In the last few columns, we discussed professional master’s programmes at US universities. We learnt about how professional programmes are more applied, shorter in duration, and with less of a research focus than MS programmes. The structure and form of each professional programme varies based on the field of study. In general, these programmes have requirements for coursework and sometimes an applied project.
We talked about the M Eng, MBA, and LLM programmes in detail in the previous columns.
Based on the subject of choice and availability of such applied programmes, students may choose to apply to a number of other professional master’s programmes. For example, in the field of urban planning and architecture, the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) and the Master of Architecture (M Arch) are relevant programmes. For public health professionals, the Master of Public Health (MPH) is a popular programme. Similarly, there are professional master’s programmes in Social Work (MSW), Education (MEd), Fine Arts (MFA), Public Administration (MPA), and Public Policy (MPP).
The eligibility, application requirements, and admission criteria varies by programme of study and university/college. Students should carefully look into all these aspects before choosing a programme and university for application. In general, programmes require an online application, application fee, standardised test and English proficiency test scores, statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendations.
So, if a student wants the degree programme to lead to a particular profession, rather than pursue a research-focused degree, professional master’s degree programmes are the most appropriate fit. We suggest that students explore professional master’s programmes at US universities and colleges at www.petersons.com, www.edupass.org, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator, or https://educationusa.state.gov/your-5-steps-us-study/research-your-options/graduate/research-and-narrow-your-options-graduate
— Monika Setia (Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at US – India Educational Foundation, based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad).
Q1. We want to send our daughter to US for her bachelor’s studies. We are concerned about the safety there. Can you please share your thoughts on this? – GK Rao
US college and university campuses are largely safe as a result of various measures put in place by the campus administration. Emergency response and alert systems, campus police, escort options, and high security systems at residential dorms are some of the common features of most US campuses. Once on campus, students should be aware of these various services available around them to keep them safe at the US college/university campus. It is important for students to prioritise safety by avoiding very late night and high-risk activities and being careful when interacting with strangers.
We would also like to encourage your daughter to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) programme organised by EducationUSA across various cities in the country closer to her departure to the United States. PDOs are designed to prepare students for cultural, academic, and social life in the United States and cover safety- and security-related aspects of US campuses. You can get in touch with your nearest EducationUSA centre for more information in this regard.
Q2. I am doing my BBA from India and want to do my master’s from USA? Can I apply with the three-year bachelor’s degree? – Chitra Ramaswamy
US universities generally require students (international or domestic students) to have completed four years of undergraduate education (bachelor’s degree) to be considered eligible for admission to a graduate (master’s degree) programme. Some universities clearly state that they do not accept three-year bachelor’s degrees. Other universities may consider three-year degrees if a student’s credentials are evaluated by an evaluation service specified by the university. You will then need to send your transcripts to the required credential evaluation organisation and provide a course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation agency will then send their evaluation report to the university for the university’s consideration of admission.
US universities are generally open and approachable to discussing specific requests, so we suggest that students take the time to connect with an admissions officer with questions like this one. As you are currently pursuing a three-year bachelor’s degree program, we recommend that you shortlist a few universities and reference their graduate admissions page to see if they accept three-year undergraduate degrees. If yes, then you can proceed with their other application requirements. We also recommend that you reach out to the admissions offices of these universities to confirm they still accept three-year degrees.
Every question has an answer. And ‘Destination USA’ will strive to provide the right answer to all those youngsters who dream of studying in the US.
Mail your questions and doubts to [email protected] to have subject matter experts answer them, right from the degree and programme of study you can pursue to what the application process entails, on universities, how to prepare resumes, financing your studies and even how it is like to live and study in the US, all are welcome.