Best MS Courses in USA 2024: Top Universities and Scholarships

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The USA is one of the most popular study-abroad destinations for international students. 

According to The Open Doors 2023 report, the USA hosts more than 1 million international students, with Indians being the second most populous international student group in the country.  This is an all-time high. Indian students now form 6% of the total international student population in the USA. 

The USA is home to some of the world’s top-ranked universities. Indian students mostly prefer the US for pursuing their master’s degree. Some of the most popular include Stanford University, Texas A&M University, Arizona State University, and University of California, Berkeley.

The diverse courses, top-notch specialisation, research opportunities, and cutting-edge technology in the country make it an attractive option for an MS degree.

If you are looking for a Master’s degree abroad, here is a comprehensive list of the best MS courses in the USA, with in-demand specialisations, top universities, scholarships, and a complete admission guide. 

Keep reading, and keep learning!

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What is an MS in the USA?

A Master of Science (abbreviated as MS, M.S., MSc, etc) is an advanced academic degree conferred in the field of science.  

The Master of Science degree is primarily awarded for sciences, engineering, and medicine studies. It commonly pertains to programs emphasising scientific and mathematical subjects, although conventions may vary among universities.

Some institutions may extend MS degrees to fields traditionally associated with the humanities and social sciences. The attainment of a Master of Science degree usually involves the completion of a thesis, although the specific requirements may vary depending on the individual program.

The average duration of an MS program in the USA is 1-2 years. However, the duration of a Master’s program in Computer Science and Engineering is up to 3-5 years. In medicine, the course duration can be up to 6 years, depending on your specialisation. 

The MS courses in the USA provide maximum exposure and on-field experience to its students. In addition, the universities also provide access to world-class technology, facilities, and teaching equipment.

The MS courses in the USA primarily include STEM courses. STEM courses denote programs in science, technology, engineering and management. Apart from this, various other post-graduate programs are also available for international students. 

Why Study MS Courses in the USA?

The answer to your question about why studying in the USA can be subjective. From the quality of education to the standard of living, the reason why the country attracts millions of students to its apex is diverse. 

Let us look at some of the top reasons:

  • Quality of Education: Being home to some of the top-ranked universities in the world. According to the Times Higher Education ranking 2024, 36 of the top 100 global universities are from the USA.  
  • Renowned Faculties: Opting for the USA for your MS program will give you a chance to study and practice under leading experts in the field. MS courses in the USA are known for employing the most renowned faculties and resources in the world. 
  • Wider choice of specialisations: The vast education system of the country not only provides you with diverse options but also gives specialised programs that will allow you to tailor your studies according to your specific interests and career goals. The universities in the USA offer MA degrees in major fields, which are further divided into 781 specialisations. 
  • Research Opportunities: The US government is known to invest considerably in research and technology. So, it will be one of the best places for conducting research work. With the country being at the forefront of research and innovation, MS programs from the USA often offer extensive research opportunities. This will allow you to contribute and benefit from the ongoing advancements in your field of study. 
  • Experiential learning: The course structure for MS programs in the USA allocates ample industry experience for its students. These are available in the form of internships and projects that allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. 
  • Networking Opportunities: Universities in the USA maintain strong connections with top-notch industries, and business and alumni networks. This will help you to foster a better professional and personal network, which will help you further in your career.
  • Scholarships Based on Merit: Students pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in the USA can receive various scholarships in the country. These include university scholarships and scholarships from other external bodies or the government, based on the academic merit of the student. 
  • Optimal Learning Environment: Getting a chance to study in a multicultural student environment will help to develop a global perspective in you. Moreover, the university system of the country emphasises critical thinking, problem-solving, and practical skills development. The MS programs in the country aim to cultivate an interactive and participatory nature in the students.

In addition to all these academic benefits, life in the USA will give you a chance to experience living in a global community, with an increased quality of life. If this is what you are looking for in your study abroad experience, then let us prepare ourselves for the exciting journey ahead. 

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Best MS Courses in USA 2024: Top Universities and Scholarships
Check Your Eligibility for 80+ Universities across the USA
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Best MS Courses in USA

The USA offers a variety of course options for a master of science degree. It is important to figure out your field, considering all the relevant factors.

Not all programs are paid equally, both in terms of salary and reputation. Since the USA provides you with the chance to choose from a vast range of options, seek out your program based on its job prospects, average salary, and other benefits. Above all, make sure that you are interested in the course and its specifics.

We have compiled a list of the best MS courses in the USA, with the most sought-after programs in each field, and top universities to choose from. 

Check out the best MS courses in the USA:

Course Programs OfferedTop Universities
Engineering Bio-Medical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Chemical EngineeringStanford University
Civil EngineeringHarvard University
Computer EngineeringUniversity of Pennsylvania
Mechanical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautical EngineeringCornell University
Business & ManagementBusiness AnalyticsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
International ManagementNew York University (NYU)
FinanceStanford University
MarketingUniversity of Southern California (USC)
Public HealthEnvironmental Health SciencesUniversity of Washington
Epidemiology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Population, Family & HealthJohns Hopkins University
BiostatisticsUniversity of Pennsylvania
SciencesBiologyYale University
MathematicsStanford University
PhysicsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Data ScienceUniversity of Pennsylvania

Top Universities to Study MS Courses in the USA

UNESCO categorises the USA among the countries with a well-developed educational system. 

Out of the top-ranking global universities, 127 of them are situated in the USA (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024).  

Given is a list of the top 10 universities in the USA according to the QS World Ranking 2024. We have also compiled the average annual tuition fee for an MS course of the universities for your reference. 

Top universities in the USA for MS and their tuition fees:

Top University QS Rankings 2024Annual Tuition Fee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1INR 44L- 70 L
Harvard University4INR 42 L – 72 L
Stanford University5INR 32 L – 51 L
University of California Berkeley (UCB)10INR 22 L – 63 L
University of Chicago11INR 30 L – 62 L
University of Pennsylvania12INR 22L – 62L
Cornell University13INR 18 L – 25 L
California Institute of Technology15INR 45 L – 51 L
Yale University16INR 39 L – 45 L
Princeton University17INR 44 L – 50 L
Source: Official Universities Websites

The numbers mentioned above are approximate figures. Your tuition fee can vary depending on the course or duration of the program you opt for.

Scholarships for MS Courses in the USA

While the quality of education and career prospects of the USA are notable attractions, many international students choose the country for its increased standard of living. When the living standard increases, it consequently raises your average living cost in the place. 

The average cost of living in the USA is INR 2 lakh per month, whereas the average annual tuition fee in the country is between INR 25-99 lakh.  

This can vary depending on your institution and locality. For example, the cost of living in popular cities such as New York and Los Angeles is INR 3.7 L and 2.8 L, respectively. On the other hand, the cost of living in Louisville and Memphis is INR 1.8 L and INR 1.7 L per month.  

Despite the higher cost, millions of international students reach the country every year. The major reason for this trend is the availability of scholarships and other financial aid in the country. 

There are more than 1500 fully funded master’s scholarships available in the USA’s top universities for international students. These scholarships can cover your tuition fees, along with accommodation charges, health insurance and travel allowance.

Check out the table below for the top scholarships provided by the USA and their benefits. 

Scholarship Benefits 
Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation ScholarshipsAmount $100,000(INR 83 L) with tuition fees and a One-way airfare
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s FellowshipProvides J-1 visa support, along with a round-trip economy class airfare–. It also covers tuition and other fees
National Overseas ScholarshipProvides an Annual Maintenance Allowance of $15,400(INR 12 L) and a Contingency Allowance of $1500(INR 1 L). Tuition and visa expenditure is covered. Medical insurance, Incidental Journey & Equipment Allowance is also given.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford UniversityCovers tuition fees and associated fees. A stipend for living and academic expenses and a travel stipend to cover an economy-class ticket are also given.
AAUW International FellowshipsAmount $20,000–$50,000(INR 16 L – INR 41 L) along with Air Travel. It also covers tuition fees and living expenses.

Also Read: 

Scholarship For MS In USA

Top USA Scholarships For Indian Students

Admission Process for MS Courses in the USA

Your admission procedure for an MS course to universities in the USA can vary depending on the institution and program. Each university might have its admission criteria which can vary from entrance examinations to interviews.

We have compiled the general steps for admission to an MS program in the USA. You can refer to it to develop a general awareness of the procedure. 

Follow the steps below to have the most streamlined admission experience.

  • Determine the course you want to take and look for the best university that offers it.
  • Visit the official university websites to learn about the eligibility requirements, essential documents, admission process, and application fees.
  • Begin the application process by providing all requested information, such as your video essay, academic transcripts, IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, GRE test scores, CV, LOR, SOP, and so on. Upload the necessary documents so that your application can be reviewed.
  • You can pay the fee once you have completed your application and uploaded all required documents.
  • Wait for the university to respond. Once chosen, you can proceed with the visa procedures. 

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for an MS program in the USA vary across colleges and universities. It can also depend on the program you opt for. 

The general eligibility criteria for an MS in the USA are listed below:

  • Undergraduate Degree: The first requirement for studying MS courses in the USA is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Although the scores vary by course and university, most universities require a minimum of 60% for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Language Requirement: Most universities ask for a language proficiency test. The common tests are IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo. In general, the minimum score requirement for an MS in the USA is:
Language Proficiency TestMinimum Score
IELTS6.5 – 7.5
TOEFL90 – 100
PTE65- 75

TOEFL is the most widely accepted language proficiency test in the USA. Check out the specific test requirements of your institution to learn more.

  • GMAT/GRE: Certain MS courses in the USA require you to clear entrance examinations as part of their admission process. For subjects such as finance and management, universities ask for a GMAT or GRE. In general, a good test score for an MS in the USA is:
Language Proficiency TestMinimum Score
GMAT700 and above
  •  Work Experience: Some universities in the USA ask for a minimum of 2 to 3 years of work experience to pursue an MS course. 

Documents Required

The document requirements for your university can be subjective. Although there are specific document requirements for each university or college, there are certain general requirements that you need to cover. 

Some of the widely accepted documents are mentioned below:

  • Academic Transcripts of previous qualifications
  • CV or Resume
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR) 
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP
  • Scoresheet of your language proficiency test ( IELTS/TOEFL/PTE)
  • Scoresheet of your entrance exam for (GMAT/ GRE) (if applicable)
  • Work Experience Certificate (if applicable) 
  • Proof of funds
  • Health insurance
  • Identity Proof: Internationally accepted ID proof like a passport is required.

MS in the USA without a GRE/GMAT

Are you looking for an MS in the USA without a GRE/GMAT? Then, here is some good news for you.

An MS in the USA without a GRE/GMAT is possible, as many universities provide a conditional waiver. You are eligible for a waiver under certain conditions, such as:

  • High GPA: Most universities that provide a GRE/GMAT waiver ask for a higher GPA. Although the essential score may vary depending on your institution and program, the general requirement is a GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Additional Academic Qualifications: Having an additional degree relevant to your field or having relevant advanced degrees, research or publication experience can make you eligible for a GRE/GMAT waiver.
  • Qualifying Professional Experience: Professional Work Experience, especially relevant to the field can be a reason to qualify for a GRE/GMAT waiver. The essential duration of the work experience can vary depending on your university and program. For example, the work experience level required to qualify for a GRE waiver in the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy is five or more years of full-time experience. 

Given below is the list of universities in the USA that waive GRE/GMAT for an MS. 

MS in the USA without Work Experience

Most universities in the USA ask for a minimum work experience of 2-3 years to apply for an MS. This is to ensure that you have a basic awareness of your field of study before you pursue a master’s in it.

In case you lack work experience, or if you are a fresher intending to pursue a master’s directly, then you can look for other options. 

There are universities in the USA that allow students to apply for an MS even without having enough work experience in the field. Instead, consider other qualifications such as relevant internships, projects, or research experience that relate to your field of study.

Some of the universities that provide an MS without work experience are:

  • University of Pittsburgh: full-time MBA in The Katz Graduate School of Business
  • Schreiner University: Online MBA program 
  • University of Washington: full-time MBA program at the Olin Business School
  • Villanova University: online MBA

The eligibility criteria for an MS can vary depending on your institution and program. Check out the official website of your institution for more information. 

Work in the USA after MS Courses

The USA has a highly advanced market economy which is fueled by increased productivity, well-established transportation, advanced infrastructure, and extensive natural resources.  

Pursuing a Master’s from the USA will boost your career prospects in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary in the USA is $59,384 (INR 49,43,029).  

Given is a list of top MS courses offered in the USA, along with their top job profiles and average annual salary. 

Check out the table below:

MS DegreeTop Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary
Master of Science in EconomicsEconomistINR 95 L ($114,424 )
Master of Science in physician assistant studiesPhysician AssistantINR 1 crore ($122,198)
Master of Science in Health Care AdministrationHealth care administratorINR 75 L ($89,704)
Master of Science in Industrial ManagementIndustrial production managerINR 84 L ($101,242)
Master of Science in Applied MathematicsMathematicianINR 88 L ($105,839)
Source: Indeed

Most universities in the United States do not offer direct campus placement services. They have a career service department that invites businesses to hire students as interns or project assistants.

You can also depend on other external organisations that provide career information, such as newspaper classifieds, magazines, social media platforms, or apps. Some of the top options are LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. 

In Summary

The United States is frequently regarded as the best place to pursue an MS degree abroad.

The average yearly salary of students pursuing jobs after MS in the USA is INR 70 L-1 Crore. This can further escalate depending on your experience level, specialisation, work location, and work profile. 

Getting a chance to complete your master’s in the country will open up a chance to join a multitalented and productive student community for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Which MS program is best for getting a job in the USA?

    A. STEM-related programs, such as computer science, electrical engineering, and data science, provide some of the best returns on investment in terms of tuition fees to the average salary earned. STEM programs include programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Under each of these categories are numerous specialisations.

  • Q. How long can I work in the USA after an MS?

    A. International students with an F-1 visa who complete their master’s degree can stay in the USA for a duration of 12 months under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) scheme. The period can be extended to three years for those pursuing an MS degree in STEM fields such as computer science, engineering, and business management.

  • Q. How do I get a job in the USA after getting an MS?

    A. Most top universities in the United States have a high placement rate. International students typically apply directly on recruiter websites to gain MS jobs in the USA. Graduates can also apply for job openings on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor to find job opportunities after MS in the United States.

  • Q. How much can I make after studying MS courses in the USA?

    A. The average annual salary in the USA for professionals with a master’s degree is INR 70,83,891. However, your salary can vary depending on several factors, such as your level of experience, specialisation, work location, and work profile. Completing your master’s from the top universities in the country will also escalate your job prospects.

  • Q. What is the estimated cost of living for international students in the USA?

    A. International students’ estimated cost of living in the USA is ₹97,637 per month. This excludes rent, which can vary depending on your region. The average annual tuition fee in the USA is INR 25L -99L. Since the USA provides numerous scholarships for its international students, this can help you to fund your studies.

  • Q. Which is the best institute for MS Courses in the USA?

    A. Over 1,500 universities in the United States offer master’s degrees. MIT, Stanford University, and Harvard University are among the top universities in the United States. Other top universities in the country include:

    – University of California Berkeley (UCB)
    – University of Chicago
    – University of Pennsylvania
    – Duke University
    – Cornell University

  • Q. What is the duration for MS courses in the USA?

    A. In the USA, MS programs last between one and two years. This can vary depending on your field of study. The duration of a Master’s program in Computer Science and Engineering is up to 3-5 years. In medicine, the course duration can be up to 6 years, depending on your specialisation.

  • Q. What are the best MS courses in the USA?

    A. The USA is one of the most opted study-abroad destinations for an MS program. Some of the best MS courses offered by the universities in the USA are:

    – Bio-Medical Engineering
    – Chemical Engineering
    – Civil Engineering
    – Business Analytics
    – Environmental Health Sciences
    – Epidemiology 
    – Population, Family & Health
    – Biostatistics

  • Q. What are the top universities in the USA for an MS course?

    A. The USA is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Some of the top universities in the USA for an MS are:

    – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    – Harvard University
    – Stanford University
    – University of California Berkeley (UCB)
    – University of Chicago

  • Q. Can I get scholarships to study MS in the USA?

    A. Yes, it is possible to get a scholarship to complete an MS in the USA. Some of the most popular scholarships are:

    – Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
    – Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship
    – National Overseas Scholarship
    – Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University
    – AAUW International Fellowships

  • Q. Which course is best after completing MS?

    A. The best course after completing an MS depends on your career goals and interests. You can consider pursuing an MBA or a PG course in management, which can help you improve your skills and knowledge to excel in leadership roles. Other options are also available, such as, pursuing a PhD for advanced research or professional certifications like PMP or CISSP for specialized skills.

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Jhansi Rani

Jhansi Rani is an experienced overseas education counsellor and specializes in helping students choose the right academic path in the USA.

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