Degrees & Courses > US Degrees & Courses > US Master's Degrees

US Master's Degrees

USA Masters degrees

Each year in the United States, over 500,000 students earn a master's degree. Only 3% of Americans earn a master's degree, so you may well find having a master's degree beneficial should you choose to stay in the U.S.

A US master's degree will open doors for you all over the world. There is a huge variety of courses available so it is important to be clear about what you want to achieve. GetSet's professional counsellors will take you through your options (syllabus, cost and time), putting you in the driver's seat and heading wherever it is that you want to go. Get in touch today for your free consultation.

How long does it take to get a master's degree?

In the United States a full-time taught master's degree usually takes two to three years although some programs take only one year of study.

What are the classes like?

In general, master's degrees require that you complete six to eight advanced courses in the form of lectures, in addition to an intensive study project and/or a thesis (a long paper based on independent scholarly research).

Some graduate programs offer internships, which provide a chance to work in your specific field of study.

You will find Graduate education different from your undergraduate study as all of your coursework will be relevant to your chosen field of study. There will be required courses on a graduate masters program but you will also have the chance to take some electives. 

How much work is involved?

A typical master's student takes courses for the first half or two-thirds of the program (usually writing at least one major 5,000 word paper) and then works for the remainder of their time on a thesis.

The thesis is a 10,000 - 12,000 word research paper that requires students to build on the work that they have done throughout the course, combine this with independent research and to produce new research ideas of their own. This emphasis on novel research is one that you will not find to the same extent on undergraduate programs.

If you are considering a technical or vocational program, you may be able to replace the thesis with a practical project that is appropriate to your subject.

How will the university assess me?

In most cases universities assess your performance on a graduate program based upon your dissertation (or project) and a combination of your coursework results and written examinations.

What are the entrance requirements?

The English language requirement is generally 90 - 100 iBT TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS but in some cases it can be lower (80-90 iBT TOEFL or 6.0 IELTS) or higher (7.0 IELTS).

A relevant bachelor's degree is usually required to gain entrance to a master's course.

If your bachelor's degree does not meet the university's relevancy requirements for the program that you want to study we can point you towards a pre-master's programme that will get you to where you want to be. A pre-master's can also be useful if you don’t have the university's GPA requirement.

Business and information technology/computing departments typically offer conversion courses to degree holders in any subject area?

Mature students without a degree but with substantial and relevant work experience can often gain admission to a master's programme without having to enrol in a bachelor's degree first. Talk to us and we'll find the best path for you to take.

Graduate business schools require a GMAT score 

What paperwork do I need?

University application form - Your GetSet Counsellor  will be able to walk you through the forms of all the schools to which you are applying in the States to make sure all the required information is given.

Degree certificate and transcript - If you did not graduate from university but have work experience it may be possible to apply to some universities with other qualifications. GetSet staff will know at which US institutions this will be possible.

Statement of purpose -

Two references - A reference is a letter from a relevant person who knows you and can attest to your character, skills and experience. Get one from your employer and one from your most-recent place of study. If you do not have any work experience, provide two academic references.

IELTS/TOEFL certificate - Most universities allow you to send this at a later date if you don't have it when you send your application. We can check this out for you.

Portfolio - If you are applying for an art or design course you must provide a portfolio with at least ten pieces of your own work on compact disk, slides or web site.

GMAT – All US graduate business schools will a GMAT score for entry onto their MBA programmes. We'll let you know if this affects you.

GRE – Most graduate schools in the USA will require a GRE Standard test. Some will also require a GRE subject specific test.

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