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Two Ways to Select USA Universities for Masters Programs – Which is the Best?

Through this post , I would like to bring to the air the thinking pattern I underwent in selecting universities.

After having decided to go with MS in US, the story isn’t over there 🙂 .. There are many things to follow and I would rate university selection as one of the pivotal and key factors.

There are 2 ways one can go about with university selection process..

  1. Go for a mediocre university(I don’t mean fraudulent universities here but less acclaimed universities ), complete Master’s as soon as possible and then get into job searching business.
  2. Try to get into a decent university (within the profile of course) which will have greater benefits in the long run.

I was confused as to which way should I take.

One side was 1st way where I can generally skim through my MS and try to get into job searching business. This universities offered low tuition fees and lot of liberty in selecting courses like no pre requisites.

There was no much research going on. One needs to find jobs only off campus. These universities are like any other colleges in India which offered Bachelor’s. And trust me a lot of my friends who went into this kind of universities did get into jobs. Since my main motive was not to do research after MS then i was initially keen to go into this kind of low profile universities.

I was almost prepared to go to one of 1st kind of universities where admit was relatively easy and everyone after MS joins a consultancy to get a job.

But again, I was lucky here and my thinking was refined/counselled by one of my best buddies in the US.

He clarified that when you think of applying to Master’s that degree will stay with you for life time and you should be looking to get it from a better university if not the best.

I debated with him by quoting an example of our common friends who studied from OK colleges and got good jobs for which he said getting a job may be easy but getting a good job is really tough.  By good job he meant that a job which will be inline with what you studied, a job which will give you some amount of work satisfaction, a job for which you will not sulk to go to office on a Monday morning.

He also said that higher education is not only for academic or job purposes but for the kind of exposure you get it by studying from a good college which is priceless and Challenging courses, good research from a decent university will bring the best out of you which you yourself might not be aware.

This was again an eye opener for me who was only looking at cost effective colleges for some name sake degree. From his inspiration i decided to look out for some decent colleges according to my profile.

Last but not the least , When you are looking to get an admit from a good college, you need to apply for the same as early as possible. Because according to a well known saying ..

“Early bird catches the worm”.


—- For all my friends who are reading this post, what do you think one’s approach should be ?

Should one look for mediocre, cost effective colleges  or should one look for decent colleges which has good accolades ?

Thanks for your patience.. I appreciate it 🙂


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  1. Hi…

    I have B sc in Statistics and Operation Research.Now i wish to apply MBA in USA.I have done IELT Test .My GPA is 3.43.I want more guide to apply to universities.

  2. my cGPA in B.S(Honrs) is 2.9(57.35%).I want to complte my M.Sc degree in USA.can I apply in USA universities with acquired cGPA 2.9.if I can,which universities are?please,say me.

  3. hi..thanx a lot for this post..:)
    it actually made it clear which type of university i should choose.

    i have done in biotech
    i got GRE score 318 with verbal 155 and quant 163
    but i dont know how to start shortlisting the universities according to my score!!
    plzz help.:)

    thank you

    1. Hi, the given information is very much helpfull. I am a Btech graduate passed out in 2014 ,IT branch. My GRE score is 283 . How can I find a good university in US? Help me plzz

  4. What are mediocre universities according to you – I mean which rank range define them ? I have decided on these universities, which of them do u consider to be mediocre ones ?

    Georgia Tech
    Texas – Dallas
    University of Florida
    University of North Carolina Charolette
    North Carolina State University

  5. Hi there,
    great post man! I appreciate your thought process and research behind such a crucial matter of one’s career path.
    I too had gone through the same! :]
    I have got admission consecutively in 2010 & 2011 in 1st kind of universities which were good (in top 60-80). My score is also 1200 in old GRE. (kind of OK)
    But what I was not comfortable is with this “OK” only. I personally believe I can do much better so I didn’t apply for visa two times and now I’m preparing for GRE one more time!
    Good luck! :]

  6. thanks for the article. Please which sites do provide good rankings for the universities so that from there one can apply?

  7. @ Piyush : one can send the packets without TOEFL.. but universities typically require TOEFL scores to grant admission. So your application would be put on hold till they get your TOEFL scores

  8. Hi buddy
    First I want to thanks you for this post.
    Let me share my experience , I am now in the US working for software company.
    I got job without any degree in USA (I think I am lucky).

    Now even after getting OK job ,good salary and visa which allows me to work here 5-6 yr I am not satisfied with my careear because I not have job satisfaction ,I dont see any growth from careear point of view.

    So now what , I decided to go for MBA ,then the same question which university to choose.

    1.OK university (cost effective)
    2.Good university (Costly)

    Then after thinking for long time I came to the conclusion that what is the difference

    simillarities :

    1.Time required to compled MBA is same
    2.Efforts (mental & physical) required to complete my education are same

    differense :


    When consider cost ,money is the only factor ,the time I am spending is not important ,Is my time is priceless.

    If you calculate basis on this ,you will end up with the decision to go for good university.


    1. Priya,

      Thanks for sharing yur exprience… Yu made a good decision.. For MBA good bschool is extremely necessary.. All the best 🙂 .. btw yu are really lucky to get a job without Master’s 🙂

  9. I have some on my mind and i will finalise them once am done with my TOEFL and then will let u know mate 🙂

    1. is it necessary to have toefl score before applying in universities ? …. my toefl exam is after one month …… plz guide me ….

  10. u shud always go for the matter what ,whether its the job ur looking for or if u have a thing for research..good universities are ones to go after,not the mediocre ones…why are u goin abroad?? to have a better career and to have a better pay and overall ur settled..whether u have decided to stay there ,move to any other country or if u have decided to come back home after MS , u shud try ur best to get into the best ..there is always a saying if u try for 100 u will atleast get a 70+..but if ur aimin at 65 , then god knows where u will end up..indeed cost is a big factor..if thats thats ur concern u shudnt pursue masters at all..whether its a mediocre univ or any low level univs ,it will cost u big amount of money anyway..why nt try for the best ,let aside the cost factor and aim for the best..

    all the best 😀

    1. I graduated as a biotechnologist and now im working in coal laboratory on mining site. I feel like i dont have such a lot of interest in science field. But i want to study on master in the USA, but not by my major of bachelor. Im interest in civil engineer or architecture. Is there anyway to study as like that way? And even i have totally no idea from where should i start. Even in which area of states. I would really appreciate for your reply.
      P.S for me, saving money is important, but of course not willing have poor education.
      Some advice plz.

      Best, Tuya

  11. A mediocre university will fetch you mediocre job prospects n life and if you want to pursue phd later then go for prestigious univ. with high accolades

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