How to Shortlist Universities for MS in US
In this post, we are going to solve one of the most important questions about your missed admits and we are sure that it might have crossed a gazillion times in your mind how to shortlist universities for ms in us. Universities Shortlisting is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects for your Ms admins. Not only it helps you assess yourself and find out which university will be the best fit for you, but it can actually help you save a lot of precious time and keep you in the right mental space.
As simple as it may sound, students face countless problems in university shortlisting. In this case, there are common questions like – “how to research universities and what details need to focus on when researching? Is my profile enough to back the top admits?” are some questions that students face.
If you look at the entire university shortlisting process, it primarily depends on three aspects Personal Factors, University Factors, and University Tags. Firstly, let’s look at university factors.
There are seven more factors completely in your command and they primarily decide which university will be the best fit for you. And we call them personal factors. Now, when we talk about personal factors, we can again divide them into seven parts.
Number – 1: Future Goals and Ambitions.
We all have a particular objective of pursuing a Masters. We all have some short-term and long-term goals and we all are ambitious enough to go for them. But we must choose the right university that will act as the perfect launch pad to catapult us in the right direction.
For example, if you’re a research enthusiast and want to grow in the field of researching innovative tech, then you must choose universities that have a great research articles under their belt. But if you’re aspiring to become an entrepreneur, then you must focus on those universities which have a prestigious alumni board consisting of startup founders or people who have top manager positions in their vertical.
Always remember, the university must give you the right culture, courses, and resources to help you achieve your future goals.
Number – 2: The Course You Want To Study.
This step is mostly connected with the step “Future Goals and Ambitions”. Start with the course that you’re interested in studying. Now, most students start with a university ranking. That’s definitely not the right approach. You should first select universities based on the courses you want to study and the combinations of subjects you want to take up.
The reason we are saying this is because the same course, Ms in CS, is offered differently in different universities. They have different research areas, different focus areas, and different specializations, and these can make a lot of difference for you because especially if you’re looking to study something really specific.
For example, let’s take the first university, that’s the University of California, Berkeley, and another university which is Arizona State University.
Now, for the same Ms in CS course, look at the difference in the research areas that they have listed between the two universities. Because it is essential to first select universities based on the course that you want to apply to.
Some studies are especially if you’re looking at courses like business analytics, then business analytics is different from just analytics is different from data analytics, which is different from data science. So these kinds of nuances are there with universities. So it’s very important to keep that in mind to avoid any surprises in the future.
Number – 3: Sync With Your Profile.
You have to look at how in sync is your profile with the admission requirements of the university. This is typically a make-or-break factor for students. What I mean by profile eligibility is that different courses require you to have specific admission eligibility. For example, some may require you to have work experience like business courses. Some may require you to have done an undergraduate in the same discipline.
If you are changing majors, for example, you study ECE in your undergrad and you want to go for a specialized course for your master’s, or you’re shifting from mechanical to CS. These are all situations in which you need to be extra careful and make sure that I’m meeting the required admission eligibility criteria. And the last thing of course to look at is the test code. Your GRE, GMAT codes, TOFEL, and IELTS are you passing the bar Are there any waivers? Do we even need to take the test at all? These are all things that you have to check as the third factor.
Number – 4: Career Opportunities.
For international students, one of the most important factors is career opportunities. For every international student, it is of utmost importance to look for universities that allow opportunities for you to get internships, get jobs, do network with seniors, alumni, industry leaders, etc.
So important to look at universities from that angle and that perspective. When you are shortlisting, universities play a course. Look at places in the US. That is historically well known for that industry.
For example, Detroit which is the capital of Michigan is known as the automobile capital of the world. So if you are interested in studying automobile engineering, why not have your search from Michigan or the courses that you are interested in. And in the location that you are interested in ” What are the job opportunities, like look at the salary data and What is the ROI?”
A way to verify this data is by talking to, your seniors and peers. This is where that networking and connection will come in once you’ve identified a few places for your post. And of course, you can use the LinkedIn hack as well. Go on to LinkedIn. Type the name of the school that you’re interested in. Go to the alumni section and check out what alumni who passed out in the course are doing at this point in time.
Number – 5: Academic and Professional Credentials.
These include your –
- GRE Score,
- TOFEL Score,
- Backlog history,
- Work Experience,
- Paper, publications, projects, Internships,
- Extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
This is what the university primarily looks for and hence you must ensure that you are fulfilling almost all the requirements. Remember, this is not only to show the university how good a candidate you are and can treat you and whether are you actually ready for a master’s or not, but it also helps the university understand whether you are genuinely interested in the course of study or not. Hence, all these activities must be related to your field of study.
Number – 6: Tuition Fee, Living Expenses & Scholarships.
As a responsible student, deciding the amount of money you want to invest in your master’s is of paramount importance. This will not only help you filter out those universities which fall out of your budget, but in fact, it will give you a list of universities that you can go for under your budget.
To look at is the whole finance budgeting, money, living expenses, all of it. Most students account for tuition fees, but many of them actually forget to account for living expenses, which typically cover your rent, your food, and groceries, transportation, books and supplies, any other personal expenditures that you want to have, eating out with friends, going out, etc. So these are all things that you should budget for. To give you an example here, some cities are typically more expensive than other cities. So if you take cities like New York or Boston, they are definitely the cost of living is much higher as compared to places like Houston or Tusa.
So be sure to check out universities like that. Another thing we should address here is scholarships. Many universities, particularly those that are high volumes of international students coming in, tend to offer a lot of benefits like key waivers or research assistant shifts.
Number – 7: Weather.
Last but not least is the weather. Now, studying in the US, and particularly studying master is tedious and it requires you to put your best foot forward. If you are not able to adjust to the climate and the surroundings, you will not be able to do that. So it is very important to factor in the weather. Also, while shopping at universities.
let me give you an example. Students who want to study supply chain management typically choose Minnesota because it has vast manufacturing based upon me.
But Minnesota is also one of the coated states in the US. With temperatures dropping up to minus ten now. But not to mention if it’s bad here, particularly in bad winter, the temperatures are even lower.
Number – 1: Courses Being Offered.
The courses and specializations can actually vary from university to university and therefore you must ensure that you’re critically researching these universities and the courses.
For example, Carnegie Mellon University focuses on integrating artificial intelligence in the field of robotics. But Cornell University focuses mainly on using AI in specific areas such as game and decision-making theory, whereas Harvard University specializes in aspects of integrating artificial intelligence with flying robots.
Hence, this is the first step in shortlisting universities. You have to speak to your friends, your family members, your professors and experts, and even some seniors to find out which course will be the best for you, and aligns with your interests. If you’re facing doubts about this, get in touch with our admissions experts and clear all your queries related to the same.
Number – 2: Class Profile.
The class profile basically means the average credentials of those students who got admitted to that university. Let’s take a closer look by analyzing the data of the GRE edge students who got admitted to Georgia Tech for fall 2022.
Requirement for International Student in program MS CS-
- Minimum GPA is 3.0/4.0
- GRE: 155 in the Quantitative, 153 in the Verbal, and 3.0 in the Analytical sections.
- IELTS: Overall score of 7.5 (Reading 6.5, Listening 6.5, Speaking 6.5, Writing 5.5).
Now, this data changes every year from university to university and from course to course. Universities have different requirements based on different courses as well.
For example, in the same intake for fall 2022, Georgia Tech needed these requirements for its CS course and ECE courses. So as you can see that universities have different requirements based on different courses. Understanding these requirements and meeting them is the second most important step for shortlisting universities.
Number – 3: Location.
No matter how trivial it may sound, the location plays an important role in deciding your future university. For instance, if a university is located near Silicon Valley, you will be having access to a plethora of tech companies, startups, and many more opportunities. Also, the cost of living is one factor that you must take into account when deciding on a university. For example, the cost of living in Colorado is 28% higher than in Rochester, and hence locking the location preference for your university is the third most important step in shortlisting universities.
Number – 4: University Rankings.
It is important to look at university rankings, but it is the last factor in the university listing process. The reason is that it is more important to find universities that have courses of your interest that offer high ROI without breaking your budget. And then look at rankings within that as compared to just looking at rankings overall.
Because once it feels really impossible to achieve certain admission standards for top universities MIT, Stanford, and Caltech typically you will find that they are in the top three for all departments, for all courses. But it is not realistic to start from there. So better to start from this approach.
Another tip that we have for you when looking at university rankings is to look at department rankings as opposed to overall university rankings. You can look at overall university rankings, and you can keep their information with you. But by taking a decision, definitely look at department rankings because those are different from overall university rankings. And this will help you find the real gems where it’s a good mix between good coursework and affordable at the same time.
Now let’s look at the final aspect of university shortlisting. Depending on your personal factors and the university factors, you can give three tags to universities.
Number – 1: Ambitious.
Tag one is an ambitious tag that can be given to those universities where you are fulfilling almost 30% of the requirements.
Number – 2: Achievable.
Tag two is an Achievable tag you can give this tag to those universities where you are fulfilling almost 80% of the requirements.
Number – 3: Safe.
And the last tag is the safe base you can give this task to those universities where you are fulfilling almost 95% to 100% of the requirements.
- US University Application Timeline
- 5 university application mistakes to avoid
- Universities for Masters in the USA
Here we share our research on “How to Shortlist universities for MS in US” but these all are not the end. More research helps you to know more and gain more effective information. So always be aware of this and to read updated posts stay with us.
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