All you need to know about Masters in the USA Costs

USA is one of the biggest study abroad destinations for Indian aspirants looking to pursue quality MS programs. The country offers top-class academics and research options along with the best amenities. The approximate Masters in USA costs are estimated to hover around INR 43-48 lakh annually. There should be thorough preparation and planning to meet the anticipated cost of Master’s degree in USA for international students. You should arrange for sufficient funds to meet all living costs, miscellaneous expenditure and of course, tuition fees at your chosen university/college. If compared to the costs of pursuing an MBA degree, MS programs will be comparatively more affordable in the USA. 

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Masters in USA Costs-Entrance Exam, Visa & Application 

The Masters in USA costs do not include only your tuition fees and other living costs. Entrance examination, application and visa charges will also be included in the total Masters fees in the USA that students have to bear. These costs are listed out below for your perusal:


The TOEFL examination is accepted at more than 11,000 universities globally and is the most common ELP (English Language Proficiency) test at leading universities in the USA. The registration cost is roughly INR 12,750. Students can undertake registration via their ETS accounts or through the official TOEFL app up to 7 days prior to the date of testing. 4 scorecards are offered absolutely free of cost by TOEFL and students will have to pay INR 1,500 after this for every added scorecard. Other expenses related to TOEFL include INR 2,900 in late fees and INR 12,750 as retake fees along with additional scorecard fees as mentioned. 


This is a pivotal component of cost of MS in USA for Indian students. IELTS is another commonly accepted test for ELP that is held by the British Council. Registration costs are approximately INR 14,000 and if students wish to retake the test, they can pay an extra INR 14,000 for this purpose. Post appearing, students may request for up to 5 scorecards absolutely free of cost. Thereafter, every additional scorecard request will require INR 250 in costs and this should be kept in mind. 


Most universities in the USA that offer MS degrees, will require students to provide valid GRE scores. These scores remain valid for up to 5 years and students may register via phone, online or email. They may retake the GRE examination up to five times within a duration of 12 months. INR 15,700 is the approximate registration fee with retake fees being the same as well. Additional scorecard requests are INR 1,997 per scorecard as per current estimates. 

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Application Costs

A part of the average cost of Masters in the USA, application fees have to be paid for getting admission into the USA universities. This fee is non-refundable in most scenarios and may vary between INR 3,699 to INR 11,997 approximately. Most students will usually apply for a minimum of 3-5 universities while checking out MS programs in the USA. Hence, total admission application charges may surpass INR 20-25,000 on average. Some USA universities may require aspirants to dispatch hard copies of application materials and added charges up to INR 10,000 may be payable on courier and delivery. If applying for MS in Fine Arts or Architecture, for instance, account for adding another figure to costs of applications. This involves submission of portfolios via slideroom. This will vary on the basis of the portfolio count and other parameters. The costs may hover around INR 5,000-10,000 on average. These should be accounted for in your budget. 

Costs of Student Visas

Another crucial component of masters fees in the USA is the cost of the student visa. Upon getting the Form I-20 from the university in the USA, which confirms your place at the institution, you will have to apply for the visa. Indian students venturing to the USA majorly apply for either the J-1 or F-1 student visas. The F-1 visa fees or SEVIS fees will add an extra INR 25,000 or USD$360 roughly to your travel expenditure. This is a one-time charge. Applying for a student visa will not only have you paying the application fee but also going through a strict procedure of adhering to official requirements. The SEVIS fee for the J-1 student visa is approximately INR 16,720. Make sure that you keep these added expenses in mind while applying for your MS program in the USA. 

Read More: Key Requirements for study in USA

Masters Fees in the USA- University-Wise Costs 

With regard to cost of MS in the USA, there are several leading universities and institutions where you may apply at comparatively reasonable costs. Some of the top choices for students are listed below for your perusal. 

University Name  Tuition Fee (INR)
Harvard University 41.5 lakhs
Stanford University 28 lakhs- 41 lakhs
Yale University 33 lakhs- 40 lakhs
Columbia University 28 lakhs- 60 lakhs
Duke University 43 lakhs
MIT 13 lakhs
University of California, Berkeley 24 lakhs
Cornell University 14 lakhs
California Institute of Technology 46 lakhs
Princeton University 36 lakhs
University of Chicago 42 lakhs


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There are several universities that also offer the chance to pursue a low cost Masters in USA. These include the following:

University Name  Tuition Fee (INR)
Alabama State University 14.22 lakhs
University of North Carolina 15 lakhs
University of Minnesota 21.20 lakhs
Purdue University 10.88 lakhs
Florida State University 15.90 lakhs

With the help of innovative study abroad programs from platforms like upGrad Abroad, you can further lower the cost of doing Masters in the USA. The platform will help you with quality MS programs in the USA, complete with cost savings, flexible formats and all visa and admission assistance. Overall, keep an estimate of anticipated study costs for MS in the USA before applying. Plan out the funding in advance to avoid hassles later on.

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