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Graduate Study in the US: Guide for students

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Graduate Study in the US: Guide for students

The US is affectionately known as the 'land of opportunity' and is also acknowledged as the world's higher education powerhouse. The education system here offers you the best programmes in almost every field of graduate study and also houses a wide range of leading universities and attractive locations to choose from.

Every year, the country witnesses thousands of students and professionals immigrating to the US in the interest of their further careers. According to the UNESCO, the US is the most popular country in the world for graduate education.

For most international students, the lure of attending a grad school in the USA to pursue a masters or PhD can be a irresistible dream. The USA has some of the best graduate schools in the whole world. Attending grad schools can be expensive, hard to get a admission and will involve a large amount of hard work.

Master's Degree in the US

Due to the large number and diverse range of higher educational institutions in the US, it can be difficult of decide which school and the programme that is best suitable for you.

More than 500,000 students earn a master's degree, each year, making it the most awarded graduate degree. The system in the US offers a vast variety of master's degree. The most basic degrees offered are the Master's of Science (M.S.) and Master's of Arts (M.A.). Other popular graduate degree in the US include the master's of business administration (M.B.A.), law (L.L.M.), fine arts (M.F.A.), specialist in education (Ed. S) and social work (M.S.W.)

Why is it advantageous to do graduation in the US?

There are many advantages of advanced study and research in the US, below are listed some the advantages that attracts students and professors from all the over world:

  • There are about 1100 schools that offer graduate programmes in the US.
  • The atmosphere is a graduate school is different when compared to the under-graduate studies.
  • The course work is generally more difficult and students are much more competitive.
  • Graduate studies will introduce you to the principles and techniques of scientific research.
  • Graduate classes are small which will let you get to know your peers and professors better.
  • The degree of competition varies by department, even within the same university.
  • As a graduate student in the US, you will have access to updated information and equipments and also to recent technological advances in all fields and state of the art laboratories.
  • Obtaining an advanced degree in the US may enhance your career opportunities

Among the Indian students, the most favoured destination for higher education is clearly the USA. In 2012-13, the Indians holding the students visa was close to 100,000. The number of students from India saw an increase of 70% in 2013. The G.R.E is the entrance test used by most graduate programmes in the US.

The minimum requirements to apply to graduate school in US (from Indian applicants) are:

  • A minimum of 16 years of formal education. Most schools ask for a reasonably good academic record.
  • A qualification undergraduate degree course like four-year programme or three-year programme in India.
  • For Doctorate programmes, a Master's degree in that subject is required by most of the universities.
  • Most of the universities in the US requires you to take one of the standard tests for qualification like GRE, GMAT, depending on the course you select.
  • English proficiency tests like TOEFL, TWE and TSE.
  • A letter of recommendation or reference.
  • A personal essay or statement of purpose for both admission and financial aid. The statement of purpose gives the faculty to assess your application and you as an individual.

You can download the list of top 25 graduate schools in US, here.

Whether you want to earn a master's degree or a Ph.D, and if you want to attend a school overseas, US offers you a wide choice of educational opportunities. Atmosphere at the graduate schools is very different from your undergraduate studies. Aspiring a graduate degree in the US can be extremely expensive. Nevertheless, it is your decision to consider if it will be a worthy option for you or not.

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