700 USD

Budget States in USA

Mentioned are the cheapest options to study in the USA. Average home prices in each state will provide an idea about the number of expenses.

StateAverage Home Price
Georgia290,041 USD
Alabama243,562 USD
Missouri292,049 USD
Michigan295,582 USD
Tennessee348,413 USD

full scholarships for masters degree in USA for international students

The cost of a US Master’s degree is a big factor for international students planning to enrol in an American university/higher education institute. Higher education in the US is by no means inexpensive, and international applicants should be able to finance their education to be allowed entry to the states.

The figure below highlights sources of financing that international students in USA availed for the 2017-2018 academic session.Source of funding for international students in USA

Although the cost of an MS degree depends on the area of study and the choice of university, students need to pay around 30,000 USD(approx) as tuition fee. The cost of a professional degree is usually higher.

Pursuing a degree at any level in the US is expensive, getting a scholarship is equally difficult. But according to a recent survey by Fulbright Commission, there are around 600 American universities that can offer scholarships worth 20,000 USD and above to international students alone.

International students are usually offered merit-based scholarships along with other types of scholarships. Some of the scholarships offered to only international graduate aspirants are:

  • Merit-Based Scholarships: These types of scholarships are offered by different US universities to those students who show exceptional performance academically. A few universities that offer these scholarships are:
    • East Tennessee State University: Offers a merit-based scholarship to graduate students of up to 11,500 USD per year.
    • New York University Wagner Scholarship: An amount ranging from 25,000 USD to 47,000 USD is offered to meritorious students for either full or partial tuition.
  • University Scholarships: Different universities offer scholarships to international students to help them fund their studies. The following universities offer scholarships to international graduate aspirants:
    • Clark University: Offers scholarships ranging from 20,000 USD to 25,000 USD to international students pursuing graduate courses.
    • Emory University: This university offers need-based financial aid to selected international graduates. While merit-based funding is offered through its Scholar Program.
    • Iowa State University: Offers scholarships up to 10,000 USD to international students. Based on their applications for admissions, applicants are automatically selected for a merit-based scholarship.
    • University of Oregon: Each year this university awards around 40 scholarships to international students. The scholarships range from 7,500 USD to 30,000 USD waiver on tuition fee.
  • Country-specific Scholarships: To encourage students to take up higher studies from developing countries, different types of scholarships are offered to them. So that they can pursue their education without worrying about the costs. Like the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship.
  • Government Scholarships: There are different agencies or commissions that are registered with the government and offer scholarships to students. Some of these agencies or commissions are:
    • Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship: 50% of grant and 50% loan is offered to students from developing countries, to encourage them in pursuing graduate or research education in a university or college.
    • American Association of University Women: A scholarship ranging from 18,000 USD to 30,000 USD is offered to non-American women. It for those who portray exceptional leadership and commitment towards women empowerment.
    • PEO International Peace Scholarship: Students willing to pursue graduate study in America is offered a scholarship of 12,500 USD. International students can also apply.
  • Private Scholarships: These scholarships are funded by donors or privately owned businesses. They mostly offer scholarships to students from developing countries. Some of them are:
    • Fulbright Commission: The commission offers 8,000 grants to more than 4,000 international students annually. This grant is mainly for aspiring graduates, willing to study in the US.
    • The Next Gen Scholarship: A tuition waiver of 1,000 USD can be given to those applicants pursuing studies at Maryland, Washington or Virginia. The applicant must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. It is open to international students as well.
    • Civil Leadership Awards: A full tuition waiver is offered to those graduate students who show exceptional performance in academics.

Students of which countries take maximum enrollments and why. This can be illustrated through a bar graph, taking certain factors like cost-benefit, visa ease or travel allowance offered, etc.

Popular Scholarships for MS in USA

Scholarships are one of the best ways to save your earnings. Maximum scholarships cover tuition and other charges. International organizations also provide the same for international students. There are quite many governmental, non-governmental and college scholarships.

One of the most famous scholarships provided to students in different domains is the Fulbright scholarship. It is majorly suggested to study in the U.S. with scholarships.

Mentioned are the varied and well-known scholarships offered to international students in the U.S.

Name of ScholarshipsValue
Fulbright Foreign Student Program (Government)The grant funds tuition, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance for the duration of the study
Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program (Government)Pay tuition and fee, Pre-academic English Training, living allowance, accidental insurance, Air Travel and Professional activities such as field trips and conferences
Next-Gen Scholarship1,000 USD
United States South Pacific Scholarship Program (USSP)Tuition Fee, hall room cost, books, health insurance, airfare (round trip) and a living stipend
Community College Initiative Program 2018 (Fully Funded)Tuition fee, living allowance, airfare, health insurance, and cultural enhancement activities

Universities offer loads of scholarships to international students. No matter where you attend your school, you simply visit the financial aid office and look for suitable scholarships for yourself. Students can visit the financial aid website of their institution where they can find suitable aid.

Apart from the above-given options, there are numerous offer waiting for you around the world by various international organizations. Aspirants may benefit from this aid for tuition fees and living allowance.

online master’s degree in USA for international students

Online degrees are also convenient for students that want to stay in their home country. For some international students, leaving their home country can be difficult because of immigration policies, finances and responsibilities at home. With an online program students can still receive a degree from another country like the UK, US or Australia while never having to leave their home country. This gives students the freedom to study at any university or college they choose while living at home.

1. University of Texas-Arlington

Arlington, Texas

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 14

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas-Arlington has been nationally recognized for its online master’s degree programs in education. The university also offers online graduate programs in various other academic disciplines, including the following degree plans:

  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Texas-Arlington to offer affordable online master’s degree programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the nation’s leading public schools.

Graduate Tuition: $8,739

2. Concordia University-St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 15

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Concordia University- St. Paul

A leading regional university in the Midwest, Concordia University-St. Paul offers fifteen distinct online master’s degree programs. This includes nationally ranked programs in criminal justice, education, and business. Other options for online graduate students include:

  • Online MA in Differentiated Instruction
  • Online MA in Family Science
  • Online MA in Human Services
  • Online MA in Sport Management
  • Online MA in Strategic Communication
  • Online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing
  • Online MS in Cybersecurity

Concordia University-St. Paul has been accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award these affordable master’s degree online credentials.

Graduate Tuition: $8,550

3. University of Illinois- Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 12

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online University of Illinois- Springfield

Known for its excellent online master’s degree programs in business and education, the University of Illinois-Springfield also offers graduate degree options via distance education in a handful of other disciplines. Examples include:

  • Online MS in Computer Science
  • Online MS in Environmental Studies
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Online MA in Legal Studies
  • Online MS in Management Information Systems
  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Illinois-Springfield to offer these affordable online master’s degree programs. The university has been recognized as one of the top 40 best value schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $8,270

4. Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, Tennessee

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 12

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Austin Peay State University

A top public school, Austin Peay State University offers nationally ranked online master’s degree programs in business and education. Other graduate options for students interested in distance education include:

  • Online MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology (MSIO)
  • Online Master of Health Care Administration (MHA)
  • Online MS in Computer Science and Quantitative Methods
  • Online MS in Health and Human Performance
  • Online Master of Science in Leadership (MSL)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Austin Peay State University is institutionally accredited to award these affordable master’s degrees online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduate Tuition: $8,100

5. Delta State University

Cleveland, Mississippi

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 12

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Delta State University

Delta State University has been recognized for its top online master’s degree programs in nursing. The school offers several other online graduate programs, however, including:

  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online Master of Commercial Aviation
  • Online Master of Applied Science in Geospatial Information Technologies
  • Online Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Online Master of Science in Social Justice & Criminology

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Delta State to confer affordable master’s degree online credentials. The university has been ranked among the top 35 public schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $7,951

6. Western Governor’s University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 13

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Western Governor's University

Western Governor’s University is an accredited institute of higher learning devoted to distance education. The school currently offers just over a dozen online master’s degree programs, including:

  • Online MS in Curriculum & Instruction
  • Online MS in Management and Leadership
  • Online MBA
  • Online MS in Data Analytics
  • Online MSN (Nursing)
  • Online MS in Educational Leadership
  • Online MEd in Learning and Technology

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has institutionally accredited Western Governor’s University to award affordable master’s degree online credentials. The school has been in operation since 1996.

Graduate Tuition: $7,500

7. William Woods University

Fulton, Missouri

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 10

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online William Woods University

Ranked among some of the top national universities in the nation, William Woods University is home to 10 different affordable online master’s degree programs in the areas of business and education. Specific offerings include:

  • Online MA in Organizational Leadership
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Online MEd in Educational Leadership
  • Online MEd in Equestrian Education

William Woods University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer online master’s degrees. Its online business degree programs are also programmatically accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Graduate Tuition: $6,750

8. University of Louisiana-Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 17

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online University of Louisiana- Monroe

Known primarily for its top online master’s degrees in nursing, the University of Louisiana-Monroe also offers other programs for online graduate students. Some of these options include:

  • Online MS in Psychology
  • Online MA in Criminal Justice
  • Online MA in Communication
  • Online MBA
  • Online MS in Counseling
  • Online MA in Gerontology
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction

The University of Louisiana-Monroe is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer these affordable online master’s degree programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the nation’s best public schools.

Graduate Tuition: $6,490

9. Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 15

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Lamar University

Individuals searching for an accelerated online master’s degree program will find more than a dozen different options from Lamar University. These programs are designed to be completed in as few as 16 months of study. Available degree plans include:

  • Online MBA
  • Online MPA
  • Online MS in Criminal Justice
  • Online MS in Nutrition
  • Online MSN (Nursing)
  • Online MEd in Digital Learning and Leading
  • Online MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Lamar University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its affordable online master’s degree programs in criminal justice, nursing, and education have been ranked among the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition: $6,397

10. Columbus State University

Columbus, Georgia

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 19

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online Columbus State University

Nationally recognized for its online master’s degree options in education and business administration, Columbus State University also offers over a dozen other degree plans for online graduate students. Examples include:

  • Online MS in Applied Computer Science
  • Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing
  • Online MEd in Educational Leadership
  • Online MS in Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Due to its institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Columbus State University can offer some of the country’s cheapest online master’s degree programs.

Graduate Tuition: $6,300

11. University of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota

Number of Online Master’s Degree Programs: 15

Points: 4

The 50 Most Affordable Graduate Programs Online University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota offers fifteen different online master’s degree programs in various academic disciplines like business, social sciences, health sciences, and even fine arts. Examples include:

  • Online MBA
  • Online MS in Administration
  • Online Master of Music
  • Online MA in Addiction Counseling & Prevention
  • Online Master of Social Work
  • Online Master of Public Health
  • Online MA in Elementary Education

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of South Dakota to confer these affordable master’s degrees online. A few of the school’s online graduate programs have been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, including those in business and education.

Graduate Tuition: $6,062

Study in United States

A young experiment with democracy and a shared national love for fried food, the United States has a long, unique history, especially with producing some of our favorite films and television shows. Add in an enthusiastic love for baseball and (American) football, and you’d come close to arriving at the image of American culture.

The US is a massive place, with each state containing its own history; and when you’re going from one side to another, it feels as if you’re going from planet to planet.

International students from all over the world look to study in the USA, and travelers and explorers are often looking to find out whether Americans are as loud and silly as they are on television (spoiler: they are). Being a student, though, brings you in contact with the top-ranked and largest universities in the world, and they are ready to welcome students like you every year.

Why study in the US

You only need to look at the university rankings to see that U.S. universities dominate the lists of the best universities in the world. But, if you’re inclined to ignore these rankings, you can also be easily astounded by the sheer number of accredited universities the U.S. higher education system offers. In fact, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, there are 2,613 accredited four-year colleges and universities in the US! Holy cow!

In the US, secondary schools are divided into different categories: research universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and vocational schools. Depending on your needs, these different colleges and institutions have something to offer you. Most commonly, however, if you’re looking for an international education and a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program, you’re probably looking for a research university or a liberal arts college.

At any university in the U.S., they are interested in welcoming students from everywhere in the world. The classes are all delivered in English, and the universities and graduate schools offer extra help and assistance to students who are travelling from other countries. And, though the majority of Americans speak English, there is no official national language in the US

What to study in the United States

All over the US, universities offer a lot of topics and degree programmes that you can choose from. Some of the biggest names, at the biggest Ivy League schools, teach programmes in the subject you’re most interested in. Here are some of the subjects you can consider:

  • Study Biotechnology in the US. 
  • Study Entrepreneurship in the US. 
  • Study Health Management in the US. 
  • Study for an MBA in the US. 
  • Study International Relations in the US. 

Major cities in the US

In every major city in the U.S., you’ll find a large, diverse community of people that live nearby the university of your dreams. Take a look at some of the big cities to choose from:

  • Study in Chicago 
  • Study in New York City 
  • Study in Los Angeles 
  • Study in Boston 
  • Study in San Francisco 
  • Study in Atlanta 
  • Study in Seattle 
  • Study in Tampa 
  • Study in Miami 
  • Study in Charlotte 
  • Study in Minneapolis 

Which universities to attend in the US

Although the Ivy League universities, plus Stanford and M.I.T., are all major, world-renowned universities to pick from, there are literally hundreds of universities all over the country. Below we’ll run through some of the lesser-known favorites:

  • The New School
  • Columbia University
  • California State University Northridge
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mississippi State University
UC campuses top the 2020 US News & World Report rankings | University of  California

Application to Universities in the US

How to apply to universities in the U.S. Each university in the U.S. has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enroll in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there. Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport
  • Your CV.
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for an American university

Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice;

Improve your English through an English-language prep course: If you’re attending a degree programme in the U.S., you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

Language Proficiency Tests

To apply to study in the US, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in India are:

  • C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency

Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Graduate Study in the US for International Students

The planet’s third-largest country by both area and population, the US is a world leader across pretty much every sphere of human activity – business, technology, science, politics, media, and of course education. The US is home to many of the world’s most prestigious universities (including half of the global top 10), and hosts more international students than any other country – around 1.1 million by the latest count.

Read on for information about studying in the US at graduate level – including how to apply, student visas, fees and funding, and staying to seek work.

How to apply for graduate study in the US

To be eligible for graduate study in the US, you should have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification from an internationally recognized institution. Along with your degree certificate, you will also typically need to provide:

  • One or more letters of recommendation;
  • A research proposal (for PhD and postdoctoral applicants);
  • A graduate admissions test result, if required (e.g. GRE/GMAT);
  • Proof of proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS) if you are not a native speaker;
  • A statement of purpose, outlining your aspirations and demonstrating your suitability for the course.

While some institutions accept applications on an ongoing basis, most colleges offer an early deadline (usually December to January) and a regular deadline (usually March to April). You can apply to as many US universities as you like, but many students select a shortlist of six. US universities often charge an application fee, usually between $50 and $100, though online applications can be cheaper or free.

How to apply for a US student visa

International students will need to obtain an F-1 non-immigrant visa. You can only apply for this after securing a place at an SEVP-approved university, and you’ll need to provide proof of sufficient funds for the course duration and a confirmation of your intention to leave the US after completing your studies. You’ll be asked to attend an interview at your local US embassy, bringing your application and supporting documents with you.

If you’re a Canadian or Bermudian citizen you won’t need a visa to study in the US, but you will still need to obtain an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form and pay for SEVIS (the student database and tracking system) registration. The non-immigrant visa application fee is currently $160 and the registration fee for SEVIS is $200.

  1. Be Accepted at an SEVP Approved School. Before you can apply for your F1 student visa for the USA, you must apply to and be accepted by a school approved by the SEVP.
  2. Pay your SEVIS Fee and Receive your I-20.
  3. Complete the Visa Application.
  4. Schedule and Prepare for your Interview.
  5. Attend your F1 Visa Interview.

Post-graduation work in the US

After graduation, F-1 visa holders are generally entitled to stay in the country for up to one year of post-graduation practical training. In order to do this you’ll need to apply for a change in visa status within 60 days after graduation, or risk being deported. There are two types of practical training, known as optional (OPT) and curricular (CPT). Both can be completed either during your degree or after graduation, but must not exceed 12 months and must be in a role directly related to your field of study. Some STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students may also be eligible to extend their practical training period by an additional 24 months.

The Secret To Getting A Masters Degree in USA for International Students

Why Get a Master’s Degree?

There are many great reasons for going back to school to obtain a master’s degree. Getting a master’s degree can help increase job opportunities. In fact, research shows that 18 percent of all jobs will require a master’s degree by 2022. Having a master’s degree opens up new doors to positions higher up the chain. It shows that you have the knowledge and skills required to do those positions.

Maybe you are thinking of changing careers? If so, getting a master’s degree could be the route to learn the skills for your new field that is more fulfilling and enjoyable. The more education you have, the more job security there is, as well as increased salary. On average, those with a master’s earn 35% more than those with just a bachelor’s, according to The Economic Benefit of Postsecondary Degrees.

Having more education shows your employer that you have put the time in to learn the ins and outs of your field and understand them. Being in class, whether virtually or in person, gives you the chance to meet new people and grow your network. This new, expanded network of classmates and professors can lead to a potential new job or new business contacts.

If you are thinking that getting a master’s degree isn’t possible because of time, money, or location, then you need to think again. With University of the People you can earn a master’s degree tuition-free, from anywhere in the world with online courses where you complete the work on your own time as it fits into your schedule. The best bit about it is at the end you get an accredited US degrees, so its just like studying in the US without needing a visa, or paying the high costs.

Why Study a Master’s Degree Abroad

When deciding about getting a master’s degree as an international student, one factor to consider is whether or not to study abroad. There are numerous reasons to study abroad, but there are also ways to study abroad right from your home with online learning. Studying abroad provides students the opportunity to learn from so the best. If you do not live near these top universities or feel as if they are unattainable for various reasons, it is still possible to study with them online at places like University of the People. University of the People has courses created by top professors by an academic leadership team from NYU, Boston University, Academy of Paris, Vassar College and UC Berkeley to name a few.

Studying abroad also provides international students the chance to learn about and experience new cultures. Living abroad allows you the chance to immerse yourself completely in a new culture. This can seem overwhelming to many, so another great option for learning about new cultures in online learning. There are many times that there will be students from around the world in your class, providing students the chance to build their own community of various cultures.

Studying abroad could also lead to an expanded network of future business contacts or job leads in new places with new people, but within online courses, through your forums and discussion walls, friendships could emerge with people in places you never would have ever thought of visiting.

There is also the point about independence. Living in a new country with new customs and cultures can lead to a new found independence. Studying online also leads to newfound independence with the development of study skills and creating your own study schedule.

Which Master’s School Is Right for Me

Within the graduate-level education system, there are many options for types of schools to attend from public to private, Ivy League, online, on-campus, and more.

Within the university system there are public and private universities. A public university is another term for state university. For example, New York has the State University of New York (SUNY) system, with SUNY schools in cities such as SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Geneseo.

On the other hand, private universities are funded by tuition and research, but they do provide scholarships to help support students.

In a league of their own are the Ivy League schools, which are comprised of 8 prestigious schools with origins going back to colonial time. These schools are very selective with only about 10% of those that apply being accepted.

If being at school in person is a challenge for any given reason, maybe online university is the option for you. Online schools provide flexibility to stay in your home country, continue working, take care of your family, and you can choose your own hours as you get your degree.

How to Apply for a Master’s as an International Student?

There are a few steps to take to apply to a master’s degree in the USA as an international student according to The Princeton Review.

First and foremost, if you are not from an English-speaking country, it is important to assess your English ability. Are you able to communicate effectively orally and in writing? Can you read and write in English? If you feel like you need to improve your English prior to heading abroad, take a course or move abroad before classes begin to immerse yourself in the language.

Make sure your finances are in order. Ensure that you have enough money to sustain yourself while studying abroad. This includes tuition, meals, spending money, living expenses, as well as flights back and forth to your home country. One way to help with finances is to apply for scholarships.

It is so important to know your deadlines. Double and triple check deadlines for transcripts, test scores, and applications. Send all your materials in early to ensure that they get to the university on time.

Next on the checklist is to take and submit test scores. Take the TOEFL and GRE. Find out the scores needed for each school you plan to apply to.

Now it is time to fill out the application. Write, edit, and rewrite your personal statement. Even have a native English speaker take a look at it if that is available to you. If applying to an online school, such as at University of the People, for bachelor’s degree you will need to fill in the application form, have proof of having completed high school and can prove your English proficiency. For a MBA you will need fill in the application form, 2 years work experience, proof of bachelor’s degree, transcript and letter of recommendation.

After being accepted somewhere, begin your student visa application immediately.

Now that you have learned whether or not a master’s degree is right for you, chosen the type of setting you want to study in, and know the steps to take to apply, it’s time to begin the process of applying to a master’s degree in the USA as an international student

Top Universities for MS in USA

There are many universities in USA which offer a plethora of specializations and courses in science. The country has always been welcoming to international students across the globe. It houses hundreds of foreign students.

Here are the top universities for masters in USA:

  • Bentley University: Established in 1917, Bentley University focuses on business with PhD, masters and undergraduate programs.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: This University ranks at the top in the world as well as in USA. It is extremely selective and only 8% to 10% of the applicants acquire a place here.
  • Stanford University: Stanford is known for its reputed business courses as well as entrepreneurial spirit. Its alumni include the founders and co-founders of Google, WhatsApp, Netflix and YouTube.
  • Harvard University: Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university of USA. It offers an array of courses in law, medicine, business, sciences, and so on.
  • Golden Gate University: Founded in the year 190, Golden Gate University is a non-profit university offering graduate and undergraduate programs in law, taxation, business and management.
  • Dakota State University: DSU is a public university offering courses in education as well as computer information systems, computer management, and other such related graduate and undergraduate courses.
  • The University of Texas at Dallas: This public research university has its main campus in Texas’ Richardson and is well reputed for its MS degree courses.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: This esteemed public research university has its satellite campuses across Singapore, Shenzhen, Athlone, Metz, and Savannah.
  • New York Institute of Technology: This private doctoral research university has two main campuses and a cybercity research center as well. It also has its campuses in Canada, China, UAE and Arkansas.
  • University of Southern California: This private research university in Los Angeles is the oldest of its kind in California.

Cheap Masters Degree in USA for International Students

A candidate’s enrollment in an MS course depends on their standardized exam scores such as TOEFL and GRE as well as academic performance. Here are some of the most popular specializations that you can consider going for in USA:

  • MS in Computer Science: CS lets you choose from an array of specializations such as algorithms, databases, computational geometry, graphics, data mining, software engineering, compilers, security, robotics, human-computer interaction, and so on.
  • MS in Embedded Systems: This specialization is preferred by the students of Electrical and Electronics background. Computers, EEE and ECE students can go for this major. 
  • MS in Wireless Communications: Ph.D. and MS courses in Wireless communication tackle with lower and physical layers of the wireless communication. These programs over in-depth system knowledge that need information of the wireless system and its components.
  • MS in Power Engineering: This field deals with distribution and transmission systems, rotating machinery, system protection, surge phenomena, dynamics, and so on.
  • MS in Management Information Systems: MS in MIS has both IT and business courses in the curriculum. It studies the application of Information Systems to Organization. It is a popular course for the potential business analysts, IT managers, system analysts as well as programmers in insurance, banking, marketing, healthcare and other such domains. 
  • MS in Game Development and Game Design: This course needs candidates with strong knowledge on computer science, engineering-oriented core for game development, and keen interest in games, immersion, games and cognition, infrastructure, and so on.  
  • Petroleum Engineering: It involves technology of the economically developing as well as producing various subterranean reservoirs of steam, oil, hot water and gas. It also designs underground waste disposal facilities. It depends on the key concepts of economics, physics, geology, chemistry, fluid mechanics, mathematics, and thermodynamics. 
  • MS in Life Sciences:  It includes fields of science which involve scientific studies of living organisms, and the related considerations such as bioethics. Although biology is the main focus of life sciences, the technological advances of molecular biology as well as biotechnology have resulted in the growth of the specializations in various new fields.
  • MS in Pharmacy: This includes Majors such as MS in Pharmacy, Health Administration, MS/ Ph.D. in Chemistry, pharmaceutical administration, Pharmacology, Biology, Drug Administration, MS in pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, etc
  • MS in Very-large-scale integration: VLSI is the procedure to integrate thousands of constituents on one silicon chip. MS in VLSI is generally provided as a specialization in Electrical Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering majors in the schools of USA.

How to Apply for MS in USA from India

Masters in Science degree is a two-year course for graduate study which can either be completely course-based, research-based on a mix of both.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in science, you can apply for MS in USA from India in the following way:

  • You need to be a graduate from any accredited undergraduate curriculum for enrolling in an MS degree. You need to pass 15-16 years of education. 
  • Choose which semester you wish to apply for: spring semester that begins in January or the fall semester that begins in September.
  • Start your preparation and appear for the TOEFL and GRE examinations according to the application deadlines of the spring or fall semester.
  • Choose 5-10 universities which accept the scores you have secured in your TOEFL/GRE as well as your academic percentage.
  • Make sure to check and apply only to those universities which have education costs that fall within your budget.
  • Make sure that the course you choose is accredited. Accreditation is basically a certificate which ensures that a program or school meets the prescribed academic standards.
  • To get admission into an MS course of USA, make sure to have a bank cheque/demand draft for your application fees, copies of your IELTS/GMAT/TOEFL/GRE scores, your bachelor’s degrees official transcripts, Statement of Purpose, 2-3 Letters of Recommendation, 10th/ICSE/SSC or equivalent certificates, 12th/ISC/HSC or equivalent certificates, proofs and copies of relevant extra-curricular activities, affidavit, resume, study certificate/work experience, and copies of first as well as last pages of passport.
  • Some colleges may also possess distinctive pre-requisites for the papers. They may ask you to compose an article on any arbitrary subjects. So, do your preparation well.
  • Keep tracking all your applications to all the universities where you apply.
  • If you have a B.Sc. degree from India, i.e., 15 years of education, you must pursue a master’s degree or one-year diploma course or go for a substantial pre-requisite course as mentioned by the department of the university you have applied to.

master’s degree in USA for international students without GRE

There are various American universities that accept candidates without GRE scores. You don’t need to submit your GRE score card during admissions in these universities. Moreover, there are also specific programs in certain universities which may enroll students without a GRE score. Some of these universities are:

  • Columbia University: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
  • Alabama A&M University: School of Graduate Studies
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of the Pacific: McGeorge School of Law
  • Central Michigan University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Oakland University
  • University of Toronto: OISE Institute for Studies in Education
  • George Mason University

Education Loan for MS in USA

The application procedure for most American universities begins in October. Therefore, candidates must start the loan evaluation and loan sanction process as early as possible after getting the admission confirmation from the university. Here’s how you can get an education loan:

  • Finalizing the course and university you want to study in.
  • Estimate the amount need for financing your education.
  • Identify the guarantor.
  • Apply for your loan three months prior to your date of visa interview.
  • Estimate the amount of time of disbursement.

The documents you would require are:

  • Proof of admission (University offer letter) and the estimated costs of study
  • Income proof and IT returns of the co-borrower.
  • Filled loan application form and identify and residential proofs (Passport copy, PAN card, etc.) of the students as well as the co-borrower.
  • Original mark sheets, certificates, documents of TOEFL, GMAT, etc. qualifying exams.
  • Details of liabilities and assets of guarantors/co-obligants/parents.

Is it worth doing MS in USA

Firstly, be clear with your aspirations in life. Know your weaknesses, limits and strengths. If you are financially stable enough to afford the high cost of education and living in the US, then you must definitely give it a shot. Here’s why:

  • The quality of education in US is brilliant.
  • American universities offer immense exposure and opportunities.
  • US universities offer cutting edge technologies and advanced classroom experiences.
  • US universities will also bring you closer to a culture completely different than yours.
  • There is also a chance of acquiring a work visa and ultimately living the “American dream”.

1 Year MS in USA

The 1 year programs for master’s degree is great for those who want to get back to the post-graduate studies for obtaining a degree within short time duration. This helps the professionals or students in getting back to their work while planning their careers. American universities that offer 1 year MS degree are:

  • Carnegie Mellon University- MISM, MS in Computer Science
  • Indiana University Bloomington- MS IS
  • University of Illinois Chicago- MS in Technology Management
  • Colorado State University- MS in Biomedical Sciences
  • Princeton University- MS in Electrical Engineering

MS in USA in Computer Science

A master’s degree in Computer Science is ideal for all those who are willing to take up their bachelor’s level introductory course ahead while covering an array of subjects within CS at a very in-depth level.

  • During the course, students learn to understand the different programming languages while maintaining several operating systems as well as creating secure and safe computer networks.
  • Most of the courses are computer based but they also offer traditional coursework in calculus, statistics, and research methodologies.
  • Some of the popular courses are data structures, computer networking, computer operating systems, programming languages, database system analysis, etc.
  • The courses cover areas like information systems, artificial intelligence and algorithms. After graduation, the students are required to submit their capstone project or research-based theses which emphasizes on their specific field of interest. 
  • Most CS courses usually take two years for completion and some are also offered online. For applying, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree and is required to submit their GRE scores along with undergraduate transcripts

Exam for MS in USA

Thousands of students across the globe dream of pursuing MS from the universities of USA. They come from different cultural, social and educational backgrounds. Hence, for comparing the aptitude of different students from different countries on one common platform, USA needs all the international students to appear for certain eligibility criteria to pursue MS.

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): This is designed for testing certain reading, verbal, quantitative, writing, and analytical skills in written English. It also tests your problem- solving abilities by addressing critical reasoning, logic and data sufficiency skills.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination): This test basically tests your quantitative and verbal reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. This standardized eligibility exam is created as well as administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service).
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): TOEFL tests how well the candidates use speaking, writing, reading and listening skills in an academic year. It is conducted for testing the candidate’s proficiency of English for studying in an English-speaking country.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): This entrance examination tests the proficiency of English of those applicants who do not have English as their native language. The IELTS test has four sections: speaking, writing, reading and listening.
  • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test): This standardized exam tests the candidates’ skills in writing, mathematics and reading. The reading section tests your vocabulary, interpreting and reading abilities. The Math section tests yours statistics, algebra, geometry, and other such Math models. The writing section tests your grammar usage and writing skills.


A master’s degree from MIT requires the candidates to have at least one academic year of study while for the engineering degrees, it is two years.

Different departments have different application procedures. All the graduate-level candidates are required to apply online via an online portal to MIT.

  • MIT aims at educating students in technology, science, as well as various other fields of scholarship which will best serve the world in this twenty first century.
  • The passion to work effectively, creatively, and wisely are inculcated in all the students of MIT for the betterment of human race.
  • Most departments of MIT ask for past experience in the candidate’s area of interest as well as in physical sciences and mathematics. Applicants willing to apply in more than one department are required to submit separate applications.
  • The candidates’ professional and academic acumen is judged on the basis of their letters of recommendations as well as academic records. Top scores in academics don’t guarantee admission but let the MIT officials know that the candidate meets the university requirements.
  • The candidate’s performance on the standardized tests like IELTS, TOEFL, and GRE is also of great importance. Some management programs at MIT also accept GMAT score. Few departments can waive IELTS/TOEFL for the candidates from English-speaking colleges. GRE waiver is not available.
2021 Best National Universities | US News Rankings

MS in US Rankings

United States is home to universities that always dominate the highest-ranking list. These reputable and prestigious institutions invite students from across the world for brilliant learning opportunities and career paths. The top-ranking universities of the US are:

  • California Institute of Technology – 5
  • Stanford University – 2
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – 1
  • Princeton University – 13
  • Harvard University – 3
  • Yale University – 17
  • University of Chicago – 10
  • University of Pennsylvania – 15
  • Johns Hopkins University – 24
  • University of California, Berkeley – 28

Duration of MS in USA

Usually, a master’s degree from America takes upto one to three years. Thesis required degrees take more time than the non-thesis degrees. Some universities also let you complete your MS in one year. Some take three years on the basis of the time taken for the thesis.

The program duration varies from one year to four to five years as per the country and the course. You can complete MS in one year but MBA can’t be completed in one year in America.

MBA vs. MS in USA

MBA and MS courses are the most popular postgraduate degrees in America. These study programs emphasize on administration and scientific knowledge respectively.

Often, students get confused between the two and cannot decide which to opt for. As many engineering students go for a management career, it becomes a dilemma as to what degree to pursue.

Master of Science (MS)Master of Business Administration (MBA)
MS degrees focus on engineering, medicine, mathematics and science related specialized streams of study.MBA degrees focus on specialized subjects related to business management.
The duration of the degree is usually 1-3 years.The duration of the degree is usually 1-2 years or more.
It requires 30 credit hours.It requires 36-48 credit hours.
Students can go for doctoral level courses after this degree.Students can directly go for jobs with their designations at the management level.
There is no requirement of work experience. There is a requirement of 2 to 5 years of work experience. 
Employment opportunities include areas of computer science, mathematics, engineering and sciences. Employment opportunities include areas of consulting, banking, finance, private equity, investment banking, operations, etc.
Base Salary: $75,000 to $82,000Base Salary: $89,000 to $97,000
The primary focuses in on acquiring technical skills within a selected area of study.The primary focus is on gaining management and business skills.
Scholarships and endowments are available.Scholarships and endowments are available.
It is perfect for career changers.It is perfect for career advancements.

MS in Management USA

master’s degree in management is ideal for fresh graduates as well as aspiring leaders who are passionate for a career in management with little to no work experience.

The best programs for are business analytics, management, and finance.

  • Master in Management (MiM) degrees are given as MA or MS, and emphasize on theoretical knowledge, unlike an average MBA. The universities also emphasize on offering training-related management abilities like communication, leadership, and analytical skills.
  • The most popular MiM topics include marketing analytics, global business management, performance management system, operations management, innovation and, entrepreneurship, corporate finance, and so on.
  • During the course, the students get to know about various software tools and managerial practices along with marketing strategies in international and national contexts.
  • Students with an MS degree in management get brilliant career opportunities in the fields of finance, accounting, marketing, healthcare, human resource, consultancy, supply chain management, public administration, etc. 
  • Postgraduates in management get to work as account managers, marketing managers, budget strategists, investment brokers, business consultants, account managers, and more.

After MS in USA

The pursuit of studying abroad is usually regarded as a huge investment. Every year, candidates get admitted in MS programs across the globe for availing the best education.

And every year, America is most ahead in the international admission of college graduates across India.

Here are the major scopes in studies after acquiring an MS degree:

  • Data Science
  • Machine Techniques
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Health Profession
  • Computer Sciences and Mathematics

An MS degree also opens up many job opportunities such as:

  • Investment Brokers
  • Account Managers
  • Budget Strategists
  • Marketing Managers
  • Business Consultants 
Top 10 Master's Degrees Students Can Study Abroad in 2021 -

Affordable Masters Degree in USA for International Students

As a Masters in Science program is research-intensive, the tuition fees depend on the total number of credit hours in one semester. Here are some affordable universities of America where the costs of studying MS are not pricy:

  • Lehigh University- Computer Science
  • Sonoma State University- Physics and Mathematics
  • San Diego State University- Information Systems
  • North Seattle Community College- Engineering and Designing 
  • Dakota State University- Health Informatics

GRE Score Required for MS in USA

The top graduate programs of USA give a lot of weight to the GRE scores during the application procedure. The scores vary from university to university.

Moreover, even within a university, the scores differ from field to field.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of California-Berkeley
University of Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University
University of South California

Documents Required for MS in USA

The first step to applying in universities is of filling the online application form. If it is unavailable online, download the paper form via the official website of the university.

Then, you need to send all the required documents to the admission office of the university.

Documents required for MS in the USA are as follows:

Expenses for MS in USA

Students planning to pursue an MS degree in American universities must figure out how to manage the expenses for their degree program as well as their cost of living.

Places like New York, California, Boston, Florida, New Jersey and Washington are popular and hence, more expensive.

So, keep in mind the place as well while planning your budget and expenses.

  • Tuition fees are the biggest expense that a student has to make abroad. You can avail financial aids and scholarships for reducing the costs.
  • If you want to save on your living costs, apply for hostel accommodation or rent an apartment with a roommate(s). Your apartment rent will depend on the location, apartment size, distance from the university and number of roommates.
  • One-way flight ticket to America can cost anywhere from $800 to $1250 depending on the date of travel and the city.
  • Although bigger cities are more expensive, but they offer a plethora of opportunities for finding a decent-paying side job and/or internship.
  • Places like Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas offer cheaper tuition fees and affordable places to live.

How many backlogs are allowed for MS in USA?

Most universities in USA prefer candidates with no backlogs, however, in certain cases; they accept a maximum of five backlogs.

If your GRE score is between 315 to 325 but you have 7-8 backlogs, there are chances that you will still get into a prestigious institution of America.

Here is how you can avoid backlogs:

  • Make your notes in class and every weekend; go through them just to get an easy revision.
    • Do your assignments on your own. While taking help from the internet is understandable, plagiarism is completely unacceptable. Study, research and understand and then do your assignment to learn better.
  • Ask questions. If you don’t understand a specific thing, ask your professor to explain it again. Don’t shy away from clearing your doubts.
  • Find out the areas you are weak in and focus more on those.
  • Make good, disciplined friends who would motivate you to study instead of distracting you.

Here is what to do if you have backlogs:

  • If you have over ten backlogs, do thorough research prior to applying at any university in the USA. You will be enrolled on the basis of the discretion of the universities.
  • Talk to your counselors for knowing more regarding the backlog exemption strategies of institutions abroad. The universities which accept over 15 backlogs demand higher tuition fee.
  • Keep in mind that in most cases, internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities, and other out-of-classroom participations add up to the academic skills while compensating for the backlogs.
  • Make sure to do well in your standardized tests like GRE and TOEFL so that it can give you a decent score.
  • Work on your personality since some colleges do not care about your academic performance and give more emphasis on your overall personality.

MS in US vs Canada

Both Canada and US are excellent destinations for pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree but they share some significant differences. While Canada is cheaper and offer better job opportunities, USA’s universities clearly dominate the world rankings.

Let’s examine their differences:

CriteriaMS in USMS in Canada
Entry Criteria16 years of education, good IELTS/GRE/TOEFL scoreProof of educational funding, qualifying GRE/TOEFL/IELTS
ExpensesTuition fee: $ 15,000-$60,000 a year
Cost of living: $10,000-$15,000 a year
Tuition fee: CAD$ 20,00 a year
Cost of living: CAD$10,800 a year
ScholarshipsThere are various scholarships, financial aids, and external scholarships schemes available.Students loans, students grants, scholarships, educational savings, and financial assistance available.
Job OpportunitiesStudents with master degrees earn an average of $60,000 to $90,000 per annum.Students with master degrees earn an average of CAD $60,000 per annum at entry-level.
PR and Work PermitMS graduates are allowed to stay back in America by acquiring a temporary employment permit that lets a students work there for twelve months.If a person manages to get a secure or permanent job, it becomes very easy to acquire a PR from the Canadian government.

MS in US or Germany

Students often get confused if they should apply in German or US universities for their master’s program. While both the countries are home to highly prestigious universities, both have some differences as well.

Let’s go through them.

CriteriaMS in USAMS in Germany
Courses OfferedEngineering, Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science.Automobile Engineering, Civil Engineering, Life Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering.
ScholarshipsUS offers scholarships that can potentially cover as much as 80% of the student’s tuition fee.16 states of Germany have abolished tuition fee at undergrad level and there are many scholarships for the MS degree students.
Fee Structure$20,000 to $60,000 annually€20,000 to €50,000 annually
Visa ProcessF1 is the full-time student visa. Students can stay for 60 days after completing their degree unless they have acquired a work permit.For staying in Germany for over 90 days, one needs a residence permit which is hard to get. The permit is just valid for two years and needs to be renewed.
Cost of Living$10,000 to $12,000 annually€10000 annually
This STEM-Designated Master's Lets You Work In The USA Without An H1B Visa

Job Prospects after MS in USA

MS students are intimidated about various jobs to be taken up after 3 or 5 weeks of their admission. Jobs can be availed through either the university partnerships with various companies or on-campus employment. Employment options can be explored via LinkedIn or Indeed in the US. Seeking employment can be easier through annual job fairs as well. The average salary post-MS in USA for students can go up to 74,000 USD.

Research or Teaching Assistants cannot apply before 6 months of their study duration. They can earn around 1,500 USD monthly, which can help in covering the living costs. To be able to work in the US, the applicants must:

  • Cooperate with the background checks. Provide correct and authentic information.
  • Confirm employment status with the company and apply for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The applicants must complete the I-765 Application for Employment Form.
  • An application fee of 495 USD is charged to fill the form.
  • Applicants must also submit:
    • Copy of I-94 Nonimmigrant form as proof.
    • 2 identical passport-sized photographs.
    • Copy of the EAD if applied previously.

The 2017-18 employment statistics show the average salary obtained by students from various fields. It was seen that maximum enrollment and average starting salary was obtained by students pursuing an MS in Engineering. Other fields of study and their average starting salaries are as follows:

Subject SpecializationInternational Students AdmittedAverage Starting Salary
Business & Management200,50071,663 USD
Engineering217,00073,871 USD
Mathematics & Computer Sciences142,000Mathematics: 67,891 USD
Computer Science: 72,080 USD
Social Sciences19,50052,333 USD

Popular Jobs after MS in USA

JobsSalary (USD/yr)
Financial Analyst126,000
Graphic Designer64,100
Business Analyst125,000
Project Manager124,000
Civil Engineer88,700
Mechanical Engineer86,500
HR Officer60,200
Biomedical Engineer83,900

Work Visas for US

  • H-1B Visa: This type of work visa is opted by foreign nationals who wish to temporarily work in the US. They must have a degree in specialized courses like Engineering, Computer Science, etc. Around 2 million applicants apply for H1B visa every year.

In 2017 alone, over 236,000 applications were received. Out of which 85,000 were selected. From 85,000 another 20,000 were reserved for those who had a master’s degree. Getting this visa has become the most difficult over these two years, seeing a sharp rise in the number of petitions.

  • L-1 Visa: Is offered to those people who are entitled to transfer from one country to the company’s US branch. They are usually trained professional or employees holding positions of managers, senior executives, etc. Also, they must have experience of at least one year. The US and non-US employers must not be related to the employee in any manner.

*The plus point of having an L-1 visa is that the L-1 visa holder’s spouse can work easily in the US. There are different types of L-1 visas as well, they are as follows:

  • L-1A Visa: This is exclusively for managers and executives. Having a validity of 7 years.
  • L-1B Visa: This visa is for those persons who have specialized knowledge in a certain field. The visa is valid for 5 years.

Work Visa Extension

There is a process which non-immigrants must follow before requesting for a work visa extension. It is recommended to apply for an extension 45 days prior to the authorized expiration. The applicants must first fulfil the following criteria before applying for an extension:

  • If the applicant was admitted into the US lawfully, with a non-expired non-immigrant visa.
  • The applicant has abided by all rules and regulations to maintain his/her status.
  • Also, the students have fulfilled the requirements as promised while admitting.
  • Passport and visa are valid, and the applicant has not stayed beyond the actual time limit in the US.

The process of filing and submitting the work visa extension form is through a single form. The steps to fill and submit the form are as follows:

  • The students must complete the Form I-539.
  • The form costs approximately 350 USD for submission.
  • Along with the form, evidence of stay, admission in which university and other personal details are also required.
  • Members of the same family or dependents can also file for an extension through the same form.
  • Finally, the form should be signed and submitted by the applicant.

Work-Study Program

Students holding a J-1 or M-1 visa are allowed to work part-time on-campus. They can work for 20 hours per week. On completing the first year at the university, applicants can seek employment that is specifically for international students in:

  • Optional Practical Training: Or OPT allows international graduate students to work for one year post-degree completion in the US. This helps the students in gaining practical experience in the field of their choice post-graduation.
  • Curricular Practical Training: Through CPT, international graduate students can gain professional experience related to their field of study through paid or unpaid internships, co-operative education, etc. Which may prove beneficial for their work-study program.
  • Both OPT and CPT cannot be opted together. If an applicant has already opted for CPT he/she cannot opt for OPT at the same time.

The work-study program does not permit students to work off-campus. But whatever experience an applicant gains, is considered when applying for full-time employment. Students can earn 40 USD to 50 USD per hour. On the whole, the amount totals to 450 USD per month, which covers the living costs.


There are certain restrictions when it comes to the work-study program in the US. Students, in order to maintain their status, must not violate any condition which may lead to visa rejection.

  • Applicant must have a job before applying for CPT. The job must be in a relevant field related to the applicant’s focus of study.
  • The duration of work-study must not be violated. If it’s one year or a few months, as this can lead to deportation.
  • Students must not work beyond 20 hours in a week. They may work on 2 jobs but must not exceed the permitted working hours.
  • Application for CPT or OPT must be filed as and when the applicant gets a job on-campus. Else the applicant will not be permitted to work.

Salary after MS in USA

The USA is not only a brilliant education destination but is also among the best countries for studying and subsequently, earning a living.

Students with an MS degree get high great opportunities of showing their talent in high paying jobs and industries.

Job DescriptionAverage Salary (Starting)
Computer Science$72,080
Mathematics and Sciences$67,891

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