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Types of Postgraduate Degrees to Study in the USA

December 2021

The USA is the world's most popular study abroad destination that boasts of gorgeous landscapes and cultural diversity. The country is home to world renowned colleges and universities. Universities in the USA are age old, offering a plethora of courses and programs for international students to study. Courses in USA are offered across various disciplines ranging from Business Management to Engineering and Computer Science, Law, Accounting, Life Sciences etc. Some of the other reasons why international students choose the USA to pursue their higher studies include the top-notch, flexible American education system, excellency in research and promising future career prospects that the country offers.

As an international postgraduate, the USA has a lot to offer you. A student wishing to study in USA will be one of more than 9,00,000 foreign students, many of whom pursue well-known graduate programmes in the country.

The country isn't only the most sought after study overseas destination. Instead, there's a lot to consider when planning a Master's study in the USA. Pursuing MS in the USA essentially includes STEM i.e. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Management) programs.

Universities in USA for Masters

USA: Postgraduate Opportunities

The country is home to more than 4,300 universities and other providers of higher education. Of the 4,300, approximately only 1,700 universities in the USA offer Master's-level degrees. Nonetheless, there are still an enormous range of institutions to choose from. Graduate programs in the USA are known worldwide for their all-inclusive approach to postgraduate education, integrating improved subject knowledge and opportunities for research whilst developing a suite of transferrable skills.

One should consider pursuing a postgraduate(Master's) degree in the USA due to the following reasons:

  • Home to top-notch, acclaimed universities: Institutions in the country top the global rankings for universities. Of the leading 50 universities in Times Higher Education's league, 23 universities are placed in the USA.
  • Global Perspective: The United States of America is the most sought after study abroad destination for international students who wish to pursue postgraduate degrees. The colleges and universities in USA offer a matchless range of qualifications for students to choose from.
  • Scholarships: Pursuing a Master's degree at an American university/ higher education institute is by no means inexpensive and international students desiring to study in USA should be able to fund their education in order to be granted entry to the states. But that simply does not mean that there aren't a wide range of funding opportunities for brilliant international students.

MS in the USA: Cost

In a public state university, the average tuition fees for a Master's degree is USD 35,000 whereas, the average tuition fees in a private university is around USD 45,000.

Pursuing MS in USA: Admission Requirements

International students opting to study in USA and obtain a Master's degree should fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

  • The student should have 3-4 years Bachelor's degree in a pertinent field
  • He/she should have scored a GPA of 3.5 or higher, equivalent to 87% in Bachelor's
  • Should have obtained a GRE score of 330 or above
  • The student should write a Statement of Purpose(SOP) portraying clear and eloquent thoughts
  • The student should also submit 2-3 Letters of Recommendation written either by his/her Professors or Employers supporting his/her decision to study abroad.
  • Work Experience, Research Internships is required
  • Undertaking project work helps the applicant to better understand the methodology of the project, the reason for the project. After researching, the ultimate findings, are all requisites to showcase one's knowledge while applying for admissions to MS degrees.
  • Students should be a part of Social and Leadership Activites

Studying MS in USA: Admission Intakes

Admission to colleges and universities in USA for a Master's degree takes place in three intakes viz. Fall, Spring and Summer. The Fall intake commences in September and is the most popular intake among international students, the Spring intake begins in the month of January whereas the Summer intake generally commences around the month of May. This intake however, is available for limited courses and colleges/universities.

The Different Types of Master's Degrees in the USA:

  • Master of Arts(MA): This degree is generally awarded in the Social Sciences or Arts disciplines, such as languages, geography, education, history, linguistics, literature, communications and music. Students applying to this degree, through lectures and seminars, are taught and are evaluated on the basis of an examination and/or a dissertation based on an independent research project.
  • Master of Science (MS, Msc): In disciplines classified as the sciences viz. Engineering, Statistics, Chemistry, Health and Biology, the Master of Science degree is generally awarded. The Social Sciences and Economics fields can fall under both, sciences and arts, with the concerned institution/university deciding on what to call their Master's degree program. In subjects like these, there may be cases wherein the MS has a stronger research component and can be viewed as holding more weightage than an MA in few industries.
  • Master of Research(MRes): This degree is formulated in such a manner so as to provide training to a student in how to become a researcher. The MRes degree contains a larger research element in comparison to MA or MSc programs and thus, a candidate wishing to pursue a PhD or bag a career in research will be at a greater advantage. MRes- style degree programs may be referred to as an MSc by some institutions and therefore, it's advisable to thoroughly check the course content before applying.
  • Master by Research(MPhil): An advanced research-based degree, the Master by Research(MPhil) enables candidates to pay keen attention to a specific topic in-depth and independently in order to complete a single large research project. A precursor to a PhD, an Mphil is very often used by institutions or universities allowing students to 'test the water' before they start pursuing a PhD degree program. In comparison to other types of Master's degrees, an MPhil takes longer to complete although the time period and status conferred to an MPhil largely differs depending on the country and institution.
  • Master of Studies(MSt): This degree can be compared to the MA or MSc as it requires both classroom learning, and a thesis and an examination to be completed. The MSt is taught in few places including the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford and in some cases, can serve the purpose of an acting enrolment for a PhD.

Comprehensive and professional Master's degrees:

In addition to the Master's degrees in the USA, there are many specialized types of Master's degrees, that throw light on a particular professional area. They are referred to as 'tagged Master's degrees' due to the very fact that they are 'tagged' to a definite field, or professional Master's degrees, because they concentrate on developing careers in a specific profession. Master of Public Administration(MPA), Master of Social Work(MSW), Master of Fine Arts(MFA), Master of Public Health(MPH), Master of Laws(LLM) and Master of Business Administration(MBA) are some of the specialized and professional Master's degrees, among others.

For further assistance or queries students can contact us, Edwise International, and avail for our wide range of services for students on destinations like Universities in USA,study in USA,study in UK, study in Ireland, study in Canada, study in Australia, study in New-Zealand, study in Singapore and many other countries.

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