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The Masters in Science (MS) degree is a 2 year graduate course of study in the US for someone with a bachelor's degree in science. It may be entirely course-based, entirely research-based or (more typically) a mixture.

In the US, an MS degree is awarded for science, engineering, technological programs that generally focus on scientific & mathematical subjects.

In contrast, Indian colleges offer a Masters in Science (M.Sc) for specializing in pure science (M.Sc Physics, M.Sc Chemistry), Masters in Technology (M.Tech) for technological courses and a Masters in Engineering (M.E) for engineering programs.

Eligibility to study MS in the US

You must be a graduate of an accredited undergraduate engineering curriculum or equivalent. Generally, to enroll for an MS degree, one must have undergone 16 (12 + 4) years of education. Which is why it is common to see maximum number of Indian students pursuing MS from the US after B.Tech (4 years) from India.

MS from US after 3 year B.Sc from India? This is difficult since most US universities ask for 16 years of education before applying for masters. If you have pursued a B.Sc in India i.e. 15 (12 + 3) years of education, then you must take up a master's program or a 1 year diploma program, or take substantial prerequisite courses as specified by the department, depending on the university they are applying to.

Application process for MS in the US

The step-by-step application process for applying to US Universities for an MS programme has been explained below:

Decide if you want to apply for the "fall" semester (starts in September) or "spring" semester (starts in January.)

Start preparation and take the GRE & TOEFL exams according to fall/ spring semester application deadlines.

Choose 6-10 universities that accept the score you have in your GRE/TOEFL and your academic Percentage and whose cost of education falls within your budget. (Also read: Top universities in the US)

Ensure that your chosen course is accredited. Accreditation is the certificate that ensures that a school or program meets a prescribed academic standards.

For admission to an MS programme in the US, ensure that all your following documents are in order:

Demand Draft/Bank cheque for Application fee (in case you have not paid the fee)

A copy of your GRE/ TOEFL/ GMAT/IELTS Score

Official transcripts of your Bachelors degree from your college/ university

SSC/ICSE/10th or Equivalent Certificate

HSC/ISC/12th or Equivalent Certificate

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Getting 2-3 letters of recommendation (usually from your professors)

A well-written resume

Bank statement


Work Experience/ Study Certificate

Copy of first and last pages of your passport

Copies and proofs of all your relevant extra curricular activities

Keep tracking the application to all 5-6 universities

Short Procedure:

Get your B.Tech/B.E./B.S. degree from a registered college of your country.

-->Write GRE & TOEFL/IELTS tests either in your 3rd year or 4th year (By starting of Dec MAX!!)

--> GRE & TOEFL can be given in any day of the calender year

-->Build profile with researches, internships, papers, mini projects for an edge.

-->After giving GRE & TOEFL send the scores to the universities (Remember that you get to send the scores to 4 colleges for free after giving these tests, on the day of the test itself, so choose wisely).

-->Fill out the application forms of the prospective universities of your choice on their college website.

-->Send the LORs electronically. (BEWARE!!some universities might ask for a hard copy of the letter)

-->Write a beautiful Statement of Purpose better known as SOP so that the colleges accept your admission. (It can so miracles)

--> Pay the application fees for every colleges that will cost something around 75-140$ for every college in the US.

--> Send the official transcripts as a hard copy to the universities. Some universities might ask for an WES evaluation that is basically the conversion of the 10 scale GPA of India to US standard of 4 scale GPA. (The scores depend upon your UG college for eg. IITs: 7 pointer = VIT: 9 pointer)

-->You can send the GRE and TOEFL scores to universities other than those 4 universities by paying a fee of 25$ for GRE and 17$ (In 2014) for TOEFL. Remember that its not necessary to apply for the university to which you sent you scores too if somehow you changed your mind.

-->Complete the application and get the application portal link, auto generated from the college.

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