How to Complete Masters in USA in 1 Year

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 54 Comments

I have heard from a friend of mine that we can still do complete the masters course in one year. There are like 3 classes on the same topic being conducted all through the day. By not working part time and studying for 6 subjects in one semester with three in the morning and the other three in the evening we can finish up the course within an year and start earning earlier than a typical student and pay up the loans faster. How true is this? I am confused whether to take up all the subjects right now or to decide after reaching the university. – by Anuja

Masters in USA – 1 Year

To get Masters degree you would have to complete the course and degree requirements. Examples of degree plan

  • Thesis (10 Courses + 2 Semester of Thesis Work)
  • Non-thesis (12 Courses)

Lets assume you are taking Non-Thesis Track and starting university in Fall 2011 semester. Course plan would look similar to

  • Fall 2011 – 3 Courses
  • Spring 2012 – 3 Courses
  • Summer 2012 – Internship or Break
  • Fall 2012 – 3 Courses
  • Spring 2013 – 3 Courses and Graduate

Now, if you want to complete your degree in 1 year, course plan would look like this

  • Fall 2011 – 5 Courses
  • Spring 2012 – 5 Courses
  • Summer 2012 – 2 Courses

Pros and Cons of Masters in 1 Year

There are pros and cons to complete Masters in 1 Year.

Pros

  • Save on Living Cost
  • Get to Work faster and earn money
  • Start paying loan early ( low interest payments)

Cons

  • Same amount of fees will be paid to the courses
  • Tough to work part time and work as RA/TA
  • Unable to do internship for 1 or 2 semesters.
  • No time for job search (while taking 5 courses)
  • Can you maintain high GPA

You would have more time to apply for jobs, build your network, apply for internship when taking 3 courses per semester.

I strongly recommend NOT to complete Masters in 1 Year. Remember, foreign students have to find a job within 90 days of graduation (while in OPT). If you haven’t prepared yourself for job search while trying to complete Masters in 1 Year, it will be very tough to find a job.

Above all, you need to maintain good GPA. Taking 5 courses and maintaining high GPA is possible, but you better be a hard worker or smart one.

When to get MS in 1 Year

You can try to complete Masters in 1 year (with risk involved) provided you were given scholarship for 1 year (with in-state tuition fees) and you are confident to find a job without internship experience.

If you don’t fall into above category, take your time to complete Masters, don’t rush. You can decide on major, degree track after you come to the university.

If you have additional questions about complete Masters in 1 year in USA, leave a comment.

Related : Masters Degree in USA – Overview

Comments

  1. my 2 cents:

    There are easy courses, and then there are difficult courses.

    What easy/difficult actually means is the amount of effort you have to put in to get the kind of GPA you aim to get. I believe most universities have some course programs with a number of courses which are so basic (yet eligible for graduate level degree) that you can take 4-5 such courses in a semester and finish of in an year. But there will be certain programs where, even taking 2-3 courses a semester ensures you lose your sleep for 3 – 4 days in a row to finish of assignments/projects just to get a decent grade.

    Finally it all boils down to why you are doing your MS degree:

    – You just want the degree for the sake of the degree? If so, do you have enough work experience in the same field or can you afford/manage to get a job within 90 days of graduation? if so, will you be able to handle the course load? If you answer yes to all these, then 1 yr MS may be a better option for you.

    – Do you want to learn? you have no work-ex? would you like to take some vacations and enjoy one last chance at college life :)? can you afford to start repaying your loans after 1.5 or 2 years? if so, go for it, you can take every single course in which you'll get to learn a lot, and manage to squeeze in an internship/co-op/CPT or two, with one or two trips back home or some nice vacations (because once done with university, its very rare to get so much time!)

    hope it helps!

    1. This was a pretty smart answer. So it makes sense that we can complete the course in an year but for that we must look at our situation first.

        1. yes anuja and v that is write but is it ok to have done 1 year from this institute

          what do you say about this

          have u seen the link posted in my comment

          what did u suggest to me ????

          1. The link opens up a blog.

            Can you please re port the link in a different manner or mail me or msg me over FB?

          2. Undergraduate Program

            The Undergraduate degrees in professional fields, are generally of four years duration. Students who successfully complete our 4-6 semester broad-based academic program (similar to that followed at the IITs) at Gurgaon are eligible through lateral entry to transfer into full-time degree programs of reputed and accredited Universities in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and New Zealand(that have scrutinized and approved our coursework for equivalence). As a result, only the final 2- 4 semesters are required to be done overseas for the coveted foreign degree.

            Postgraduate Program

            It is possible for students who have completed their 10+2+3 or 10+2+4 to seek admission to the MBA+ & MS (Computer Science/ Information Systems / Software Engineering) programs of our associated overseas accredited universities. Under transfer of credits system they will need to complete one year of course work at Ansal Institute to get its PG certificate in the relevant field. After that, they will be eligible for transfer to the concerned overseas University with a provision of substantial scholarship subject to fulfilling the partner university’s requirements for transfer.

            + Optionally, the students are eligible to enroll for an MBA degree from a UGC recognized university.

            Universities where Ansal Institute's students are accepted for transfer through lateral entry in their degree program include:

            USA

            Clemson University

            North Dakota State University

            Tarleton State University

            San Jose State University

            Eastern Michigen University

            North Carolina State University

            New Jersey Institute of Technology

            Valparaiso University

            University of North Alabama ^

            Arkansas State University ^

            University of Massachusetts, Lowell ^

            Florida International University, Miami ^

            Canada

            McMaster University

            University of Windsor

            University of New Brunswick

            St .Mary's University

            Australia

            University of Western Australia

            University of Canberra ^

            Deakin University

            International Hotel School

            Edith Cowan University

            France

            University of Science and Technology, Lille

            New Zealand

            Eastern Institute of Technology

            ^ Arrangement in pipeline

            Track Record

            In the last few years over 900 students from Ansal Institute have been accepted by accredited US universities and other 200 students to other partner universities. The Ansal Institute's alumni in the US have won more than 300 President's and Dean's honor awards for their excellent academic performance. Most Ansal Institute's alumni in the US are either pursuing higher studies at reputed Universities including the lvy League or getting professional work experience in reputed companies like Citi Bank, KPMG etc. under OPT/ Coop/ internship.

            Ansal Institute's students who have been accepted and taken transfer to US Universities for MBA and MS are also doing exceedingly well. Seventy five percent (in the first batch in August 2004) have got assistantship enabling them to take care of their almost entire expenses of Masters degree. Similar record is applicable to the other batches that have taken transfer to the US till date.

            The alumni network is so effective and strong that they help fellow Alumni in internships and placements.

            Incredible Scholarships & Paid Internships

            Students can earn merit scholarships at Ansal Institute (up to Rs. 50,000 per year) and at the collaborating overseas Universities (up to about $13,000 per year) based on their academic performance.In the last few years scholarships of more than Rs 70 lacs were awarded by Ansal Institute to meritorious students.The students on completion of their degree program can legally work full-time in the US for a period of 12-29 months.They, therefore have the oppurtunity to get invaluable exposure to the work culture prevailing in the US corporate sector as full-time paid interns.

          3. don,t go to ansals its trap, at one and a half lakhs sem fees u can very well get into a community college they don’t even need sat and good percentage…
            after completing two years at ansals there is no guarantee that u will get a visa
            for us , as they will ask u why do u want to transfer and why not complete ur bachelors here …. plus there tie up sucks with some universities such as sjsu , njit … they dont directly transfer ur creidts…
            and they have no transparency in the grading…also they have councilors for helping u to apply u hav to do it ur self

  2. I applied for MS finance. In most of the universities this course was for only one year but things that you telling is making me bit sacred.

    Please suggest some thing …………..

  3. Hey HSB.

    I need to get clarified some major information which obviously can best be taken care of by you people.

    I have been accepted for Fall 2011 session. My program completion requires 36 credit hours + 4 pre-req's they have asked me to complete. I don't want to involve in the transfer between universities to evade pre-req's etc.

    My question is: Can you please explain me the concept of this 36 credit hour + 4 pre-req's program thing in a simpler way (may be converting to Indian education system helps)? Sorry for asking this juvenile question!

    I look forward to hear.

    Regards

    1. 4 Pre-Req = 4 Courses or 4 Credits?
      If its 4 courses, then plan to spend additional 1 or 2 semsters just taking courses. If you have other admits without Pre-Req seriously consider those programs.

      1. can i know the drawback for the same. i do have admits from other universities w/o pre-req's but I do wanna join this university for its reputation, curriculum, thesis option (which ain't in many universities for my program- MSIS). I have been in touch with seniors who had 4 pre-req's as well in their times but are going along just fine- not too hectic schedule not too laid back. give throw some more light.

        1. Apoorv – I will be discussing in detail about that in the book that will be coming out in next few days.

  4. hey cant v complete the program in 1 n half years?? like

    fall – 4 courses

    spring- 4 courses.

    summer- internship

    fall- 4 courses

    HSB plz reply to this

    1. Yes, you can, but why? what if you cannot find internship in Summer? What if you took 4 courses in first semester without knowing the course toughness and end up getting low grades?

  5. This is a well compiled article. But I write this since my course is more of an exception to the rule, and there are perhaps many more courses similar to mine in the US.

    I'm three-fourths into my Masters in Human Computer Interaction at the school of CS in CMU and it's a one year intense course with a similar course layout as you mentioned (5 per sem and 2 in the summer). It IS intense and it is mandatory to keep our GPAs above 3/4 overall to pass. I think everyone's managing that pretty well though.

    Also the job scene's pretty good too, though I agree that one needs to be at it while looking for jobs for quite a while to be placed well before the end of the program. But everyone has got jobs by the end in the past.

    I would recommend speaking with as many past students of the program as possible before jumping into it (Esp if it's a one year course). Most one year courses are industry oriented and so one should try and get well stocked upon as much of good advice as possible before jumping into it.

    One last thing, it is possible to go for an extra fall semester to complete course work, but then, as you said in your article, it's really expensive and I've avoided that.

    1. Hi Vikram ,

      I"ll be joining CMU for fall 2011 and my course duration is also one year

      Infact I came to know that most of the MS programs out there are of one year.

      Can you expound some more about the present job / internships

      senario……………I mean do u have campus recruitment drives or most of the students are getting jobs off campus ……..what is the overall job conversion rate of CMU (indian)students ……….upto what extent CMU brand name works…or any thing else which u would like share.

      I am in process to zero in the companies where i would like to work acc. to my profile………..should i apply for interships/jobs at this stage or should i wait till Aug( till proper joining )

      Moreover pls tell me about any indian students organisation at CMU.

      Thanks in advance.

      1. Hey Gaurav,

        Sorry I noticed your question so late.
        Since a year is really short I began looking out for jobs about a month into the program. There wasn’t much reaching out that I needed to do though since CMU has a couple of career fairs where the biggest companies (About 140 of them per career fair) have their stalls and you can approach them directly, speak with them about positions they’re hiring for and keep in touch with them after that.

        So I guess you COULD say that CMU’s name and image does help out a lot in that way, so don’t worry about employment opportunities or internships. No one I know goes jobless. On the contrary, most of the pass outs (Including the Indians) are doing really well for themselves in companies they wanted to work for.

        There is an Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) here that is pretty helpful if you need anything like temporary acco when you get here in case you don’t have accommodation already etc.

        Hope this helps

  6. I applied for MS finance. In most of the universities this course was for only one year but things that you telling is making me bit sacred.

    Please suggest some thing …………..

  7. Dear HSB…

    In most of the university out of 12 courses atleast 6 will be core course. and all the 6 are not offered in your first fall and spring. You have to wait till next fall. It is highly impossible to get the courses(core+ elective) you want in the first year.

    Thank You

  8. dear sir,

    I have applied for masters in physiotherapy course which is of a year in itself so will there be any problem in that???? Also there are hardly any univesities having masters course in my field and those few that are offering masters they are naming them as post professional masters of physiotherapy so will there be any problems during visa?????Usually masters people get 5 year visa will same be applicable for me as well???

    1. If course is designed for 1 year, then you will be fine. If regular courses time is 2 years and you want to finish in 1 year then you need be be bit careful.

  9. The way most graduate programs in the US are structured, it is certainly possible to do ones MS in one year i.e. one Spring semester + one Summer semester + one Fall semester, and not necessarily in that order. The pros and cons of doing so have already been mentioned in the article as well as in some comments.

    A couple of other things can be considered when one is trying to decide whether MS should be completed in two years or less:

    1. If you do not have an on-campus job/RA/TA, then instead of paying for the recurring expenses (boarding/lodging, health insurance, library/IT resources usage fee, and many other fees) every semester, it is advisable to take up one or two extra courses a semester (especially during long semesters of Spring and Fall) and wind up ones MS in less than two years.

    2. If you already have an on-campus job/RA/TA or are certain that you'll get one in your first or second semester, then completing an MS in two years is probably a better idea. The experience of studying while you are also working to earn some money to take care of part of your expenses is a must have IMO.

    Also, IMHO, irrespective of thesis or non-thesis option, MS should be completed in less than two years. This way one can still avail two summers (say for an internship or an on-campus job) in addition to three long semesters (a combination of one or two Spring and Fall semesters), and still complete ones MS in less than two years. The sooner you are able to graduate from MS, the sooner you'd be able to do what it is that you need to do – be it a job if you are able to get one, or be it taking an admission into a PhD program ('cos you couldn't get a job), or whatever it is you need to do.

    Lastly, everyone should be cognizant of the fact that in addition to internships that may or may not be tied into a program curriculum, there is something called a CPT – Curricular Practical Training period (it is different than OPT) that one can avail for doing an internship – of course you have to have an internship lined up and employer who is willing to sponsor your CPT. To explore such a thing one may need to have been in a program more than a year.

    – aman

  10. Sir,

    I am going to do my Grad school entirely depending on an Education Loan. With the burden of the loan and its interest (present rates are min @10% pa) on me, I would like to finish the course as soon as possible and find a job to pay back the loan. In your opinion how long will one take to complete the Master's course along with a thesis submission??

    University of Cincinnati has given me an admit for MEng (a non thesis, one year course) with a UGS of $10,500 though i had applied for MS. UGS Stands for the University Graduate Scholarship. $10,500 will be applied to the total and tution fees at $3500 per quarter. Here is a part of the email they sent me,

    And following is the mail which they sent me when i inquired them about the MEng admit instead of a MS admit…

    "We understand that you did not apply for the MEng program. There are only a certain number of students admitted into each degree program. We receive a large number of applications making it very competitive; however, your credentials are very good and we wanted to give you the opportunity to be admitted into the MEng program. The MEng program is a MS non-thesis course based program designed to be completed in one academic year (3 quarters of full time study). This is a very successful program with many graduates successfully finding employment at the end of the program or through CPT. Many continued into our PhD program and some changed to the MS thesis based program after 3 quarters. This is the only offer we can make to you at this time. We hope you consider the MEng program."

    Meanwhile I got an admit for MSE program for the same dept at Arizona State University. There is no mention of funding as of now. At ASU, MSE is a non thesis 2-year program to which ALL the MS applicants are admitted to and later they can change to the MS program, if a professor accepts them.

    Now I am stuck between the two universities and I need to make a decision as early as 25th March 2011. Because UCin's offer expires on the mid night of 26th March 2011. If am going to accept the admit at UCin, I have to do so before 26th by paying $100.

    The total fees for both the universities are approximately $36k per year. But at UCin I will get a UGS for $10.5k and its a 1 year course. So the expenses are very less at UCin when compared to ASU.If you can, please throw some light on the Internship and Job opportunities in ASU and UCin. And please help me in choosing between the right university HSB.

    1. Prashanth,

      Congratulations to you on getting admits at these two universities here in the US.

      In the opening as well as closing paragraphs of your post you dwell on the facts that you've raised education loan and would like to pay it off fast, and that UCin is offering you a scholarship as well as chance to complete MEngg. in one year. To me it is a no brainer really – both your requirements are being satisfied, well nearly. There will ofcourse be two-thirds (or thereabouts) of loan that you'll still need to pay off, but once you get a job etc. you'll be able to pay that off fairly quickly.

      As far as comparing opportunities that you may or may not get after your MS or MEngg. from these two universities is concerned, you have to understand that at graduate level here in the US more often than not one needs to find a job by own effort – active/passive networking, cold calling, internal/external references etc. So you should be prepared for that irrespective of which ever program you decided to join. Just be aware that ASU is closer to the west coast (California), and UCin. to the east coast (New York and tri-state area), so it may be a difficult comparison to do.

      Remember that if you get a UCin. scholarship and complete your MEngg. in one year, both of those accomplishments, and yes these will be your accomplishments, shall go on your resume' and will set you apart from other run of the mill i-did-my-MS-with-Thesis-in-two-years folk!

      If you wish to discuss more, feel free to email me at aigoyal at gmail dot com. All the very best to you.

      – aman

      1. Hi Aman,

        Thanks a lot for your reply, thought I am seeing nearly 1.5 years afterwards… Right now, I am at University of Colorado, Boulder… Yeah, neither ASU nor UCin… And also I have landed on an one year Internship at Intel… So it is all good times now… 🙂 Thanks a lot for your reply once again..! 🙂

  11. My daughter is in 2nd year of pharmacy from , From which year onwards she should give GRE exams. Good coaching class in Mumbai for GRE. Give correct picture of costing for studying in USA (MS In Pharmacy)

  12. i intend to do post doctoral research from usa.i am a Ph.D. in english literature.i've 25 yrs teaching experience in different government colleges.my papers are published in

    various national journals & anthologies.i also presented a paper in an international conference in Kathmandu{nepal} quite recenly.

    Please guide as to how should i go about it.should i apply to different universities?

    what about part time job alonwith post-doctoral research?

  13. I am a nutrition student. I want to study master in us.my score in Toefl is 68. I want to0 know that if I take a good score in GRE my would my toefl score be accept or not? Is GRE required for me?

  14. I have been following this blog since last 4 months,and it has been of great help.

    Though by reading your blog,loads of my MS related doubts have been cleared,i still have a couple of questions.(Will be applying for Fall 2012)

    I will be taking my GRE on 13th June 2011,and TOEFl by 2nd week og July.

    So i will be free by July.Now the things i'd like to know are-

    1.When should i start applying for the universities.(FALL 2012)

    2.I am currently in my 3rd year of engineering(Electronics and communication),i understand that i'll have to take up electrical and electronics as a major,but what i don't know is the options i have as minors in electrical and electronics field (VLSI and Telecommunication are the only one's i know of ).So please tell me something about that stuff too.

  15. How can we search online senior students community from a specific college?

      1. Goto univ’s website,and to ur particular program,most of the univs provide a listing of the current students

  16. please dont try and get a degree in a year. its too much pressure and your not guarentee to find work either.

  17. hiii !!!! i have done with my gre exam and the score is 1130 verbal 390 and in math 740 … can i get aid ??? wt factors they see while giving aid it depends upon the gre score or tofel score or both ???? can u suggest me in which univ can i get admission with aid … please i m waiting for the reply

  18. Hi HSB,

    Thanks for sharing all the invaluable info..

    Is it possible to do MS while working with an H1B Visa??

    I'm abt to get an onsite assignment through my company who is sponsoring me for a H1B visa for a period of 2 – 3 years…I have taken up GRE n TOEFL..So,is it possible to do MS while working..??? or do v need to have student visa oly to do our MS???..i heard there are some part time courses also..Can you please throw some light on this idea??

    Thanks in adv,

    Pavan

  19. sir ,
    i am in studying in my IV sem Chemical Engg. and wants to do my masters from US universities.
    Please sir tell me what is the criteria for getting the scholarship from the universities. and also what are the key credentials such as type of extra curricular activities , academics , training etc which can help getting admission in good universities with fair scholarships.

  20. I have got an admit in M.Eng in Cincinnati though i applied for M.S.I am more interested in M.S .Because i havent got acceptance from any other university, i need to take a call on this oofer.

    Can you tell me is it possible to convert M.Eng to M.S?

    if its is not possible , will it be viable to go for it??

  21. I have finished my btech in 2011 and secured 57%  . .and is it easy to complete ms in 1 year and to get in to no.1 university is good grec score enough or even btech percentage also?

  22. Is MS in pharmacology and then probably a little work exp and then an MBA a good idea?? or just stict to the basics and do a phd after your MS??
    can any1 share some light on this….

  23. IS embry riddle aeronautucal university (daytona beach) good for MS in aerospace engineering????. IS it safe for girls, i heard there r only a few girls in the campus.

    Or is University of TExas arlington better than Embry riddle????

  24. hii
    i recently got I 20 from UMASS amherst in that its is written that normal length of study is 36 months for masters in ECE but that is 3 yrs and so long what does that 36 months exactly mean?

    1. Hi Ashraf, Great job!
      Congratulations for your admission offer.
      Ideally a Masters programme is two years/four semesters long. 36 months is mentioned to prescribe the maximum duration in which you are required to complete your degree programme.
      You can check UMass website for clarity or else can communicate with the admissions coordinator for your programme to clear such doubts.
      All the Best!

    2. Hi Ashraf,
      Did u mail the department at UMASS regarding 36 moths mentioned in i20.. ?
      Please let me know in case you get any info regarding the same..

  25. Hi ,

    I am s/w professional . My idea is to do MS in USA and get job there .
    Is there any courses for 1 year from good universities . If they are , do we get placements for 1 year MS course.

  26. Hi Raghu Ram,
    Thank you for positing about this topic. And I am a big fan of your articles I go through your articles a lot. I some questions about the above article. In my university we need to complete 8 courses to be eligible for graduation. I have joined in Fall 2014 and took 3 courses and I am planing to take 3 in spring semester and we have a policy to take 2 courses in summer so if i take 2 courses in summer i will be able to complete my MS by July 2015 if everything went as planned. So if do it as said above will there be any issues for me when filling H1B or OPT ? I heard that I might be having some issues when filing for H1B can you provide some insight on this.

    Thank You

  27. Hi

    Can you pls tell me the cheap and affordable colleges that offer MS with less duration

    Thanks

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