Study in USA
Explore Top Universities and Colleges in USA.
Get Updates on Tuition, Courses Offered, Duration and more.
Are you planning to pursue higher education from the US? Find the best university or college in the US with all the details related to the university, programs, courses, tuition fees, admission requirements, and accommodation costs. Select the right path with various career options and innovative study curriculum for pursuing education in the US.
Why Choose US for your Higher Studies?
The USA is ranked #1 for being the best study abroad destination in the world. According to the QS World Ranking, the US is home to 33 globally ranked universities out of 100. It is the most popular study abroad option for Indian students mainly because of the high quality of education and better career prospects due to the international recognition of qualifications and networking opportunities. The US is a culturally diverse country with over 1 million international student population pursuing various bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees.
Some of the popular cities to study in the US are Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. It has over 4,000 prestigious universities offering unique degree programs in different areas of interest that are recognized and accepted around the world for their excellence. Some of the top universities in the US are Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia University, etc. The education is offered through 3 categories of Community Colleges, 4-year Private, and Public Institutions. The US is leading in Research and Development in the world which makes it the most popular country for international scholars. The country spends around 22 billion dollars on research and innovation annually. The credit transfer system ensures greater flexibility in the education system. The US has a high acceptance rate of international students. The Visa acceptance rate is 80%. Several scholarships and bursaries are available to international students along with an option to work part-time in the US for 20 hours a week. The employment rate of international students in the US post-degree completion is 62%.
Top Colleges and Universities in USA
Princeton, New Jersey
New Haven, Connecticut
Ithaca, New York
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you work while studying in the United States?
Yes, students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week on-campus during the session and full-time during term breaks. Students can work either on-campus or at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the school.
How much does it cost to study in the USA?
Public universities in the US are affordable as compared to private universities. The average tuition fee per annum ranges between $8,000 to $55,000 (USD). MBA programs in the US cost around $35,000 yearly. In addition to the tuition fees, international students should also take into account the accommodation costs that range between $6,000 and $14,000 per year.
How many IELTS bands required to study in the USA?
The minimum IELTS band score accepted at most universities in the US is overall 5.5. Students scoring above 5.5 band score are generally considered for admission to top US universities.
How to get a scholarship to study in the USA?
One of the most important criteria for getting a scholarship to study in the US is a good academic score. It also depends on the chosen university destination, subject, and level of study. There are also certain scholarships that take into account the extracurricular activities and volunteering experience of the students.
What are the requirements for a student visa in the USA?
International students applying for a student visa should have a valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond their period of stay in the US. The other requirements for a student visa in the USA are:
- Recent passport-sized photograph
- Proof of acceptance at a SEVP approved school
- Form I-20
- Proof of payment of applicable fees for SEVIS
- Confirmation page of form DS-160
- Non-immigrant visa application
- Academic documents like transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Evidence of moving back to home country after completion of the course
What is the cost of living in the USA for a student?
The average cost of living in the US is around $10,000 to $12,000 per year for international students. This cost includes the accommodation costs, room, and board, food, travel, textbooks, and entertainment expenses as well.
Here are some articles listed that help you understand the benefits of studying in the USA. These articles guide students in choosing the best universities, entrance exams, scholarships & financial aids, etc. Explore for more related articles!
The cost of studying in the USA for Indian students can prove to be an expensive affair given that the United States of America is one of the best countries to migrate to for higher education. Institutions in the USA have some of the highest prestige associated with them, with some dating back to more than 300 years from their conception. These institutions have also been responsible for producing some of the best minds in the world. Keeping these points in mind, it's no surprise that with the high quality and standards of education comes the high cost of studying in the USA.
Some of the most popular programs that students pursue in the USA are those of business management, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), medicine and law programs. The average cost of MBA in the USA is between USD 130,000 and USD 170,000 a year at the top universities in the USA, while the average cost of MS in the USA is between USD 35,000 and USD 80,000 a year. The average cost of studying medicine in the USA amounts to between USD 50,000 and USD 65,000 a year, while the average cost of studying law in the USA amounts to between USD 35,000 and USD 45,000 a year.
Table of Contents
- Tuition Fees
- USA Student Visa Cost
- Accommodation Costs
- Living Expenses
- Health Insurance
- Transportation Costs
- Taxation Costs
No doubt, the cost to study in the USA can prove to be an expensive affair, but the right planning and budgeting can help students achieve their dreams of studying in one of the world's most advanced and accomplished countries. This article will provide an overview of the cost of studying in the USA for Indian students.
The cost of studying in the USA for international students are detailed in the table below:
|Particulars||Average Cost (in USD)|
|US Student Visa||160 - 200|
|Tuition Fees||35,000 (per year)|
|Accommodation Costs||6,000 - 14,000 (per year)|
|Living Expenses||10,000 - 25,000 (per year)|
The first expense that students will have to consider is the cost of tuition associated with their preferred program and university. The quality of education in the USA is high, so the fees for various programs, especially professional degrees at prestigious universities like Harvard, Stanford or Yale, will be exceptionally high. Programs in humanities, arts and education are cheaper than programs in engineering, medicine and business.
Tuition fees for postgraduate programs are comparatively higher than for most other degrees, and MBA programs in the USA are the most expensive. On average, a student would have to spend USD 35,000 a year on tuition fees alone. The table below shows the tuition fees for the common programs offered by universities in the USA:
|English Studies||USD 700 to USD 2,000 (monthly)|
|Associate Degrees||USD 6,000 to USD 20,000 (yearly)|
|Undergraduate Degrees||USD 20,000 to USD 40,000 (yearly)|
|Postgraduate Degrees||USD 20,000 to USD 45,000 (yearly)|
|Doctoral Degrees||USD 28,000 to USD 55,000 (yearly)|
USA Student Visa Cost
Before applying for the student visa, however, a student must receive an acceptance letter from the university that they applied to - they will receive a Form I-20 from the university’s international student office. The form will serve as a document that will record your information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
There are three types of student visas issued by the US government. The type of visa issued will depend on a student’s age and the type of studies they wish to pursue in the USA. The different types of visas issued by the US government are as follows:
|Type of Visa||Purpose||Visa Fee|
|F-1 Student Visa||
|J Exchange Visa||For Exchange Programs (in highschool and university)||USD 160|
|M Student Visa||Non-academic or vocational training||USD 160|
The most affordable options for international students in the USA are the on-campus accommodation facilities. However, students have to apply for on-campus accommodation separately and should be done ahead of time as these facilities are issued on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Students can also opt for off-campus accommodation, a shared apartment with other students, renting a homestay, or living with family. Rents vary from city to city, and students will have to do their due diligence if they plan on living in rented accommodation.
On average, students spend between USD 6,000 and USD 14,000 on accommodation costs in the USA.
Students need to account separately for living expenses in the USA. The cost of living varies from city to city, and students will have to note this while budgeting for living expenses. On average, students may spend between USD 10,000 and USD 25,000 on living expenses in the USA.
The table below shows the various items that account for living expenses for a student in the USA:
|Study material and stationary||USD 500 to USD 1,000|
|Travel expenses||USD 500 to USD 1,200|
|Food and beverages||USD 2,500|
|Clothing expenses||USD 500|
|Miscellaneous expenses||USD 500|
As part of getting a student visa in the USA, students need to get medically insured before moving to the USA. Many universities and institutions in the US offer comprehensive health insurance plans for international students. However, these health insurances are valid for the term periods of the courses and expire once they are done with their programs.
If institutions don't offer an insurance plan, students will have to make their arrangements for medical insurance. Health and support services are available in plenty to Indian students in the USA. On average, students spend between USD 1,500 and USD 2,500 a year on health insurance.
Students also have to account for the various expenses related to travel and transportation. For example, it’s safe to assume that a student traveling to the USA will not have a vehicle of their own for the first time. In addition, students in the USA will have to account for short-distance travel by using public transport services like buses, trains, and metro. Therefore, students should get monthly passes for public transport facilities while in the USA.
For long-distance travel, students can use long-distance bus services, air, and rail services. On average, a student’s transportation costs will amount to between USD 500 and USD 1,000 a month.
Many students take up employment alongside their studies in the USA. Students are generally allowed to work for upto 20 hours a week during their term period and full-time during vacations. The income tax brackets vary from state to state in the USA, and students also have to account for exchange rate variations.
Having a part-time job or seeking a scholarship can greatly reduce operational and living costs while studying in the USA. In addition, students can avail themselves of financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants. However, competition for these is high, and students must be exceptional to apply.
BBA stands for Bachelor in Business Administration which is for a period of 3 to 4 years. A BBA in USA is a highly sought after degree which includes a wide range of specializations like Management, Finance, Accounting, International Business, International Economics and International Business Marketing, among many others.
Some key of a BBA in the USA are:
- The fees for international candidates amounts to between USD 15,000 and USD 55,000 per year.
- The admission requirements differ across institutions, but the minimum requirements are as follows:
- An average GPA of 2.50
- TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS band score of 6.0
- SAT score between 1060 and 1240
- The starting salary of a BBA graduate is USD 60,000 per year.
Table of Contents
- Why BBA in USA?
- Top Universities for BBA in USA
- Admissions for BBA in USA
- Visa to study BBA in USA
- Cost of studying BBA in USA
- Scholarships for BBA in USA
- BBA in the USA: Scope and Job Prospects
Why BBA in USA?
There are a variety of reasons as to why a BBA in the USA is a coveted degree. The reasons are stated below:
- Best Universities: The USA is home to some of the best business schools in the world. With over 5,000 universities, the USA has 16 or the world’s 20 best universities for BBA programs.
- Flexibility in Choosing Major: BBA programs in the USA are designed to provide flexibility to students choosing their major in the second year. This gives students enough time to gain enough knowledge and explore their options before making their decision.
- Opportunities for Higher Studying: Acquiring a BBA degree from the USA will greatly add to a student's profile while seeking graduate-level programs like MBA.
- Improved Career Prospects: BBA graduates as highly sought after as business analysts with a starting salary of USD 60,000 per annum.
Top Universities for BBA in USA
As mentioned above, the USA is home to 16 of the 20 best universities for BBA programs globally. The best universities and their Times Higher Education (THE) rankings are detailed in the table below:
|University||THE Ranking||Program and Specialization||Cost of Tuition (per annum)|
|University of Arizona||135||BBA in Business Administration||USD 37,618|
|University of Miami||201 - 250||BBA in Entrepreneurship||USD 52,764|
|Pace University||285||BBA in Management Entrepreneurship||USD 46,452|
|Texas A&M International University||501 - 600||BBA in International Economics||USD 22,559|
|Hofstra University||501 - 600||BBA in International Business||USD 48,152|
|Carroll University||> 600||BBA in Business Administration||USD 33,542|
|Wichita State University||> 600||BBA in Accounting||USD 15,000|
|Eastern Michigan University||> 600||BBA in International Business Marketing||USD 29,198|
|University of Texas, Arlington||601 - 800||BBA in Management||USD 28,885|
|Texas State University||1001||BBA in Marketing||USD 24,224|
Admissions for BBA in USA
The admissions requirements vary from university to university, be it deadlines, eligibility criteria and requirements for standardized tests.
Basic Admission Requirements
The basic requirements for admissions into the BBA programs at American universities are as follows:
- Official transcripts with a GPA of 2.0 (translated in English)
- A State of Purpose (SOP)
- At least 2 Letter of Recommendation
- Proof of English language Proficiency, i.e. TOEFL (80) or IELTS (6.0) scores
- SAT scores (different universities may have different requirements)
- Health Insurance
- Course descriptions/Syllabus from post-secondary institutions
University-specific Admission Requirements
The table below contains the university-specific requirements of some of the top universities in the USA for BBA programs:
|Hult International Business School||
|Texas State University||
|University of Arizona||
|Texas A&M International University||
|Wichita State University||
Visa to study BBA in USA
Once applicants receive their acceptance letters, the next step is to apply for a US student visa. Students need to compile the following documents when applying for the US student visa:
- Application fee of 160 USD along with additional fees
- Valid passport with min 6 months validity
- Form DS-160
- Receipt of application fee payment
- Form I-20
- Original Transcripts of Marks
- Standardized test scores; TOEFL, GMAT, SAT, ACT etc.
- Proof of funds equivalent to the total program fees
- A return air-ticket (as proof of intent to return home after completing the course)
Aspirants will also have to attend a personal interview as part of the visa application process.
Cost of studying BBA in USA
There are three major costs that students have to account for when pursuing a BBA in the USA. These costs include:
- Pre-arrival expenses
- Post arrival (tuition fees)
- Post arrival (living expenses)
The cost of tuition has been covered in the previous sections. The table below gives an account of the pre-arrival costs associated with studying BBA in the USA:
|US Student Visa||USD 160|
|Air Travel Fare||USD 675|
|Health Insurance||USD 2,000 to USD 35,000|
The table below gives an account of the cost of living while studying BBA in the USA:
|Expense||Cost (per month)|
|Housing||USD 600 - USD 1,200|
|Stationary and books||USD 200|
|Food||USD 250 - USD 1200|
|Transportation||USD 120 - USD 250|
|Gas and Electricity||USD 165|
Scholarships for BBA in USA
Since studying BBA in the USA is fairly expensive, there are options for financial aid that students can apply for. However, they must ensure that they apply for these in advance as the competition for these scholarships is high. The list of scholarships that studying pursuing a BBA is the USA can avail are as follows:
|ICSP Scholarship at University of Oregon||Tuition fee waiver of USD 7,500 to USD 30,000|
|BrokerFish International Student Scholarship||Financial aid of USD 1,000|
|United World Colleges International Youth Scholarships||Full or partial waiver|
|QS Scholarships||Financial aid of USD 2,000 to USD 10,000|
|Clark Global Scholarship Program||Financial aid of USD 15,000 to USD 25,000|
|American University Emerging global leader Scholarship||Financial aid of USD 6,000 to USD 25,000|
BBA in the USA: Scope and Job Prospects
A BBA degree from the USA is extremely flexible regarding the wide range of domains and opportunities that it brings students. The table contains the list of job prospects and associated salaries of a BBA graduate from the USA.
|Positions||Average Salary (per annum)|
|Management Analyst||USD 83,610|
|Financial Manager||USD 127,990|
|Financial Advisor||USD 88,890|
|HR Specialist||USD 60,870|
|Business Operations Manager||USD 100,930|
|Marketing Manager||USD 134,290|
The USA is a premier educational destination for international students across the world. Among the aspirants are students from non-English speaking countries. The biggest hurdle for these students is attempting the IELTS and TOEFL tests - standardized English tests hard to crack and extremely competitive. These aspirants, however, need not worry as there are plenty of universities in the USA that accept students without an IELTS (or TOEFL) band score requirement.
Students should consider that the selection criteria will differ across universities and programs, and students must do their due diligence in that regard.
How to study in USA without IELTS?
When considering studying in the USA without IELTS, students should follow a structured approach that involves a lot of background research and compilation of information. For example, students can follow the steps below on how to study in the USA without IELTS:
Shortlist Universities and Apply Online
The first thing that student must do is conduct thorough research on all the universities and programs they want to apply to without an IELTS score. All the admission requirements and information on rankings will be found on the respective websites of the various universities. Students will have to do their applications online for the most part.
Personal Interview: Video Call
Once a university has shortlisted a student, they will be asked to appear for an interview. The interview will take place online via video calls through apps such as Zoom or Skype.
Pay the Tuition Fees
If a student receives an acceptance letter from the university, they will then have to pay the particular program's requisite fees.
Apply for US Student Visa
Once a student has paid the fees, and the admission has been confirmed, the next step for the student will be to apply for a US student visa. The next section will detail the process of applying for a US student visa without IELTS.
Universities in USA without IELTS
The following universities have programs where students do not have to present IELTS scores. However, there are conditional requirements for admissions into these programs.
|University of Colorado||
|Drexel University||If students are pursuing the University Preparation Summer Program (UPSP) or Bridge Program for International Students|
|University of Arkansas||If students are attending the Intensive English Language Program (IELP)|
|University of Dayton||If students are attending the Intensive English Language Program (IELP)|
|University of New Orleans||UNO IELP:
|University of Delaware||For students pursuing the ELI (English Language for Internationals) program|
USA without IELTS Study Visa Process
For international students, IELTS scores are exempted if they either have an international baccalaureate, have completed their studies in the English language, or come from an English-speaking country. For other international students, unless they have selected a high ranking university, they will be required to answer some queries in the visa interview. Furthermore, these students will have to submit the following documents:
- A valid passport
- Recent passport size photograph
- Confirmation page of DS-160
- Form I -20
- Payment of application fees for SEVIS
- Acceptance letter from the university
- Proof of funds equal to the cost of the program
- Proof of accommodation
- Original transcripts of marks
- Health insurance
Eligibility criteria to study without IELTS in USA
Certain criteria will enable students to study in the USA without an IELTS score. The criteria are as follows:
- If a student lives in an English speaking country and their first language is English
- If the student has previously completed some academic study in the USA for one year.
- For students applying to Intensive English Learning Programs (IELP) offered by some universities, an IELTS requirement can be waived.
- Just like IELPs, students pursuing summer programs in the USA are exempted from producing IELTS scores.
- Students opting for bridge courses offered by some universities are exempted from producing IELTS scores.
- For some universities, applicants who have completed their higher secondary education or undergraduate degree in the English language need not present IELTS scores.
How many IELTS bands are required for USA Universities?
For most universities in the USA, the minimum band score requirements are between 6.0 and 7.5 (and above). Some universities accept band scores between 5.5 and 6.0 as well. The list of universities accepting the various band scores are as follows:
|University||IELTS Band Score for Graduate Programs|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||7.0|
|Carnegie Mellon University||7.5|
|New York University||7.5|
|University of Texas, Austin||6.5|
|University of Southern California||6.5|
|University of Minnesota||6.5|
|Abilene Christian University||6.0|
|Texas A&M University||6.0|
|California University of Pennsylvania||6.0|
|Dakota State University||6.0|
|New York Institute of Technology (NYIIT)||6.0|
|California State University Los Angeles Campus||6.0|
|California State University, Dominguez Hills||5.5|
|North Dakota State University||5.5|
|Old Dominion University||5.5|
|Southern Arkansas University||5.5|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||5.5|
|University of Mississippi||5.5|
An MS in the USA for Indian students with an undergraduate degree in applied sciences is a great opportunity to delve deep into the subject. It will form the basis of a bright career in science and research. An MS or Master’s of Science degree is the next logical step for students looking into applied sciences as a career option. The degree is a technically oriented program with a focus on developing analytical and problem-solving skills.
The focus of an MS program will primarily be on lab work and research. However, there are many disciplines that a student can pursue an MS degree in; Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Health Sciences, Statistics, and Data Science, among many others. Students also can pursue a course-based MS degree or a research-based one, or a combination of both.
Table of Contents
- Why Study MS in USA?
- Duration of MS courses in the US
- Cost of MS degree in the US
- Requirements For Admission In MS In USA
- Application Process
- US Student Visa Details
- How to apply for Scholarships for MS in the USA?
Why Study MS in USA?
The United States of America has some of the best institutions globally for applied sciences, engineering and medicine. Therefore, there is a lot to learn in terms of knowledge and experience by pursuing an MS in the USA, especially for Indian students, as India produced some of the best engineers, doctors, and scientists globally. Below are some of the benefits of studying MS in the USA:
Wide Variety of Specializations
Universities in the USA offer a wide range of specializations across major fields to MS degree programs. There are over 781 specializations for MS degrees across the various institutions in the USA.
Popular MS Specializations in the US
Some of the names of the popular specializations for MS are given below:
- MS in Computer Science
- MS in Embedded Systems
- MS in Power Engineering
- MS in Management Information Systems
- MS in Wireless Communications
- MS in Game Design and Game Development
- MS in Petroleum Engineering
- MS in Life Sciences
- MS in Pharmacy
- MS is VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration)
Focus on Experiential Learning
MS programs in the USA are structured to provide students with ample industry exposure in internships and projects. This practice allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.
Best Institutions in the World
The USA has the best institutions in the world for MS degree programs. The North American nation is home to 133 of the 200 best universities or MS programs globally as per THE Global Rankings of 2021.
Top Universities for MS in USA
The names of the top universities for MS in the USA are given below:
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Stanford University
- California State University, Los Angeles
- University of Southern California
- New York University
- Arizona State University
- Northeastern University
- University of Texas, Dallas
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Illinois, Chicago
- Columbia University
- University of Florida
- University of Texas, Arlington
To add to the previously mentioned point about having the best institutions globally, the MS programs in the USA also have the best in terms of resources and faculty.
Duration of MS courses in the US
Typically, the duration of MS courses in the USA is between 1.5 and 2 years. Some MS specializations like Computer Science and Engineering may be between 3 and 5 years to complete. MS programs in Medicine may be for a minimum of 6 years or more, depending on the type of specialization.
Cost of MS degree in the US
The USA's tuition fees for MS courses are based on a cost-per-credit system where the minimum credit hours in the MS program are 30 hours. The cost of the MS degree will depend on the type of university (public or private) and program. The table below contains the list of top universities and their most popular program, along with their eligibility and fees requirements:
|University||Most Popular MS Program||Fees (per year)|
|Harvard University||MS in Data Science||INR 54.08 lakhs|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||MS in Mechanical Engineering||INR 55.22 lakhs|
|Stanford University||MS in Computer Science||INR 45.47 lakhs|
|California State University, Los Angeles||MS in Computer Science||INR 16.28 lakhs|
|University of Southern California||MS in Computer Science||INR 41.69 lakhs|
|New York University||MS in Computer Engineering||INR 38.52 lakhs|
|Arizona State University||MS in Computer Science||INR 33.92 lakhs|
|Northeastern University||MS in Computer Science||INR 37.73 lakhs|
|University of Texas, Dallas||MS in Computer Science||INR 38.18 lakhs|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||MS in Computer Science||INR 39.28 lakhs|
|University of California, Berkeley||MS in Computer Science||INR 37.91 lakhs|
|University of Illinois, Chicago||MS in Computer Science||INR 25.43 lakhs|
|Columbia University||MS in Computer Science||INR 37.67 lakhs|
|University of Florida||MS in Computer Science||INR 33.97 lakhs|
|University of Texas, Arlington||MS in Computer Science||INR 23.06 lakhs|
An MS degree will cost anywhere between USD 30,000 (INR 21.88 lakhs) and USD 120,000 (INR 87.54 lakhs), depending on the type of program and institution.
Requirements For Admission In MS In USA
An MS degree in the USA comes with certain requirements to determine a student's eligibility for admissions into the program. It is not mandatory for students to specifically have a Bachelor of Science degree. However, a student must have an undergraduate degree in the relevant subject chosen for the MS program. The general requirements for admissions into MS programs in the USA are as follows:
- An undergraduate degree (3 or 4 years) in the relevant field with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (65 - 70% and above)
- Proof of English language proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE)
- Relevant GRE scores (290 and above)
- State of Purpose
- At least two letters of recommendation
Though not mandatory, submitting these documents will add value to a student's application for MS in the USA:
- Research/ internship projects
- Published research papers
- Proof of social or leadership activities
The application deadlines are usually in October for the Spring semester and December for the Fall semester. Once the application is confirmed, the university will notify the student by mid-April regarding the admission process. Students have to make sure that they accept the offer of admission by May 1. Some universities have rolling admissions so students can apply throughout the year.
Students are required to submit scores of standardized tests as part of the admission process. Usually, MS programs have a GRE requirement though some MS programs in Management may require GMAT scores while those MS Medical programs may require MCAT scores.
Students can request a GRE waiver under the following circumstances:
- They must have a good educational background with proven work as a researcher in the relevant field. This entails having an excellent academic record in the previous graduate program with a good GPA score.
- Having adequate work experience in the professional sphere can help a student waive the GRE requirements.
- Some applicants may already have a GRE score which would have expired. In these cases, applicants can request a GRE waiver.
How to send the Transcripts to the Institutions?
The transcripts must be under the Head of Department (HOD)/Principal of the applicant's school or university, in a sealed envelope with the university/school's seal. International students must submit evaluated transcripts.
Transcript Evaluation Agencies
The USA has Credential Evaluation Services (CES), a collection of various agencies that evaluate transcripts. Students have to upload their transcripts to the website of any one of these agencies. They can pay the fees online and track their applications on these websites as well. The names of some evaluation agencies are as follows:
- NACES: National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
- WES: World Education Services
- ECE: Educational Credential Evaluators
- AACRAO: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers
US Student Visa Details
Once students receive the acceptance letter from their preferred university, they can proceed to the visa application. Usually, the university’s international student office will send a Form I-20 to the student. The form is a document that will record a student’s information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Indian students pursuing an MS in the USA can apply for the following US student visas:
|Type of Visa||Purpose||Fees (in USD)|
|F-1 Student Visa||
|J-1 Exchange Visa||To participate in an exchange program (includes high school and university)||180|
How to apply for Scholarships for MS in the USA?
Because MS programs in the USA are expensive, international students can seek financial assistance in scholarships. Aspirants should note that the competition for these scholarships is high, and they must apply for them well in advance. The table below contains the list of scholarships available to international students in the USA:
|Name of the Scholarship||Features|
|Fullbright Foreign Student Program||Covers tuition fee, airfare, living stipend and health insurance for the duration of the course|
|Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program||Covers tuition fee, airfare, pre-academic English training, living allowance, professional activities and accident insurance for the duration of the course|
|Next-Gen Scholarship||Financial aid of USD 1,000|
|United States South Pacific Scholarship||Covers tuition fee, airfare, hall room cost, living stipend and health insurance|
|Community College Initiative Program||Covers tuition fee, airfare, living stipend, health insurance and cultural enhancement activities|
An MBA in the USA is generally for two years and costs between USD 170,000 and USD 220,000. MBA programs in the USA are the most expensive, as the United States of America is the birthplace of the MBA program. Graduate schools in America are some of the best in the world for business/management programs. According to the Global MBA Rankings by the Financial Times, the USA has 51 of the top 100 best business schools in the country.
The MBA program was created to provide a scientific and methodological approach to business management/administration. Acquiring an MBA from the USA can fetch employees 100% (and above) increments on their existing salaries. In terms of requirements, candidates will need a 4-year undergraduate degree, TOEFL scores of between 90 and 110 (and above) or an IELTS band score of 6.5 (and above), GMAT/GRE scores, and work experience between 3 and 7 years.
Table of Contents
- Why MBA in USA?
- Types of MBA is USA
- Top Universities for MBA in USA
- Top Specialization for MBA in USA
- Admissions to study MBA in USA
- Cost of Studying MBA in USA
- Scholarships for MBA in USA
- Jobs after MBA in USA
Why MBA in USA?
The USA is the birthplace of the MBA program. The North American country is home to more than 50 of the 100 best business schools in the world as per the QS and FT Global Rankings. An MBA from the USA fetches the highest median salaries around the world. The table below shows the salaries that a US MBA fetches in different regions around the world:
|North America||USD 123,900|
|Western Europe||USD 102,900|
|Africa & Middle East||USD 88,700|
|Asia Pacific||USD 90,300|
|Eastern Europe||USD 72,100|
|Latin America||USD 80,900|
|Region||Salary (in USD)|
Types of MBA is USA
Business schools in the USA offer a variety of MBA programs that are comprehensive and diverse but flexible. Given the many option available to students, it may become to difficult to decide which MBA program is best suited for them. Students must keep the following factors in mind while choosing the best MBA program for them:
- Purpose and objectives of doing the MBA course
- Duration of the course and the amount of time a student can devote to the course
- Admission requirements of the course
- Cost of the course
The table below is a comprehensive list of the best MBA programs offered across the various business schools in the USA, along with their type, duration and program schedule, among other things:
|Program||Duration||Top B-Schools||Average Work Experience Required||Schedule|
|Full-time MBA||1 - 2 years||
||3+ years||Regular classes|
|Part-time MBA||3 (or more) years||
||0 - 3 years||Weekend classes|
|Online MBA||2 years||
||0 - 3 years||Flexible|
|Executive MBA||2 years||
||8+ years||Weekend classes|
|Early Career MBA||2 (or more) years||
|Global MBA||1 - 2 years||
||8+ years||Regular classes|
|Certificate Program||1 - 2 semesters||
||N/A||Course module completion|
Top Universities for MBA in USA
As mentioned above, the USA is home to 51 of the top 100 universities for MBA in the USA as per the Financial Times Rankings. The table below contains the list of the ten best business schools in the USA, their ranking, and the fees for their MBA programs:
|Business School||FT Rankings||Cost of MBA|
|Harvard Business School||1||USD 146,880|
|University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School||2||USD 162,756|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||3||USD 149,412|
|MIT Sloan School of Management||6||USD 154,336|
|Columbia Business School||8||USD 154,752|
|University of Chicago, Booth School of Business||10||USD 144,000|
|Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management||11||USD 176,692|
|University of California, Berkeley||12||USD 129,304|
|Yale School of Management||14||USD 149,400|
|Darthmouth College||16||USD 155,040|
Top Specialization for MBA in USA
Business schools in the USA also offer a wide range of MBA specializations across many domains, and this can also be a deciding factor when selecting an MBA program. The list of some of the most popular MBA specializations are as follows:
- General Management
- International Management
- Management Strategy
- Management Consultancy
- Finance Leadership
- Operations Management
- IT or Technology Management
Admissions to study MBA in USA
Admissions to the MBA programs in the USA, especially into the top business schools of the country, can be a tedious affair. Given the various programs and variety of business schools offering these programs, students can face difficulties in selecting the institution, figuring out the application process and gathering the required documents for applying to these business schools.
It is recommended that applications start their planning process at least one year and a half before the semester they wish to enrol in. This can give them ample time to get their application particulars in order and have enough for their visa application to be processed successfully.
The first aspect of admissions a student should understand is the application processes across the preferred business schools.
Applications to study MBA in USA
Most business schools in the USA require their applicants to take standardized tests as part of the eligibility requirement, and these tests take up a lot of time. Hence, the applicant must keep a window of 1 to 2 years to plan and execute their MBA pursuits.
The general application process takes place in 3 stages:
- Pre-Application: Students must attempt the standardized tests and gather all the required documents for the application.
- Application: Students must submit their filled-in applications and upload all the necessary documents.
- Post-Application: Students must submit additional documents, pay the fees upon receiving their acceptance letter
For most business schools, their application process is divided into different rounds, which will have their requirements that applicants will have to meet within a certain deadline. For this reason, applicants must keep track of these deadlines and meet each requirement smoothly.
Most business schools also have an interview round as part of the admissions process once a student has completed all the other prerequisites. The interview process serves as the final round in the admissions process, where an applicant’s core competencies are assessed personally.
Eligibility for MBA in USA
Considering that the admissions process into the MBA programs at Business schools in the USA is tedious and highly competitive, students must begin their preparation process well in advance. This includes knowing, among other things, the eligibility criteria for the MBA programs. In addition, there is a general eligibility requirement that applicants must be aware of, and is mentioned in the points below:
- A minimum of 16 years of education, i.e. 10 + 2 + 4 years in total
- A good GMAT score (or GRE as an equivalent at some B-schools)
- For non-native English speaking international applicants; submission of TOEFL (90 and above) or IELTS (6.0 and above) scores as proof of English language proficiency
- Relevant work experience, the requirement of which may vary across the different universities and programs offered
The table below consists of the various eligibility requirements of the MBA programs offered at the top business schools in the USA:
|Business School||GPA Requirement (Average)||TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE Requirement||GMAT Requirements||Work Experience Requirements (Average)|
|Harvard Business School||3.70||
|Stanford Graduate School of Business||3.70||
|University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School||3.60||
|MIT - Sloan School of Management||3.60||
|Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management||3.60||
|Yale School of Management||3.60||Not required (Verbal GMAT or GRE score is sufficient)||720||5 years|
|Columbia Business School||3.60||Not required (Verbal GMAT or GRE score is sufficient)||727||5 years|
Study MBA in USA without GMAT
There used to be a time where it was close to impossible to get admissions into an MBA program without GMAT scores. These days, however, plenty of business schools accept students without the requirement on their part to produce relevant GMAT scores. The programs mentioned below are MBA courses offered by reputed business schools where students do not require a GMAT score for admissions:
|B-School||Type of MBA||Requirement in place of GMAT|
|Sawyer Business School||Executive MBA||7 years of work experience|
|Hult International Business School||1-year MBA||HIBS assessment test|
|Alfred Learner College of Business & Economics||MBA||
|College of Business at Florida International University||Professional MBA||
|Kellogg School of Management||Executive MBA||
|Marshall School of Business||Executive MBA||
Documents required for MBA application
During their planning process, applicants need to make a list of all the documents required as per the requirements of the MBA programs in the B-schools of their preference. The list of documents required are generally as follows:
- Scanned copies of all the transcripts from previous institutions (in the English language).
- Scores of the standardized tests required for MBA programs must be sent to B-schools in the USA from the testing agency.
- A minimum of two recommendation letters (one academic and one professional)
- An updated highlighting overall work experience and skills
- A cover letter highlighting achievements
- An SOP which is two pages or 1000 words long
Cost of Studying MBA in USA
Studying for an MBA in the USA can be an expensive affair. Applicants have to account for the various expenses apart from the tuition fees of the MBA program, like housing expenditure, living expenses and miscellaneous costs.
For the sake of convenience, it is better to segregate the expenses into the following categories:
The pre-arrival costs will entail the student visa application fees, the cost of the various standardized tests, and the visa category fee. The pre-arrival costs are as follows:
|Student visa application fee||USD 510|
|TOEFL fee||USD 240|
|IELTS fee||USD 200|
|GRE fee||USD 190|
Tuition Fees for Indian students
On average, the cost of studying an MBA for Indian students will amount to anywhere between USD 45,000 (INR 32.9 lakhs) and USD 80,000 (INR 58.5 lakhs). For the top B-schools, the fees for an MBA program will cross USD 120,000 (INR 87.8 lakhs).
There are a list of reputed business schools that offer affordable MBA programs in the USA. The names of these B-schools are as follows:
- Dowling College
- Cameron University
- Southeast Missouri State University
- St. Cloud State University
- Worcester State University
- Minnesota State University
- Missouri State University
- Cambridge College
Cheapest MBAs in USA
The table below contains the list of the cheapest MBA programs among the top B-schools in the country:
|B-School||Duration of MBA program||Cost|
|University of Florida - Warrington College of Business||2 years||USD 61,260|
|Iowa State University||2 years||USD 29,524|
|University of Buffalo||2 years||USD 59,842|
|Lamar University||2 years||USD 28,810|
Cost of Accommodation
Accommodation is not cheap in the USA, especially if a student opts for on-campus accommodation. However, cheaper options are always available, and the costs vary from region to region. On average, students spend between USD 6,000 and USD 14,000 on accommodation per year in the USA.
Apart from housing expenditure, students will have to account for the day-to-day living expenses in the USA. A breakdown of the living expenses have been detailed in the table below:
Scholarships for MBA in USA
Considering that studying for an MBA in the USA is expensive, there are always options besides ‘cheaper universities’ in the form of financial aid. Financial aid may be in the form of grants or scholarships in US graduate schools. The top scholarships offered by prominent B-schools to international students are as follows:
- Harvard Business School Scholarship: This scholarship offers USD 40,000 in financial aid to the student.
- McComb’s Scholarships and Fellowships: This scholarship ranges from awarding USD 2,000 to completely waiving the tuition fees.
The list of scholarships for MBA in the USA that Indian students can seek are as follows:
- Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship: This scholarships for Indian students covers 80% of tuition fees for an MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business School.
- Chicago Booth School Scholarships
- Akhtar Ali H. Tobaccowaala: This scholarship offers USD 1 million for an Indian student for the MBA program at the University of Chicago - Booth School of Business.
- Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship: This scholarship offers USD 25,000 a year to three Indian students looking to study for an MBA at the University of Chicago - Booth School of Business.
Jobs after MBA in USA
An MBA from the USA is one of the most prestigious business degrees that one can acquire. Having an MBA from the USA can give a candidate a serious edge in the job market. Some of the best companies recruit them into top leadership and administration positions within the management hierarchy. A breakdown of the recruiting companies and top salaries for an MBA in the USA are as follows:
|Companies||Average Salary (per year)|
|McKinsey & Co.||USD 160,000|
|Bain & Co.||USD 145,000|
|JP Morgan||USD 125,000|
|Goldman Sachs||USD 125,000|
|Ernst & Young||USD 104,000|
The United States of America is one of the most sought after destinations for higher education in the world. Many students pursue a wide range of courses like undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses like PhD in the USA. The USA is also home to some of the best research-based universities globally, making it an attractive educational destination for potential research scholars across a wide range of domains.
A PhD in the USA is very different from one from the UK or EU in that a PhD from the USA has a structured degree program that has a combination of comprehensive training and independent research. The standard of training and professional development resulting from America’s rigorous approach to graduate education makes their PhD programs stand out from the rest of their international counterparts.
The table below shows the top universities (as per the World University Rankings by Times Education) to pursue PhD in the USA:
|University||World University Ranking (for PhD)||Year of Origin||Type of University|
|Stanford University||2||1885||Private Research University|
|Harvard University||3||1636||Private Ivy League Research University|
|California Institute of Technology (CalTech)||4||1891||Private Research University|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||5||1861||Private Land-Grant Research University|
|University of California, Berkeley||7||1868||Public Land-Grant Research University|
|Yale University||8||1701||Private Ivy League Research University|
|Princeton University||9||1746||Private Ivy League Research University|
|University of Chicago||10||1890||Private Research University|
|John Hopkins University||12||1876||Private Research University|
|University of Pennsylvania||13||1740||Private Ivy League Research University|
|University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)||15||1882||Public Land-Grant Research University|
|Columbia University||17||1754||Private Ivy League Research University|
|Cornell University||19||1865||Private Statutory Ivy League and Land-Grant Research University|
|Duke University||20||1838||Private Research University|
|University of Michigan||22||1817||Public Research University|
|Northwestern University||24||1851||Private Research University|
|New York University||26||1831||Private Research University|
|Carnegie Mellon University||28||1900||Private Research University|
|University of Washington||29||1861||Public Research University|
Why study PhD in the USA?
There are many benefits to pursuing a PhD in the USA. Given the sheer size of international students pursuing PhDs in America, which is close to 1 million, it comes as no surprise that the USA is a premier destination for PhD studies. We will take a closer look at what makes America one of the most sought after destinations for a PhD:
Best Institutions for Research
The table above gives a glimpse into the quality and reputation of research institutions in the USA. The United States of America has continuously dominated the top echelons of the Global League Tables. Furthermore, the USA is known for investing substantially in research output and expertise.
Focus on Fundamentals
Unlike pursuing a PhD in countries like the UK and some EU nations, a PhD in America takes longer to finish, as institutions stress understanding the fundamentals of each subject before even getting to the dissertation project. A detailed understanding of the subject will form the basis for a student’s research in American institutions.
Forefront of Innovation
The USA is undoubtedly at the forefront of innovation, being the country with one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. One cannot deny that the USA is the first mover of trends in almost all domains. The USA is also the trendsetter for graduate studies, given the sheer volume of higher education institutions offering research-based programs to students. The USA was the second country after Germany to structure its approach for doctoral training.
Scope for ample Opportunities
On average, students take 8 to 10 years to finish their PhD studies, which is a long time. The course duration can provide ample exposure to a PhD student in the USA, which can prove to be a valuable experience for international students looking for a global perspective. Furthermore, the USA is a melting pot for many cultures, and diversity is celebrated across the many institutions in the USA.
Accreditations and Rankings
There is no official body for accrediting all the universities in the USA since there is no government body given the size of the federal structure of the USA. Instead of a governing body, many accreditors are responsible for accreditation at the regional and national levels. The US Government maintains a database containing all the universities and programs that have been accredited.
The United States of America has some of the best universities in the world. The USA is home to 30 of the Top 100 universities globally as per the OQ Global Rankings 2021. According to the World University Rankings of 2021 by Times Education, the USA has 19 of the 30 best universities in the world offering PhD programs. The number of international students pursuing their PhD in the States is also sizable, amounting to approximately 1 million PhD students in America.
PhD Courses in the USA
There are a wide variety of PhD programs that universities across the USA offer. The names of some of the most popular subjects that students pursue their PhD in are as follows:
- Biological Sciences
PhD Method of Study in USA
Unlike those in the UK and some EU countries, a PhD in the USA is not a pure research degree. The American graduate education system follows a modern approach where the program defends the student's substantial thesis. The PhD program in the USA has regular classes for students, assessments and an organized and comprehensive program in the initial years of the course.
Once students clear the first stage of assessment and exams, they will be required to confirm the final dissertation topics for their field of research.
Course Structure: Stage 1
The first stage of the PhD program is taught like a Master's program. The first stage has core classes in the form of regular classes and continuous assessments. This stage also has electives that a student can take at their discretion. In addition, students may opt for one or more electives which might help them in the later stages of their course.
Depending on the nature of the program, students will have the option of selecting classes. In addition, some PhD programs have requirements in terms of personal and professional activities like learning a foreign language, volunteering placements and completing work.
Course Structure: Stage 2
Once the coursework is completed, students will be considered as fully realized PhD candidates. Students that opt to stay after the Master's program will be eligible to pursue their doctoral dissertation. This is the 'capstone project' stage of the PhD program.
Students will then have to research topics and areas of their subject and develop their research proposal. The student will be required to submit an outline of their dissertation, methodology and bibliography included within the scholarship parameters.
For full-time students, a PhD usually takes between 4 and 6 years to complete. Students generally take the first four years to work on their program's coursework and two years to work on their dissertation. The classes will be conducted in 2 sessions during an academic year - the Fall semester from August to December and the spring session from January to May.
Applications for PhD in USA
Unlike places like the UK and EU, where students are expected to have a prior understanding of the subject before applying - PhD programs in the USA assume the student does not have prior knowledge of the subject matter, where the course work is designed to keep undergraduate students in mind. Students can apply to up to six universities simultaneously. There is no centralized organization in the USA to help students with the same.
Admissions for PhD in USA
For universities in the USA, the deadlines for PhD applications are usually between December and February. Institutions usually get back to students on their applications in April. It is recommended that students begin their applications well in advance so that they (and the university) can have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
Admission Requirement for PhD in USA
International students must generally show a TOEFL score of 90 or an IELTS band score of 6.5 and above, but students must account for the variance across the different institutions.
Fees and Funding
PhD programs usually cost between USD 28,000 and USD 40,000 a year. Sending in an application in advance can give ample time for the aspirant to arrange funds for their preferred PhD program. International students can avail themselves aid in the form of tuition fee waivers and scholarships by the US Government, as well as their own. There are also non-government scholarships that students can avail.
Living and other Expenses
On average, students spend between USD 6,000 and USD 14,000 a year on accommodation alone. This is exclusive of the tuition fees. However, students may opt for on-campus accommodation, which is expensive compared to taking up private residences or living in homestays. Apart from tuition fees and accommodation costs, students also have to account for their living expenses.
Generally, the average living expenses amount to between USD 10,000 and USD 25,000 on living expenses in the USA. The living expenses have been detailed in the table below:
|Particulars||Expenses (in USD)|
|Study material and stationary||500 - 1,000|
|Travel expenses||500 - 1,200|
|Food and beverages||2,500|
|Health Insurance||1,500 - 2,500|
|Transportation costs||500 - 1,000|