General Application Process for Master of Science in the US

General Application Process for Master of Science in the US
Universities in the United States emphasize practical application and research as a foundation of knowledge. No wonder thousands of international students in the world choose the US to pursue graduate studies.

If you’ve already decided that the US is the perfect place to take your Master of Science degree, the next step for you is to learn the steps of the application process.

Here is the general application process for an MS degree in the US: 

1. Choose Your College or University

Choosing your college or university can take a long time. Ideally, you should start selecting your options at least 15 months before the start of classes. 

When choosing your college or university, consider essential factors such as tuition, miscellaneous fees, facilities, availability of learning materials, and more. You must have an ample amount of time to compare each school based on these factors.

To select the best university or college for your MS degree, look through our articles here at MSM Unify. We have plenty of resources and reference materials that provide insights into some of the top-ranked universities in the US.

You can also visit the official websites of different universities to see what services they offer to MS students.

2. Check and Verify Application Deadlines

The US admission has three cycles: Fall, Summer, and Spring. Most MS degree programs start in Fall, which is around September. 

Universities across the US don’t share a common deadline for all MS programs. Deadlines in each department of the university also vary.

Generally, for admissions in the Fall, applications open in September, and deadlines are usually around December to January. Depending on the college or university you’ll be applying for, the deadlines may even extend up to February. 

3. Prepare Requirements

To apply for an MS degree, you need to supply different requirements. Note that your requirements as an international student may differ from students who are US citizens. 

In the US, a minimum of 16 years of education is a major academic requirement. Most universities also require standardized tests for their applicants.

The following requirements may also be asked by your chosen university:

Exam Requirements

Most MS degree applicants have to take standardized tests for admission to study abroad. Most universities in the US have an average or minimum score requirement on these tests. Some of these tests are as follows:

  • GRE / GMAT – Mandatory for most MS degree programs
  • MCAT – For MS degree students whose field is aligned with medical studies
  • LSAT – For students applying for law 

English Language Requirements

English is the main medium of instruction in universities in the US. International students must demonstrate a good command of the English language to successfully apply. 

One of the ways universities assess the English proficiency of a student is through an English Proficiency Language (EPL) test. The majority of US universities will accept at least one of the following:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English)
  • C1 Advanced 

Minimum test score requirements on these tests vary from MS program and university.

Required Documents

Generally, you must submit the following documents to apply to a university:

  1. Academic records including Transcript of Records (ToR)
  2. Test scores from any of the required standardized tests (Whichever is/are necessary)
  3. EPL test scores
  4. An academic CV or resume
  5. A passport size photograph
  6. Letter of Motivation / Statement of Purpose
  7. Writing Samples

The US is a great destination for international MS degree students. Once you’ve successfully followed these steps, you can read our other articles here at MSM Unify to learn more about education, exploration, and life in the US. 


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