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In the USA it is possible to do every type of master degree, including MA, MSc, MBA, LL.M and many others. A masters degree will enable students to progress to PhD level. Entry usually requires that applicants hold a bachelors degree or equivalent academic qualification. However, some master degrees will accept applicants with alternative qualifications and experience. Master degrees are studied at graduation schools in the USA, unlike in Europe where they are usually studied at universities along with bachelor degrees. In the USA master degrees are usually a professional requirement for a career in business, engineering or in the health sciences.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees in the USA are often higher than in Europe. The average tuition fee for an international student for master degrees is around $20,000 a year at public universities, and $28,000 to $40,000 a year at private universities. There are also plenty of scholarships available to international students; these include merit-based scholarships for students that are outstanding academically. Scholarships typically have a very early application deadline so competition is very high; therefore it is essential to apply in plenty of time.

How to apply

Applying for a master degree or graduate degree in the USA involves applying to the grad school directly. It is a matter of checking the grad school's website for the application procedure or contacting the grad school directly. Before leaving to study in the USA to study, a non-immigrant visa is required. The F-1 visa is the most common visa for students; it entitles the holder to study at any accredited university or grad school in the USA. Applying for a student visa is fairly straightforward. An application form can be downloaded from the USA embassy website. An acceptance letter, proof of academic qualifications and financial standing are also required. It may also be necessary to attend an interview at a nearby US embassy. Proof of having study-abroad travel and health insurance is another requirement.

You can read more about studying in the USA in the study guide.