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17 June 2023

9 minutes read

Acceptance Rate of Universities in USA for MS

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Key Takeaways

  • High acceptance rate universities in the USA provide greater accessibility and diverse MS specializations, enhancing students’ chances of admission and aligning with varied academic interests.
  • These universities often have more affordable tuition fees and comprehensive financial aid options, making education in the USA more feasible for international students.
  • Despite high acceptance rates, these institutions maintain quality education, offering modern facilities, experienced faculty, and strong industry connections for internships and jobs.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a shift towards online learning, allowing students to continue their education with flexibility and reduced disruption, although it poses challenges for practical, hands-on experience.

Acceptance rate of universities is one of the important indicators that defines the number of students that can be allowed to join the university. It is a measurement of the student acceptance rate that is arrived at by determining the ratio of the number of accepted students to the total number of applicants. A set of factors affect university acceptance rates such as the institution ranking, the number of places for admission, and the competitiveness of the pool.

Top-tier institutions have limited admissions rates due to the social appeal and the rigorous criteria usually adopted by the institutions. Thus, institutions with high acceptance rates would generally have other admission policies which tend to be more lenient to qualify the students for their programs. By reading the below given article, you will be able to get the idea about the acceptance rate of universities located in USA .

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What do you mean by high acceptance rate universities in US?

High acceptance rate universities in the US are those that students stand higher chances of being admitted in since only a fraction of the applicants are usually turned down. These universities are usually more open for students, regardless of their average academic achievements. Possible cause that explain higher acceptances include size of class size, array of programs offered and admission procedures not being as rigid as in other universities.

Some of these institutions include; California State University, Fullerton and the University of Texas at Arlington accept over 60% of the applicant in most of their intakes. The opportunities of students to continue their education, while in these schools is great and this make them ideal for those who wish to secure seats in a university in the United States of America.

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Top Universities in USA and Their Acceptance Rates for MS 2024

Here’s a table of top universities in the USA for pursuing an MS, along with their acceptance rates.

UniversityAcceptance Rate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)6.7%
Stanford University5.2%
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)17.5%
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)6.4%
Carnegie Mellon University15.4%
Harvard University4.7%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign22.8%
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor22.9%
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)16.1%
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)21.3%

These USA universities are among the top choices for students looking to pursue an MS. Each of these universities offers rigorous programs and is highly respected among universities worldwide.

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MS specializations offered by high acceptance rate universities of USA 


Here’s a table of MS specializations offered by high acceptance rate universities in the USA, along with the annual tuition fees for each specialization:

UniversityMS SpecializationsAnnual Tuition Fee
California State University, FullertonComputer Science, Engineering, Business Administration, Education$17,622
University of Texas at ArlingtonComputer Science, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Nursing$22,941
University of HoustonData Science, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering$18,748
University of North TexasBiomedical Engineering, Information Science, Business Analytics, Environmental Science$21,125
South Dakota State UniversityElectrical Engineering, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering$12,768
Indiana State UniversityComputer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Criminology, Psychology$19,836
Cleveland State UniversityComputer Science, Chemical Engineering, Urban Studies, Health Sciences$18,309
University of MemphisBiomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Business Administration, Civil Engineering$14,202
Wichita State UniversityAerospace Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Health Administration$15,890
Montana State UniversityComputer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Engineering$17,190

These universities provide a wide range of MS specializations with relatively higher acceptance rates, making them accessible options for students aiming to pursue advanced degrees in the USA.

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Other US Universities with 100% acceptance rate 2024

Here is a table of US universities with a 100% acceptance rate in 2024:

Academy of Art UniversitySan Francisco, California
Bismarck State CollegeBismarck, North Dakota
City University of SeattleSeattle, Washington
Cleveland State UniversityCleveland, Ohio
Dixie State UniversitySt. George, Utah
Granite State CollegeConcord, New Hampshire
Lake Sumter State CollegeLeesburg, Florida
Rasmussen UniversityMultiple Locations
University of PikevillePikeville, Kentucky
Wayne State CollegeWayne, Nebraska

These universities offer open admissions, meaning they accept all applicants who meet their basic requirements, providing ample opportunities for students to pursue higher education.

Why should you choose a high acceptance rate university in the US to pursue MS ?

As a student who wants to pursue Masters in the USA, specifically MS , can consider the following to choose the right university . 

Accessibility and Opportunities

Selecting an MS programme at a US university with a high acceptance rate provides considerable accessibility. More students can be admitted because many universities with high acceptance rates offer a wide range of programmes. This raises your prospects of beginning graduate school without the anxiety and uncertainty of very competitive admissions procedures.

Diverse Specializations

Universities with high acceptance rates provide several MS specialisations. These universities serve a wide range of academic interests from business and health sciences to engineering and computer science. This variety enables students to select programmes that closely match their academic and professional objectives.

Cost-Effective Education

Comparing several high acceptance rate universities to more selective ones, the former have more reasonable tuition. Because of the cheaper tuition and, frequently, more substantial financial assistance packages, studying in the US becomes more affordable. Student debt and financial stress can be much reduced with an affordable education.

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Quality Education and Resources

Even though these universities have better acceptance rates, they still offer high-quality education. They give you access to modern facilities, experienced faculty, and a lot of research possibilities. Many colleges with high acceptance rates are also well-connected with businesses and can help their students find internships and jobs.

Inclusive Environment

High acceptance rate universities often foster a more inclusive and diverse environment. With students from various backgrounds and academic levels, these institutions encourage a culture of collaboration and support. This diversity enriches the learning experience, preparing students for real-world, multicultural work environments.

Flexibility and Support

These universities tend to offer flexible study options, including part-time and online programs, which are ideal for international students living in the US. Additionally, they often provide robust support services, such as academic advising, career counselling, and tutoring, ensuring students have the resources needed to succeed.

Scholarships offered to international students 

High acceptance rate universities in the USA often offer a variety of scholarships to international students pursuing an MS. These scholarships help reduce the financial burden of tuition fees and average cost of living, making it more feasible for students from diverse economic backgrounds to study in the US.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Many high acceptance rate universities provide merit-based scholarships to international students based on their academic achievements, test scores, and extracurricular involvement. These scholarships can significantly reduce tuition costs and are often renewable for the duration of the MS program, provided the student maintains a certain GPA. Also, it is important to know how to calculate GPA for US universities to pursue MS . Examples of scholarships include:

  • University of Texas at Arlington: Offers the Presidential Scholarship, which can cover up to the full tuition for outstanding students.
  • University of North Texas: Provides the UNT Excellence Scholarship for high-achieving students, which offers substantial financial support.

Need-Based Scholarships

Some universities also offer need-based scholarships to international students, which are awarded based on the financial need of the student and their family. These scholarships help ensure that talented students who may not have the financial means can still pursue their education in the US. Examples include:

  • Cleveland State University: Offers the International Student Scholarship based on financial need and academic performance.
  • South Dakota State University: Provides various need-based financial aid options to support international students.

Departmental Scholarships

Specific departments within universities often have scholarships for students pursuing particular MS specializations. These scholarships are usually awarded based on academic excellence and the student’s potential to contribute to the field. Examples include:

  • California State University, Fullerton: The College of Engineering and Computer Science offers several scholarships for MS students in engineering and computer science.
  • University of Memphis: The Herff College of Engineering provides scholarships to graduate students based on academic merit.

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Research and teaching assistantships are common forms of financial aid that provide students with a stipend and tuition waivers in exchange for their work in teaching or research. These positions offer valuable professional experience while helping to cover educational expenses. Examples include:

  • Wichita State University: Offers graduate teaching and research assistantships across various departments.
  • Montana State University: Provides assistantships that include a stipend and tuition waiver for students involved in research or teaching.

University-Specific Scholarships

Many high acceptance rate universities have specific scholarships designed exclusively for international students. These scholarships aim to attract and support talented students from around the world. Examples include:

  • Indiana State University: Offers the International Scholars Award, which provides financial assistance to international students based on merit.
  • University of Houston: The International Merit Scholarship is available to high-achieving international students pursuing graduate studies.
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Requirements for International Students to study MS in the USA 

The following are the requirements for an international student who wish to pursue an MS in the USA .

  1. Valid Passport: A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S.
  2. Undergraduate Degree: A bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized institution.
  3. Transcripts: Official academic transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended.
  4. Standardized Test Scores: Scores from tests like the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), depending on the program’s requirements.
  5. English Language Proficiency: Evidence of English language proficiency, usually demonstrated through TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores.
  6. Statement of Purpose (SOP): A well-written statement explaining the purpose of applying to the program, academic and professional goals, and why the chosen university is a good fit.
  7. Letters of Recommendation: Typically, two or three letters from previous educators or employers who can attest to the applicant’s qualifications and potential for success in graduate studies.
  8. Financial Proof: Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during the study period, often required for the visa application process.
  9. Student Visa: Application for a student visa (usually F-1 or J-1 visa) including completion of the DS-160 form and scheduling a visa interview.
  10. Health Insurance: International students are often required to have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in the U.S.
  11. Application Fee: Payment of the non-refundable application fee, which varies by institution.
  12. Resume or CV: A current resume or curriculum vitae detailing the student’s academic achievements, work experience, skills, and extracurricular activities.
  13. Additional Requirements for Specific Programs: Some programs may have additional requirements such as a portfolio for art programs, GMAT scores for business schools, or specific prerequisites for technical courses.

The Impact of COVID-19 on MS in the USA

The global pandemic has had a profound effect on higher education, and MS programs in the USA have not been immune to this impact.

Transition to Online Learning

Multiple universities in the US have adapted quickly to the changing circumstances by transitioning their MS course and programs to online formats. This has ensured that students can continue their education without significant disruptions.

Online Learning vs Offline Learning

CriteriaOnline LearningOffline Learning
FlexibilityHigh flexibility in scheduling and location.Fixed schedule, usually at a specific location.
InteractionVirtual interaction through forums, chats, and emails.Direct, face-to-face interaction with peers and instructors.
Learning PaceSelf-paced learning tailored to individual needs.Structured pace, often dictated by a curriculum.
Technical RequirementsRequires reliable internet and computer access.Requires physical materials like textbooks; less reliance on technology.
CostOften less expensive due to reduced overhead costs.Can be more expensive due to facility and resource expenses.
Social EngagementLimited social engagement; relies on digital communication.Direct social engagement and extracurricular activities.
Hands-On ExperienceLimited in fields that require practical, hands-on experience.Offers opportunities for hands-on learning and practical experiments.
Discipline & MotivationRequires a high degree of self-discipline and motivation.Structured environment may aid in maintaining discipline and motivation.
AccessibilityAccessible from any location, beneficial for remote or international students.Requires physical presence, which may be challenging for some.
Feedback & SupportMay have delayed feedback; depends on course structure.Immediate feedback and support in a classroom setting.
Course VarietyWide range of courses available, including niche subjects.Course variety depends on the institution’s offerings.
Learning EnvironmentPotentially distracting home environment.Controlled and consistent learning environment.
Assessment MethodsOnline quizzes, assignments, and proctored exams.Traditional exams, in-class participation, and presentations.
Networking OpportunitiesLimited networking opportunities.Better opportunities for networking and collaboration.

Effects on International Students

COVID-19 has posed unique challenges for international students, including travel restrictions and visa uncertainties. However, multiple universities have provided support in terms of flexible learning options and updated their policies to accommodate these challenges.


Studying an MS in the USA is still a desirable path for international students because of the numerous fields, the high quality of education, and the availability of several ways to finance one’s studies. High acceptance rate universities provide opportunities of success to students who come from different academic backgrounds and abilities.

This is because through online learning many universities have continued offering education regardless of the challenge posed by COVID-19. Due to choice of programs, services offered, and scholarships, these institutions ease financial and logistical barriers. In general, the USA remains to be an ideal country for student to pursue an advanced degree in a friendly and active learning environment.

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What types of scholarships are available at high acceptance rate universities?

Scholarships include merit-based, need-based, departmental, and university-specific scholarships, as well as research and teaching assistantships.

What are some top universities in the USA for MS with low acceptance rates?

Some top universities include MIT (6.7%), Stanford (5.2%), and Harvard(4.7%). These institutions are highly competitive and have low acceptance rates.

Do high acceptance rate universities provide quality education?

Yes, despite their higher acceptance rates, these universities still offer quality education with experienced faculty, modern facilities, and robust industry connections.

Why should I consider a high acceptance rate university for my MS?

High acceptance rate universities often offer a wider range of programs, more affordable tuition, and less competitive admissions, increasing your chances of acceptance.

Which factors affect the acceptance rate of a university?

Factors include the institution’s ranking, number of available admission places, and the competitiveness of the applicant pool.

What are the requirements for international students to pursue an MS in the USA?

Requirements include a valid passport, undergraduate degree, transcripts, standardized test scores (GRE/GMAT), English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS), statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, financial proof, student visa, health insurance, application fee, resume/CV, and any additional program-specific requirements.

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