Oct 05

Postgraduate Degrees in the USA

Postgraduate degrees options in US are quite extensive and attractive, students can choose to study for their pre-masters, master’s, MBA and PhD degrees in the US at different majors and specializations.

Postgraduate degrees options in US are quite extensive and attractive, students can choose to study for their pre-masters, master’s, MBA and PhD degrees in the US at different majors and specializations.


Pre-Master’s Degrees: are designed for students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for a postgraduate degree at an American University; such as academic or previous career experience requirements. The Pre-masters would equip students with the academic skills needed to study for master’s degrees in the USA, as they can be quite demanding.

The duration of a pre-master’s usually ranges from a few semesters to one year (depending on the course) where students can commence to their master’s degree, once they pass their pre-masters course with acceptable grades.

The start date of pre-masters in the US is usually in September, January and April, as BESA deals with universities and pre-masters providers that offer more than 3 pre-masters intakes throughout the year.

The academic requirements for pre-masters are usually more flexible than those required for a direct entry of a master’s degree.

The key required documents for applying for a pre-masters course in the US are: University TranscriptS & Certificate, Copy of Passport, Academic Recommendation Letter, Professional Recommendation Letter, Personal Statement, IELTS Academic or TOEFL exam, and Resume/CV.


Master’s Degrees: are highly-sought by international students in the US, as American Universities are quite known for combining both academic and career experience into studies. Hence, a completion of 2 years of career experience is required by most high-ranked universities in the USA to study for a Master’s Degree. For medium-ranked universities, the work experience requirement might not be mandatory. However on the other side, students might be required to show proof of high academic grades to compensate for the lack of work experience.

For practical Master’s programs like the MBA, a proof of previous work experience is relevant, as the course’s mode and study are both interrelated to the career field. Application of real-life business models and practices are usually incorporated into the MBA schemes, where students would be required to undertake a business plan, case study, dissertation thesis, internship or work placement as part of their studies and graduation courses. Therefore, MBA candidates with previous related experience might be progressing faster into the program, due to business models applications with the course study.


The duration of a Master’s Degree in the USA is usually 2 years (and for MBA also), whereby the course usually commences on September and ends in the summer, where students can enjoy an average of 2 months break before commencing to the next academic year.

The academic year is divided over 2 semesters, whereby each semester usually lasts for 2-3 months and students get to enjoy a semester break between the 2 semesters.


Academic requirements for applying to a Master’s degree in the USA vary from one university to the other. However, required documents for Bachelor Degrees’ application in the USA are:

  • University Transcript & Certificate
  • Copy of Passport
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Personal Statement
  • IELTS Academic or TOEFL exam
  • Resume/CV


PhD degrees: Like in many other countries, the duration of a PhD degree in the US usually ranges from 3—5 years depending on the topic of research. The mode of a PhD program is quite intensive and demanding a large deal of self-study, although there is no classroom mode (with the exception of taught programs as DBA- Doctorate of Business Administration). Students will be required to follow-on their academic progress and challenges with their professors on a regular basis and report on the updates.

PhD programs applications are usually accepted throughout the year, depending on the agreed start date between the student and the professor, as it would not abide by the normal academic year due to the nature of the course and the large demands of research and self-study. However, prior arrangements between the student and the professor on the start date and topic of research are required prior to commencing of studies.

Application of the research to a practical model or field might be required, especially for the case of sciences majors like Medicine and others. Therefore, previous years of experience of at least 3-5 years might be required to go into the PhD programs.


The Required Documents for Applying for a PhD program in the US are:

  • University Transcript & Certificate
  • Copy of Passport
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Personal Statement
  • IELTS Academic or TOEFL exam
  • Resume/CV
  • Research Proposal
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