Explore Courses

Top Universities for Masters in USA: Fees, Scholarships, & More

Updated on 11 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

If you want to do a master’s degree, one of your foremost choices can be an MS in the US. The country also offers MBA, MSc, MEngg, and other master’s degree programs. Home to the Ivy League universities, the US exposes international students to truly diverse classrooms and the best academic standards. A US degree is globally recognized and opens several doors in the job market. Here’s all you need to know about pursuing masters in USA. 

Master’s degrees, also known as ‘graduate degrees,’ are of two types:

  • Academic or research degrees: These degrees generally lead to a career in academia or research.
  • Professional degrees: These 1-2 year degrees prepare students for specific professions.

MS in USA: Highlights

Level of DegreePostgraduate
Average Cost of MS in US$33,328 to $59,950
Top SpecializationsSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Business Administration, Computer Science, Data Sciences and Analytics, and Law

Popular Specializations for Masters in US

The country is known for its strong STEM and management programs. Some of the popular specializations that students opt for include-

  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Data Sciences and Analytics 
  • Sciences
  • Law

Top Universities for Masters in US

Based on the Times Higher Education (THE) US College Rankings 2024 report, the following table represents the top 10 universities. It also provides you with the cost of studying a masters degree in the US.

THE US College Rankings 2024Institute NamePopular coursesAverage Tuition Fee*
#1Stanford University, CaliforniaComputer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; and Engineering$56,169
#2MIT, MassachusettsComputer Science; Mechanical Engineering; Mathematics, Physics, Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering, Bioengineering, Economics$55,878

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Social Sciences, Biology/Biological Sciences, History, Mathematics, and Psychology$55,587
#4Princeton University, New JerseySocial Sciences; Engineering; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Public Administration; Physical Sciences; History; Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Philosophy and Religious Studies.$56,010
#5California Institute of Technology, CaliforniaComputer and Information Sciences; Engineering; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Biological and Biomedical Sciences$58,680
#6University of California, BerkeleyManagement; Manufacturing Engineering; Legal Studies; Social Science; Mathematics; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Biology$33,328
#7Yale University, ConnecticutSocial Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services$59,950
#8The University of Chicago, IllinoisBiological Science; Business Studies; Law; Humanities, Social Sciences; Molecular Engineering, $28,132
#9Johns Hopkins University, MarylandNeuroscience; Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering; Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology; Computer and Information Sciences, International Relations, Chemical Engineering; Economics, Mathematics$58,720
#10University of Pennsylvania, PennsylvaniaBioengineering; Biotechnology; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Computer & Information Technology; Data Science; Nanotechnology; Robotics$61,710

*Source: Official website of university

Required Exams to be Eligible for Masters in US 


This is a language proficiency exam. You will need to score in the range of 65 to 85 on the internet-based test. You may need higher scores for different universities.


There are almost 3400 universities in the US that accept the IELTS score. You will need a minimum of 6.5 band score for admission to the best universities in the US for MS.

3. GRE:

This exam is taken before admission into your chosen graduate program in the USA. You will need a minimum score of 160 on the test. However, you must check the respective university site for the admissible score. 

4. LSAT:

Law schools in the US use LSAT for admission to master’s degree courses. You will need a minimum score of 150. Some schools demand a 160. Various universities give almost 70 per cent weightage to your LSAT scores during the admission process.

5. MCAT:

If you want to go to medical school in America, then you will have to take this exam. The minimum requirement for admission would be 510. However, prestigious schools may ask for a higher score.

6. GMAT:

Used for B-School admissions in the US, you will need an average score of 700. You will also have to ensure a good GPA if you want to get into a highly competitive school.

Eligibility Criteria for Masters in US

The eligibility criteria that need to be met for pursuing MS in US are mentioned below:

  • You must have a three or four year Bachelor’s degree in the relevant field. Minimum 3.5 GPA is considered to be good for admission.
  • Must be proficient in the English language and able to demonstrate good IELTS/TOEFL/PTE scores.
  • More than 300 GRE score.

Documents Required for Masters in US

Here’s the list of documents that you must be able to provide during your admission for Masters in US:

  • Transcript of your academic record
  • An updated curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • Work experience, if needed or applicable
  • 2 or 3 Letters of recommendation (LORs)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • GRE/GMAT scorecard
  • IELTS/TOEFL/PTE scorecard
  • Valid passport and visa

Cost of Living in US

When you pursue your master’s degree in the US, the tuition fee won’t be the only cost. Other factors come into play as well. It would be best to look at your cost of living in the United States of America. 

The average cost of living would be around $600 to $1200 per month. So, the cost of living for your MS in the US could boil down to $15,000 over the course of two years. Here’s a table to help you understand the cost breakdown better.

Breakdown of Cost of Living for a master’s degree in US

Required Items/ActivitiesCost Per Month
Living Space/Rent$200 
Electricity Bill$20 
Groceries/Food items$200 
Internet $15 
Cell Phone Bill$50 
Miscellaneous $200 
Total Cost$685 

Optional Practical Training After Masters in US 

Any international student on F1 visa who completes atleast a 12-month program in the US is allowed to gain relevant work experience in their areas of specialization via the Optional Practical Training (OPT). US university graduates are allowed a 12-month OPT period and those with STEM degrees may apply for an extension of another 12 months. 

Scholarships for MS in USA

The following scholarships will help you fund your masters degree in the US to a great extent.

Scholarship NameBenefits
Fulbright- Nehru’s master’s fellowshipsJ-1 visa support, round-trip economy class air travel, tuition fees, living and related costs, and accident and sickness coverage per U.S. Government guidelines
Aga khan foundation international scholarships50% of tuition fee
AAUW international fellowship$20,000 to $50,000

Jobs After Masters in US

After completing an MS degree from the US, your salary will vary depending on the degree you have pursued.

DegreeAverage Annual Base Salary*
MS in Finance$82,000
MS in Management$83,000
MS in Computer Science$110,000
MS in Data Science$84,000
MS in Mechanical Engineering$91,000
MS in Civil Engineering$79,000

*Source: Payscale

Study in US with upGrad Abroad

upGrad Abroad in collaboration with some of the leading US universities, offers several blended undergraduate and graduate degrees. These programs follow a unique pedagogy and are cost-effective. To know more, get in touch with our counsellors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which master’s degree courses are offered in the US?

One can pursue MS, MBA, MSc, MEngg, MPharm and various other master’s courses in the USA.




What are the most popular MS specializations in the US?

The country is known for its strong STEM and management programs. Some of the popular specializations that students opt for include- Technology, Engineering, Business Administration, Computer Science, Data Sciences and Analytics, Sciences, and Law.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

See More