This article primarily targets students of engineering , however, the rules of the game are similar across all the faculties. Master of Science (MS) is a post graduate degree. We mainly focus on the procedure to secure a seat of admission, into the Universities located in USA. The Universities in USA are often called Graduate schools. For any student aspiring to get admitted into the Master’s course in United States, the ideal journey will start atleast three years before the admissions deadline.
US recognizes only 4 year college degrees as under graduate degrees. Hence, if you are a BA, B.Sc or B.Com graduate, you are advised to complete your first year of Master’s degree in India before applying. To get a fair idea about the schools in US, browse these school websites and explore the programs offered.
Notice how each of these schools have a “Prospective students” section. This is where, you will be able to obtain most of your information. Then, if you go into, “Academics and Departments” section, you will be able to see the department in which you are interested and all the details about the courses they offer.
How to pick a school?
You can use these three major factors to narrow down schools of your interest:
- Research Interests/Academic Interests – If you are highly motivated, then you can win over any tough situation and complete it successfully. So, choose your subject of interest and everything else will follow suit.
- Climate Conditions – Climate wise, US has varied weather pattern across its 5o states.If you cannot tolerate extreme snow conditions, stick to schools in states like Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, California etc., If you are ok, with the snow aspect, then you can look for schools any place in the US. Pull up a map of US, from google and locate the states I have indicated. Get familiar with the states in the country, read a little bit about each state from Wiki.It will increase your comfort level, so that when you are applying to schools, it will not be going to somewhere, where no one has been. Depending on your immunity profile and body conditions, choose schools in areas where you do not have to fight with the weather on everyday basis to keep you going.
- Costs Involved - Check the costs involved (Tuition Fees, Living Expenses) to the schools you apply. Normally schools closer to bigger cities are expensive compared to the ones in rural areas. This is a cost intensive exercise and make sure you are prepared financially, before proceeding further. There are many educational loans available, which you can pay, after you complete your degree and secure a job. Inquire about those options, in case you do not have any personal resources. A very important point to remember is that, till the completion of your degree you are only investing in yourself and cannot think of monetary returns, until you graduate and secure a job.
Depending on your budget, you can apply to as many schools as you want. For practical purposes and for reasons which will be explained later, our suggestion is to shortlist 4 schools to begin with.
Next article provides details on entrance tests (GRE & TOEFL) and documents required for applying into the MS program.