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29 July 2023

5 minutes read

Masters in the USA: A Comprehensive Guide for Indian Students


  • Global Recognition: U.S. universities are globally renowned, offering prestigious MS programs that are recognized worldwide.
  • Diverse Specializations: Students can choose from a vast array of specializations, aligning with their career goals and interests.
  • Research Opportunities: The U.S. provides cutting-edge research facilities and opportunities, especially in STEM fields.
  • Scholarship Availability: There are numerous scholarships and financial aid
  • available for Indian students to help fund their studies in the USA.
  • Cultural and Professional Growth: Studying in the U.S. offers a unique blend of cultural diversity and professional networking opportunities, enhancing both personal and career development.

Pursuing an MS in the USA is a significant milestone for many international students, especially those from India. With top universities offering a wide range of courses, the USA stands as one of the premier destinations for higher education. This comprehensive guide aims to help Indian students understand the eligibility criteria, scholarship opportunities, and the overall process of enrolling in a Master’s program in American universities.

Why Study MS in the USA?

  • World-Class Education: The USA is home to many globally recognized universities offering diverse and advanced courses.
  • Research Opportunities: Leading-edge research facilities and opportunities in various fields.
  • Cultural Diversity: A melting pot of cultures providing a rich and varied social experience.
  • Career Advancement: Strong industry connections and internship opportunities enhance career prospects.
  • Global Network: Opportunity to build a global network of peers, professionals, and alumni.


Universities such as MIT and Stanford are globally recognized for their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs. According to the U.S. News & World Report, these institutions are consistently ranked at the top for their engineering and computer science programs, making them highly attractive for Indian students pursuing an MS in these fields.

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Choosing the Right University

Factors to Consider

  • University Rankings and Reputation: Check the global and national rankings of universities.
  • Course and Curriculum: Ensure the course aligns with your career goals and interests.
  • Faculty Expertise: Research the faculty’s qualifications and areas of expertise.
  • Location and Lifestyle: Consider the geographical location, climate, and lifestyle of the city.
  • Cost and Financial Aid: Evaluate the total cost and availability of scholarships or financial aid.
  • Campus Facilities and Resources: Look into libraries, labs, sports, and other campus facilities.
  • Alumni Success: Research the success stories of alumni from the programs.

Top Universities in the USA for Masters

study masters in usa
University NameKnown For
Stanford UniversityEngineering, Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Technology, Engineering
Harvard UniversityBusiness, Law, Medicine
University of California, BerkeleyBusiness, Engineering, Computer Science
Yale UniversityLaw, Medicine, Arts & Humanities
Princeton UniversityHumanities, Social Sciences
Columbia UniversityJournalism, Business, Arts
University of ChicagoEconomics, Social Sciences
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)Science and Engineering
University of PennsylvaniaBusiness (Wharton), Medicine

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Application Process

The application process for MS in the USA includes several steps:

  • Research and Shortlisting: Identify universities and courses that fit your goals.
  • Standardized Tests: Prepare for and take required tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS.
  • Documentation: Prepare documents such as SOP, LORs, transcripts, and a resume.
  • Application Submission: Fill out and submit applications before the deadlines.
  • Interviews and Additional Requirements: Prepare for potential interviews or additional tests.
  • Acceptance and Decision: Wait for acceptance letters and decide on the best offer.

English Proficiency and Standardized Tests

Test TypeDescriptionAverage Score Requirement
TOEFL (English Proficiency)Test of English as a Foreign Language79-100
IELTS (English Proficiency)International English Language Testing System6.5-7.5
GRE (Standardized Test)Graduate Record Examination, required for most programs300-330 (combined)
GMAT (Standardized Test)Graduate Management Admission Test, for Business Programs600-740

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Funding Your Masters

study master degree in usa

Tuition Fees

  • Varied Costs: Tuition fees vary greatly between universities and programs.
  • Public vs. Private Universities: Public universities generally have lower tuition fees compared to private ones.
  • Additional Expenses: Consider additional costs such as books, supplies, and laboratory fees.
  • Budget Planning: Plan for the entire duration of the course, including living expenses.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships: Research and apply for scholarships, grants, and assistantships to reduce costs.


Many U.S. universities offer substantial scholarships, like the Fulbright Scholarship and the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship, which are specifically designed to support international students, including those from India, in their pursuit of advanced degrees.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship NameUniversity/ProviderDescription
Fulbright ScholarshipU.S. GovernmentFor international students in various fields
Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai FellowshipStanford UniversityFor Indian students pursuing an MBA at Stanford
MIT Tata FellowshipMITFor Indian students in STEM fields
Harvard University Boustany MBA ScholarshipHarvard UniversityFor MBA students, with a focus on ethics
UC Berkeley International Student ScholarshipsUniversity of California, BerkeleyFor international students in various fields
Yale University ScholarshipsYale UniversityMerit-based and need-based scholarships
Princeton in Asia/Africa/Latin America FellowshipsPrinceton UniversityFor work and study opportunities in respective regions
Columbia University International Student ScholarshipsColumbia UniversityFinancial aid for international students
University of Chicago ScholarshipsUniversity of ChicagoNeed-based financial aid for international students
University of Pennsylvania ScholarshipsUniversity of PennsylvaniaVarious scholarships for international students

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Visa and Immigration Procedures

masters students in usa
  • Student Visa (F-1 Visa): The most common visa type for international students in the USA.
  • Application Process: Apply for the visa after receiving the university admission letter and I-20 form.
  • Documentation: Gather necessary documents, including proof of financial stability and academic records.
  • Visa Interview: Prepare for and attend a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • SEVIS Fee: Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before your visa interview.
  • Visa Approval: Upon approval, plan your travel and accommodation in the USA.
  • Maintaining Visa Status: Follow regulations to maintain your F-1 student status while studying in the USA.

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Accommodation and Living in the USA

Types of Accommodation

  • On-Campus Housing: Dormitories or residence halls within the university campus, are often preferred by first-year students.
  • Off-Campus Housing: Apartments, shared houses, or rented rooms outside the campus, offering more independence.
  • Homestays: Living with a local family, providing a homely environment and cultural immersion.

Considerations for Accommodation

  • Proximity to University: Choose a location close to the university or with good transportation links.
  • Cost: Factor in rent, utilities, and deposits when budgeting for accommodation.
  • Amenities: Look for essential amenities like internet, laundry, and kitchen facilities.
  • Safety: Consider the safety and security of the neighborhood.

Cost of Accommodation: State-Wise Distribution

  • California (e.g., Los Angeles, San Francisco): High cost of living; average rent ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 per month.
  • New York (e.g., New York City): Very high cost of living; average rent from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.
  • Massachusetts (e.g., Boston): Relatively high cost; average rent from $1,800 to $3,000 per month.
  • Texas (e.g., Austin, Houston): More affordable; average rent from $800 to $1,800 per month.
  • Illinois (e.g., Chicago): Moderate cost; average rent from $1,000 to $2,500 per month.
  • Pennsylvania (e.g., Philadelphia): Moderate cost; average rent from $800 to $2,000 per month.
  • Florida (e.g., Miami): Varies widely; average rent is from $1,200 to $2,800 per month.
  • Washington (e.g., Seattle): Higher cost; average rent from $1,500 to $3,000 per month.

Living in the USA

  • Food and Groceries: Budget for groceries and dining out, which can vary greatly depending on the city.
  • Transportation: Consider public transportation costs or the need for a car.
  • Health Insurance: Mandatory for international students; factor in monthly premiums.
  • Entertainment and Leisure: Allocate funds for social activities, travel, and leisure.
  • Cultural Adjustment: Be prepared to adapt to cultural differences and make new social connections.


Pursuing an MS in the USA for Indian students is a pathway filled with opportunities and challenges. Understanding the eligibility criteria, managing finances through scholarships, and navigating the visa process are key steps in this journey. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of what it takes to study MS in the USA, paving the way for a successful academic and professional career in one of the world’s most dynamic educational environments.

Chart your educational course with Ambitio in the USA! Learn from the best, immerse in global experiences, and test theories in real life. Your future awaits – Study in USA. Dive into the success stories of students who’ve secured spots in some of the most prestigious institutions in the USA. Get inspired, compare profiles, and discover what it takes to join the ranks of these top admits.


What are the eligibility criteria for Indian students to pursue an MS in the USA?

Eligibility criteria typically include a bachelor’s degree, English language proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL), and GRE/GMAT scores, depending on the program and university.

How can Indian students find scholarships for MS in the USA?

Scholarships are available from universities, external organizations, and platforms like IDP India. Research and apply early to increase your chances.

Which are the top universities in the USA for Indian students to study MS?

Top universities include Stanford University, MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Yale, known for their excellence in various MS specializations.

What is the average cost of studying for an MS in the USA for Indian students?

The average tuition fee ranges from $12,500 to $55,000 per year, varying with the university and field of study. Living expenses are additional.

What is the process for obtaining a student visa for MS in the USA?

After securing admission, students must apply for an F-1 visa, which involves submitting financial proofs, and academic documents, and passing an embassy interview.

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