Master studies in the USA is very similar to master studies in other countries.
Basically, you will have the opportunity to study at a more advanced level. Moreover, you shall have the opportunity to think and study more independently.
You’ll also get a much more structured experience than some other international graduate students.
Certainly, assessments will be more frequent, and additional internship is also or required.
The Master’s degree in America is divided into two broad categories: academic programs, and professional programs.
Academic Programs in USA
Academic Master’s programs are similar to traditional master’s degrees in other countries.
Basically, academic programs focus on broad subject areas, concluding with a major research mission as well as presenting a relevant thesis. However, they tend to be less specialized than their international counterparts.
Being that, instead of narrowing the field of study, master students in America continue to develop more comprehensive knowledge of their discipline at an advanced level.
Indeed, this makes sense due to the nature of university education in America, which allows students to study a variety of subjects.
As for students applying through this system, choosing a master’s degree in a broad subject is itself a form of specialization.
On the other hand, in most cases, students choose academic master’s programs from a range of modules (they can be referred to as “courses” or “lessons”).
Modules that provide basic disciplinary knowledge or systematic training are usually mandatory. The opportunity comes to pursue your special interests more deeply in the thesis stage of the American master’s program.
Professional Programs in USA
Professional master programs (as the name suggests) provide professional skills and technical training required for obtaining specific professional jobs.
As a matter of fact, many students have got accreditation, allowing graduates to work in organizational jobs (although as an international student you should bear in mind that American professional accreditation will not necessarily be acknowledged abroad).
Accordingly, professional master programs are likely to have fewer elective modules than academic programs. Instead, the student will need to complete a more rigorous curriculum than basic training.
Therefore, this ensures that students graduate with specific competencies stipulated by the profession (and accredited bodies).
These programs are often available at specialized postgraduate schools depending on the program. For example, many dedicated business schools usually offer MBA programs.
At the same time, law schools offer law programs. Such schools often have their own external partnerships with companies and other professional organizations.
Indeed, the presence of these can have a significant impact on the content of the master program and also can strengthen its rank. While academic master’s programs conclude with a thesis, professional master’s programs conclude with a formal in-house internship at another relevant company or organization.
How are master’s degrees evaluated and classified in USA?
Programs for Master studies in USA are usually divided into modules. Some are mandatory, and some are optional.
Likewise, your final grade is the set of grades you receive across these individual modules (including any thesis or internship project).
Obviously, this system is similar to the one used in other higher education systems around the world. However, what makes America unique is its focus on continuous assessment, and its use of the GPA system.
Furthermore, accurate assessment practices will vary between areas of study and courses.
Being that, you can usually expect a set of routine periodic tasks, as well as more substantive tasks.
Likewise, some graduate programs may also depend on part of your score in group sessions participation.
What is the average GPA?
Most master and Postgraduate programs in America adopt a GPA system to reflect student performance.
As an illustration, the average score is the weighted average of all the scores you received in your course. The weight of each score depends on its importance within that course.
Duration of master’s study in America
A master’s degree at an American university usually takes about two years of full-time study to complete (although some courses are shorter).
At last, having an American master’s degree may shorten thetime required for a PhD in the same field.