MS in USA : Cost, Universities, Eligibility, Jobs & More

how to study ms in usa

Master of Science (MS) in the USA is a two-year program offering students an advanced post-graduate degree. The US provides world-class research opportunities, a job-oriented course, and renowned faculty members to impart quality education. Most international students travelling to the US for education opt for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management) programs, including computer sciences, data science, accounting and management, computer engineering, and more. However, some of the biggest concerns that usually hold aspirants back are how to study MS in the USA from India, how much it costs to study MS in the USA, the requirements to study MS in the USA, and more.

Why Study MS in the USA?

Every year more than 80,000 students travel to the US to obtain a master’s degree in various specializations. Reasons to study MS in the US include:

World’s Best Universities- 

The Ivy League universities in the US are famous for being the best worldwide. A degree from an Ivy League institution or one of the best-ranked universities can help you get a great head-start in your career. More than 50 US universities are in the top 100 in the world list. Some of the best institutes to study MS in the USA are-:

 -Harvard University

-Johns Hopkins University

-Columbia University

-Northern Arizona University

-Washington State University, and more

Wide Specialization Options-

There are over 200 master’s programs in the US to specialize in. So, you have multiple options to choose from. Some of the top MS degrees in the US are offered in the following streams:

-Computer Science

-Wireless Communications


-Life Sciences



-Engineering, and more

Highly Accredited Faculty: 

Universities in the US are famous and valued for employing renowned professors to help students complete their degrees successfully and become industry-ready to face real-life challenges.

Recommended Read: Spring Intake in USA | 50 Interesting Facts about the USA

Some of the many popular MS specializations in the US are:

Master Program


Tuition Fee (in USD)

Data Science

Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania 



Columbia University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California, MIT 



Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin, Michigan State University, University of Southern California, Florida International University 


Computer Science

Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University


Business Analytics 

UCLA, University of Minnesota, The University of Texas at Austin, MIT, Michigan State University 


Duration of MS Courses in the USA: 

The duration of an MS course in the USA usually ranges between 1.5 to 2 years.

MS in the USA Admission Deadlines:

Application Cycle

Autumn/Fall Intake: Applications open in late September or early October and are accepted till December’s second week. 

Spring Intake: The application deadline for the spring intake usually hovers between mid-November to mid-December. 

Summer Intake: The application deadline for the intake is somewhere in April. 

Admission Cycle 

Fall Intake: Classes begin in mid-August or early September and go on till the beginning of December. 

Spring Intake: The session begins in January and concludes in April.

Summer Intake: The session starts in May and ends in August. 

Recommended Read: Reasons to Study at Northern Arizona University (NAU)

Cost of MS Degree in the USA:

One needs to consider some factors when calculating the total cost of studying MS in the USA. They are:

  •   Entrance exam fee
  •   Application fee
  •   Airfare
  •   College tuition fee
  •   Cost of living

GRE Exam (Entrance exam for MS in the USA)

USD 205

TOEFL exam (English language proficiency test)

USD 190

University application fee (per application)

USD 110 (approx.)

Tuition fee

USD (may vary)


USD 800 (approx.)

Living costs

USD 10,000-18,000 (yearly)

Recommended Read: Cost of studying engineering in USA for Indian students

Scholarships to study MS in the USA: 

Managing living and tuition costs in the USA can be made easier with scholarships. But how to get a scholarship to study MS in the USA? 

It is best to begin the scholarship hunt with thorough research and check if you meet the eligibility. 

Another essential that one must not miss is applying for the scholarship before the deadlines. 

Here are some scholarships that are available for Indian students wanting to pursue MS in the USA: 

-Narotam Sekhsarai-Scholarship 

-International Fellowship-AAUW

-International Scholarship Programme-Aga Khan Foundation

-Global Study Awards

-Generation Google Scholarship

Recommended Read: How to Get a Scholarship for MS in USA?

How to Apply for an MS in the US?

When applying to an MS program, the best way is to apply on university websites. An application fee of around USD 110 may be charged for the same. 

More Resources to Read About USA:

Career opportunities after MS degree in the US:

As observed, masters in STEM offer high-salaried jobs. Here are some sought-after career opportunities after completing a master’s in science:

Jobs Average Annual Salary
Mathematics and computer science (Software Engineer, Software Developer, Finance Analyst and others) INR 1,53,87,549
Life Sciences (Researcher, Biochemist, Lab Analyst, Medical Representative and INR 61,38,578
Data Scientist INR 58,25,475
Civil Engineer INR 54,06,930
Architect INR 90,00,540
Information Technology Manager INR 64, 80,075
Biomedical Engineer INR 62,92,877

The average salary after an MS course in the US is $73,900 (INR 55.91 lakhs). 

Recommended Read: Part-Time Job Options in the USA for International Students

Eligibility criteria to apply for MS in USA:

A major aspect that you need to keep in mind while applying for MS in the US is that you must have an undergraduate degree in the subject relevant to your MS field. 

You also have to meet these requirements to study MS in the USA-

  1.   An undergraduate degree in the relevant field
  2.   A score of at least 65% in graduation. 
  3.   IELTS score of at least 6.5 or as per university requirement. 
  4.   GRE score above 250 or as required by your institution of choice
  5.   Statement of Purpose
  6.   2+ LORs
  7.   Published Research Papers (if any)
  8.   Volunteering Certificate (if any)
  9.   Internship projects or research projects (if any)

Recommended Read: Exams Required to Study in the USA

Standard Tests Required for Applying MS in the USA



Test Authority


Social Science, Information Technology, Engineering, Management

Education Testing Services



Law School Admission Council



Pearson VUE



Graduate Management Admission Council

Important Resources to Read About USA:

Essential Documents for MS in the USA

The admission process in the US can be exhaustive. A set of documents are required from international students to become eligible for admission. Here is the list-

  •   UG Marksheets
  •   UG Transcript, signed by Head of Department
  •   Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  •   2+ Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  •   Updated CV

Recommended Read: Masters in physiotherapy in USA

Types of Visas:

1. F-1 visa– This is for students migrating to the USA to complete higher education. F-1 visa holders cannot take up full-time jobs. Part-time work is allowed. The visa is granted to those who are  enrolled in a program that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate. It is also crucial that the US government must authorize your chosen institute to accept international students.

2. F-2 visa- This is for F-1 visa dependents.

3. F-3 visa- This is for Canadians and Mexicans. F-3 visa holders are not allowed to work part-time or full-time.

4. J-1 visa This is for exchange students.

5. M-1 visa It is given to non-immigrants visiting to pursue non-academic or vocational courses. They are not allowed to work off-campus.

Study with upGrad Abroad

upGrad Abroad, through collaborations with overseas universities, offers a distinctive portfolio of study abroad programs delivered in a blended model. These programs present a golden opportunity for learners to leverage online learning in a flexible and affordable manner. To enrol in programs in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, or Australia, get in touch with our counsellors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the average cost of pursuing an MS in the USA?

A. The average cost of pursuing an MS in the USA usually ranges between USD 32,000-85,000. It may be charged in tuition fees. The living costs hover between USD 10,000-18,000 yearly.

Q. What is the average salary after a master’s in the USA?

A. Graduates may expect an average annual salary of USD 67,000 to 75,000 or above. It can even go up to USD 100,000 for graduates from top US universities.

Related Reads:

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