How Much Will a Master’s Degree in the US Actually Cost?

How Much Will a Master’s Degree in the US Actually Cost?

How Much Will a Master's Degree in the US Actually Cost?
The United States’ well-earned reputation in global education attracts thousands of students from all over the world each year. The high quality of life and exceptional learning methods are enough to pull in learners from all walks of life.

If you’ve been meaning to pursue a master’s degree, looking at educational institutions in the US is a great place to start. But just as the US is known for its top-notch quality of education, it is also notoriously expensive to study there. Can you afford the costs of earning a master’s in the US?

No figure is accurate enough to reflect the real cost of a master’s degree in the US. Fortunately, we’ve compiled facts and data to give you a thorough look at the cost of taking a master’s degree program in the US.

Proprietary vs. Public Schools

The actual costs of taking your master’s depend on various factors including your school of choice.

Public schools are government-funded institutions operating under the authority of the state. Tuitions in these schools are naturally more affordable, as it’s the government’s responsibility to make the right to education more accessible.

Proprietary or profit schools are owned, managed, and maintained by private individuals or shareholders. Aside from providing educational services, they also operate to generate revenue.

Private schools are evidently more expensive, but they usually have more premium facilities and adequate learning equipment. Facilities and materials at public schools may not be up to par with superior standards, but it’s easy to supplement these gaps with other government-funded resources.

Fees Associated With the Application Process

Applying for a master’s degree isn’t free. In fact, you also need to create a separate budget to supply the correct and complete requirements. 

According to a blog post on the Franklin University website, the average cost of application fees is about $100. But it’s variable, and may even be higher depending on the program you’re applying for.

Other fees to consider are the costs of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). If you’ll be taking a program that doesn’t require a GMAT or GRE, then you can cross these off your budget. If they are, prepare $250 for GMAT and about $205 for GRE.

Take into account that you may be required to take prerequisite programs or courses before being admitted to a graduate school. These programs or courses are additional costs to consider.

Tuition Fees in Popular Universities and Subjects

The table below shows the average annual tuition fee for some of the top-ranked universities in the US. Note that some programs can be more expensive such as Law and Visual Arts, which can go up to $60,000 a year. 

Top-Ranked Universities Average Annual Tuition
Harvard University $5,500 – $33,000
Columbia University $23,000 – $59,000
Yale University $22,000 – $46,000
Princeton University Around $40,000
University of Chicago $13,500 – $39,500

The table below shows a range of tuition fees based on the area of study. Note that this is only the minimum and maximum average cost of tuition you have to pay per year, depending on your college or university. 

Area of Study Annual Tuition
Business $5,000 – $70,000 
Law $5,000 – $50,000
Information Technology $5,000 – $55,000
Engineering $5,000 – $47,000
Education $5,000 – $40,000
Medicine $5,000 – $64,000
Humanities $5,000 – $50,000

International postgraduates seeking to earn their master’s degree can find many opportunities in the United States. If you’re one of them, read our other articles here at MSM Unify to equip yourself with up-to-date information when pursuing a master’s degree in the US. 


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