A Guide to Post-graduate Education in the USA for Indian Students

Study Abroad Team 09/08/2023

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A postgraduate certification program can be availed by students who have completed their undergraduate courses and are willing to go further in their field. Having a post-graduate certificate is a solid addition to a student’s background, in enhancing their job prospects.

Introduction to Post-Graduate Studies in the US for Indian Students

The USA ranks on top of the list of countless students across the globe, especially in countries like India, where students aspire to enroll in American universities.

The country offers many post-graduate options to Indian students who are looking to gain further education. With the finest universities in the world offering cutting-edge courses to professional opportunities, moving to the USA can give students the edge to get ahead.

More than 3000+ universities in the USA offer post-graduation courses in various subjects. Aspiring students get to select from the finest universities offering top-ranking courses worldwide. Universities in the USA provide state-of-the-art facilities to their students, a diverse ecosystem, and top-notch work exposure to prepare oneself.

However, many students can feel overwhelmed due to the seemingly endless university options. Therefore, it is advised that aspirants who wish to study in the USA should finalize 5-6 universities based on their preferences.

Different Types of Post-graduate Programs in the US for Indian Students

Another merit of doing a post-graduate course from the USA is the various types of programs that one can enroll in, based on their specific needs and interests. In the USA, Indian students can commonly find these types of post-graduate programs to choose from:

Master’s Degree Program

The 1-2 year programs provide advanced education in specialized fields. These comprehensive programs are more commonly chosen by students who have completed their undergraduate courses. A few famous master’s degrees taken up by students from India are in Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Engineering (MEng).

Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates

These post-graduate programs offer specialized training and skills in the area of choice without the requirement of completing a full master’s or doctoral degree. These programs are shorter and ideally chosen by students who want to add more education under their belt or gain further skills suited for their job.

Doctoral Programs (Ph.D.)

These research-oriented programs aim to instill expertise in a specific field of study. Finishing a Ph.D. program can take several years, requiring students to produce original research and compile a dissertation.

Fellowships and Research Assistantships

Although these are not traditional post-graduate programs, fellowships and research assistantships are exciting opportunities that Indian students can avail. Students can expect to work in research or professional setting under these programs.

Professional Degrees

Aspirants wishing to study in the USA can opt for professional degrees. These are advanced courses for specialized professions such as Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Juris Doctor (JD).

Executive Education Programs

Studying abroad in the USA is not limited to young students alone. Executive programs aim to train experienced professionals who wish to acquire more skills. These programs offer business and leadership training through executive MBAs and master's programs.

Top Universities in the US Offering Post-Graduate Programs for Indian Students

The USA is best known for having some of the best educational institutions in the entire world. Aspiring students can choose from the ranking and popularity of Harvard University and MIT to study.Here are the top 5 universities in the USA that offer post-graduate programs:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT is often regarded as the best engineering college in the world for Indian students. The premium institution is in Massachusetts and is best known for its engineering and technology programs. Students of other disciplines, such as humanities, can also benefit from an MIT education as the university is strong across various fields.

Stanford University

Situated next to Silicon Valley is Stanford University, one of the most renowned universities in the world. The university offers several prestigious post-graduate programs in mathematics, computer science, psychology, economics, biology, and so on.

Harvard University

The education of Harvard University is well-known across the globe. The university consistently receives top ranks worldwide and offers cutting-edge courses at the post-graduate level. Most popular courses that students avail at Harvard are in the science and mathematics background with a heavy emphasis on research.

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a private university in Pasadena, California, and one of the country's most prestigious institutes. Students wishing to study in the USA must look at the courses offered by Caltech. Their most sought post-graduate courses are engineering, mathematics, statistics, and social sciences.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago offers over 100 comprehensive post-graduate courses in law, economics, public policy, mathematics, chemistry, and business.

Eligibility Requirements to Avail a Seat for Post-Graduate Programs in the US

The minimum requirements to be eligible for a seat in a post-graduate program in the US depend on the university and the specific program. However, some common eligibility criteria for the majority of post-graduate programs are:

Bachelor’s Degree

The first and foremost requirement to study abroad in the USA as a post-graduate student is to possess a four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Additional courses may be accepted in the case of a three-year degree (which is usually the case in India).

Standardized Test Scores

For most academic courses, aspiring post-graduate students must appear for standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Furthermore, courses such as admission to the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) require the student to give the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Similarly, law aspirants need to provide the LSAT. Achieving high scores on these tests is essential for students to secure a place in the university of their choice.

English-Proficiency Test Score

Since most courses in the USA are English, students from non-English speaking countries such as India must take tests such as IELTS or TOEFL.

Through these tests, Indian students can demonstrate their command over the English language, which is necessary to study in the USA.

Letters of Recommendation

To improve the chances of getting selected in an American university, students must produce 2-3 letters of recommendation. These letters should come from people who genuinely vouch for the candidate’s professional and educational abilities, such as professors, instructors, and employers.


The applicants should attach their resume and other documents as part of the application process. This resume should truly reflect the individual’s achievements and background. Having a proper resume gives the admission officers a glance at students’ abilities.

Statement of Purpose

During the application process, students are to write an essay stating their purpose of moving abroad to study in the USA. This essay offers a comprehensive look at the candidate outside their academic scores.

Financing Post-Graduate Studies in the US: Scholarships, Loans, University Grants, and More

Before applying to any post-graduate course, Indian students must ascertain how they will finance their education in the US. There are several ways in which students can manage studying abroad in the USA; some of the most common methods are:

Academic Scholarships

Several universities offer scholarships to exceptional students based on academic merit, unparalleled achievements, or research potential. Master’s scholarships in the USA are among the most sought-after ways to fund an education. However, these opportunities are competitive, and candidates must be proactive while applying.

Part-Time Jobs

Students studying in the USA can work as part-time employees for up to 20 hours per week. These experiences are great to gain exposure while earning money to manage the monthly living expenses.

Educational Loans

If a student cannot find a scholarship and is unlikely to fund their education with current finances, seeking educational loans is the next best alternative. Most educational loans have a nominal interest rate, and students can pay after completing their course.

University Grants

A few universities provide need-based financial aid and grants to Indian students. These are beneficial to reduce the overall living expenses during the post-graduate program.

Exploring Internships and Job Opportunities for Indian Students after Post-Graduation

After completing the course, many students wish to pursue internships or job opportunities to display their acquired skills. Job seekers can use the following resources after post-graduation:

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

International students on F-1 visas can stay up to 12 months (or 36 months for STEM courses) after completing their course. During this time frame, students get to indulge in practical training, which benefits their professional life and further job prospects.

Graduate School Assistantship

Many Indian students opt to pursue a Ph.D. after their graduation. These research-oriented programs come with assistantship opportunities that one can avail of.

Career Fairs and Online Job Portals

Attending career fairs and actively viewing online job portals is another way to hunt for jobs after course completion. These are great avenues to network with professionals from similar backgrounds as well.

Alumni Network

Tapping into the university's alumni network is a great way to be in touch with successful people. This can lead job-seekers towards lucrative job leads and career opportunities.

Doing a post-graduation course in the USA can be a beneficial decision in the long run. Studying in the USA offers countless top-notch courses that aim to equip students with the best training for future job prospects. Gaining a post-graduate degree from an established institution in the USA will significantly help the candidates professionally.

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I want to study mba in usa?. What is the procedure?
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Manivannan Posted on 09/04/2024
  • Neha Answered on 09/04/2024

    To study MBA in the USA, you need to follow these steps: 1. Research and select the universities you want to apply to based on your preferences and eligibility. 2. Take the required exams such as GMAT or GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS if you are an international student. 3. Prepare a strong application package including transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and resume. 4. Apply to the universities of your choice following their application deadlines and instructions. 5. Upon acceptance, apply for a student visa and make necessary travel arrangements. Please note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary by university, so it is important to carefully review the information provided by each institution.

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