How to Complete Masters in USA in 1 Year

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.


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


  • 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