Masters Degree in Abroad Eligibility and Basic Requirements

Masters Degree  in Abroad Eligibility and Basic Requirements
A Master’s Degree is a graduate program of Study in the US, the most popular destination sought by international students for higher and professional education. Students opt for a Master’s Degree for one of many reasons.

One, it is a Gateway to a Doctoral Degree sought by anyone who intends to carve a Career in academia.

Two, a Master’s Degree can significantly improve your Career prospects in the corporate world, as your enhanced qualifications will probably earn you a promotion or get you into a higher pay grade.

The third reason some seek a Master’s Degree is that some jobs, like that of a school principal, Require the Degree as an entry-level qualification, leaving you with no choice but to sign up for a graduate program.

Typically, a Master’s program lasts 18-24 months and there is a wide palette to choose from, unlike undergraduate programs, which are more limited.

This also means many Master’s courses are niche. This is a boon for individuals interested in deepening their knowledge and expertise in a limited area, like, say, Non-Profit Management, Public Policy, Dispute Resolution or, believe it or not, Divinity!

1. Find Your Desired PG Programme
There are thousands of Program available worldwide which can make it quite hard to find the right one. However, MastersPortal can help you with that! Try to narrow down the search as much as possible and make a first rough selection of universities and programs that maybe suit you.

Our advice: Do not limit yourself to certain countries! 

Maybe the best Study opportunities and life experience are waiting for you in a country you have never heard of before.

2. Get Informed
Now it is time to have a deeper look into the Study programs! MastersPortal provides you useful links to the programs website as well as contact persons. Do not hesitate to contact those persons or use the Request  Information  form ! Universities will be glad to provide you with more information and answer your questions about your desired program but also about the city, accommodation, financing your studies and other practicalities.

So many Universities have an international office which is just there to support you before and during your studies abroad!

3. Check out Scholarships and other Financing options

There are thousands of Scholarships and grants out there that can support you during your studies abroad. Luckily not all of them are just for the most excellent student with the best GPA. Do you come from a specific country? Do you Study a specific subject? Are you member of a religious denomination? All those factors for example can qualify you for a Scholarship!

There are many types of funding, such as Scholarships, but also student prizes, fellowships, competitions and studentships. ScholarshipPortal can help you to find a suitable Scholarship for your needs.

4. Apply

Did you find your desired Study program? Great! Do not hesitate to contact the universities! They will be glad to assist you with any questions you may have. We have a general advice, though. Start informing yourself and get Required documents as early as possible! You do not want to miss a great Study opportunity just because you are missing some documents or not meeting a deadline.

 Most Popular Master’s Degrees in USA

The Master of Business Administration [MBA] is by far the most sought-after Master’s program in the U.S. and in other countries as well, while a plain Master’s or MS in domains such as Accounting, Finance, Management, Economics and Mathematics are hotly pursued too. Master’s programs in Information Technology, Engineering, and Law are also among the top choices.

According to careers site, PayScale, a Master’s in the following areas are most popular: 


Human Computer Interaction, 
Telecom Engineering, 
Applied Math, 
Computer Science, 
Software Engineering,
 Business Administration 
Information Science.

Eligibility For Master’s / M S Programs In USA

As an international student, before you apply for a Master’s Degree in an American university, you should Study the application process before jumping right in. So what are the basic Requirements you have to meet?

Same specialization as Bachelor’s?

Not necessarily. Usually, students elect to do a Master’s in the same area as the one that gave them their Bachelor’s Degree but switching domains is not unusual.

Test Scores

Proficiency in English is another basic Requirement and the two most oft-used tests to assess candidates are: TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] and IELTS [International English Language Testing Service].

You would also have to take one of the following exams to qualify for a Master’s program: Graduate Record Examination [G R E] or Graduate Management Admission Test [ G M A T]. There are other, more specific standardised tests for the legal and medical domains.

Read more on what’s a good GRE score for the top Masters courses in USA.

Sixteen Years of education?

Most American universities demand 16 years of formal education to be eligible for a Master’s program. Since a Bachelor’s Degree in India is a three-year program [B.Sc, B.Com, B.A etc], that adds up to 15 years [including 10 years of schooling plus 2 years’ junior college].

Here’s some good news, though. Lately, some American universities, including some elite business schools, have begun to accept 15 years of formal education, instead of 16, if the rest of your application package is especially strong.

That’s because they view each applicant in their entirety, as a whole package, when they evaluate applications. Thus, while some students play safe by doing a year’s Master’s course in India, to tot up 16 years of education, you could save a year and work extra hard on getting excellent GRE  / GMAT scores that would be hard for any university to resist.

For this reason, it’s best if you check the website first to see if the university has clearly mentioned their stand. If there’s is some uncertainty about it, reach out to the admissions team and find out directly.

Practical Experience

Many Master’s programs, especially in the fields of medicine, education and technology, Require practical experience or internships. So, apart from group discussions, writing a thesis and, of course, attending lectures, you may be Required to have actual professional experience.

If you are an international student signing up for a Master’s course, you will not be employed while Studying, and a student internship will suffice.

Other Requirements

Some of the other parameters a U.S. university will judge you on are your academic record; the college / university you attended; your recommendations; research work and published work; extracurricular activities and work experience, if any.

You’d need to submit a Statement of Purpose [SoP] as well, which is among the most important parts of your Master’s application. Read this Post on how to write a good SoP.

Finally, it is imperative that you draw up a shortlist of universities that maximises your chances of securing admission to a good college. It’s a complex and delicate yet scientific process.

Get this. If your application package is really good but you’ve applied only to mediocre universities, you could be in for a shock. Just when you thought getting admission was a cinch – you didn’t apply to the top universities in case the competition was too stiff and you didn’t make the grade – you could end up with rejections all around.

So, unless you have a profile that can command a red-carpet treatment from an American university, you might want to consider getting professional help to navigate the admission process.

Also, here’s another perspective to think about. Just as you are anxious about securing admission, universities too want to close the deal on sure-shot candidates. They don’t have the time and resources to invest in accepting a candidates who will eventually reject them for a better option!

Be aware of your strengths and highlight them well in your application.

Average GRE Scores for top MS Universities in USA

Good GRE score for Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley

Some common questions we get from international applicants:

What are the average GRE score for an MS in USA for Engineering, Computer Science, Maths, Education etc?

What’s a good GRE score for top U.S. universities like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, UCLA?
What’s a good GRE score range?

Read on to find answers to these questions.

If you’re planning to get into a top graduate program in the US, you would be aware of the importance of a good GRE score in the application process. Often applicants are curious to know what a good score would be to get into a particular graduate school of their choice. The GRE scores would differ depending upon the school you choose. Again, within a particular university / school, it would vary depending upon the field you select.

The mean GRE scores for some disciplines as per ETS data are given below:

Average GRE Scores for Masters Degree in USA

  Masters Degree Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Business 150 153
2. Social sciences 153 151
3. Physical sciences 151 158
4. Life sciences 151 151
5. Arts and humanities 157 150

Though the above table represents the mean scores across various schools, the average GRE score for the top ranked schools tend to be much higher. Let’s see how much the average GRE score varies depending upon the school or the program you wish to apply to.

Average GRE Scores for MS in Engineering

  University Name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 162 167
2. Harvard 160 167
3. Stanford 159 167
4. University of California-Berkeley 157 165
5. University of Pennsylvania 155 166
6. Princeton 162 166
7. Yale 155 170
8. Carnegie Mellon University 154 161
9. University of South California 151 163
10. UCLA 154 165
11. Cornell 154 166
12. Columbia University 155 166

Average GRE Scores for MS in Computer Science

  University name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 160 164
2. Harvard 155 161
3. Stanford 160 164
4. University of California-Berkeley 160 164
5. University of Pennsylvania 155 161
6. Princeton 164 167
7. Yale 155 161
8. University of South California 155 161
9. UCLA 155 161
10. Cornell 160 164
11. Columbia University 155 161

Average GRE Scores for MS in Psychology

  University name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 163 154
2. Harvard 163 154
3. Stanford 163 154
4. University of California-Berkeley 163 154
5. University of Pennsylvania 158 151
6. Princeton 165 168
7. Yale 163 154
8. University of South California 158 151
9. UCLA 163 154
10. Cornell 158 151
11. Columbia University 158 151

Average GRE Scores for MS in Physics

  University name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 167 167
2. Harvard 167 167
3. Stanford 167 167
4. University of California-Berkeley 167 167
5. University of Pennsylvania 162 164
6. Princeton 168 170
7. Yale 162 164
8. University of South California 159 162
9. UCLA 162 164
10. Cornell 167 167
11. Columbia University 162 164

Average GRE Scores for MS in Chemistry

  University name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 164 163
2. Harvard 164 163
3. Stanford 164 163
4. University of California-Berkeley 164 163
5. University of Pennsylvania 159 160
6. Princeton 164 168
7. Yale 159 160
8. University of South California 156 158
9. UCLA 159 160
10. Cornell 164 163
11. Columbia University 164 163

Average GRE Scores for MS in Mathematics

  University Name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] 165 167
2. Harvard 165 167
3. Stanford 165 167
4. University of California-Berkeley 165 167
5. University of Pennsylvania 160 164
6. Princeton 168 168
7. Yale 165 167
8. University of South California 157 162
9. UCLA 165 167
10. Cornell 160 164
11. Columbia University 165 167

Average GRE Scores for MS in Education

  University Name Average Verbal Average Quantitative
1. Harvard 163 158
2. Stanford 161 156
3. University of California-Berkeley 159 152
4. University of Pennsylvania 162 156
5. University of South California 161 154
6. UCLA 158 152
7. Columbia University 158 153
8. Northwestern University 161 153

Data Source: U.S. News, Magoosh

The GRE verbal and quantitative sections are scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increment in each of the two sections. You can score anywhere from 130 to 170 which means that the number of possible scores that can be obtained are limited to just 41. This range means that even a small jump in your GRE score can give a boost to your percentile ranking.

To read more on how GRE score percentile changes as per your scaled score, check out this GRE score percentile table.

Some programs like engineering put greater emphasis on the quantitative score whereas there’s lesser focus on the verbal score. So, applicants aiming for a top engineering college need to come up with a competitive quantitative score while you may work on getting a good verbal score as well.

The reverse is true for fields like psychology, arts and humanities where you’d need to have a good verbal score.

What’s a good GRE score range ?

The GRE score forms an important component of the application process. However, you also need to remember, it’s not just the GRE score that matters; there are other components of the application that would be taken in to account. An impressive undergrad score, work experience or extracurriculars would help, and then there are your letters of recommendation as well as your SOP [Statement of Purpose] that can contribute to building a strong application.

As discussed before, there’s no perfect answer to what your GRE score should be to get into a particular program as each school you apply to would have their own averages. So, you’d need to check with the university where you wish to apply to see what the average GRE scores have been for the previous years.

The ETS provides test statistics [test percentage distribution of scores] for different fields for the entire range of scores candidates obtain over a three year period in each of the GRE sections. We’ve arranged this GRE score range [applies to both the verbal and quantitative sections] and provided ratings based on the general perception of what a good or not-so-good GRE score would be.

  GRE Score Range Ratings
1. 165-170                 Excellent
2. 155-164                 Very Good
3. 150-154                 Good
4. 140-149                 Needs improvement
5. 130-139                 Poor

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Average GRE scores for the top universities in USA
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Career Options for Information Technology   [ I T ] Graduates

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