How to Shortlist Universities for MS in USA 2024

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 30 December 2022 & Read Time 6 minutes




While planning to study abroad, the US is the first preference that international students make. A degree from a US university is highly appreciated by the job market and offers a pathway to a global career. There are plenty of options for students planning to pursue an MS in US. More than 200 universities in US accept international students’ applications for MS courses. Many international students find confusion while shortlisting the best suitable US university according to their profile and preference. In this blog, let’s discuss how to shortlist universities for MS in USA in 2023.


Which Factors to Consider While Shortlisting Universities for MS in USA


There are various factors that students must keep in their mind while selecting the university, which are mentioned below:

  • Reputation and ranking of the university (ranking of your particular course instead of overall ranking)

  • Cost of studying at the university (tuition fee of your preferred university)

  • Cost of living in that particular state or city

  • Scholarship opportunities

  • Employability rate

  • Location of that university, if you can get a part-time job opportunity and accommodation facilities near the university

  • Acceptance rate (especially of international students)

  • Course curriculum and duration

  • Weather conditions


Factors Which Make Your Profile Strong to Enrol for MS in USA


A strong student profile will increase the chances of an offer letter from the university. Here are some factors which can make your profile strong enough to get an offer letter from your preferred university for an MS course.

Academic Score

Many universities in USA highly consider students’ previous academic records as a major factor in accepting their application. Therefore, a student with a good percentage or GPA has an advantage while applying to the university.

English Proficiency Test Score

Since the US is English-speaking, international students must prove their language skills. Some of the most common English proficiency tests that US Universities accept include IELTS, TOEFL, and Duolingo. Every university has different criteria for selecting students’ English proficiency test scores. Generally, top universities in US for MS accept a 6.5 overall score in IELTS or equivalent in any other English proficiency exam.

Standardised Test Scores

Standardised tests give an idea of the course-specific knowledge that students have. The higher your test scores, the better universities you can target. Some of the most famous standardise admission tests to enrol for MS courses include GMAT and GRE.

Work Experience/ Internships

Work experience in the course-relevant field indicates that students have prior knowledge of the practical aspect of the subject. This increases the chances of an offer letter from the university.

Extracurricular Skills

Extracurricular skills make students attractive candidates for the university. Some of the best universities in US are seeking for students who are skilled in a variety of sectors, not just academics. Therefore, being able to provide evidence of your involvement in extracurricular activities will aid you in getting into reputable universities.


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How Many Universities Students Have To Shortlist to Study MS Course


There is no limit to the number of universities you apply to. However, students are advised to apply to at least 4 to 5 universities. The cost of applications varies from 75 USD to 90 USD, depending upon the university.


When to Apply to Shortlisted Universities?


This is the most common query that students have when deciding to study in US. Generally, universities start accepting applications for Fall intake in the first week of November. So, students must start their applications as soon as possible, as submitting an application earlier will allow the application team of the university to assess your profile properly. Thus, increasing the chances of getting an offer letter. Also, a quick application process will allow you to apply for the visa timely. However, the application deadline varies from January to March, depending on the university. 


How to Apply to Shortlisted Universities?


Once you shortlist universities for MS in US, the next step is to make an application. You can apply to the particular university through its official website and then by clicking on prospective student or applying now. The forms are generally long, extending to 7-8 pages. Well, you can get support from our expert educational counsellors to apply to your preferred university


Documents Required to Apply for MS in US Universities


International students are advised to prepare their documents well in advance according to the checklist. Below mentioned are some important documents that students require while applying to universities in USA:

  • Academic transcripts (10th, 12th, and Bachelor’s)

  • Scores of entrance examinations like the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, and others (if required by your preferred university). 

  • English proficiency test scores (like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE)

  • 2 LORs (one from the previous educational institution and one from the workplace)

  • A well-drafted SOP (statement of purpose)

  • A valid passport (must be valid till your whole course duration)

  • Updated CV

  • Certificate of Work Experience

  • Proof of enough funds availability

  • Two passport-size photographs

Top universities for MS in USA


  • California Institute of Technology

  • Yale University

  • University of Chicago

  • Princeton University

  • Harvard University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Stanford University

  • Cornell University

  • Columbia University



Q: Which is the best intake to apply to US Universities
A: Generally, US universities offer two intakes, i.e., January (Spring) and August (Fall). However, some universities also offer May (Summer) intake. Among all the three intakes, the Fall intake is the biggest intake in which all the US universities accept applications for all the courses.

Q: Is applying early to a university advantageous?
A: Yes, definitely submitting an offer letter early will allow the application team of the university to check your profile properly and increases the chances of getting an offer letter.

Q: What Does it cost to do MS in the USA?
A: The cost of studying MS in US varies from 12000 USD to 60000 USD, depending on the specialisation and university you choose to enter.

Contact our counselors for application details

Moreover, students who wish to study in USA may contact our expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. Our expert counsellors will provide you with the best support and guidance that you need for the admission and visa process. Also, they’ll help you in shortlisting the universities according to your profile. For more information or any queries, you can mail us at or call us at our toll-free no. 1800-1230-00011.

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