Masters in USA – Eligibility, Universities & Cost of Living

ms in us

If you want to do a master’s degree, one of your foremost choices can be an MS in the US. It 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. 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.

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 US Universities for Master’s

Times Higher Education College Rankings 2022 US Institute Popular courses Average Tuition Fee
1 Harvard University, 


Social Sciences, Biology/Biological Ssciences, History, Math and Psychology $51,925
2 Stanford University, California Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; and Engineering $53,529
3 MIT, Massachusetts Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering; Mathematics, Physics, Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering, Bioengineering, Economics $53,790
4 Yale University, Connecticut Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services $55,500
5 Duke University, North Carolina Computer Science; Public Policy, Economics, Biology/Biological Sciences,Political Science Psychology, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; Bioengineering, Neuroscience $57,931
6 Brown University, Rhode Island Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering; Mathematics, Physics, Social Sciences $58,404
7 California Institute of Technology, California Computer and Information Sciences; Engineering; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Biological and Biomedical Sciences $54,600
8 Princeton University, New Jersey Social Sciences; Engineering; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Public Administration; Physical Sciences; History; Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Philosophy and Religious Studies. $52,800
9 Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Neuroscience; Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering; Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology; Computer and Information Sciences, International Relations, Chemical Engineering; Economics, Mathematics $55,350
9 Northwestern University, Illinois Applied Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Finance $56,691
11 Cornell University, New York Law, Finance, Healthcare, Media, Arts, Sciences, Technology $57,222

Required Exams to be Eligible for Admission  


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 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 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.

Cost of Living in the 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/Activities Cost 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 graduation

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 Optical 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. 

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

Q1. 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.

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.

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