In this article, you will find information on the requirements for masters in USA, the application processes, and every other detail that international and domestic students would need to get admission into a master’s degree program in the USA.
The US is amongst the top list of study destinations in the world, most of the top institutions are located in the US, thus making thousands of students flock there annually to get an education for any level of study in any discipline or field of study.
Leaving aside the undergraduate and doctoral levels of study, this article provides concrete information on the requirements for masters in USA, helpful tips, and advice on how to get them both for international and domestic students.
So, if you want to get a masters in the United States and you are currently reading this then I daresay you have stepped into a gold mine where instead of getting gold you gain information on requirements for masters in USA that will boost your academic level, thus getting you good employment, help you start up a new career path or promote you in your place of work.
You will find out that the process required for getting a masters in the USA, both for an international and domestic student, is not as strenuous as it seems as long as you have the right information at your disposal.
Why Get a Masters in the USA?
Getting a master’s degree in the USA either as a domestic or international student has a nice ring to it and comes with a lot of advantages which I will share below;
For the reputation
It is no longer news that the US holds the best research-intensive institutions in the world suitable for conducting master’s degree programs as they offer world-class education and utilizes state-of-the-art facilities too.
With such a reputation that these US universities hold, going there to study for a master’s degree program will make you enjoin the reputation, and your CV will be highly regarded by employers in any organization.
Most top-ranking institutions in the world are mostly US-based, they offer the best kind of education you can get, and develop and shape your potential into a successful career.
The United States pumps a lot of funds into their education sector to enable people to get the education they deserve and through this funding, they are able to establish suitable learning facilities giving everyone the chance to work on cutting-edge technology and research.
A master’s degree study develops you better for your career after an undergraduate study but where you study also determines how many opportunities will come your way and that is where the US comes in.
The US holds one of the highest employment rates in the world and it is also a great place for startup businesses. Getting a master’s degree in the US enhances your career opportunities both at home and abroad and there are even bigger advantages for you as an international student because going back home with your certificate makes you a prominent individual in the workforce.
Opportunity to work alongside experts in your field of study
US universities hold international prestige because of the renowned works done by their professors and some of these professors are Nobel prize winners who have contributed majorly in a particular field of study and are awarded for their work.
Now, since you want to study for a master’s in the US, you have the opportunity of working alongside these professionals and experts and get firsthand knowledge of your academic research from them.
The USA is abundant with the world’s top institutions, MIT, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the other popular Ivy League institutions are all located in the USA so there is an abundance of institutions to choose from and it doesn’t end there.
These prestigious universities offer some of the world’s best disciplines at any level of study so you are guaranteed of getting the best master’s study in the world’s best school.
Globally recognized degrees
Degrees gotten from US universities are internationally recognized, employers are always seeking out applicants with such degrees, and you as a master’s degree holder from a US university aren’t left out as well.
Master’s programs in the US are globally recognized same as the degrees so when you get a master’s degree in the US you are ahead of the workforce competitors with the same career profile but got their degrees from a different country.
There is a diverse range of cultures you can learn about in the US. With people from different places coming there to study, you get the opportunity to learn about various cultures and connect with them on various levels.
The connection can also come on a professional level, you get to have the contacts of various professionals and experts who may, at one time used to be your fellow student and you can always rely on them and vice versa in case an opportunity pops up.
Gain advanced knowledge
A master’s degree program is a great way of deepening your knowledge of a chosen subject, you get to dive deeper into your academic interests and treat areas that your undergraduate study couldn’t handle.
In fact, you may even decide to choose to study a whole new discipline and gain deep, extensive knowledge of other subjects that catches your interest.
Truly, there are endless reasons regarding getting a master’s in the US the reasons I stated above may help you to decide or clear up your confusion.
How much does it cost to study Masters in the USA?
This is a question that bothers and confuses a lot of people, especially international students who want to study for a master’s degree in the USA, I will use this means to clear up the confusion.
Firstly, what you should understand is that there are different universities in the US each with different costs for domestic and international students and it is always more expensive for international students as the costs include their flights and getting a visa but the cost of living is always same for international and domestic students.
The cost of studying for a master’s in the USA is around $72,000 for the 2 years of master’s study and covers tuition fees (which may vary according to institution), costs of living, and flight (which varies according to location).
What GPA is needed for Masters in the USA?
Master’s degree program in the US requires applicants to have a minimum of 3.0 GPA
Full Requirements For Masters In USA And How To Get Them
It’s high time I dived into the main matter of this article, requirements for masters in the USA. The requirements will be split into two though, for international students and the other for domestic students since the requirements for either class of students are different.
However, before I fully dive into these requirements, there is an important subject matter that both international and domestic students need to consider as it will fully affect their academics and careers and it is the issue of choosing the right university for your masters’ degree program.
Choosing the right university
This may not seem like much but it is what greatly influences the outcome of your academics and your career.
There is an abundance of universities in the US each with one or more disciplines or field of study as its major stronghold, that is the institution is globally recognized in those areas of study.
Choose the university that suits you and your field of study, be sure it has the necessary facilities and resources which are suitable for your learning and are readily available for your use to help enhance your knowledge in your master program.
The other factors you should consider when choosing a university are;
- Cost: The school you want to choose should fit your cost-wise in every aspect like tuition fees, cost of living, flight, etc. Check out all of these and be sure you can handle the costs till the end of your master’s program study to avoid being in debt or have to drop out because you can no longer handle the costs.
- Location: This should also go into consideration, examine the weather, culture, language and other factors that have to deal with going to a new place and be certain you can cope with them.
- University Ranking
- Placement Records
- Internship Opportunities
Without further ado, let’s get into the various requirements for masters in USA.
Full Requirements for Masters in USA for Domestic Students
These are the requirements that citizens and permanent residents of the USA who want to pursue a master’s degree program in the US need to follow up on. These requirements include eligibility criteria, deadlines, application process and documents needed to get masters in the USA.
You must have completed at least 15 or 16 years of formal education
First of all, before applying to a university and masters’ degree program of your choice applicants must have completed a total of 16 years of formal education which is 10+2+4 year undergraduate degree programs. Some US schools accept 15 years of previous education which is 10+2+3 year undergraduate degree program.
The 16/15 years of previous education is the first requirement when applying for a masters’ degree program in the USA.
Standardized Test Scores
There are various tests required by the master’s applicant to take and submit the test scores in the process of the admissions application. These tests are;
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standard test designed to measure your quantitative reasoning skills, analytical skills, verbal and critical thinking skills before being admitted into your preferred graduate program.
The satisfactory score for the GRE is set by your host institution and it may vary according to your program type and schools. Also, some universities may decide to waive off the GRE test or may decide to grade students with her special internal exams.
To cancel out confusion, it is required that applicants contact their preferred institution to learn more about the GRE test score.
Graduate Management Admission Test also tests the same skills as the GRE but only people who are applying for a graduate management program such as the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree can take the GMAT.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test for every prospective medical student including masters degree applicant in the US. The MCAT measures the problem solving and critical thinking skills of the applicant including written analysis and knowledge of scientific concepts and principles.
The applicant knowledge is tested on verbal reasoning, physical and biological sciences.
The Law School Admission Test is only taken by prospective law students and it assesses the reading comprehension, verbal reasoning and logical skills of the applicant. You can familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the test by enrolling in an online LSAT prep course.
Prospective master’s applicants should note that these tests are in English language and computer-based, they should also make inquiries about the type of standardized test their preferred institution requires.
In some cases, the institution may waive off the standardized test scores and instead test students with their own internal exams before admitting prospective graduate applicants.
Transcripts are records of all your academic scores/grades throughout your school years. As a master’s program applicant into a US university, you will be required to submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
Applicants can get their academic transcripts from previous colleges or universities, the admission committee of your preferred institution uses it to know about your academic life and how your grades have been like.
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to submit two or three letters of recommendation which can be gotten from past lecturers, professors or employers.
Letters of Recommendation gives your host institution the chance of getting to know what others, especially people you have come in contact with or worked with, think about you. It is like a review of you and how well you work with others
Statement of Purpose
This is an essay written by you illustrating the reasons why you want to join that particular graduate program, your reason for pursuing the degree, what you aim to achieve and the work you plan to do in the program.
In a nutshell, it will contain statements about your chosen master’s degree program and it is also important that you follow the rules and guidelines of writing one which is usually provided by your preferred institution’s admissions committee.
The minimum required GPA for a master’s degree program in the United States is 3.0.
You may decide to process your application online or offline (in person), there is always an attached application fee for masters application and the amount varies according to the institution. So, you need to contact your host institution to know about her application fee for masters’ degree program.
Anyway, there are some schools in the US that do not charge application fees that we have featured earlier on this blog.
This is just a typical resume which contains your contact information and every other detail which would be required by the institution’s admission board in-case you need to be contacted.
On your CV clearly list out all your relevant achievements, both academic and nonacademic. List out all the relevant positions you’ve ever held and the roles you played. This should be very short. It is advisable to not let your CV exceed two pages.
These are the full requirements for masters in USA for domestic students. It is important that masters applicants contact their preferred institution on more details concerning which test score or documents it requires or doesn’t require though these would be clearly listed out on their application page.
So, let’s dive into the next category, the full requirements for masters in USA for international students.
Full Requirements for Masters in USA for International Students
The requirement for domestic and international students are almost alike only a few documents are different, don’t worry, I’ll point out all of these requirements.
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation
As you have seen above, most of the requirements for international and domestic students are the same except for the Study Permit or Student Visa and IELTS/TOEFL standardized test scores which I will explain too.
Standardized Test Scores (GMAT/GRE/IELTS/TOEFL)
International students who want to study for a master’s program in the USA will take the GRE or GMAT exams and also the IELTS or TOEFL.
IELTS: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized computer and paper-based test of English language proficiency designed for non-native English language speakers which test their skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking of the English language and international students are required to take the exam and submit the test score during the master’s degree program admissions application.
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the same as the IELTS also tests the masters of the same skill students may decide to take the TOEFL or the IELTS they work the same way.
The study permit or student visa, as it is commonly known, is a permit allowing students to travel to the United States to stay and study for their master’s degree program. Prospective international students can get a student visa at the US embassy in their states.
Before prospective students begin to apply for the US student visa, they must have firstly applied for admission into their preferred institution and must have been accepted into the graduate program of their choice.
You can apply for the student visa online or offline (in person) and the requirements and application fee for the visa varies by location, check the provided link above to know about your country’s own requirements or simply click here.
Basic Documents for Student Visa
- Academic transcripts
- Standardized test scores (GRE/GMAT, IELTS/TOEFL)
- Financial evidence
- Clear passport photographs
- Application fee payment receipt or admission consideration proof
These are the full requirements for masters in USA for international students, it maybe important you contact your preferred institution for more details on the graduate degree program for international students though every necessary information is usually made available on the application page.
Conclusion on Requirements for Masters in the USA
Getting a master’s degree certificate in the United States is expensive especially for international students but it is worth it and you get recognized by employers of top organizations in your field of study.
Generally, getting a master’s degree gives you in-depth knowledge of your discipline thus enhancing your skill and knowledge and bringing you closer to being a professional in that field.
The gained knowledge will enhance your career, brush up your skills thus putting you ahead of the workforce competition, earn a promotion at your workplace, get a salary increase or begin a new career path.
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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.
When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.