Master's Studies in the USA for International Students

Basically, you will have the opportunity to study at a more advanced level. In addition, you will have the ability to think and study more independently.

You will also get a much more structured experience than other international graduate students.

Of course, assessments will be more frequent and additional internships are also required.

The Master's degree in America is divided into two broad categories: academic programs and professional programs.

Academic Master's Degree Programs in the USA.

Academic Master's Degree programs are similar to traditional Master's Degrees in other countries.

Generally, academic programs focus on broad subject areas, concluding with significant research and presenting a relevant thesis. However, they tend to be less specialized than their international counterparts.

Therefore, rather than limiting the field of study, Master's students in America continue to develop a broader knowledge of their discipline at an advanced level.

In fact, this makes sense because of the university education in America, which allows students to pursue a variety of subjects.

As students applying through this system, choosing a Master's Degree in a broad area is in itself a form of specialization.

On the other hand, in most cases, students choose academic master's programs from a series of modules (these may be referred to as "courses" or "lessons").

Generally, modules that provide systematic training or basic disciplinary knowledge are mandatory. The opportunity to pursue your special interest in a more in-depth way, in the thesis stage of the American Master's program.

Professional Master's Degree Programs in the U.S.

Professional Master's programs (as the name implies) offer the technical training and professional skills necessary to obtain specific professional jobs.

In fact, many students have accreditation, which allows graduates to work in organizational jobs (although as an international student you should be aware that American professional accreditation will not necessarily be recognized abroad).

Consequently, professional Master's programs are likely to have fewer optional modules than academic programs. Instead, the student will have to complete a more rigorous curriculum than the basic training.

This therefore ensures that the student graduates with specific competencies stipulated by the profession (and accredited bodies).

Often, these programs are available at specialized graduate schools, depending on the program. For example, many specialized business schools generally offer MBA programs.

At the same time, law schools offer legislative programs. Often, such schools have their own externships with firms and other professional organizations.

In fact, the presence of these can have an important impact on the content of the master's program and can also increase its ranking. While academic master's programs conclude with a thesis, professional master's programs conclude with an official internal internship in another relevant organization or company.

How are Master's Degrees evaluated and ranked in the USA?

Generally, Master's programs in the USA are divided into modules. Some are compulsory, and some are optional.

Similarly, your final grade is the aggregate of scores you will receive from these individual modules (including any thesis or internship project).

Clearly, this system is similar to that employed in other higher education systems around the world. However, what makes America unique is its focus on continuous assessment, and its use of the GPA system.

In addition, accurate assessment practices will vary between subject areas and courses.

As such, you can usually expect a set of routine periodic assignments, as well as more essential assignments.

Likewise, some graduate programs may also rely in part on your score in group session participation.

What is the average GPA?

Most Graduate and Master's programs in America adopt the GPA system to reflect student performance.

As an example, the average score is the weighted average of all the scores you received in your course. The weight of each score depends on its importance within that course.

Duration of Master's Degrees in America

Generally, a Master's Degree at an American University lasts about two years full-time (although some courses are shorter).

Finally, having an American Master's degree can shorten the time required for a PhD in the same field.