MS Courses in the USA: Universities, Courses & Costs

ms courses in usa

The USA is among the top nations that provide high-quality education worldwide. A master’s course in the USA is a dream for many students. The US has over 150 universities featured in international rankings. It houses some of the outstanding engineering, medical and business colleges. 

Why the USA?

If one wants to study abroad, the US is bound to be on the top of their list! The country is recognized globally for providing superior quality education. According to the World University Rankings, the maximum number of universities featured in the top 200 globally were from the US. The higher education system in the country offers academic programs and curriculum flexibility.

The MS courses in the USA provide ample exposure and experience to the students. In addition, the universities offer exposure to world-class technology, facilities, and teaching equipment. The MS courses in the USA include STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management). Apart from this, various other post-graduate courses are available for students worldwide. 

The US government is known to invest considerably in research and technology. So, it will be one of the best places for conducting research work. The students can also get a scholarship for MS in the USA based on merit. 

Universities and list of PG Programs in the USA

The USA has famous universities like Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, etc. 

The courses offered in MS in the USA are plenty and provide immense scope. 

Some of the best MS courses in the USA are enumerated below. There is also a list of US universities in which the courses are available:

MS in Finance in the USA:

This course is available at the University of Southern California, UCLA, MIT, Columbia University, and UC Berkeley. The course cost is roughly 60,000 and 120,000 USD (INR 45 lakhs to INR 90 lakhs).

MS in Data Sciences:

This is another popular course. The field is gaining popularity, and many students are interested in pursuing the course. University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Stanford University, John Hopkins University, and Harvard University offer this course. The average fees of the course range between 42,778 to 149,080 USD (INR 32 lakhs to INR 1.1 crores).

MS in Computer Science:

Among the many courses in MS offered in the USA, a master’s in computer science is the most popular. MS in CS is available in many universities. Some of them are Harvard University, University of California Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, and MIT. The estimated fee is between 13,500 to 141,000 USD (INR10 lakhs to INR 1 crores.).

MS in Marketing:

Marketing courses are offered in universities such as the University of Texas at Austin, Florida International University (FIU), Columbia University, Michigan State University, and the University of South Columbia. The average course fee ranges between 28,500 – 64,000 USD (INR 21 lakhs to INR 48 lakhs) as fees. 

MS in Business Analytics:

The US universities that offer this course are the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, the University of Texas at Austin, MIT, and UCLA. The estimated fee of the course is around 20,000 – 80,000 USD (INR15 lakhs to INR 60 lakhs).

MS in Medicine and Sciences:

Various Universities in the USA have MS in medicine, research, and other related courses. Some of them are Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Stanford University. Studying medicine in the USA can cost between 37,000 – 60,000 USD (INR 28 lakhs to INR 45 lakhs).

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GPA required to take admission in MS in the USA

The minimum GPA required for MS in the USA is 3.0 or a score of 65%-70% or more in the bachelor’s degree. Along with the GPA, meeting the cut-off for the English Language Proficiency test like IELTS is also mandatory. 

Admission in MS

Various prerequisites need to be taken care of to go ahead with the admissions to an MS course in the USA. Some of them are:

Deadlines

Most universities in the US accept applications in the fall season. However, it may vary slightly with different universities. For example:

● Stanford University takes applications till December 1 or January 11, depending upon the course. 

● Yale University has a deadline of December 15, the same year for some courses, and January 5 of the following year for other ones.

In the same way, all the universities have different deadlines for different courses.

Source: GREedge

Eligibility 

The requirements for master’s in the USA are very specific, and they need to be met. 

MS in the USA eligibility criteria are:

● The candidate should have completed their graduation of three-four years in a relevant field.

● The minimum GPA should be 3.0. A score of 65%-70% in a bachelor’s degree is required. 

● The minimum score in GRE should be 150 if one is seeking admission to an MS course in the USA.

● Two-three letters of recommendation are also necessary for admission.

● If one has a research paper published in a reputed journal, it will add value to the application.

● Participation in various extracurricular activities adds value to the application. 

● If the applicant is active in multiple social and leadership activities, it gives extra credit to the student. 

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Exams to be taken 

Several standardized exams are to be taken to get admitted to a master’s course in the USA. Some of the exams are listed below:

  • GRE:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) assesses several skills that should be present in a student to fulfill the requirements of masters in the USA. This test is to be taken by the students who want to do masters in engineering, management, social sciences, computers, and information technology. This test is conducted by Education Testing Services (ETS).

  • GMAT:

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is another test conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) for masters in management admissions. 

  • MCAT:

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a test for admission to medical colleges for masters. It is a standardized test for medical students who want to pursue medicine in the US.  

  • LSAT:

Conducted by LSAC (Law School Admission Council), LSAT is a standardized test to get admission in the law colleges of the US.

Requirement of ELP:

English Language Proficiency tests are mandatory for students seeking admission in the US. The students applying for MS courses in the USA have to submit their English Language Proficiency scores to get admission. It is primarily because of the medium of instruction for all the courses in English. 

So, they ensure that the student understands the course and does not face any language barrier. The US government approves two different ELP tests. They are as follows:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

This test is divided into two types: Paper-based test (PBT) and Internet-based test (IBT). The test is conducted in about 150 countries with a frequency of 50 times a year. TOEFL scores are valid for two years and are accepted by over 10,000 universities. The test duration is four hours, and the student is tested on speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. 

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

It is an English Language proficiency test conducted in 150 countries. The test duration is 2 hours 45 mins. It analyzes the applicant’s speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. Over 9,000 universities accept test scores all over the world.   

Requirements of Documents

Several documents are necessary for admission to a master’s course in the USA.  Any missing document can lead to your application being rejected. Although there might be some specific requirements from a university, most of the documents required are common for all. The documents are as follows:

● Mark sheets: UG and school mark sheets should be sent along with the college applications. 

● CV: A proper CV as per the format with all the required details is necessary. 

●  Statement of Purpose (SOP): SOP is a document that contains the applicant’s details along with their interests, dreams, and expectations. 

●  Letters of Recommendation: Two-three letters of recommendation are necessary. 

●  Bank statement: A bank statement must be submitted that is not more than three months old. The bank statement should show enough funds to sustain at least for a year.

●  Health insurance: This is necessary for doing an MS in the USA. 

●  Identity Proof: Internationally accepted ID proof like passport is required. 

How to Apply? 

There are different central application portals for various MS courses in the USA. The procedure is as follows.

  • Apply in the fall season with all the required documents as mentioned above. 
  • The acceptance letter will be sent within two to four weeks if the application is accepted. 
  • Confirm the offer. 
  • The applicant is officially admitted in May.

Cost of MS in the USA

Doing MS in the USA requires substantial investment. Summary of the cost of doing MS in the USA for Indian students is as follows:

  1. The GRE fee is about 213 USD (INR 16,170).
  2. The TOEFL fee is about 185 USD (INR 14,044).
  3. The application can cost anywhere between 50 USD – 200 USD (INR 3,757 – INR 15,029).
  4. Counseling can cost up to 300 USD (INR 22,544).
  5. The visa process has an expenditure of about 160 USD (INR 12,023) roughly.
  6. Flight expenses are around 700 USD (INR 52,602) (one-way).
  7. The annual tuition fee can be 40,000 USD (INR 30 lakhs). 

The cost of living in the USA per month is as follows:

  1. The rent of an apartment is between 1,000 to 2,000 USD (INR 75,147-INR 1,50,294).
  2. One meal can cost up to 40 USD (INR 3,005).
  3. Transportation costs between 100 – 300 USD (INR 7,541 – INR 22,544). 
  4. Personal expenses can range from 300 – 600 USD (INR 22,544 – INR 45,088). 
  5. Health insurance ranges from 450 – 700 USD (INR 33,816 – INR 52,602).

MS Scholarships in the USA

Various scholarships for MS in the USA are given to the students by the US government and universities:

⮚ US government scholarships for international students include the Foreign Fulbright Student Program and the Humphrey Fellowship Program.

⮚ The universities and colleges also offer various scholarships. These include American University Scholarships, Clark University Scholarships, Columbia College Scholarships, and many more. 

The most popular fields of study in the USA are the STEM fields. These include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Apart from these, management and business are also gaining popularity nowadays. 

MS in Computer Science, Wireless Communications, Embedded Systems, Power Engineering, Game Design & Development, VLSI, MIS, and Pharmacy and Life Sciences are also popular courses. They have a substantial job market and good job prospects. 

Jobs after MS in the USA

A student can get one of the highest-paying jobs after completing MS in the USA. The jobs that are available after completing MS in the popular STEM fields are as follows:

● MS in computer science in the USA:

This is one of the most popular choices as technology has taken over the present era. There are various roles such as Information Security Manager, Network Architect, Software Manager, etc.

● MS in finance:

After this, one can easily get a job as an accountant, auditor, budget analyst, and many more. Finance-related jobs have higher pay packages. 

●  MS in Management:

After this, one can easily fit into the roles like project manager, Human Resource manager with a handsome salary.

●  MS in Data Science:

One can become a data scientist, data analyst, etc. There is a great demand for professionals in this field. 

You can apply and get a job according to your field after completing your MS course.

Top Industries to choose from

Data Science, management, finance, research, pharmacy, computer science, embedded systems, and engineering are some of the top-most fields that can be chosen for pursuing an MS in the USA. 

Post-study Work Visa Options

There are three types of visas that allow the students to stay in the USA after completing their studies: M-1, J-1, and F-1. If one manages to get a job related to the field of study within 90 days after completing the course, one can get a permit to stay for a year. This permit can be extended for two more years. 

FAQs

Q1. How to do a master’s in the USA?

A. For doing MS in the USA, one needs to meet the score requirement in standardized tests such as GRE, GMAT, or IELTS. Then they need to apply for the required course at their central application portal with all the required documents. They will get an acceptance letter in two to four weeks if accepted.

Q2. How much CGPA is required for MS in the USA?

A. The minimum CGPA required for MS in the USA is 7.0. It is equivalent to 65%-70% marks and translates to a 3.0 GPA. Work experience, academic transcripts, mark sheets, SOP, and LORs, are the other requisites to earn admission to a US university.

Q3. Is it worth doing an MS in the USA?

A. The US is a hub of research and education. It houses all the top-ranked universities of the world. It is of great value to pursue an MS in the USA. Research and employment opportunities are present in abundance in the country and can help aspirants advance in their careers.

Q4. Does work experience matter for an MS in the USA?

A. While some universities may explicitly mention the requirement of work experience, others may prefer candidates with work experience. However, work experience is not mandatory for pursuing a master’s in the USA. You only need to search universities that admit students without work experience.

Q5. How to study MS in the USA for free?

A. The US government and the universities provide scholarships for MS in the USA based on merit and need. You can get a 100% scholarship on the tuition, making your education cost negligible in the country. You will still need to manage your expenses to take care of your cost of living.

Q6. How many backlogs are allowed for an MS in the USA?

A. Most US universities prefer students with no backlogs to their graduate and post-graduate courses. However, if a student has a good GRE score, they might be accepted with a maximum of five backlogs. In the case of 10-12 backlogs, the decision on admission is taken by the university.

Q7. What is an MS degree in the USA?

A. The Master in Science (MS) is a two-year graduate program after a relevant UG degree. The course aids an individual to pursue their interest in the subject on a deeper level. An MS program equips students technically and academically through coursework and research work in labs.

Q8. When to apply for MS in the US?

A. December and October are application deadlines for the Fall and Spring sessions respectively. Universities start accepting applications between the months of December and January. Specific deadlines, however, vary as far as universities and courses are concerned.

Q9. Is GRE required for an MS in the USA?

A. GRE is mandatory to pursue an MS course in the US. The test determines a student’s verbal, quant, and analytical writing abilities. If you are seeking admission without GRE scores, you will need to research the universities that admit students without the standardized examination scorecard, and also if you are able to meet the other requirements.

Q10. Is IELTS enough for an MS in the USA?

A. No, IELTS alone is not enough for admission into an MS course in the US. A GRE score of over 290 and a GPA of 3.0 are also mandatory for securing admission into the university of your choice. IELTS only shows your proficiency in the English language and hence needs to be supported by other documents.

Q11. What is the minimum qualification for an MS in the USA?

A. A relevant bachelor’s degree that spans at least three years and a GPA of 3.0 is the minimum educational qualification required for an MS in the USA. Additionally, a GRE score of at least 290 and a minimum IELTS band score of seven are necessary too.

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