Master’s studies in the United States are very similar to master’s studies in other countries.
Fundamentally, you will have the opportunity to study at a more advanced level. In addition, you will have the opportunity to do more independent thinking and studying.
You also get a much more structured experience than some other international graduate students.
Admittedly, evaluations will be more frequent, and an internship will be required as well.
The Master’s program in America is divided into two main categories: academic and professional programs.
University Programs in the United States
The academic master’s programs are very similar to traditional master’s programs in other countries.
Essentially, academic programs focus on broad areas, concluded with a major research assignment, and present a relevant thesis. They tend to be less focused than their international counterparts, however.
However, rather than narrowing the field of study, master’s students in America continue to develop a more comprehensive understanding of their discipline at an advanced level.
In effect, this makes sense because of the nature of university education in America, which allows students to study a variety of subjects and be versatile.
For the applicant through this system, choosing a master’s degree in a broad subject is itself a form of specialization.
In most cases, on the other hand, students choose academic master’s programs from a range of modules (they may be called “courses” or “lessons”).
Massifs that deliver core academic knowledge or systematic training are usually compulsory.
The opportunity arises to pursue your particular interests in greater depth than at the thesis stage of the US master’s program.
Professional Programs in the United States
Professional master’s programs (as the name implies) provide the professional skills and technical training necessary to obtain specific professional jobs.
In fact, many students have earned certification, which allows graduates to work in organizational jobs (although as an international student, you should keep in mind that U.S. professional certification may not be recognized abroad).
Therefore, professional master’s programs are likely to have fewer elective modules than academic programs. Instead, the student will be required to complete a more rigorous program than the core curriculum.
This, therefore, ensures that students graduate with the specific skills stipulated by the profession (and accredited organizations).
These programs are often available at specialized graduate schools, depending on the program. For example, many specialized business schools typically offer MBA programs.
At the same time, law schools offer law programs. These schools often have their own external partnerships with businesses and other professional organizations.
Indeed, the presence of these can have a significant impact on the content of the master’s program and can also enhance its standing. While academic master’s programs end with a thesis, professional master’s programs end with a formal internship in another relevant company or organization.
How are master’s degrees evaluated and ranked in the United States?
Master’s programs in the United States are generally divided into modules. Some are required and some are optional.
Similarly, your final grade is the sum of the grades you earn in these different modules (including a possible thesis or internship project).
This system is obviously similar to other higher education systems around the world. However, what makes America unique is the emphasis on continuous assessment and the use of the GPA system.
In addition, specific assessment practices vary by field of study and course.
That said, you can generally expect a routine set of assignments, as well as more substantial assignments.
Similarly, some master’s programs may depend on a portion of your score coming from group sessions.
What is the average GPA?
Most master’s programs in the United States adopt a GPA system to reflect student performance.
As an illustration, the GPA is the weighted average of all the grades you have earned. The weight of each grade depends on its importance in that course.
Duration of Master’s studies in the United States
A master’s degree at a U.S. university typically takes about two years of full-time studying.
Last but not least, proof that you have a U.S. master’s degree can reduce the time it takes to earn a doctorate in the same field.