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Pursuing MS in USA: A Complete Guide for International Students

Aishwarya Bhatnagar Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

MS in the US ranks #1 according to QS Universities Global Ranking. For students seeking a graduate degree (master’s and doctoral) abroad, USA is a preferred destination. Cutting-edge research, world-class technology, renowned faculty, and cultural exposure are some of the factors that make universities in the USA  stand out.

According to the 2018 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, a total of 749,239 applications were received from international applicants seeking admission to graduate programs. With a 47% acceptance rate and 31% yield rate for master’s programs, nearly 100,000 new international students were enrolled in 2018. 73% of this student body comprised Asian students.

MS courses primarily include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Management) programs that are chosen widely. International students chose the following course fields for post-graduation in 2018:

  • 28% of students chose Engineering related courses.
  • 22% of the admitted applicants opted for Mathematics and Computer Sciences.
  • While 16% of the students opted for Business or Management courses.

Course-wise international student population in USA.

70% of the US universities are world-renowned, accredited and ranked globally among the top 10 and top 50. This is also the reason why international students specifically choose to pursue MS in the US. A total of 382,953 international students are enrolled in a graduate program in America. Some of the key features of an MS course or any of its specializations in the US are as follows:

  • MS in the US are of 3 types:
    • MS that leads to a master’s degree in the chosen subject.
    • MS that leads to a master’s degree in the chosen subject but with thesis submission at the end of the course.
    • There is also an MS which is a professional degree, which lasts for a year only.
  • According to the QS Universities Ranking for 2019, US ranks #1 in offering MS in STEM courses.
  • Around 1.6 million international students are given a visa in the US, to stay back post-MS in any of the STEM courses.
  • There are 9 major fields of MS, which are further divided into 781 specializations.
  • Average tuition fee charged from international students for graduate study is around 30,000 USD per year.
  • US attracts students from across the globe. More than 50% of the total foreign student population comprises candidates from Asian countries. Demographic breakdown for international students in the US is given below:
  • International students willing to apply to US universities for an MS course require:
    • 16 years of education, which is mandatory.
    • English Language Proficiency: Test scores of TOEFL/IELTS
    • Average GPA of 3.0 and above.
    • Standardized test scores of GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT is required depending upon the choice of course.
    • Online application, which can be submitted either through the university portal or CAS portal.
    • Application fee that varies from 60 USD to 175 USD or maybe above.
  • Scholarships are offered to international students on the basis of their academic merit.
  • Other financial aids like loans, grants and work-study can also be availed.

Eligibility to Study MS in the US

The eligibility to study in the USA can be in two categories- VISA related eligibility and University or Institute related eligibility. International applicants are more susceptible to VISA related rejections. So find below the detailed eligibility criteria for getting a study VISA for the USA.

Eligibility Criteria for Study VISA for the USA

  • A Valid Passport with expiry date more than two years of the program duration.
  • Minimum bank balance should be equivalent to 1st year’s tuition and living expenses. The tuition fees mentioned over the I20 form will only be considered. The safe figure for a student visa is 1.5 times of the tuition fees mentioned over the I20 form.
  • During the time of VISA interview also take the bank loan letter and documents along.
  • Bank statement and proof of scholarships given by universities in the U.S.A. 
  • University will then send eligibility forms i.e. I-2O for F-1 Visa and DS-2019 for J-1 Visa.
  • Complete the SEVIS I-901 form or Student Exchange and Visitor Program form and register with the international visitor database.
  • Pay the SEVIS Fee of 180 USD for J visa and 200 USD for the F visa.
  • Schedule a visa appointment online at https://www.vfs-usa.co.in.
  • Complete the online DS-160 visa form and take a print out for Interview.

Factors affecting Eligibility Criteria for the Institutes & Universities

  • Scores in previous degrees - This is an important aspect, top universities in the US, consider overall academic performance as a parameter for admission. 
  • GRE scores: A high GRE score of 330 or around it, is considered to be a plus point.
  • GPA: 3.5 or higher GPA makes the chances of application selection higher.
  • SOP: Talking about self-motivating goals, convictions, creative/research ideas and a reason why the university should give an applicant admission, all play a pivotal role for the admissions review committee to accept applications for admissions.
  • LORs: Must include 2-3 qualities of the applicant, along with their strengths and why pursuing MS in the desired field can prove beneficial for the applicant.
  • Research Internships: An experience of working betters the chances of selection and for TA and RA.
  • Undergraduate Projects: Participation in projects enhances the applicant’s understanding of the methodology, the reason for the project and the ultimate goals through research are all incumbents to express knowledge while applying for MS admissions.
  • Research Papers published in a good conference add greater value in selection.
  • Social & Leadership Activities – Any experience of working with NGOs or if you have contributed to social welfare projects, increases the value of your application. Universities like Harvard or Princeton look for the candidates having exemplary leadership credentials.

Cost to Pursue MS in the US

The average tuition fees in a public state university is 35,000 USD and a private university fee is around 45,000 USD. 

Factors affecting the Budget

While deciding upon various aspects which affect your budget, you must not ignore any kind of expense. Save as much as possible and keep a note of emergency expenditure.

Mentioned are major areas of expenses which affects your budget considerably.

TuitionBooks
RentCommunication
FoodHealth Insurance
TransportationPersonal Expenses
Loans-

Note: In case, you receive scholarships or fellowships, it is non-taxable.

Estimate of Expenses in the U.S.

Initial Budget

Apart from regular expenses in the U.S., there are expenses before you reach the university. These expenses are one-time and are in considerable amount.

  • Flight Charges
  • Airport to hotel/hostel
  • Meals
  • Initial apartment charges

In case, the students get an assistantship, they will be paid at the end of the month. Meanwhile, they must survive for complete one month on their own funding resources.

Regular Expenses

Mentioned are the factors considered for expenditure in daily-life. The average expense range is mentioned along with the estimated percentage contribution of each item in a month.

ItemPercentage ContributionApproximate Expense Range (Monthly)
Rent of Apartment35.6%1,000 USD to 2,000 USD
Meals22.58%30 USD to 40 USD (one-meal)
Transportation7.45%100 USD to 300USD
Personal Expenses15.99%300 USD to 600 USD
Health Insurance18.33%450 USD to 700 USD

Note: The values for percentage contribution and expense range are subject to change. They may vary.

Living Cost table for a Public State University

ESTABLISHMENT/SETUP COSTSCOSTS
Rent Safety / Damage Deposit, typically 50% of monthly rent - refundable when you move out (read your rental agreement for details)449 USD
REGULAR EXPENSESMONTHLYANNUAL
Tuition for Public State University30,000 USD
Student Fees452.51 USD
GSS/AMS Extended Health Insurance *256.92 USD
Medical Service Plan (BC Health Insurance) *37.50 USD450 USD
Textbooks550 USD
Rent (Housing / Accommodation)898 USD10,776 USD
Mobile phone (full package)50 USD600 USD
UPass (Public Transit Pass)41 USD492 USD
Groceries / Food *323 USD3,876 USD
Entertainment / Clothes / Gifts *80 USD960 USD
Total Expenses1,429.50 USD48,413.43 USD

Estimate of Student Expenses based on School type and Environment

Type of School

Public or Private School

Public schools cost less when compared to private schools. But, students in private schools have an edge over public schools in comparison of scholarships. Private schools offer better scholarships than public schools. Lastly, Community colleges are less expensive for undergraduate and graduate degree in comparison to other colleges.

Type of Environment

Urban or Rural Environment

A school in a rural area costs less than a school in the urban area. An apartment in the urban region is almost double of the same in a rural region. The same concept applies to the cost of different amenities in different regions.

Expenditure based on anything, a school or a region affects directly on the students.

The average expenditure of public and private school: -

  1. Average annual expenses for public state university – 35,000 USD to 45,000 USD.
  2. Average annual expenses for private state university – 65,000 USD to 75,000 USD.

Note: The figures include tuition, books, board and room and miscellaneous.

The F-1 Visa Budget

An F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for the aspirants who want to study in the U.S.

For this visa, the students must provide proof to the U.S. consulate that they have enough funds to survive in the U.S. for at least 1 year.

 Apart from that, they must have liquid assets for the next 3 years.

The U.S. provides a benefit to the international students under which they can work for at most 20 hours a week and are eligible for 12 months on-the-job training at the company related to their field of education.

The students have the advantage to work and learn along with reduced pressure of funds.

Budget Institutions in the U.S. for International Students

Though the majority of universities in the U.S. are expensive there are certain well-known institutions which offer reasonable tuition fee to international students.

Mentioned are those universities along with the corresponding tuition fee:

UniversityLocationTuition Fee
Cameron UniversityOklahoma15,510 USD
Alabama State UniversityAlabama19,396 USD
University of Minnesota – Twin CitiesMinnesota28,910 USD
University of North CarolinaNorth Carolina20,457 USD
California Polytechnic State UniversityCalifornia23,349 USD
Florida State UniversityFlorida21,683 USD
Angelo State UniversityAngelo20,665 USD
Truman State UniversityMissouri14,842 USD
Purdue UniversityIndiana28,702 USD
Shepherd UniversityWest Virginia18,052 USD

Manage Budget through Scholarships for International Students

Scholarships are one of the best ways to save your earnings. Maximum scholarships cover tuition and other charges. International organizations also provide the same for international students. There are quite many governmental, non-governmental and college scholarships.

One of the most famous scholarships provided to students in different domains is the Fulbright scholarshipIt is majorly suggested to study in the U.S. with scholarships.

Mentioned are the varied and well-known scholarships offered to international students in the U.S.

Name of ScholarshipsNumber of AwardsValue
Fulbright Foreign Student Program (Government)4,000The grant funds tuition, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance for the duration of the study
Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program (Government)200 FellowshipsPay tuition and fee, Pre-academic English Training, living allowance, accidental insurance, Air Travel and Professional activities such as field trips and conferences
Next-Gen ScholarshipSelective 2nd or 4th-year undergraduate student1,000 USD
UnitedStates South Pacific Scholarship Program (USSP)-Tuition Fee, hall room cost, books, health insurance, airfare (round trip) and a living stipend
Community College Initiative Program 2018 (Fully Funded)-Tuition fee, living allowance, airfare, health insurance, and cultural enhancement activities

Universities offer loads of scholarships to international students. No matter where you attend your school, you simply visit the financial aid office and look for suitable scholarships for yourself. Students can visit the financial aid website of their institution where they can find suitable aid.

Apart from the above-given options, there are numerous offer waiting for you around the world by various international organizations. Aspirants may benefit through this aid for tuition fee and living allowance.

Sources of Financial Support

  • Home Country
  • Employment 
  • Scholarships for International Students
  • The U.S. Government and Universities
  • International Student Loans
  • International Organizations – UN, Fulbright, WHO and more

Some more Budgeting Options

How is transit helpful?

Get to know about your local transit. Taxi is a good option but not budget-friendly. The bus system is widely spread across the cities and is more convenient and low priced.

Biking is the most budget-friendly option. You need to spend 0 USD and is good for your health too. Get to know the traffic rules and explore the city. You can buy a second-hand bike from various vendors, it’ll definitely save a lot.

How do you save on housing?

The prices of housing in the U.S. are considerably high. Choose a city where you can find affordable accommodation. You can opt for student dormitory too. Often, foreign students opt for a dormitory to save funds and find new friends.

Dormitories are located near the universities which again save a lot on transit.

5 budget states in the U.S.

Mentioned are the cheapest options to study in the U.S. Average home price in each state will provide an idea about the number of expenses.

StateAverage Home Price
Georgia290,041 USD
Alabama243,562 USD
Missouri292,049 USD
Michigan295,582 USD
Tennessee348,413 USD

What you should do before making a Budget?

Before making a budget, students must

  • Identify the family members or friends who will contribute to your expenses (if required) while you leave for the U.S.
  • List all your income and savings which may include – scholarships, grants, awards, and loans.
  • List all your monthly or annual expenses.

Keeping a record of these, students will know their capacity to spend and know what and how should be saved.

Benefits of Pursuing MS in the US

Pursuing MS in the US comes with numerous benefits. There are over 2 million courses to choose from, an option of earning through the work-study program, stay back permit post-MS, research opportunities along with merit-based scholarships to support education are some of the benefits that can be availed by international students in the US while pursuing a graduate degree. Some other benefits include:

  • STEM courses are widely opted by students, because, one, it is in demand in the US; second, it gives students 17-month work visa extension post-MS.
  • The US government invests 476,452 million USD on research and development, which is 2.7% of its total GDP. Thus, pursuing an MS in the US betters the chances for research and funding it.
  • Post-MS there is scope for research, where students can apply for a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship (RA).
    • Students can earn 500 USD to 1,200 USD monthly if they work part-time as a TA.
    • While research assistants can earn up to 1,500 USD as a stipend every month.
  • Course curriculums are divided into pre-requisites, core areas and electives for any MS course. Thus, it increases the scope for pursuing research-based MS by more than 30%.
  • Average scholarship offered is 10,000 USD for one year to students pursuing an MS in any of the US universities.

Top Ranking Universities

MIT ranks #1 globally followed by Stanford, Harvard, Caltech and University of Chicago among the top 10 universities of the world. A list of the top 25 universities in the US along with their acceptance rates for MS courses are as follows:

University NameUniversity RankingAcceptance Rate (MS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)#112%
Stanford University#2Law- 8.72%; Medicine- 2.3%
Harvard University#3Medicine- 3.5%
University of Chicago#10Sciences- 26%
Princeton University#13Engineering- 1.6% Social Sciences- 13.4% 
Cornell University#14Research- 16% Graduate- 18.5%
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)#15Medicine- 78% (Fall 2017)
Yale University#17Medicine- 6.5% Architecture- 68% Nursing- 1%
University of Michigan#21Medicine- 5.9%

Subject-Wise University

Rankings Some of the universities ranked among the top 20 in the US that offer well-known MS courses, according to QS Universities 2019, are as follows:

Engineering

University NameSubject RankingMS Offered
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)#1Chemical, Civil & Structural, Electrical & Electronics, Mechanical
Stanford University#2Chemical, Mechanical, Engineering & Technology
Harvard University#5Electrical & Electronics, Engineering & Technology, Mechanical
California Institute of Technology (CalTech)#7Chemical, Electrical & Electronics, Engineering & Technology, Mechanical, Civil & Structural
University of Michigan#8Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics, Civil & Structural, Chemical, Engineering & Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology#14Mechanical, Civil & Structural, Electrical & Electronics, Engineering & Technology, Chemical
Carnegie Mellon University#19Electrical & Electronics, Engineering & Technology, Chemical, Mechanical, Civil & Structural

Social Science and Management

University NameSubject RankingMS Offered
Harvard University#1Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration
Stanford University#3Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration, Business & Management Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)#5Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration, Business & Management Studies
University of California Berkeley (UCB)#7Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Social Policy & Administration, Business & Management Studies
Yale University#8Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Business & Management Studies
University of Pennsylvania#10Social Sciences & Management, Economics & Econometrics, Finance, Business & Management Studies
Columbia University#12Social Sciences & Management, Economics & Econometrics, Finance, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration, Business & Management Studies
University of Chicago#13Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration
Princeton University#14Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Social Policy & Administration, Business & Management Studies
New York University (NYU)#17Social Sciences & Management, Finance, Economics & Econometrics, Psychology, Social Policy & Administration

Computer Science & Information Technology

University NameSubject RankingMS Offered
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#1Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Institute for Data, Systems & Society
Stanford University#2Computer Science, Scientific Computing & Computational Mathematics
Harvard University#7Computer Science & Engineering, Computational Science & Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science, Engineering & Applied Sciences
Princeton University#13Computer Science, Applied and Computational Mathematics
University of Pennsylvania#34Computer & Information Science, Data Science
Yale University#17Computer Science
California Institute of Technology#29Computer Science, Computing & Mathematical Science, Control & Dynamical Systems, Information & Data Science, Information Science & Technology

Medicine

University NameSubject RankingMS Offered
Stanford University#4Biomedical Informatics, Community Health & Prevention Research, Epidemiology & Clinical Research, Medicine, etc.
Harvard University#1Bioethics; Clinical Service Operations; Biomedical Informatics; Healthcare, Quality & Safety
University of Pennsylvania#15Medical Ethics, Clinical Epidemiology, Genetic Counselling, Health Policy Research, Translational Research
Yale University#17Biostatistics, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Health Informatics
University of Michigan#24Genetic Counselling, Human Genetics, Bioinformatics, Clinical Research, Pharmacology, Health & Healthcare Research
John Hopkins University#24Applied Health Sciences Informatics, Health Sciences Informatics, Anatomy Education

Admissions

There are numerous requirements that must be fulfilled by international students. Various test scores, supporting documents, proof of subjects studied, mark sheets, transcripts, etc. are supposed to be submitted by international students seeking admission to a university in the US. Once the application is evaluated, only then decisions are made.

The table below shows universities with the highest international student enrollment for Master’s courses in 2018:

Highest international student enrolment in US colleges.

How to Apply

US universities accept applications through their respective application portals for MS. But for certain MS courses, there are around 40 central application portals designed for admission applications. They are known as Centralized Application Services (CAS), streamlined by Liaison. Over 31,000 applications for various courses for more than 1,000 universities are accepted annually through these portals. Applications are accepted for MS in the US only. Some of the application portals are:

  • PSYCAS: This is for graduate courses in Psychology. Out of 28,192 applications for master’s courses, around 14,404 were selected for 2018 admissions.
    • More than 500 departments have partnered with this portal.
    • An application fee of 57 USD was charged for 2018 admissions.
  • LSAC: It partners with above 200 law schools in USA.
    • It charges an application fee of 185 USD.
    • The number of applicants has gone up by 3.2% from 2016-2019 admissions.
  • AMCAS: This portal accepts applications from students who wish to pursue Medical courses in US universities.
    • It partners with 146 institutions and accepts more than 80,000 applications per year.
    • The application fee for 2020 admissions is 175 USD for one college, 40 USD will be charged per additional choice of college.
  • OTCAS: Occupational Therapy aspirants can apply via this application portal. An application fee of 150 USD is charged, an additional 65 USD is charged per college.
    • More than 130 graduate programs are a part of this application process.
  • EngineeringCAS: Around 10% increase has been noted in terms of application submission through EngineeringCAS.
    • More than 800 institutions are in partnership with this portal.
    • An application fee of 58 USD for submission of engineering applications is required.
  • PharmCAS: About 150 institutions partner with this portal, which accepts applications for over 130 courses.
    • Students willing to pursue Pharmacy courses can apply via PharmCAS.
    • An application fee of 175 USD is charged from the applicants.

*It must be noted by applicants that admission decisions are released by the respective university and not by the application portals.

Application Deadlines

The deadlines for applying for an MS in the US are usually during the Fall session. Application deadlines are in December for Fall and October for Spring. Deadlines for each university or selected MS specialization also varies in some cases.

  • Applications are accepted between December and January at most of the US universities.
  • After confirmation of application, the selection is intimated applicants have to confirm by April 15 for admission.
  • Officially they have to accept the offer of admission by May 1.
  • Some universities have rolling admissions. Thus, applicants can apply any time throughout the year.

Admission Guidelines for MS

Other than the online application and application fee requirement, a few additional submissions are also mandatory. MS applications also meet the following conditions along with specific requirements:

Educational Background

International students are required to have an education totalling to 16 years, that is, 10+2+4. They must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. But if an applicant has a 3 year’s bachelor’s instead of 4 years, they can complete a Pre-Master’s program once admitted to a US university for MS.

Additional Coursework

Additional coursework is opted by those students who fail to meet the credit completion hours. These are either supposed to be completed in the home country or students have to take up additional coursework on-campus. The duration depends upon how many credit hours are left for completion. Starting from 2 months it can stretch up to one year.

Standardized Test Scores

Various standardized test scores are required from the applicants along with their applications. The type of test score submission depends upon the applicant’s choice of course. Students willing to pursue MS courses in the US are asked to submit either of the following test scores:

Test NameConducting AuthorityCourses
GREEducation Testing Services (ETS)Engineering, Management, Social Sciences, Computer and Information Technology
GMATGraduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)Management
MCATPearson VUEMedical
LSATLaw School Admission Council (LSAC)Law

For pursuing MS in the US, students are required to submit standardized test scores, depending upon the choice of course. These test scores are required from the applicants to understand their aptitude and judge them academically only. In some of the universities, submission of these scores is a mere formality.

While some universities admit students without these scores also, they believe that scores cannot define an applicant’s overall academic performance. Some of these universities are:

Standardized Tests: Statistics, When to Apply & Test Preparation

MS admissions in the US require standardized test scores for admissions. Test score submission varies with the course of study chosen. For example, Psychology, Engineering, Computer Science and Management aspirants can submit GRE. Management aspirants may be given an option between GRE or GMAT.

Some of the widely and commonly accepted tests for MS admissions in the US are as follows:

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

In 2018, it was recorded by ETS that more than 23% of students took the GRE for Science majors followed by 14% for Engineering majors and, 7% of applicants were aspirants of Management majors.

When to Apply: Students can apply three weeks before submitting the final admission application deadline. Applying 2-4 months prior to application deadline is considered the ideal time for taking the test.

GRE is both paper-based and computer-based. The computer-based test is conducted thrice every month. While the paper-based test is conducted twice a year. The test is mainly divided into 3 sections.

The following segment suggests section-wise exam preparation tips:

  • Verbal Reasoning: Assesses an applicant’s ability to analyse textual contexts. This section is divided into text completion, reading comprehension and sentence equivalence.
    • Cracking the section becomes 30% easier if applicants have a good speed.
    • Applicants must practice upon to skim through long paragraphs and find accurate answers.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): Basically this section analyses an applicant’s analytical and logical skills. Applicants have to elaborate upon the strength of the given statements, which tests their power of expression.
    • Students can prepare for this section by focusing upon truth, validity and logic of the statements.
    • How far the statement stands according to the applicant’s perspective.   
  • Quantitative Reasoning: This section includes high-school Mathematics concepts. The test is MCQ based.
    • Students can crack the section by going back to their high-school Mathematics books.
    • Practice questions regularly and make a study plan according to the suggested topics.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

Around 238,356 applicants appeared for the GMAT in 2018. According to GMAC, 2018 saw a 16.8% dip in the number of test-takers. Also because taking GMAT is costlier than GRE. Thus, students commonly take one test like GRE if they opt for similar MS courses.

It is basically a computer-based test, taken by those aspiring for admission to B-Schools. Almost all B-Schools consider GMAT as an admission requirement.

When to Apply: Applicants can apply within 16 days of the test conduction. But it is highly recommended that students register for the test 2-3 months prior to the application submission deadline.

GMAT is divided into the following four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA): This section tests the applicant’s ability to evaluate the strength of an argument.
  • Integrated Reasoning: Includes four types of question on graphic-interpretation, two-part analysis, multiple source reasoning and table analysis.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Evaluates the candidate’s capability of sentence correction, draw conclusions from the given text, analyse the text and accuracy in answering.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: It includes problem-solving and data sufficiency problems.

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

MCAT is conducted thrice in a year at 19 international locations, and India is not one of them. This entrance exam is for admission in the US, Canada and Australia.

Students who appear for the exam outside the US are required to pay an extra 400 USD. More than 240,000 students appear forMCAT entrance each year. Cracking the entrance can be easier by following some of the given tips:

  • Try practising the elimination of MCQ’s, as it creates a 50-50 chance of getting the correct option.
  • Use mnemonics to memorise tough Biology concepts. This way the process of learning will be easier.
  • The verbal section can be cracked comfortably if applicants are able to skim through the long paragraphs and find accurate answers.
  • Choose the study material accurately, so that it helps the applicants cover maximum course and syllabus.
  • Time each practice test to judge precision and speed.

LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

Exactly 386,031 applicants appeared for the LSAT in 2017 according to LSAC. This test is designed to examine the student’s overall understanding in terms of logical, verbal and analytical skills.

The test is conducted four times a year. It is taken by aspirants who wish to pursue Law courses in countries like the US, Australia, Canada, etc.

When to Apply: Aspiring Law candidates can apply for the June exam. In case the applicant is unhappy with the scores, he/she can apply again for the October session. The exam must be taken one year prior to applying for admission.

  • Reading Comprehension: This section evaluates the students on the basis of their ability to derive information from the given text.
  • Analytical Reasoning: Analytical as the name suggests, tests the applicant's ability to analytically reason relationships, structures and analogies.
  • Logical Reasoning: Tests an applicant’s critical thinking and evaluation of an argument on the basis of its objectivity.

GRE/GMAT Waiver for MS Admissions

Applicants applying for any MS course in the US university can request for a GRE/GMAT waiver. In turn, applicants must prove their skills in terms of analysis, applying reasoning skills, command over English, quantitative aptitude, etc.

  • It was recorded for 2018 admissions to top B-Schools, out of 12 schools only 5 schools have a prerequisite for GMAT/GRE waiver.
  • GMAT is waived usually for online Management courses only, and not for courses offered on-campus.
  • Less than 14% of students submitted the GMAT score, in comparison to 23% of GRE score submissions for 2018-19 admissions.
  • GRE is waived by more than 70% of the US universities, willing to pursue an MS in the US. But they must have exceptional research and professional experience.

A GRE/GMAT waiver can also be requested. It may be granted based on the following factors:

  • Good educational background with a proof of experience in the field of research, a waiver can then be expected. Along with the following criteria:
    • Excellent performance in the previous graduate program.
    • A good GPA score in the previous degree.
    • Exceptional track record of academic performance.
  • Work experience can also be a major deciding factor if applicants can apply for a GRE/GMAT waiver. Good experience in a professional sphere and a substantial level of involvement in handling situations actively can help applicants in getting a GRE/GMAT waiver.
  • If applicants had already taken GRE/GMAT but, the validity of the scores has expired, an applicant can request for a waiver on the basis of their previous GRE/GMAT score.
  • Applicants can consult and request the faculty member guiding them with the admission process for the same with a valid reason.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Students applying for MS admissions in the US must prove their English language proficiency by submitting scores of TOEFL orIELTS. More than 70% opt to take TOEFL in close comparison to 55% of those who opt for IELTS.

These tests are widely accepted by US universities. English language tests are also further divided into different parts. The following table shows the distinction between two tests:

FactorsTOEFLIELTS
Full-FormThe Test of English as a Foreign LanguageThe International English Language Testing System
Types of TestsIBT: Internet-Based Test
PBT: Paper-Based/Delivered Test
IELTS Academic
IELTS General Training
Application FeeIBT: 160 USD - 250 USD (varies across countries)
PBT: 180 USD (standard)
215 USD - 245 USD (varies across countries)
Score RangeIBT: 0 - 120
PBT: 310 - 677
0 - 9 band score
Testing ComponentsIBT: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
PBT: Reading, Writing and Listening
Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
Score Validity2 years2 years
Test Duration4 hours2 hours 45 minutes
Conducted in150 countries140 countries
Test Organized50 times in a year48 times in a year
Scores Accepted by10,000 universities and colleges9,000 universities and colleges

*Certain universities also accept scores of MELAB or PTE Academic. They may be an integral admission requirement or may be required in lieu of the above-mentioned tests.

Supporting Documents

The application process for MS admissions to the US is very extensive. A list of documents is required from the international students to be considered for admissions. Following are the documents required for MS admissions in the US:

  • Transcripts: In a sealed envelope, stamped and signed by the respective HOD/Principal.
  • Mark sheets: of previously attended institutions, attested by the HOD/Principal.
  • CV: an updated CV must be submitted and according to the correct format. It must include the level of research undertaken and/or work experience.
  • Statement of Purpose: or SOP must be drafted well in time, should be submitted along with the application. It must include details of the applicants, his/her goals and expectations from the course.
  • Letters of Recommendation: at least 2 to 3 LORs must be submitted. They can be submitted online or offline depending upon the mode of application submission.
  • Financial Statement: Bank statement not more than 3 months old, showing sufficient funds for at least one year of study must be submitted.
  • Health Insurance: This is required if an applicant is applying for admissions in the US.
  • Identity Proof: Passport for visa process.

These documents must be kept ready before submission, to avoid last-minute running around.

Letter of Recommendation: Format and Requirements

LORs can be filled either online or offline. Online LORs are filled through the application portal of the respective university. For the online procedure:

  • A link is sent to the respective resource person, at his/her mail.
  • That link redirects them to the online portal which requires them to fill in the required details about the applicant.
  • After filling the form, the resource person can submit the LOR.
  • Automatically a confirmation mail for submission is sent to the resource person and to the applicant.

For offline submission of LORs, the applicants can request their Principal/HOD to draft a letter. The letter must include the details and qualities of the applicant. Also why he/she should pursue the course. The letter must be signed and should have a stamp of the letterhead, sealed in an envelope. 

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Students applying for an MS in any university are required to submit a CV as a part of the admission requirement. It should be in a proper format and must describe the experiences, qualifications and qualities of a student. The sole purpose of demanding a CV is because the admission committee wishes to know deeper about the applicant. This helps them in evaluating their applications with more scrutiny. The better the CV and the more it justifies the student’s capabilities, the higher the chance for admission selection.

The following suggestions could be incorporated before forming a CV:

  • Structure: Following a set structure is important because there should be a chronological flow of information.
  • Format: A rigid format is not followed anywhere. It must be proper visually and its readability must be focused upon.
  • Information: Whatever information an applicant adds, must be true, authentic and it could be validated. The information is usually for cross-checking with details in the application, so students must be careful. They must talk about:
    • Educational Background: Overall from school to college/university. Along with the scores and results.
    • Research Experience: In terms of field or non-field experience, thesis, and research paper topics that were written on. The students can even mention the methods of research used and their knowledge of the application.
    • Professional Experience: This includes the applicant’s elaboration upon the kind of work they were into, what was their role, the designation they were at and moreover, how much experience they gained.
  • Word Limit: CV must not exceed more than one page. It should have 400-500 words only, which is ideal for MS admissions in the US.

How to Send the Transcripts/High School Marksheets

Transcripts should be in a sealed envelope, with the university/school’s stamp. They must be mailed by the respective school or university of the applicant under the head of the department (HOD)/principal’s stamp. If the envelope is received with a broken seal, without a stamp, etc. it is highly likely that it will not be accepted. International students must submit evaluated transcripts.

Transcript Evaluation Agencies

In the US transcript evaluation is known as Credential Evaluation Services (CES). various agencies offer these services. The transcripts are evaluated and translated by trained professionals. Applicants have to upload their high school mark sheets and university degrees at the chosen agency’s official website. Pay the required fee and track the progress.

A transcript evaluation is done by agencies that are recognized nationally. Some of them are:

  • NACES: National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  • WES: World Education Services
  • ECE: Educational Credential Evaluators
  • AACRAO: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers

Importance of transcript evaluation

Transcript evaluation is important because each country has its own system of higher education. The marking and grading system varies, thus to have an evaluation that matches with the US education system, evaluation is important.

Applicants must submit the translated and evaluated transcripts along with their applications. Some universities accept transcripts without evaluation.

Application rejection due to transcripts

Around 60% of the universities in the US reject applications because of discrepancies in the transcripts received. There can be many reasons like students sending them on their own or if the envelope is not sealed properly or if the stamps seem to be fake.

They are supposed to be mailed directly from the respective institution, in a sealed envelope with a stamp. Or they can be sent electronically. Every year the US receives over 10,000 transcripts for MS admissions, on the whole, from its approximately 4,000 institutions.

The following universities that reject applications if transcripts are not sent in a specified manner are:

Tracking Applications

The applicant must check their emails and the portal where the application has been submitted, often. Usually, the applicant gets an intimation on their registered email for further communication, especially those who apply offline.

Many universities accept graduate applications through their official admission portal. Since admission applications are managed by their graduate admission office, students can track their applications through those portals.

Number of courses and universities to apply to

There are different cases that vary depending upon the type of application, university or mode of the application being applied to.

  • Applying through CAS Portal: Applicant can apply to more than one course and university. The applicant must meet the basic requirements for each course they apply to.
  • University Website: Finally applicants applying via the university’s official website there can be 2 possibilities:
    • Through a common graduate school application, multiple MS courses can be opted for.
    • But, if the applications are accepted graduate school-wise, then students may not be able to opt for multiple course options. They will have to choose only one option. For example, if applying via Yale School of Management, applicants can apply for MS in Management only and not for MS in Chemical Engineering.
  • Offline Applications: If applying through the offline mode and sending the applications via mail or post, applicants can apply for 1 or maximum 2 MS courses through a single application.
    • Since these applications are university-specific, applicant directly applies to the respective university only.

Application Rejection

Around 4-5% of students decide to apply at the last moment. With this comes various aspects of the application that are overlooked and ultimately leading to a rejection of the application. Since the reviewing process of the applications is extensive, the following reasons could be held responsible for application rejection:

  • Applying to a few universities.
  • Not researching well about the course/university applying to.
  • Not adhering to the deadlines for documents or score submissions.
  • Not spending enough time writing personal essays and CV.
  • Letter of Recommendations not from trusted sources.
  • Taking help from inexperienced counsellors.
  • Deciding to apply at the very last moment.

Cost of Study & Scholarships

The cost of a US Master’s degree is a big factor for international students planning to enrol in an American university/higher education institute. Higher education in the US is by no means inexpensive, and international applicants should be able to finance their education to be allowed entry to the states.

The figure below highlights sources of financing that international students in USA availed for the 2017-2018 academic session.

Source of funding for international students in USA

Although the cost of an MS degree depends on the area of study and the choice of university, students need to pay around 30,000 USD(approx) as tuition fee. The cost of a professional degree is usually higher.

Pursuing a degree at any level in the US is expensive, getting a scholarship is equally difficult. But according to a recent survey by Fulbright Commission, there are around 600 American universities that can offer scholarships worth 20,000 USD and above to international students alone.

International students are usually offered merit-based scholarships along with other types of scholarships. Some of the scholarships offered to only international graduate aspirants are:

  • Merit-Based Scholarships: These types of scholarships are offered by different US universities to those students who show exceptional performance academically. A few universities that offer these scholarships are:
    • East Tennessee State University: Offers a merit-based scholarship to graduate students of up to 11,500 USD per year.
    • New York University Wagner Scholarship: An amount ranging from 25,000 USD to 47,000 USD is offered to meritorious students for either full or partial tuition.
  • University Scholarships: Different universities offer scholarships to international students to help them fund their studies. The following universities offer scholarships to international graduate aspirants:
    • Clark University: Offers scholarships ranging from 20,000 USD to 25,000 USD to international students pursuing graduate courses.
    • Emory University: This university offers need-based financial aid to selected international graduates. While merit-based funding is offered through its Scholar Program.
    • Iowa State University: Offers scholarships up to 10,000 USD to international students. Based on their applications for admissions, applicants are automatically selected for a merit-based scholarship.
    • University of Oregon: Each year this university awards around 40 scholarships to international students. The scholarships range from 7,500 USD to 30,000 USD waiver on tuition fee.
  • Country-specific Scholarships: To encourage students to take up higher studies from developing countries, different types of scholarships are offered to them. So that they can pursue their education without worrying about the costs. Like the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship.
  • Government Scholarships: There are different agencies or commissions that are registered with the government and offer scholarships to students. Some of these agencies or commissions are:
    • Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship: 50% of grant and 50% loan is offered to students from developing countries, to encourage them in pursuing graduate or research education in a university or college.
    • American Association of University Women: A scholarship ranging from 18,000 USD to 30,000 USD is offered to non-American women. It for those who portray exceptional leadership and commitment towards women empowerment.
    • PEO International Peace Scholarship: Students willing to pursue graduate study in America is offered a scholarship of 12,500 USD. International students can also apply.
  • Private Scholarships: These scholarships are funded by donors or privately owned businesses. They mostly offer scholarships to students from developing countries. Some of them are:
    • Fulbright Commission: The commission offers 8,000 grants to more than 4,000 international students annually. This grant is mainly for aspiring graduates, willing to study in the US.
    • The Next Gen Scholarship: A tuition waiver of 1,000 USD can be given to those applicants pursuing studies at Maryland, Washington or Virginia. The applicant must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. It is open to international students as well.
    • Civil Leadership Awards: A full tuition waiver is offered to those graduate students who show exceptional performance in academics.

Students of which countries take maximum enrollments and why. This can be illustrated through a bar graph, taking certain factors like cost-benefit, visa ease or travel allowance offered, etc.

Visa

There are different types of visas that international students can apply for. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the main authority that handles immigration visa in the US. The US is the #3 highest-ranked country for the number of visa applications it receives every year.

Study Visas

  • F-1 Visa: This visa is usually offered to non-immigrants who are willing to pursue higher studies or research in the US. The applicants must be admitted to a recognized US institution. Also, the applicants must have received the I-20 form from the university he/she has been admitted to.
  • The admitted students are not permitted to take up full-time employment, but they can work part-time. Only 20 hours per week is permissible for working on-campus. There are different types of F visas. They are as follows:
  • F-2 Visa: This visa is for the F-1 visa dependents.
  • F-3 Visa: This visa is granted to Mexican and Canadian applicants only.  They can be enrolled in part-time or full-time study, but are not permitted to work, unlike F-1 visa holders.
  • J-1 Visa: The applicants who go to the US for scholars and professors or visiting exchange students, are eligible for the J-1 visa. The exchange students must prove their English language proficiency.

They must also have medical insurance before going to the US. Proof of funding for the students from the government, banks or respective institution must also be submitted. 

  • The J-2 visa is applicable for dependents of J-1 visa holders. Only if the J-2 visa holders have Employment Authorization Document (EAD), can they work in the US.
  • M-1 Visa: The M-1 Visa is offered to those non-immigrants who wish to pursue vocational or non-academic courses. These applicants are not permitted to work off-campus, while their study duration in the US.
    • M-2 Visa: This visa is also for dependents of M-1 visa.

Visa Denial Reasons

F-1 or J-1 visas can be denied due to a number of reasons. The denial rate for an F-1 visa noted for only Indian students was 27% for 2018. There are a few mistakes commonly made which must be avoided. Reasons for visa denial are:

  • Filing Late Applications: One of the major drawbacks of visa denials is applying late for a visa when the courses are already running at the university. The university may enrol the applicant in the next session until then the I-20 form is not processed.
  • Inability to Prove Financial Aid: Visa can be denied if the applicants are unable to prove the financial resources, required for staying in the US. DS-2019 or the I-20 form must show resources more than required else the visa may be denied.
  • Lack of Interest in Going Back: Since more than 70% of MS aspirants look forward to TA/RA/GA, they are disinterested in going back to their home country. The US is brimming with non-immigrants and thus, this can prove as a composite reason for the visa denial.
  • Inadmissibility: There are numerous reasons for inadmissibility like criminal records, drug abuse, history of trafficking and terrorism. Even if one of the points prove correct against an applicant, they may be denied the visa.
  • Unable to Pass-Through Security Check: CLASS or Consular Lookout and Security System database, must not have the applicant’s name. If at all the name appears, there may be a visa denial depending upon the reason that reflects.
Reasons for US visa rejection

Job Prospects Post MS in the US

MS students are intimidated about various jobs to be taken up after 3 or 5 weeks of their admission. Jobs can be availed through either the university partnerships with various companies or on-campus employment. Employment options can be explored via LinkedIn or Indeed in the US. Seeking employment can be easier through annual job fairs as well. The average salary post-MS in the US for students can go up to 74,000 USD.

Research or Teaching Assistants cannot apply before 6 months of their study duration. They can earn around 1,500 USD monthly, which can help in covering the living costs. To be able to work in the US, the applicants must:

  • Cooperate with the background checks. Provide correct and authentic information.
  • Confirm employment status with the company and apply for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The applicants must complete the I-765 Application for Employment Form.
  • An application fee of 495 USD is charged to fill the form.
  • Applicants must also submit:
    • Copy of I-94 Nonimmigrant form as proof.
    • 2 identical passport-sized photographs.
    • Copy of the EAD if applied previously.

The 2017-18 employment statistics show the average salary obtained by students from various fields. It was seen that maximum enrollment and average starting salary was obtained by students pursuing an MS in Engineering. Other fields of study and their average starting salaries are as follows:

Subject SpecializationInternational Students AdmittedAverage Starting Salary
Business & Management200,50071,663 USD
Engineering217,00073,871 USD
Mathematics & Computer Sciences142,000Mathematics: 67,891 USD
Computer Science: 72,080 USD
Social Sciences19,50052,333 USD

LCA’s for 2017

Over 100 companies in the US offer work visas to their employees. These are well-known and reputed companies and most of them have their offices in other countries as well. Not all companies are permitted to give work visas to their employees for a simple reason that they are small companies with fewer turnovers. The following table is a list of the top 15 companies in the US and the number of H-1B visas they offered for the fiscal year 2017:

Company NameRankNumber of LCA*
Infosys#125,405
Capgemini#217,479
Tata Consultancy Services#313,134
IBM#412,381
Wipro#510,607
Accenture#69,479
Tech Mahindra#78,615
Deloitte Consulting#87,645
Cognizant#95,370
Microsoft#105,029
HCL America#114,930
Google#124,897
Ernst & Young#134,625
Larsen & Toubro InfoTech#143,092
Amazon#152,622

*LCA: Labour Condition Applications are those applications that are filed by employers on behalf of their employees.

Work Visas

  • H-1B Visa: This type of work visa is opted by foreign nationals who wish to temporarily work in the US. They must have a degree in specialized courses like Engineering, Computer Science, etc. Around 2 million applicants apply for H1B visa every year.

In 2017 alone, over 236,000 applications were received. Out of which 85,000 were selected. From 85,000 another 20,000 were reserved for those who had a master’s degree. Getting this visa has become the most difficult over these two years, seeing a sharp rise in the number of petitions.

  • L-1 Visa: Is offered to those people who are entitled to transfer from one country to the company’s US branch. They are usually trained professional or employees holding positions of managers, senior executives, etc. Also, they must have experience of at least one year. The US and non-US employers must not be related to the employee in any manner.

*The plus point of having an L-1 visa is that the L-1 visa holder’s spouse can work easily in the US. There are different types of L-1 visas as well, they are as follows:

  • L-1A Visa: This is exclusively for managers and executives. Having a validity of 7 years.
  • L-1B Visa: This visa is for those persons who have specialized knowledge in a certain field. The visa is valid for 5 years.

Work Visa Extension

There is a process which non-immigrants must follow before requesting for a work visa extension. It is recommended to apply for an extension 45 days prior to the authorized expiration. The applicants must first fulfil the following criteria before applying for an extension:

  • If the applicant was admitted into the US lawfully, with a non-expired non-immigrant visa.
  • The applicant has abided by all rules and regulations to maintain his/her status.
  • Also, the students have fulfilled the requirements as promised while admitting.
  • Passport and visa are valid, and the applicant has not stayed beyond the actual time limit in the US.

The process of filing and submitting the work visa extension form is through a single form. The steps to fill and submit the form are as follows:

  • The students must complete the Form I-539.
  • The form costs approximately 350 USD for submission.
  • Along with the form, evidence of stay, admission in which university and other personal details are also required.
  • Members of the same family or dependents can also file for an extension through the same form.
  • Finally, the form should be signed and submitted by the applicant.

Work-Study Program

Students holding a J-1 or M-1 visa are allowed to work part-time on-campus. They can work for 20 hours per week. On completing the first year at the university, applicants can seek employment that is specifically for international students in:

  • Optional Practical Training: Or OPT allows international graduate students to work for one year post-degree completion in the US. This helps the students in gaining practical experience in the field of their choice post-graduation.
  • Curricular Practical Training: Through CPT, international graduate students can gain professional experience related to their field of study through paid or unpaid internships, co-operative education, etc. Which may prove beneficial for their work-study program.
  • Both OPT and CPT cannot be opted together. If an applicant has already opted for CPT he/she cannot opt for OPT at the same time.

The work-study program does not permit students to work off-campus. But whatever experience an applicant gains, is considered when applying for full-time employment. Students can earn 40 USD to 50 USD per hour. On the whole, the amount totals to 450 USD per month, which covers the living costs.

Restrictions

There are certain restrictions when it comes to the work-study program in the US. Students, in order to maintain their status, must not violate any condition which may lead to visa rejection.

  • Applicant must have a job before applying for CPT. The job must be in a relevant field related to the applicant’s focus of study.
  • The duration of work-study must not be violated. If it's one year or a few months, as this can lead to deportation.
  • Students must not work beyond 20 hours in a week. They may work on 2 jobs but must not exceed the permitted working hours.
  • Application for CPT or OPT must be filed as and when the applicant gets a job on-campus. Else the applicant will not be permitted to work.

MS in US v/s Other Countries

Thousands of students pursue MS in abroad every year. Since students also apply to universities in different countries they must know that each country has a distinct set of requirements. They can vary from course duration to post-degree opportunities. Following section draws a comparison between MS in the US and globally renowned countries like Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia.

MS in Canada v/s MS in the US

For the recent admissions of 2018, it was seen that admission to conventional MBA program was 6.6% lower in the US. While Canada saw an increase in MS Data Analytics by 7.7%. Thus, there is a tough competition between Canada and the USA in terms of reputation in imparting quality education and employment opportunities. Choosing one option over the other depends upon the following factors like:

FactorsMS in CanadaMS in the US
Global Ranking (top 50 universities)7 universities rank19 universities rank
Tuition Fee20,000 USD - 40,000 USD24,000 USD - 60,000 USD
Living Costs10,200 USD12,000 USD
Scholarships (international students)Government-funded or merit-basedNeed-based (very few), merit-based
VisaPermanent visa can be availedDifferent types of visas as per requirement- work or study
GDP (Nominal) Ranking#10#1
Average Starting Salaries47,000 USD52,333 USD

From the above table, it can be noted that:

  • Permanent Residence Visa is easier to obtain in Canada, in comparison to the long and tedious wait for an immigrant visa in the US.
  • Studying costs for international students is 30-40% cheaper in Canada in comparison to the US.
  • Post MS degree, students can get a job with an average starting salary of 52,500 USD in the US, in comparison to 47,000 USD in Canada.
  • Around 70% more funds and scholarships are offered in Canada to international students for MS. On the other hand, scholarships for graduates are meagre in the US.
  • Living costs are 2% lower in Canada per annum for an international applicant, in comparison to the US.

MS in UK v/s MS in the US

The UK is home to 2 oldest and the most renowned universities, Oxford and Cambridge. MS admissions in the UK have surged from 3% from 2017-2018. Whereas, US admissions saw an increase in the applications received for MS courses and consequently a 6% increase in the acceptance rate was recorded for 2018 admissions. Students seeking admissions in MS abroad can consider either of these countries based upon the following comparison:

FactorsMS in the UKMS in the US
Global Ranking (top 10)4 universities rank5 universities rank
Tuition Fee 20,700 USD24,000 USD - 60,000 USD
 Living Costs13,100 USD12,000 USD
ScholarshipsPartial tuition fee waivers onlyPartial to full tuition fee waivers
VisaTier 4 study visa Tier 2 work visaJ-1/F-1 study visa H1B work visa
Average Starting Salaries28,000 USD - 100,000 USD52,333 USD

Pursuing an MS in the US or the UK is a tough choice. Thus, it requires students to choose their options wisely keeping in mind the following points:

  • While there is only 1 type of master’s in the US, there are 3 types of postgraduate study options in the UK. They vary in terms of their course curriculums and duration:
    • Taught Master’s: 1-year course offering Masters in various fields like MS, MA, MBA, etc.
    • Post-graduate Diploma: 2 semesters but without thesis submission at the end.
    • Research-based Master’s: 12-24 months, used as an entry requirement to PhD programs. MRes or MPhil is offered.
  • Living costs have gone up to 2.46% since 2017 due to UK’s decision for Brexit. Thus, living in the UK is more expensive than in the US.
  • Getting a Tier 2-work visa has become even more difficult as the student is given a time period of 6 months to find employment. Salary being around 30,000 Pounds.
    • Students post-graduation in the US can avail OPT or CPT depending upon the required amount of time they require to stay back.
  • Since the unemployment rate in the UK is touching 50%, not a lot of students are offered jobs, even if they are they are bound to return to their country. The US equally has a high unemployment rate but offers jobs to exceptionally talented students only.

MS in Germany v/s MS in the US

Germany is a hub of 100 universities that are known for its technical and applied sciences programs specifically. Though job opportunities are not widely available, yet students can get their hands-on experience through work-study or internships in their desired technical field. In the US, not all work-study programs offer students experience in their field of study. But there are other components that must be considered before choosing either of the options for MS in abroad. They are:

FactorsMS in the UKMS in the US
Global Ranking (top 100)3 universities rank28 universities rank
Tuition Fee 24,000 USD - 30,000 USD24,000 USD - 60,000 USD
 Living Costs10,200 USD12,000 USD
ScholarshipsGovernment, non-government and university-specificMerit-based for international students
Work-Study180 days part-time/90 days full-time20 hours per week
VisaResidence Permit of 18 monthsStudent visa/work visa

Admission process and requirements do not vary widely except for language requirements. A well thought out decision

  • Abitur or high school completion requiring 15 years of education in Germany is mandatory for MS admissions. While 16 years of education is mandatory for admission in the US.
  • A year's experience betters the chances for selection to MS courses in Germany. Whereas, students having experience in research proves beneficial for US admissions.
  • Language proficiency: If opting for German taught courses, then students will have to submit test scores of TestDAF, DSH Level 2 or German B1. But if applying for English taught courses then scores of TOEFL or IELTS can be submitted.
  • Abundant scholarships are offered in Germany to international students. While in the US mostly merit-based scholarships are offered.

German government encourages learning through exchange programs as well, having tie-ups with over 2,000 institutions worldwide.

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