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MS in the USA: The Ultimate Guide for International Students


According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), there are over 11,779 Nepalese students currently enrolled in universities within the United States. This figure is projected to increase in the near future. But with so much competition, what can give you an edge when studying in America?

Probably an MS degree from a reputed American university.

Do you want to know the details of an MS program? What makes these programs so attractive and useful? From eligibility to advantages, we have all the information here – let's take a look! 

What is MS in the USA?

MS studies in the USA is an advanced degree program that stands for "Master's in Science." This program requires students to complete a set of courses and a research project or thesis in a specialised field of study. 

Why study MS in the USA?

In terms of high-quality education, few countries in the world can compete with America. Graduate programs within this nation are no different; MS courses provided here are renowned for their excellence.

Here are a few reasons why pursuing an MS in the USA can be highly beneficial for Nepalese students: 

  1. Edge over the others: Achieving a master's in science in the USA can provide graduates with an undeniable advantage when it comes to job prospects, both domestically and internationally. The amount of money MS holders can make right out of the gate is impressive, with average salaries ranging from $100,000 to $150,000. Undoubtedly, beginning one's career with such financial security is an attractive proposition.
  2. Research opportunities: The master's programs in the USA offer students a unique chance to engage in cutting-edge research work. This empowers them with the skills and knowledge needed to make groundbreaking contributions to their chosen field of study.
  3. A diverse range of subjects: Studying a master's of science in the US provides students with ample knowledge and skills that are extensively sought after in today's global job market. There are numerous options available, including data science and robotics, as well as biotechnology and cyber security. All of these options are designed to prepare students for success in this rapidly transforming technological world. 

Top US universities for MS:

When it comes to obtaining a master's of science degree, there are numerous universities in America offering top-notch educational programs. According to several reputable sources such as U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and QS World University Rankings, below are some particularly noteworthy institutes for those studying science and technology:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Stanford University
  3. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  4. Carnegie Mellon University
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. University of California, Berkeley
  7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  9. University of Texas at Austin
  10. Cornell University

Popular MS courses in USA:

According to the most recent industry trends, we have listed some of the most popular MS courses in the United States below:

  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Data Science
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Environmental science and engineering
  5. Computer science
  6. Mechanical engineering
  7. Biomedical engineering 

What are the MS eligibility requirements in the United States?

In order to gain entry into a master of science program in America, universities may have differing criteria for admission. However, there are some common requirements that must be met, such as the following:

Bachelor's degree: You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The degree can be in any field, but some MS programs have specific undergraduate major requirements.

GPA: Most schools require a minimum undergraduate GPA, usually around 3.0. However, some programs may be more competitive and require a higher GPA.

Test scores: Many MS programs require standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT.

When it comes to average scores, they can range anywhere from 550 to a high of 720. Most programs typically require applicants to submit a score that falls within the 600-700 range. But for those trying for highly competitive programs or at top universities, higher scores are usually expected - usually in the 700-720 ballpark.

Work Experience Certificate: A minimum of 2 to 3 years of work experience is required for doing MS in the USA. However, some courses do not ask for work experience as a mandatory requirement.

Proof of Funds: After having your admission letter from a particular US college the next step is to sort your finances. The visa officers ask for I-20 proof of funds for your F-1 Visa to ensure that you have sufficient funds to bear your expenses during the course of your stay in USA. Documents like personal or sponsor's bank statements, provident funds, fixed deposit, scholarship proof, loan sanction letter, etc can be used for the same.

Letters of recommendation: You may be required to provide letters of recommendation from professors or employers.

Personal statement or essay: You may need to submit a personal statement or essay to give the admissions committee a better understanding of your goals, motivations, and background.

Passport and Student Visa: All international students require an F-1 student visa to pursue MS in USA. for that, must receive an I-20 form from the university they have applied to. Apart from that, your passport must have a validity of minimum of 6 months after the completion date of the course in the USA.

English proficiency: If English is not your first language, you may need to take an English proficiency test, such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), to demonstrate your language skills. 

Document Required for MS in USA:

  • Transcripts of all educational qualifications
  • Scorecards of IELTS/ TOEFL/ GRE/ GMAT
  • Work experience certificate (if applicable)
  • CV or Resume
  • LOR
  • SOP
  • Proof of funds
  • Valid passport and student visa

What are the Test score requirements for admission to Master's in the USA?

When applying to a master of science (MS) program in America, students must be aware that there can be different test score requirements based on which university or course they are pursuing. Some of the popular tests used for admissions include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and IELTS.

Here are the standardised test score requirements for popular US universities


GRE score

IELTS score

Stanford University



Carnegie Mellon University



University of California, Berkeley



University of Washington



New York University



University of Texas Austin



Yale University



University of Chicago

Quant - 154,

Verbal - 125


University of California, Los Angeles

Quant - 169,

Verbal - 158


University of Minnesota

Quant - 170,

Verbal - 153


Scholarships for Master's in the USA:

There are a variety of scholarships available to students who are interested in pursuing an MS degree in the United States. Some common types of scholarships for graduate students include:

Institutional scholarships: Many universities and colleges offer scholarships to their own students. These scholarships may be based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both.

Government-sponsored scholarships: The United States government offers several scholarship programs, such as the Fulbright Scholar Program and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Private scholarships: Private organisations, foundations, corporations, and non-profits offer scholarships to graduate students. Some of these scholarships are based on specific criteria such as academic achievement, ethnicity, field of study, or community service.

Professional association scholarships: Many professional associations offer scholarships to students who are pursuing degrees in fields related to the association's mission.

Departmental scholarships: Some graduate programs offer scholarships directly to students enrolled in their program. These scholarships may be based on academic merit, research potential, or other factors. 

Related Article: Scholarships in USA

Work Permit after studying MS in the US:

Having attained a master of science (MS) degree in the United States, there are numerous paths you can pursue to gain employment here. To begin with, one of the primary steps is:

  1. Obtain a work visa: In order to be eligible for a job in the United States after graduating, an international student will need to acquire a work visa. The H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant permit for workers with special expertise, is the most frequent one granted. To acquire it, you must discover an employer who's willing to sponsor your request and submit the forms provided by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Creating a professional circle: Establishing a support system of experts in the same industry can be essential for discovering employment opportunities. Going to job fairs, affiliating with organisations within your field, and showing up to relevant activities are great ways to locate potential employers and other individuals in the same line of work.
  3. Prepare for job applications: Prior to job applications, it's vital that you have your documents ready. This includes constructing a polished resume and cover letter, researching potential interview questions, and familiarising yourself with both your professional ambitions and how the graduate program has equipped you for the desired position.

Pursuing a master's degree from the United States, especially an MS degree, is a highly esteemed endeavour. It greatly enhances your credentials and provides excellent prospects for career advancement. Obtaining an MS degree carries considerable weight across the world, which means students will have access to plentiful job opportunities in many countries. 

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