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6 July 2024

7 minutes read

Top Ivy League Colleges in USA for MS: Ivy League Universities

Key Takeaways

  • Ivy League universities offer unparalleled prestige, but each has unique strengths worth exploring for your MS.
  • Admission is highly competitive, requiring academic excellence, standout extracurriculars, and compelling personal narratives.
  • While costs are steep, extensive financial aid options can make an Ivy League education more accessible than you might think.
  • Post-graduation prospects are stellar, with high employment rates and impressive starting salaries across various industries.

Are you dreaming of earning a Master’s degree from one of America’s most prestigious institutions? The allure of an Ivy League education is undeniable, but navigating the complex landscape of top-tier universities can be overwhelming. Many prospective students find themselves lost in a sea of options, unsure which program aligns best with their academic and career goals. Get to know everything there is to know about the Top Ivy League Colleges in USA for MS.

This comprehensive guide will demystify the world of Ivy League MS programs, offering valuable insights into each university’s strengths and unique offerings. Whether you’re weighing the merits of Harvard’s cutting-edge research facilities or Yale’s renowned faculty, we’ll help you make an informed decision. Read on to discover which Ivy League powerhouse could be your perfect fit for graduate studies.

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What is the Ivy League?

The term “Ivy League” conjures up images of prestige and academic excellence. Originating as an athletic conference, the Ivy League has become synonymous with some of the best universities in the US, known for their rigorous academics, selectivity in admissions, and rich history. Comprising eight universities, each Ivy League institution boasts a unique heritage, contributing to a collective reputation that echoes worldwide.

These universities are not only among the oldest in the United States but also stand out for their commitment to providing top-tier education. Their alumni lists read like a who’s who of influential figures in various fields. The Ivy League, therefore, represents more than just a group of universities; it’s a symbol of educational prestige and historical significance.

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List of Ivy League Universities

ivy league colleges in usa for ms 1

When discussing Ivy League universities, it’s essential to know which institutions make up this elite group. The eight Ivy League universities are:

UniversityLocationPopular MS ProgramsApplication DeadlinesAdmission RequirementsTuition & FeesFinancial Aid OptionsNotable AlumniWebsite
Harvard UniversityCambridge, MAMS in Computer Science, Data Science, BioengineeringVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$51,000 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsMark Zuckerberg, Bill GatesHarvard
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CTMS in Computer Science, Biomedical EngineeringVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$44,500 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsGeorge H.W. Bush, Meryl StreepYale
Princeton UniversityPrinceton, NJMS in Electrical Engineering, Computer ScienceDecember 15 for most programsGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$53,890 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsJeff Bezos, Michelle ObamaPrinceton
Columbia UniversityNew York, NYMS in Mechanical Engineering, Data ScienceVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$62,000 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsBarack Obama, Warren BuffettColumbia
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PAMS in Bioengineering, Computer & Information ScienceVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$60,042 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsElon Musk, Donald TrumpUPenn
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, NHMS in Engineering, Computer ScienceDecember 15 for most programsGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$55,605 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsRobert Frost, Dr. SeussDartmouth
Brown UniversityProvidence, RIMS in Computer Science, Biomedical EngineeringVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$59,254 per yearFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsJohn D. Rockefeller Jr., Emma WatsonBrown
Cornell UniversityIthaca, NYMS in Electrical Engineering, Data ScienceVaries by program, typically December-JanuaryGRE (varies by program), TOEFL/IELTS, SOP, LORs, Resume~$29,500 per semesterFellowships, scholarships, assistantshipsRuth Bader Ginsburg, Toni MorrisonCornell

Each of these universities offers a unique environment, culture, and set of opportunities, yet they all share the hallmark of academic excellence. In the following sections, we delve into the distinct features and strengths of these illustrious institutions.

Ivy League University Rankings and Reputation

UniversityQS World University Ranking 2024U.S. News National Ranking 2024Times Higher Education Ranking 2024Notable Alumni
Princeton University111Albert Einstein, Jeff Bezos
Harvard University222Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg
Yale University333Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep
Columbia University444Warren Buffett, Barack Obama
University of Pennsylvania555Elon Musk, Warren Buffett
Dartmouth College666Mindy Kaling, Shonda Rhimes
Brown University777John F. Kennedy Jr., Emma Watson
Cornell University888Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bill Nye

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Admission Requirements for Ivy League Universities

If you have good grades and an impressive application letter, chances are that you can get into Ivy league colleges. But you might also want to get an idea on whether you can get into Harvard with a low GPA, or to any such colleges (like whether you can get into MIT with a 3.7 GPA).

  • Academic Records:
    • Outstanding high school transcript showcasing a rigorous course load.
    • High GPA, typically above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Use a GPA calculator for MS in USA to get a better idea of this.
  • Standardized Test Scores:
    • Excellent SAT/ACT scores for undergraduate programs.
    • For graduate programs, strong GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores, as applicable.
  • Essays and Personal Statements:
    • Compelling and well-written essays that reflect the applicant’s personality, goals, and achievements.
    • Personal statements should demonstrate intellectual curiosity, leadership, and a commitment to the community.
  • Letters of Recommendation:
    • Strong letters from teachers, professors, or professional supervisors.
    • Recommendations should speak to the applicant’s academic abilities, character, and potential for success.
  • Extracurricular Activities:
    • Involvement in clubs, sports, community service, or other activities.
    • Leadership roles and unique contributions to these activities are highly valued.
  • Interviews:
    • Some Ivy League schools conduct interviews as part of the admissions process.
    • Demonstrating intellectual curiosity, communication skills, and a genuine interest in the institution.
  • Artistic or Athletic Talent (if applicable):
    • Showcasing extraordinary talent in arts or athletics can be an additional factor.
    • Portfolios, auditions, or athletic achievements may be required for certain programs.
  • Application Forms and Fees:
    • Completion of all sections of the application form.
    • Payment of application fees or submission of fee waiver requests.
  • Demonstrated Interest:
    • Visiting campuses, attending college fairs, and interacting with admissions officers can show genuine interest.
    • Engaging with the university through official social media channels or alumni networks.
  • Diversity and Background:
    • Ivy League schools value diversity in their student body.
    • Sharing unique personal, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds can add depth to the application.
  • English Proficiency Tests (for non-native speakers):
    • TOEFL, IELTS, or similar test scores demonstrating proficiency in English.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Applications (if needed):
    • Completing necessary financial aid applications, such as the FAFSA or CSS Profile.
    • Applying for scholarships, both within and outside the university.

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Cost of Living, Tuition Fees, and Financial Aid

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students vary depending on multiple factors. Here is a general idea of how things are going to be financially for you:

ivy league colleges in usa for ms

Cost of Living in Different States

CityAverage Monthly Rent ($)Utilities (Monthly, $)Groceries (Monthly, $)Public Transport (Monthly Pass, $)Miscellaneous (Monthly, $)
New York City, NY3,000150400120500
Los Angeles, CA2,500130350100450
Chicago, IL2,000120300105420
Houston, TX1,80011028080390
Philadelphia, PA1,60011527090380
Phoenix, AZ1,40010525075350
San Antonio, TX1,30010024070340
San Diego, CA2,60012536072430
Dallas, TX1,90011529075400
San Jose, CA2,80013538082450

There are many affordable universities in the USA which you can take into consideration during your application process.

Tuition Fees for Different Universities

UniversityAnnual Tuition Fee ($)Estimated Living Cost Per Year ($)Total Annual Cost (Tuition + Living, $)
Princeton University50,00020,00070,000
Harvard University51,00022,00073,000
Yale University52,00021,00073,000
Columbia University53,00023,00076,000
University of Pennsylvania54,00024,00078,000
Dartmouth College55,00020,00075,000
Brown University56,00025,00081,000
Cornell University57,00022,00079,000

Scholarship Opportunities and Financial Aid

There are plenty of post-graduate scholarships for International students in the USA which you can explore here.

UniversityScholarship NameScholarship Coverage
Princeton UniversityPrinceton Financial AidFull tuition, room, board
Harvard UniversityHarvard Financial Aid ProgramTuition, room, board, fees
Yale UniversityYale ScholarshipUp to full tuition
Columbia UniversityColumbia GrantUp to full tuition and fees
University of PennsylvaniaPenn GrantTuition, fees
Dartmouth CollegeDartmouth College ScholarshipTuition, living expenses
Brown UniversityBrown University ScholarshipTuition, fees, room, board
Cornell UniversityCornell GrantTuition, fees, room

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Career Opportunities Post Graduation

UniversityTop EmployersAverage Starting Salary ($)Employment Rate 6 Months Post Graduation (%)
Princeton UniversityGoogle, Amazon, Microsoft70,00094
Harvard UniversityGoldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Apple75,00095
Yale UniversityMcKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Google72,00093
Columbia UniversityDeloitte, PwC, Amazon70,00092
University of PennsylvaniaJPMorgan Chase, Bain & Company, Google73,00094
Dartmouth CollegeBarclays, Credit Suisse, Amazon68,00091
Brown UniversityIBM, Johnson & Johnson, Google69,00090
Cornell UniversityTesla, Intel, Facebook71,00093

Preparing for Ivy League Admission

Before you start your application process, understand whether there is an age limit for bachelor’s degree in the USA and other such specifications like whether you need to have a b1/b2 visa to study in USA as well.

  • Academic Excellence:
  • Standardized Test Scores:
    • Prepare thoroughly for exams like the GRE, GMAT, SAT, or ACT, depending on program requirements. Understand clearly whether you need an SAT to study in USA for the particular college and course you have opted.
    • Consider enrolling in preparatory courses or hiring a tutor for better results.
  • Extracurricular Activities:
    • Engage in extracurricular activities that showcase leadership, passion, and commitment.
    • Aim for depth rather than breadth; leadership positions and awards are highly valued.
  • Community Involvement:
    • Participate in community service or volunteer work.
    • Show a pattern of involvement and impact in your community.
  • Personal Statement or Essay:
    • Craft a compelling and authentic personal statement.
    • Highlight your unique experiences, aspirations, and what you can bring to the university.
  • Recommendation Letters:
    • Obtain strong letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or community leaders.
    • Choose individuals who know you well and can speak to your strengths and potential.
  • Portfolio or Research Work (if applicable):
    • Include any relevant research work, publications, or portfolio that showcases your skills and interests.
  • Interview Preparation:
    • Practice for interviews, if required, focusing on articulating your experiences and aspirations.
    • Be prepared to discuss why you are a good fit for the Ivy League and what you hope to achieve.
  • Financial Planning:
    • Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid options.
    • Prepare necessary documents and applications for financial support.
  • Application Review:
    • Review your application multiple times to ensure accuracy and completeness.
    • Consider seeking feedback from counselors or mentors.
  • Time Management:
    • Start the application process early and adhere to all deadlines.
    • Create a timeline for all components of your application, including tests, essays, and recommendations.
  • Information Sessions and Campus Visits:
    • Attend information sessions, either virtually or in person, to gain insights into each university.
    • If possible, visit campuses to get a feel for the environment and culture.
  • Networking:
    • Reach out to current students or alumni for advice and insights into the application process and life at the university.
  • Stay Informed:
    • Keep updated on any changes in admission policies or requirements.
    • Regularly check university websites and official communication for the latest information.


Embarking on the journey to gain admission into an Ivy League university is both challenging and rewarding. It requires dedication, preparation, and a deep understanding of what these prestigious institutions seek in their candidates. However, the effort is worthwhile, as an Ivy League education opens doors to unparalleled academic and professional opportunities. By following the guidelines and strategies outlined in this guide, prospective Masters students can enhance their chances of becoming part of the esteemed Ivy League community. Remember, each step of preparation brings you closer to achieving your academic dreams in some of the world’s most respected universities.

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How do career prospects and starting salaries compare for Ivy League graduates versus other universities?

Ivy League graduates often enjoy excellent career prospects. The blog mentions employment rates 6 months post-graduation ranging from 90% to 95%. Average starting salaries are reported between $68,000 to $75,000, which is generally higher than the national average for new graduates.

What are some of the most popular MS programs offered by Ivy League universities?

Popular programs include Computer Science, Data Science, Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. However, offerings vary by university.

Are there financial aid options available for international students at Ivy League schools?

Yes, many Ivy League schools offer financial aid to international students. This can include scholarships, grants, and assistantships. However, options may be more limited compared to those for domestic students.

How much does an Ivy League MS degree cost on average?

Based on the information provided, tuition fees range from about $50,000 to $57,000 per year. When including living expenses, the total annual cost can be between $70,000 to $81,000.

What are the typical GPA and test score requirements for Ivy League graduate programs?

While requirements vary, most successful applicants have a GPA above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. GRE scores are often required, with expectations for high performance, particularly in sections relevant to your field of study.

How competitive is admission to Ivy League MS programs?

Admission is highly competitive. Acceptance rates are typically low, often in the single digits or low teens percentage-wise.

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