Imagine you are sitting in an audience and listening to a lecture by a Nobel laureate, he shares his experience and is ready to answer any questions. The USA is the country with the highest number of scientific award winners and many of them teach at American universities. An American master's degree is useful if you want to develop in the field of science, get practical skills and improve your qualifications, or if you want to change the field of activity. Both professionals with experience and recent graduates can apply for master's programs. Undergraduate students in their last year of study can apply for Master's programs as well, but note that you must have a diploma by the time the study starts. American universities are also willing to accept students who have already received a master's degree in another country.
Usually master's programs provide for a narrow specialization, therefore, it is worth a good study of the proposed courses and teaching staff. If the master's program is based on writing a scientific work, then cooperation with a specific teacher who conducts research in the same field is very important. Universities typically require letters of recommendation, standardized test results (GRE / GMAT), proof of English proficiency (TOEFL / IELTS), and motivation letters. Since masters enter a specific program, in addition to general ones, each direction of training has additional requirements.
The great advantage of graduate studies in the USA is the strategy for the formation of study groups. This strategy is aimed not only at selecting the most talented students, but also at providing a diverse environment: the exchange of knowledge and the expansion of their horizons occurs not only through teachers, but also through the knowledge of their fellow students and while working in groups.
Types of Master Programs
Colleges and universities in the USA offer master's programs of various types. The most common are Master's of Arts (MA) and Master's of Science (MS) programs. Students who choose MA tend to study humanities and social sciences. In contrast, MS degree is awarded to students of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Nevertheless, there are many specialized master's programs for specialists in various fields.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs provide a theoretical and practical course in preparing for business management. MBA prepares specialists for real professional tests instead of forcing them to study terminology or solve problems that they are unlikely to meet in real life. Regardless of which institution you will study in the MBA program, you will probably study by American textbooks, because business develops there more rapidly and authors can transfer their knowledge to textbooks more quickly than other countries can gain.
Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) offer a curriculum focused on preparing students for managerial positions in the public sectors. The main difference is that the MPA focuses on leadership and working with people, the MPP focuses on research and analytics.
Master's of Laws (LLM) provide specialized legal training for those who wish to improve their qualifications and study a specific area of law. Usually foreign students should have a preliminary legal education to enter LLM . Americans get J.D. (Juris Doctor), which lasts 3 years, since there is no bachelor in law in the United States. As a graduate student, you will study with American students of different courses at J.D. - This will allow you to learn about the competitive atmosphere of student life in US law schools.
The classification of programs may differ from one institution to another, so you should carefully study the information on the website of the selected university. The best way to make sure that the program is right for you is to check the list of courses provided by the program, profiles of students and graduates, relevant studies of the program teachers.
Optional Practical Training
Studying in the USA is attractive because of the possibility of gaining professional experience. During training, students of American higher education institutions have the opportunity to work on campus up to 20 hours a week or to practice (Curricular Practical Training). After graduate studies, you can get permission to do postgraduate Optional Practical Training (OPT) for one year. STEM students can continue their practice for 24 months. After the OPT, you can apply for a PhD degree.