Finding the right university isn’t just about studying in the most acclaimed places or having the finest of the ambiance and amenities. It’s about carving a niche for yourself by being in the place which is unsurpassed. There are umpteen sources available to gather information and know about the top ranking universities worldwide. But to narrow down the list to those of the top priority where you fit in becomes a daunting task.
So let’s check the right perspective to decide on the Top Universities for pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA.
The Right Approach
Whether you ask a friend or browse the net for the leading universities country wise, a general approach to be followed is to go as per the university ranking. Keeping this trend in mind if you finalize a list of universities as per your priority, a majority of the colleges may not match your requirement of the desired department or specialization, and if they do, you may not fit as per the need of the university.
So before starting the search, it’s always better to follow the right approach.
Benchmarks for Selection of the school
Ranking: Consider the departmental ranking of the university or college instead of the general ranking.
Specialization: Check for the availability of the specialization you would like to pursue.
Cost factors: The fee structure, facilities for funding and the opportunity to earn while studying will undoubtedly be on your priority list.
Check Whether You Fit the Bill
The best way to ensure whether you fulfil the university’s criterion of selection or not would be to know what the college is looking for and see whether you fit into their requirements.
So, let’s chalk out a list of essential requirements on the college list.
Academic Merits: The first and the foremost essential factor will be your academic merits. Majority of the top ranking universities look for a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 9 on 10. So select the school as per your GPA.
Standardized Tests: Apart from the academic merits the second point of vital importance would be your scores for standardized tests like GRE and TOEFL. The top ranking universities would be giving preference to students with a GRE score above 325/340 and TOEFL above 105/120.
Research, Publications & Projects: The research activities, international paper publications and the project work done at the undergraduate level are also the deciding factors.
Work Experience: This becomes a must in case there’s a gap after the undergraduate course. To justify the break, you’re supposed to show relevant work experience with recommendations and references.
Departmental Funding for Financial Aid
After having a thorough understanding of the universities of your preference and your fit into the desired schools, consider one more step. You’ll surely agree that the deciding factor for you ultimately will be the cost factor.
So check with the departmental funding. Majority of the colleges provide this in the form of Teaching Assistantships(T.A.) or Research Assistantships(R.A.).
Teaching Assistantship: This is an opportunity to teach the undergraduate students for a limited number of hours. Your prospects for the same will be bright if you have exceptional scores in TOEFL.
Research Assistantship: You will be considered for this if you have excellent academic and research profile. The chances of research assistantships are better if you decide upon the professor under whom you’d like to do the research.
The final steps to shortlisting the top schools for pursuing master’s in the USA will be to check the intake and the fiscal deadlines.
In case you have difficulty in doing all this on your own you can contact a study abroad consultant to smoothen the process.
If you go ahead with this in a stepwise process, you’ll surely be able to shortlist the top ranking universities of your choice ensuring higher chances of getting enrolled.