24 months prior to U.S. Study







What Graduate Programs are Available in the United States?

"I wanted to broaden my horizons in terms of skills and in terms of discovering the world. An MBA in the United States was the perfect match."

- Graduate student from Belgium

GOOD TO KNOW

The programs listed here are the most popular choices among graduate students in the United States. With such a broad range of choices; including other programs not listed here that may be available - you're sure to find the best program for you!

What graduate program interests you?

  • Agricultural Sciences

    Fields within agricultural sciences include academic disciplines such as agricultural engineering, agrophysics, animal science, environmental science, food science, irrigation and water management, and soil science.

    Graduate programs in the agricultural sciences lead to a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Master's degree programs, with thesis or non-thesis options, usually require one or two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree and may lead directly into doctoral programs. Doctoral degree programs in the agricultural sciences may require five to eight years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, depending on the field.

  • Architecture

    Architecture is the study of the theory and practice of designing buildings and structures.

    Graduate programs in architecture lead to the master of architecture (MArch) and require one to two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree. Master's-level coursework in architecture, or industrial engineering, typically focuses on the creation of buildings for residential and urban areas using basic computer-aided design software and freehand drawing, as well as courses on history, law, urban planning, and design.

    When selecting a graduate program in architecture, students should focus on the type of architecture they want to practice. Students should also make sure the National Architectural Accrediting Board has accredited the school and program.

  • Arts and Humanities

    Arts and humanities are academic disciplines that include fields of study such as languages, literature, history, philosophy, religions, arts, and social sciences.

    Graduate programs in arts and humanities lead to a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Master's degree programs, with thesis or non-thesis options, usually require one or two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree and may lead directly into doctoral programs. Doctoral degree programs in the arts and humanities may require five to eight years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, depending on the field.

    How can you learn more?

    Arts and Arts Education references

  • Business

    Business is the science of managing people to organize and maintain a shared goal.

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    A master's in business administration (MBA) is one of the most popular graduate degrees related to business education in the United States. The curriculum of MBA programs generally includes coursework in topics such as management, finance, accounting, marketing, economics, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, globalization, and social responsibility. To show your personal skills and interest, focus on a specific concentration as part of your studies. On average, students earn an MBA degree in two years, although accelerated programs do exist.

    Doctoral programs in business include the doctor of philosophy (PhD) in business and the doctor of business administration (DBA). The PhD program is designed to lead graduates to state-of-the-art business practice that improves the impact of the business sector on the larger community. The DBA program is designed to improve business practice, processes, and programs, ranging from the management of people to the management of operations and projects.

    Graduate programs in business may include programs in subjects such as finance, accounting, banking, or others; various short certificate courses may also be explored.

    How can you learn more?

  • Computer Science/Technology

    The field of computer science focuses on the study software programs, and using that knowledge to create new programs or improve existing ones. Graduate programs in computer science include the study of computation and algorithms with a focus on different theories, databases, computer graphics, and programming.

    Graduate programs in computer science lead to a master of science (MS) or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Master's degree programs, with thesis or non-thesis options, usually require one or two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree and may lead directly into doctoral programs. Doctoral degree programs in computer science may require five to eight years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, depending on the program.

    How can you learn more?

    Scholarly Societies in Computer Science

  • Dentistry

    Dental study only begins at the graduate level in the United States. There are no undergraduate programs in dentistry that lead directly to a license to practice as a dentist. Instead students may take a set of pre-dental courses as part of an undergraduate degree that dental schools typically require for admission to DDS (doctor of dental surgery) or other graduate dental programs. Students interested in dentistry should have a minimum number of prerequisite undergraduate courses in the biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as in the humanities and behavioral and social sciences.

    Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)

    The first professional degree in dentistry is either the doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or the doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degree, and requires four years of study, with two years emphasizing the basic medical sciences and two years providing a clinical orientation. Graduates of dentistry program must also meet state requirements where they plan to practice, and obtain satisfactory scores on the National Board Dental Examination and a state clinical examination.

    Admission to a U.S. dental school is highly competitive. Although anyone is eligible to apply, international students rarely gain admission to a U.S. school of dentistry without having completed at least two years of college or university study at a U.S. institution.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    Public institutions in the United States generally give admissions preference to the in-state residents whose taxes support their programs.

    Application requirements for dental school include a strong undergraduate academic record, proficiency in the English language and a score on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) judged satisfactory by the individual dental school. The DAT examines proficiency in mathematics, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, reading and perceptual motor abilities.

    Postgraduate Training & Residency Programs

    Dentists may apply for postgraduate training at hospitals or dental schools in the United States after receiving the DDS or equivalent degree. These programs typically prepare graduates for teaching or research careers. U.S. dental schools and hospitals frequently offer postgraduate continuing education courses that provide updates on specific topics and are open to international dentists.

    Residencies for dentists fall into three categories: non-degree, general practice or specialty.

    1. Non-degree residency programs in U.S. universities or hospitals offer a clinical focus.
    2. General practice residencies are highly competitive, and typically only about 4% of the students enrolled are internationally educated dentists.
    3. Specialty residencies tend to admit a considerably larger proportion of internationally educated dentists.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    Specialty residencies for dentists in the United States offer training in dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, or prosthodontics.

    Dentists trained internationally who wish to study in the United States must pass one or both parts of the National Board Dental Examination. Some specialty areas require that dentists complete at least the last two years of professional study at a U.S. university and earn a DDS or DMD at a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

    About half of U.S. dental schools offer admission at an advanced level for internationally-educated dentists wishing to complete a DDS or DMD. State licensure and national board certification may also be required in some cases. Dental schools are more likely than hospitals to consider international applicants who do not have a U.S. license.

    How can you learn more?

  • Education

    A degree in the field of education offers skill development to teachers, counselors, and administrators of educational programs.

    Graduate programs in education lead to a master of arts (MA), master of education (EdM), doctor of education (EdD), or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Degree titles vary by institution and academic program. Graduate students in education will choose among a variety of specialized subjects such as adult education and organizational learning; applied linguistics; comparative and international education; curriculum and teaching; early childhood education; education policy; elementary education; gifted education; motor learning; music education; psychology in education; special education; and teaching English as a second language. In addition to coursework specific to the concentration, most degree programs also include a professional training period in the chosen topic.

    How can you learn more?

    Education references

  • Engineering

    Engineering is the application of scientific knowledge to design better products and systems to improve efficiency and convenience for human life while incorporating ways to minimize damage to the natural environment.

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    Graduate programs in engineering may lead to a master's in engineering (MEng), a one-year professional degree; a master of science in engineering (MS) with either a thesis or non-thesis option; or a doctor of philosophy in engineering (PhD), typically a five-year program with thesis or dissertation. The field of engineering includes popular specializations such as aeronautical, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, industrial, mechanical, petroleum, and software engineering.

    How can you learn more?

    Engineering references

  • Journalism & Mass Communications

    Journalism is the practice of gathering facts and informing the public about local, state, national, and international affairs. Journalists are responsible for reporting, writing, and editing articles for publication or broadcast.

    Students pursuing a graduate program in journalism and communications may earn a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in journalism, communication, or a combination thereof. Degree titles vary by institution and academic program. Graduate students usually will choose among a variety of degree concentrations in the field of journalism such as public relations, publishing, editing, global communications, communications and technology, writing, and communication technology and policy.

    How can you learn more?

  • Law

    The study of law is specific to a countrys legal system and American law schools primarily train students to practice law in the United States.

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    The juris doctor (JD) is the first professional law degree in the United States. The program is strongly focused on the U.S. legal system and preparation for law practice in the United States. JD programs require three years of full-time study beyond a bachelors degree obtained in any major. Although JD programs concentrate on the U.S. legal system, law schools may offer courses that focus on a particular subject area.

    Because legal education in the United States is strongly focused on the U.S. legal system, the JD is usually not the best fit for international students. However, this does not mean that international students are ineligible for a JD program.

    Admission to law school is extremely competitive and requirements include fluency in English, an excellent undergraduate academic record and a satisfactory record on the Law School Admission test (LSAT). Law school graduates must pass the bar examination and meet state-level requirements in order to practice in the United States.

    Graduate Legal Education

    International students may be especially interested in the master of comparative law (MCL), also known as the master of comparative jurisprudence (MCJ), degree or the master of laws (LLM). Such programs introduce students to U.S. legal institutions and relevant specialties of U.S. law.

    The master of laws (LLM) degree is offered in a variety of specialties or as a self-designed program. Programs in international law or international business law are especially popular with students from other countries. The LLM is particularly appropriate for international practitioners because students can use this degree as a complement to an existing law degree from their home countries with an internationally-recognized advanced certification.

    Most master's level law programs admit students only at the fall semester. Admission requirements include a first degree in law, a strong academic record, letters of reference, a statement of purpose and/or writing samples and a high level of English proficiency. For students whose law degree was not in the English language, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will be required. Most graduate law programs do not require standardized admissions tests.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    Many U.S. law schools offer programs, particularly in the summer, appropriate for international lawyers. Contact your nearest EducationUSA Advising Center for information on such programs.

    How can you learn more?

    Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

  • Medicine

    Medical study usually follows completion of a bachelor's degree in the United States.

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    Doctor of Medicine (MD)

    The Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is earned after three to four years of medical school that combines classroom work with observation and clinical experience. Admission to medical school in the United States is extremely competitive.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    Medical school acceptance rates show that fewer than 50% of U.S. citizens and 3% of international students who apply to medical school are accepted. Many medical schools in the United States are public; that is, funded largely by taxes raised in the states where they are located and admissions preference is usually given to residents of that state.

    To determine if medical study in the United States is the best option, international students interested in an MD degree should think about:

    • The level of difficulty of entrance requirements.
    • The length of time involved.
    • Recognition of a U.S. medical degree and licensing qualifications in their home country.

    An undergraduate degree, preferably from an institution accredited in the United States, with prerequisite courses in the biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, the humanities, and behavioral and social sciences is required for admission to medical school. Additional requirements include an excellent academic record, fluency in English, extracurricular activities and a satisfactory score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

    GOOD TO KNOW

    International students who are interested in the field of medicine and are applying to a bachelor's degree program in the United States may want to consider certain institutions that offer accelerated 6-8 year programs combining an undergraduate pre-medical education with continuation into a graduate MD degree program.

    Postgraduate Training

    Internationally educated physicians who receive a first degree in medicine in their home countries commonly choose to continue their graduate medical education in the United States. To be eligible to practice medicine in the United States, all physicians, regardless of the country where they received their medical education must:

    ECFMG Certification

    Medical training in the United States includes a residency. A residency is a defined period of clinical training in a chosen medical specialty, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Residency placement is competitive, but international physicians are accepted to residency programs in the United States at a higher rate than medical school admissions. Information on residency programs can be found in the American Medical Association's (AMA) Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA).

    Graduates of medical schools outside the United States must pass a certification program administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)to obtain residency positions or other training in the United States involving patient contact. This certification program is designed to ensure that applicants from foreign medical schools have qualifications comparable to U.S. medical school graduates. ECFMG certification does not guarantee placement in a residency program.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    International medical graduates can apply directly to graduate academic programs in medically related fields that do not involve patient care. Such programs do not require ECFMG certification; for example, programs in radiology, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, pathology, or physiology. They may also apply for research grants in the health sciences.

    How can you learn more?

  • Natural Sciences

    Fields within the natural sciences take a scientific approach to the study of the universe and laws of natural origin. Fields include mathematics, logic, astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, atmospheric science, oceanography, and materials sciences.

    Graduate programs in the natural sciences lead to a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS) or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Master's degree programs, with thesis or non-thesis options, usually require one or two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree and may lead directly into doc¬toral programs. Doctoral degree programs in the natural sciences may require five to eight years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, depending on the field.

    How can you learn more?

    Natural Sciences references

  • Nursing

    Nursing is the art and science of caring, healing, treating, curing, and educating patients of all ages in diverse health care environments.

    Admission requirements and procedures for study and entry into the nursing profession in the United States vary from those in other parts of the world. Basic study for the nursing profession in the United States takes place at the undergraduate level. Options to becoming a registered nurse (RN) includea 2-3 year diploma program, a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) program, or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program.

    Graduate programs in nursing lead to a master of science in nursing (MSN), a doctor of philosophy in nursing (PhD), or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Dual degrees are also available for students wishing to add a second area of focus to their career. The nursing field includes specializations such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse administrator, adult health nursing, primary nursing, nurse anesthesia and certified nurse midwives.

    How can you learn more?

  • Political Science and International Relations

    Political science is the study of the origin, development, and operation of political systems and public policy. International relations programs incorporate these concepts and apply them on a global scale, focusing more exclusively on foreign policy and cross-cultural issues. Both degrees are interdisciplinary and incorporate a variety of subjects into their curriculum including history, economics, theory, and government.

    Students pursuing a graduate program in political science or international relations may earn master of arts (MA) or doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees. Graduate students usually will choose among a variety of degree concentrations in the field of political science/international relations such as American government, international development, international relations/affairs, comparative politics, political philosophy and theory, and political science.

    How can you learn more?

    Political Science and International Relations references

  • Public Health

    Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health helps improve the health and well being of people in local communities and around the globe.

    Graduate programs in public health lead to many degrees including a master of public health (MPH), master of science in public health (MSPH), doctor of philosophy (PhD), or doctor of public health (DrPH). Coursework generally focuses on disciplines such as administration, epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, health policy, and behavioral health.

    How can you learn more?

  • Public Policy and Administration

    Public policy refers to the process of making organizational decisions and political, management, financial, and administrative policies to meet established goals. Public administration is the study and use of government policy including both government and non-governmental management. These two different fields of study are closely linked and have come together over time.

    Graduate programs in public policy lead to many degrees including a master of public administration (MPA), master of public policy (MPA), doctor of philosophy (PhD), or doctor of public administration (DPA). Graduate students usually will choose among a variety of degree concentrations in the field of public policy and administration such as criminal justice, community development, economic development, education, environmental policy, finance, information technology, non-profit management, public health and health care, transportation, or urban management.

    How can you learn more?

  • Social Sciences

    The social science field is the study of society and includes academic disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, criminology, linguistics, political science, sociology, and international relations.

    Graduate programs in the social sciences lead to a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS) or doctor of philosophy (PhD). Master's degree programs, with thesis or non-thesis options, usually require one or two academic years of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree and may lead directly into doctoral programs. Doctoral degree programs in the social sciences may require five to eight years of study beyond the bachelor's degree, depending on the field.

  • Veterinary Medicine

    Veterinary school usually follows completion of a bachelor's degree in the United States. Competition for veterinary study is even more rigorous than for study in medicine. Admission to U.S. veterinary schools is extremely difficult for international students because of intense competition for a limited number of spaces.

    A less-competitive alternative to veterinary school is a graduate program in animal sciences. Graduates of animal science programs are not certified for veterinary practice, but may be qualified for a range of positions in agricultural industries, government or university research, and teaching.

    Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD)

    Fewer than 30 schools of veterinary medicine exist in the United States. Of these, most are largely state-financed, with tax money from state residents supporting the school, and applicants from that state are generally given first preference.

    Most veterinary colleges participate in the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) allowing applicants to submit a common application for multiple schools. The primary consideration for admission is the quality of the undergraduate record. Most schools will require that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test, but some schools may accept the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). International students will also most likely need to take an English language proficiency test. Most schools will also require that the applicant has past experience working with animals both in a clinic and on a farm.

    Postgraduate Training & Practice in the United States

    Internationally-trained veterinarians with the equivalent of the DVM are eligible for postgraduate academic programs in the United States. These programs are designed to lead to teaching positions in veterinary schools, employment by pharmaceutical companies, or research careers with no clinical practice.

    Postgraduate residency training leading to board certification in a specialty such as veterinary ophthalmology or veterinary pathology typically takes three years and involves a combination of academic and clinical experience.

    GOOD TO KNOW

    Short-term training and exchanges with U.S. veterinary schools and related organizations may also be arranged in some cases.

    To practice veterinary medicine in most of the United States, most internationally-trained veterinarians must hold certification from the American Veterinary Medical Association's Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG). Veterinarians must also be licensed in all states in the United States.

    How can you learn more?