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Masters in Information Systems in USA: Complete Course Guide for International Students

Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
Study Abroad Expert

With the USA being the hub of IT companies featuring in Fortune 500 Companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. students with Masters in Information Technology in USA are hired by these companies with a starting package of around $90,000 for Information System Manager to around $120,000 for Data Scientist.

Information System is a set of interrelated components like hardware, software, telecommunications that work together to collect, process and breakdown the information to support decision making. Transaction Processing System, Decision Support System, Executive Information System, Management Information Systems, Workflow Systems are some of the types of Information Systems.

  • There are 100s of colleges catering to Masters in Information Technology, with almost a dozen universities featuring in the top 200 of QS Ranking in Computer Science and Information Systems.
  • Top 3 Universities in the World that provide master’s in Information Systems are from the US alone namely Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University
  • MIT and Stanford University tops the QS World Employability rankings and about 20 Universities from the US are in the top 50 of the same said list. 

Why Study Masters in Information Systems in the USA?

  • According to QS Rankings, the USA is the best country when it comes to studying the Information System, with MIT being the top University in the world to provide this course.
  • Out of 1700 Universities providing Masters's degrees in the USA, 26 Universities come in the top 100 Universities in the specific field according to QS.
  • According to IIE Open Doors, as of 2018-19 about 15% of the international students coming to the USA take up Computer Science and Information Systems.
  • The US plans to spend $95 Billion in IT alone which is a part of Information Systems.
  • International students can apply for a job on a temporary basis through F1 Visa for a year in the field of study that they did their majors in.
  • As of 2018, according to World Education News+Reviews, 62% of international students were employed at the time of the survey and 82% received an employment letter within a year of completing their graduation.
  • According to IIE.org Number of International students coming to the US in 2018/19 academic year stands at 1095299 which is a 0.5% rise from last year which is an all-time high.
  • USA has over 20 universities ranking among top 50 universities offering CS & IT abroad. This number is relatively very high in comparison with its contemporary student destinations.
Globally Ranking Universities V/S Student Destinations

 Highlights

CourseMasters in Information Systems
Duration12 to 18 months
EligibilityBachelors in a relevant field, TOEFL/IELTS score
Exam PatternSemester-wise
Recruitment DomainApplication Analyst, Cyber Security Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Information Systems Manager
Entry Level Package50000
Tuition Fee Range30,000-70,000 USD

Masters in Information Technology in USA: Top Universities

Some of the top Universities to study in the USAoffering Masters in Information Systems are listed below along with their overall QS Rankings, Program Name and length, Eligibility and tuition fees :

University Name And QS Rankings (Overall)QS RankingsProgram Name and lengthTuition Fees
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#1Master’s in System Design and Management
92 credits
59000
Stanford University#2Information System and Science
45 units
50703
Carnegie Mellon University#3Master’s in Information System Management
30 Units
48500
Johns Hopkins University#24MSIS Program
36 Credits
71600
University of California- Barkley#28Master of Information Management and Systems
48 Units
11442
New York University#39MSIS Program
39 Units
53850
University of Washington- Seattle#68Master of Science in Information Systems
44 Credits
41320
Boston University#98Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
20 Credits
55458
University of Florida#167Master of Science in Information Systems and Operations Management
36 Credits
30130
Indiana University- Bloomington#312Master of Science in IS
30 Credits
28651

Information Systems vs Management in Information Systems

Both the subjects try to look at the Information System but from a different perspective. Both are well taught in the USA. A short comparison is given below: 

CriteriaInformation SystemManagement in Information System
FocusTechnical side of organisation’s Information SystemFacilitation of Information System in the decision making among organisation’s managers
Duration2 years4 years
Work ExperienceUG- 5 years Graduation- 2 years2-4 years
Top DestinationUSAUSA
Part ofIT DepartmentIT Department

Masters in Information Systems in USA: Admissions

How to apply?

  • Students should start building up their own profile for a US master's in science applicant in their last year.
  • The student should start shortlisting the Universities that they want to study in.
  • Take the GRE test.
  • Take TOEFL/IELTS Language Tests.
  • Apply for the College that the student wants to study. 

University-specific Eligibility Criteria

UniversityUG RequirementTOEFLIELTSAdditional Experience
MITUG in Engineering or hard science
Experience in product or system development initiative
907.0GRE: 156-168, 5 years work experience
Stanford UniversityGPA: 3.5897.0GRE Quant Score: 167, Average work experience: 4.6
Carnegie Mellon UniversityGPA: 3.01027.5GRE Quant Score: 154
Average Work Experience: 5.7 years
Johns Hopkins UniversityGPA: 31007.0Work experience: 12 years, GRE Score: 154
UCal BerkelyGPA: 3
UG in the same field
907.0GRE Quant Score: 161, work experience: 5.3 years
New York UniversityGPA: 3.01007.5GRE: 316, work experience: 6 years
University WashingtonBachelor’s Degree with an Information System Major92Not preferredPostgraduate professional experience is desirable, GRE Scores: 165
University of BostonGPA: 3.7846.5Work Experience: 4.7 years
University of FloridaGPA: 3.3806.0Verbal GRE: 140, Work Experience:4-5 years
Indiana University2.75796.5GRE Quant Score: 165

Documents Required for Admission

  • Complete Application Form
  • Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited University
  • Obtain a GPA of 3+
    • 3.0 on a scale of 4.0: 83-86% or B Grade
    • 3.5: 87-89% or B+ Grade
  • Collect the final transcripts from all school and colleges
  • CV/Resume
  • Letter of recommendation(2)
  • Statement of Purpose

US Student Visa

Students planning to study abroad are required to apply for a student visa. There are various types of visa available for studying in USA. Some of these are described below:

  • F Visa: F1-Full-time students, F2- For dependents of F1 Visa, F3- Border Commuter or for students who live in the country of his origin but comes to the US for his studies
  • M Visa: M1- Engaging with vocational or non-academic studies, M2- Dependants of M1 Visa holders, and M3- Border Commuter
  • J Visa: J1- Students under Student exchange program and J2- Dependants of J1 Visa holders
  • Indian students are required to apply for the F1 visa. The steps for applying for F1 visa are as follows:

Step 1: Pay the SEVIS fee, you are given an I-20 form from your college/university.Fill the form and bring it to the F1 interview.

Step 2: Pay the visa fee at the designated bank and bring the visa the form that is given.

Step 3: Schedule a visa interview in the US Embassy. The waiting time depends on the visa type. Once the interview is completed you will receive your visa in 120 days.

Documents Required

  • Valid Passport
  • Non-migration visa application, form DS-160
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • Passport Photo
  • Certificate of eligibility for a nonimmigrant student visa or F1 Visa

Costs of Studying Masters in Information Systems in USA

International students incur various expenses when studying abroad. These include expense post and pre-departure. Some of these are detailed in the sections below:

Pre-arrival Expenses

The costs of doing your Masters begins way before landing in the US. It starts with planning for it and preparing for it. The GRE and TOEFL exams are costly and so is applying for the Universities there. One needs to plan step by step and below are the possible expenses mentioned.

ItemsPrice
Average Application fees$122*10(Applying for 10 Universities) = $1220
GRE fees$205
TOEFL fees$180
F1 Visa Application fees$510
Flight Fare$1100
Total$3215

Tuition Fees for Masters in Information Systems in USA

The tuition fees in the US are one of the highest in the world. It ranges from $15000 to about $60000 depending on the course and college. The quality of education matches the expenses with more than a dozen Universities featuring in top 200 QS World University Rankings. Given below is a graphical image catering to the cost of studying masters in information systems in USA. There is a wide range of scholarships available for international students, be it University-specific or scholarships catering to all subjects.

Total Program fees V/S University

Cost of Living in the USA

The cost of living in the US is expensive, thus it is very important to plan your expenses beforehand. Us is costlier than 87% of the countries in the world. Student accommodation and other related expenses add to the major cost of living in USA. 

ItemsCosts(US $)
Apartment175
Electricity15
Groceries125
Calling Home10
Internet15
Movies/Shopping100
Car Insurance100
Petrol75

Funding Options for Masters in Information Systems in USA

According to The National Center for Education Statistics, there are 750,000 scholarships available for qualified students totaling an amount of $1.2 Billion. Some of the best and most well-known scholarship programs for international students in USA are given below. The Scholarships mentioned catering to all the Universities in the US that teach Masters in Information Systems.

NameEligibilityAwardsSpecial Note
Education Future International ScholarshipIndian national with 60% score in 10th and 12th standard2 lac to 10 lac INRPartial funding is available, need-based award
Fulbright Foreign student programInternatio al studentsTuition fee, airfare, living stipend, health insurance is waived off4000 students receive this scholarship every year
Aga Khan Foundation International ScholarshipStudent must be below 30 years of ageDepends on the applicant50% loan which must be returned with 5% service charge.
Scotland Saltire ScholarshipStudent must be from India, Canada, Japan, China, Pakistan and Hong Kong Meet the language requirements$1000050 students receive this scholarship every year
MPOWER Women in STEM ScholarshipEnrolled in an FT STEM course$5000Deadline: 15th November This scholarship provides partial funding.

Indian student-specific scholarships are also available in USA. International students looking for more scholarships, click here

Part-time Job Options 

Doing a part-time job is possible in the US but there are some restrictions. Students holding F1 and M1 can do part-time jobs but only on campus and only in specified training programs. 

Loans

International students in the USA can apply for various student loans. The loans available to study in USA can be offered by home country or can be availed after landing in the USA. 

Masters in Information Systems in USA: Scope

There is a wide range of good quality work after completing a Masters in Information Systems. Major companies such as Google, Microsoft, Uber, Tesla are major companies that employ top talent from the top three Universities. There are various jobs in USA catering to computer science & related field graduates. Given below is a list of job roles you can apply for post completing your masters along with the average salary package. 

Job ProfileAnnual Average Salary
Application Analyst$75000
Cyber Security Analyst$76000
Data Analyst$62000
Data Scientist$113000
Information Systems Manager$83000
Quantitative Analyst$107000

The US is the world’s largest economy with an estimated size of $ 21 trillion, with an export capacity of $ 2.5 trillion dollars. The unemployment rate is 3.5% which is lower than the Fed’s target of 6%. 

The US might be a little hard to afford but it sure does bring the opportunity to make it affordable. It has no dearth of suitors for an information system graduate completing their graduation from the best Universities in the world. There have been questions asked regarding the crime against international students, but when it comes to the quality of education, it is unparalleled. 

The affordability aspect of the US has been cushioned by the availability of a large number of scholarships. This is a boon to students who cannot go to the US due to financial needs.

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