Master’s or MS programs are the among the most popular programs where Indian students send in their applications. The MS programs cover a wide range of topics from Sciences to Engineering to Medical. However, there is a master’s program in every niche – education, health, social sciences, business, management, and everything else. Did you know that a master’s degree is also offered in “Foresight” by University of Houston?
The number of Indian students applying to the full-time 2-year master’s degree to the US has been increasing every year. The popularity of the program depends on the breadth of subjects that are available to study and the depth of knowledge that a student gains with these programs, whether the students decide to complete the program with a thesis or without.
Another reason for the popularity is the increasing demand for people with master’s degrees in the job market. An increasing number of companies now look for people with a master’s under their belt. The additional time to study and perfect a subject also results in a substantially higher salary later. This differential in the salary is going to increase in the coming year as the demand for specialisation degrees will go up post the pandemic. Just to keep the context, the median salary for those with a master’s degree is approximately 20% higher than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
“Degree inflation” – a phenomenon where a higher degree is preferred for a particular kind of a job is another factor contributing to the ever increasing interest of Indian students in the US Master’s programs. Many fields such as occupational therapy, nursing, education administration, statistics, music, and many more require a master’s degree for entry into the field.
Master’s programs are highly diverse as the schools enrol students from multiple racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Hence, the number of Indian students seeking graduate degrees is increasing. More available jobs, higher salaries, easier admissions, in-depth learning, and market awareness are some of the factors that makes it easy to decide for a master’s degree. However, when you decide for a master’s degree, carefully assess the need, your goals, personal finances, and your strengths.
Cost of a Master’s program
Cost is generally what keeps most Indian students at bay to apply to their top priority universities. However, we strongly suggest that cost should not a factor to put an end to your dream master’s program. There are multiple grants and scholarships that are easily available for deserving candidates. There are many financial companies who offer loans at a very minimal rate of interest if you make it to a top ranked program. Did you know that Wizius Careers offers scholarships upto 50% of the tuition fees to students who make it to one of the top 10 Master’s program using its services for admission consulting?
According to finaid.org, the average cost for a Master’s Degree tuition in the US is $35,000.
So, it is a good idea to start your research by defining your goal and deciding on the program that you would like to apply. Compare the fees for the same program at various universities, research about the various scholarships and grants, and the best options for loans.
Applying to a Master’s Program
Most master’s degree programs will require you to take an entrance test. Some of the most popular tests are:
– GRE (acceptable to most programs)
– LSAT (for law school programs)
– GMAT (for programs related to management)
– MCAT (for medical programs)
The other requirements for admissions to the graduate program include:
Application and Fees
The online application is available on the university website. In some cases, you might have to submit two applications – one for the university and the other for the program. These applications generally include a one-time fees of $50 to $150. Certain programs also offer fee waiver and you must check for your eligibility with the university.
Universities in the US require official transcripts from all your undergraduate program(s). You need to collect all your transcripts from all your previous universities/colleges. These are compulsory documents required at the time of application. These documents help the school to understand your academic strengths. Also, some schools require you to send the hard copy to the university.
Letter of Recommendations
All these programs require you to submit letters of recommendation from your professors, academic advisors, or professional seniors who can speak of your academic or professional success. Letters from friends and family are not considered eligible for this. Hence, make sure that you ask your recommenders in time about their inputs on this.
The best recommenders are the people who know you well and are widely known in their field. Share your essays with them to help them understand the story line that you are discussing with the school. This will help them write their recommendations on the similar lines.
Statement of Purpose
Every school wants to know you in the best possible manner and this is your chance to show yourself in the best light you can. This 1- or 2-page document is where you tell the best story about yourself explaining your interest in the subject and your professional goals. The schools tend to look into your motivation and the approach to different situations through this document.
Resume or CV
This 1-page document must highlight all your work, achievements, education, research, interests, and professional information. Make sure that the document is clearly organized, easy to read, and follow.
What do schools look for?
Test scores, GPA, awards, research……what else? Every school looks for some inherent qualities and generally values them more than anything else. Here are some of these things:
Academic capability is shown by your GPA but academic compatibility is based on your objectives and goals. So, your goals and interests are compared to what the school has to offer in terms of resources and tools that they have available. Hence, your Statement of Purpose must be tailored to each school that you apply.
Original ideas are the key to success for most. Hence, the schools value the originality of your ideas. Your past and future interest research indicate your original ideas in concise, thoughtful manner.
Admissions committee wants to have students are passionate about their academic, research, and professional goals. Have you worked on this area earlier? Have you written any research papers on this area of study? Your previous experiences and future interests showcase the passion in the subject.
Most graduate program applications open in October of the year previous to the year of the start of the program. Apply early to improve your chances.