10 Top Masters in USA Requirements for International Students

Around 70% of US universities offer a 2-year master’s degree program, also known as an MS in USA. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management) degrees make up the majority of MS programs in the US.

The most common courses for international students pursuing an MS are MS in Business and Management, MS in IT, MS in Computer Science, etc.

Most American colleges are willing to welcome postgraduate applications from diverse cultures, nationalities and backgrounds – what worries them most is finding the smartest and the best pupils.

They accept candidates from small villages and large cities, as well as public and private schools. Of course, it is acknowledged that certain candidates will need financial assistance to finish their program.

The selection procedure can be challenging, though, as the most well-known universities are likely to get far more applications than they could ever accept.

Each applicant will be evaluated based on their academic accomplishments and other strengths.

A postgraduate student’s personal traits, such as their abilities, energy, and intellectual curiosity, will also be taken into account as something they can give the university.

Entry requirements for those who want to attend a US university might vary widely. We have therefore decided to look at the masters in USA requirements for international students in this article.

Related: 10 Cheapest Universities in USA for Masters-Tuition & Programs

Why Should I Study Master in the United States?

There are more than 2 million MS courses in the US to choose from, a work-study option, a stay-back permit after receiving an MS, research opportunities, and merit-based scholarships to support education are some of the advantages that international students in the US can take advantage of while pursuing a graduate degree. Other advantages include:

  • Students choose STEM courses in large numbers because they are in high demand in the US and because they can extend their work visas by 24 months after receiving their Master’s certificate.
  • 2.7% of the US economy, or 476,452 million USD, is allocated by the US government to R&D. Thus, earning an MS in the USA increases your chances of getting financing for your research. There is research potential after a master’s degree, and students can apply for a TA position or a research assistantship (RA). 
  • Students who work part-time as TAs can make $500 to $1,200 per month. While research assistants might receive a monthly stipend of up to $1,500 USD.
  • For any MS course, the curriculum is broken down into prerequisites, core subjects, and electives. Thus, it expands the possibility of pursuing a research-based MS by almost 30%.
  • The typical scholarship provided to students pursuing an MS at any university in the USA is 10,000 USD for one year.
  • Greater variety of specializations: MS degrees in n primary subjects, which are further divided into 781 specializations, are offered by US colleges.
  • Experiential learning: The curriculum’s emphasis on projects and internships gives students plenty of opportunities to apply their classroom learning to real-world situations.
  • Flexible eligibility standards during the pandemic: During the COVID-19 scenario, many colleges in the USA that offer MS degrees have either waived or lowered the minimum score requirements for entrance exams to encourage students to apply for the program.
  • Notable faculty: MS programs in the US are well-known internationally for having renowned faculty on staff.
  • Cultural Enhancement: People from all different spheres of life and cultures coexist in the US. Additionally, it offers a special setting for learning important soft skills.
  • Support & Services: To ensure that postgraduate students get the most out of their investment in their studies, there are strong student support services, including academic advising, peer mentorship, arrival and orientation, and tutoring.

10 Masters in USA Requirements for International Students

For international students to pursue higher education in the USA, they must meet a number of prerequisites.

International applicants for admission to a university in the USA are required to provide a variety of test results, supporting documents, proof of the topics studied, mark sheets, transcripts, etc. Below are the masters in USA requirements for international students.

3–4 years of undergraduate study in a relevant subject: 

A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the pertinent field is the first requirement for admission to an MS program in the USA.

The minimum GPA needed for an MS in the USA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or 87% in a bachelor’s degree though requirements differ amongst universities.

Test of English Language Proficiency

If you are from a non-English speaking nation, you must take English language proficiency exams in order to apply for an MS in the United States.

Again, the results vary in each university, but on a general basis, the following score ranges are mentioned:

  • IELTS 6.5 to 7.5 
  • TOEFL 88 to 100

GRE/GMAT Score Figures

If you want to enroll in MS programs like MS in Finance or MS in Management, you must pass the GMAT and GRE.

While having a strong GMAT score is required for some courses, it is not for all of them.

The ideal GMAT score for MS programs in the USA is between 600 and 740, while the GRE score should be between 318, 329 and 330 or higher.

Statement of Purpose

A strong Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a requirement for admission to an MS program in the United States.

SOP is a letter of intent where you write about your objectives and intentions behind opting for any program in USA.

Your admittance is decided by the admissions committee after carefully considering your SOP.

Related: 32 Best tuition free universities in the USA for international students{Tuition, scholarships, acceptance rate & Locations}

Letters of recommendation, 2 to 3

A letter of recommendation, also known as a LOR, is a statement made by your professor, project mentor, or reporting manager, all of whom you have previously worked closely with.

It offers a comprehensive view of your persona, academic achievements, and professional accomplishments, which can make your application stand out above other applicants.


A resume is another need for US MS study. Verify that your resume is current and includes all of your academic and professional information.

You may also bring up any noteworthy accomplishments that would interest the admissions committee. Your resume may include

  • Internships in research/publications in research
  • Seminars and project work

Proof of funds

The next step after receiving your admissions letter from a certain US college is to organize your funds.

The I-20 proof of funds is required by the visa officers for your F-1 visa in order to confirm that you have enough money to cover your living expenses while you are in the United States.

Bank statements from the applicant or the sponsor, provident funds, fixed deposits, scholarship verification, and loan sanction letters are examples of acceptable documentation.

Work experience certificate

For an MS to be completed in the USA, two to three years of work experience are needed. Some courses, however, may not require work experience as a prerequisite.

Student visa and passport

To pursue an MS in the USA, all overseas students need an F-1 student visa.

They need to have an I-20 form from the college they’ve applied to for that. However, apart from that, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the course in the United States is finished.

To avoid any last-minute rush, be sure to apply for your visa at least three months before your intended departure date.

Leadership and social activities

Test Scores Needed for Masters Admission in the USA

The applicants must submit scores from a variety of standardized tests with their applications.

Depending on the course they choose, students must submit their standardized exam results in order to pursue a master’s degree in the USA.

The applicants’ exam results are required in order to assess their ability and evaluate them just academically.

Their submission may be considered only official in some universities.

GRE/GMAT Waiver for MS Admissions in the USA

Any applicant for an MS program in the USA may ask for a GRE or GMAT waiver.

In return, applicants must demonstrate their analytical, reasoning, English language proficiency, numeric ability, and other talents.

According to data for top B-School admissions, just 5 of the 12 schools require a GMAT or GRE waiver.

GMAT is typically waived solely for online management courses; it is not typically waived for on-campus courses.

Compared to 23% of students who reported their GRE scores, less than 14% of students submitted their GMAT scores.

More than 70% of US universities offer GRE waivers to students who want to pursue an MS in the country. However, they must have outstanding research and work experience.

Some universities also accept applicants without these marks. They contend that test results cannot accurately reflect a candidate’s total academic ability. The following universities are listed:

  • College of Phoenix
  • State University of Kansas
  • The University of Virginia
  • The University of Virginia
  • Boston College

Requirements for the TOEFL iBT for International Students

Students must provide TOEFL or IELTS test results to demonstrate their English language skills while applying for MS admissions in the US.

Compared to students who choose IELTS, more than 70% choose to take the TOEFL. English language tests are additionally broken into many sections.

Checklist of documents for MS in the USA

The application procedure is highly laborious for MS admittance to the United States.

International applicants must provide a set of documents in order to be considered for admission.

The following papers are necessary for MS admissions in the USA:

  • Transcripts: Placed in a sealed envelope with the appropriate HOD or Principal’s stamp and signature alongside mark sheets from prior institutions attended, certified by the HOD or Principal.
  • CV: An updated CV that follows the proper format must be submitted. The amount of research done and/or work experience must be includSOP
  • Statement of Purpose: The SOP for the MS program should be prepared in advance and submitted with the application. It must contain information about the candidates, their objectives, and what they hope to gain from the course.
  • At least two to three letters of recommendation (LORs) must be provided. Depending on the method of application submission, they may be submitted online or offline.
  • Accounting Statement: A bank statement that is no older than three months and demonstrates that there are enough finances for at least a year of education is required.
  • If a candidate is requesting admission to the USA, health insurance is necessary.
  • For visa purposes, identity proof is a passport.

In order to prevent rushing at the last minute, these documents must be kept available before submission.

Cost of MS education in the USA

The total cost of attendance for master’s programs in the USA consists of tuition, books, board, and accommodation costs, as well as additional incidentals.

It is advised that overseas students prepare an expected budget for their time studying in the USA.

Pre-arrival costs, tuition costs, and cost of living are the three primary categories that can be used to categorize MS expenses in the US.

Related: 11 Best Universities with a high acceptance rate for international students in USA| Tuition, Details & Rankings

Fully Funded Masters in the USA for International Students

Do you want to begin your educational journey in the USA? Fantastic news For international students, the United States of America offers a number of fully financed scholarships.

For international students, Stanford University Scholarships 2023–2024 are fully financed awards. These scholarships are available for graduate and postdoctoral work. These scholarships pay for all academic costs, travel expenses, living expenses, and tuition.

The top scholarship programs in the world include Knight Hennesy Scholars.

You will participate in transdisciplinary learning, leadership development, and gaining a global perspective here.

According to Top Universities’ QS World Universities Ranking 2019, Stanford University is rated second. 100 fully funded scholarships are available from Stanford University for international students to pursue master’s, doctorate, MBA, MFA, MD, and JD degrees.

Related: 2-Year Nursing Programs in USA for International Students

Research Summary

Level of Study: Ph.D., Masters

Universities: Stanford University (USA)

  • Opportunity Focus Areas: Scholarships are offered to pursue graduate (PhD) degrees in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, education, business, or law. To view all of the programs available, click here.
  • Program Period: If your degree program is longer than three years, such as an MD or PhD program, or a Stanford dual- or joint-degree program, your Stanford home department will cover the remaining costs of your education to the extent that is consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program.
  • Scholarship Coverage

The following advantages are offered to recipients of Stanford University Scholarships:

  • A travel allowance designed to pay for one round-trip ticket in the economy to and from Stanford each year.

  • A monthly allowance for living and educational costs (such as room and board, books, academic supplies, instructional materials, local transportation, and reasonable personal expenses).

  • A fellowship that is directly used to pay for tuition (according to the typical departmental level of attendance) and related costs.

    Normally, expenses that your home department at Stanford pays for its students, including for subscriptions or lab supplies, are not covered by the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

  • A travel allowance designed to pay for one annual economy-class flight to and from
  • Click here for more details on the knight Hennessy Scholarship 

Below are a list of fully funded scholarships for international students who intend to study master’s in the US. Click on their individual links to find out more about the scholarships.

Yale University Scholarship Link
University of New Haven ScholarshipLink
University of Memphis ScholarshipsLink
University of Minnesota FellowshipLink
AAUW International Fellowship ProgramLink
Onsi Sawiris ScholarshipLink
Rotary Peace Fellowship ProgramLink
ACI Foundation ScholarshipLink
Bill Gates Scholarship Link
University of Arizona Scholarship Link
Boston University Scholarship Link
University of Hawaii Scholarship Link
University of Michigan Scholarship Link
Clark University Global Scholars Program Link
Harvard University Scholarship Link 
Coca-Cola Scholarship Link 
Fulbright Scholarships USALink
Masters in USA requirements for international students

Related: Free Online Masters Degree Europe:11 Top Popular Schools

What are the requirements for international students to study in USA?

Generally speaking, American colleges want the following from prospective international students:

  • Transcript.
  • Scores from standardized tests. ACT or SAT. Scores on English proficiency tests (TOEFL, IELTS, iTEP, PTE Academic)
  • Essay.
  • Recommendations.
  • A photocopy of your passport.

Is GRE required for Masters in USA?

Yes, if you want to pursue a master’s degree in the USA, you must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). There are a few exceptions, though.

What are the requirements to do masters in USA?

You must meet the following prerequisites in order to pursue an MS degree in the US:

A minimum 3.0 GPA and three to four years of study toward a bachelor’s degree in the pertinent discipline, or 65 to 70 percent and higher.

GRE score of 290 or higher; documentation of your English language proficiency test, such as the IELTS.

Clarification of goals.

What are the entry requirements for a masters?

A Bachelor’s degree in a suitable field is typically the primary prerequisite for applying for a Masters degree.

However, the requirements for postgraduate admissions vary by program and university and can be extremely flexible.

Can I apply for Masters without Bachelors?

Without a bachelor’s degree, it is undoubtedly possible to obtain a master’s.

The majority of colleges, however, require you to earn a bachelor’s degree first, therefore it is quite uncommon.

How many years is a Masters degree?

Two decades.

Although the length of time required varies from person to person, master’s degrees normally take two years to finish. Your master’s degree may take you less time to complete, or it may take you more time, depending on your degree program and whether you’re attending school full- or part-time.

Which master’s degree is most in demand in USA?

Business Administration Master’s (MBA)

Among graduate degrees, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most widely accepted. You can develop your management and leadership abilities through an MBA program so that you can stand out in the hectic, cutthroat corporate environment.

What are the 2 most common master’s degrees called?

The Master of Arts (MA/M.A./A.M.) and Master of Science (MSc/M.Sc./M.S./S.M.) degrees are the two most popular master’s degree titles. These degrees typically combine research and classroom instruction.

What’s higher than a Masters?

The master’s and doctorate degrees are the two most typical graduate degrees: A master’s degree, which can be earned in one to two years, can help you get ready for a variety of jobs.

A PhD, or doctoral degree, prepares you for a career in academic research and can be earned in 3 to 7 years, depending on the nation.

Can I study master’s in USA for free?

International students seeking to attend a fully-funded university in the United States without paying tuition can enroll there. Students can pick from a wide variety of subjects and courses at several tuition-free institutions in the USA. Do you have suggestions about this article on masters in USA requirements for international students? Please leave a comment below.

Was This Article Helpful? Tell Us What You Think.