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Eligibility Criteria for MS in USA

Who are eligible for pursuing MS in USA? What are the academic requirements? What is the eligibility criteria for MS in US? Know more about the basics before think about MS in USA. Check whether you are eligible to study in USA.

Anybody can go for higher studies (masters and doctoral) in USA. These are called as graduate programs according to US system.

16 years of Previous Education

Firstly, for mostly all universities, you need to have 16 years of previous education to be eligible for a graduate program in USA (MS in US and PhD)
So qualification of 10+2+ four year degree program10+3 year diploma + 3 year degree10+2+ 3 year degree (Indian B.Sc)+ 2 year masters (M.Sc) are valid and eligible for US universities.


You should be able to provide valid transcripts/ mark-sheets from all your educational institutes/ universities that you attended after your high-school to the US universities.

Standardized Test Scores

You should have valid test scores when you apply for MS programs.
1. GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
You can give GRE any time; the scores are valid for next five years from that day.

2. English Proficiency Tests

Our first language isn’t English, so most universities expect you to provide your English proficiency by standard tests like TOEFL, IELTS.. You will need your valid test scores to be sent to universities.
There is no minimum score for GRE, however universities will have their own minimum English proficiency requirements. For most universities the minimum TOEFL score is 79 or IELTS 6.5 band. Higher ranking universities would need TOEFL 100+. TOEFL or IELTS any one test can be taken. TOEFL is accepted by all universities, but few universities do not consider IELTS. So check the website of your grad school before you book your test. Few universities also waive TOEFL requirements for Indian students. So make sure you are aware of these facts when applying to grad school.

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With these things in your hand, you are free to apply to masters programs in any university in the US. Also note that you can also apply directly to PhD programs with this eligibility.

The US system is entirely different than Indian system. There is no centralized process, you will have to apply to universities of your choice. Also note there are no ‘cut-offs’ for GRE for different universities. They will consider several things of your educational background to consider you in their program like:

  • The GRE, TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Class performance (your CGPA)
  • Reputation of your college
  • Number and quality of projects you did
  • Your publications and researches
  • Letter of Recommendations
  • Rank of Professors and their research activities
  • Work experience
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Your research matches with that if university

There are some universities accepting students with 3 year Bachelors degree. Bottomline is with a 3 or 4 year Bachelors degree, given that you took GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT tests you are eligible for MS in USA.


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