applying for a Master’s degree in the USA

One question that most master’s students from India worry about is if their three-year bachelor’s degree that they have will that be eligible for them to do a master’s here in the US? This is a great question.

The answer to this is it depends on the university. Now, more and more universities are now making it accessible for international students to come to the US to procure their master’s education and so these universities have now allowed for three-year bachelor degrees to be accepted. Most of the ivy league schools, the Harvards and MITs, Yale, they all allow three-year bachelor’s degrees to be eligible to apply for master’s programs but many of the other universities don’t. So you have to go and investigate this, find the universities that you would like to apply to.

However, I also do wanna provide a caveat that it still determines on what kind of program you’re applying to at these universities.

They may have program-level differentiation in terms of what they will accept and what they will reject in terms of your bachelor’s degree so you wanna make it program specific. Look at specifically what program requirements are stating. Now, on top of all of this, you can go ahead and look at some degree equivalents program out there. So when you do a credential evaluation and some universities will be very blatantly clear that they want you to do a credential evaluation.

There’s a couple of different sources for that and you can go and check out their websites. One is World Educational Services, WES, the other one is called IERF. You can go and do credential evaluation which is actually a paid service but sometimes you can just check for degree equivalency. On the WES website, you can go and see if they recognize your university back home in country.

Not ivy universities listed but you can check to see if they have that degree, of course, listed. A good example is a three-year degree at the University of Delhi is equivalent to a four-year degree program here in the US. So it depends on where you’ve chosen to do your bachelor’s degree and that’s because your bachelor’s degree equivalency assessment is predicated on two separate criteria.

how the World Education Services

What we’re looking at here is how the World Education Services does credential evaluation and which is the same methodology that’s followed by most US universities and other credential evaluation services. So the criteria is as follows. Criteria number one is whether or not the student has received their degree in at least division one from a grade standpoint and what that means is have you scored at least 60 percentile or higher?

Now, most of us would be able to satisfy this criteria quite easily but it’s that second criteria which could be a bit problematic and it’s the one that we don’t really have much control over.That criteria is around what university did

we get our bachelor’s degree from And whether or not that university is accredited by India’s NAAC NAAC stands for National Assessment and Accreditation Council. The NAAC has to give that university a grade of A or better for that bachelor’s degree to be equivalent to a four-year degree in the US. T

he NAAC was formed by the University Grants Commission in 1994 and the mission of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council is to accredit institutions in India based on a variety of different factors, from curriculum to teaching, to student assessment, to infrastructure and resources and student suppor and what you can see in this table is universities are provided a grade based on all those different factors we’ve talked about.

So if your university is graded and accredited at a grade of A or above, then that university and the bachelor’s degree from that university will be equivalent to that four-year degree in the US. Now, assuming that you’ve got a grade of 60 percentile or higher. What that means if those two criteria is met, you can essentially apply to all of the universities in the US.

how do you determine if your universit is of that accreditation status?

Well, you can go on to the NAAC.gov website listed here.Notice that second link which is institutions with valid accreditation. You can click on that and you can download this pretty expansive Excel file. There’s over 5,000 different universities listed there. Notice there is two tabs.

There’s a College tab and a university tab and you can see which state these universities and colleges are, what the actual cumulative GPA given to that university and what that grade is. Now, very quickly, if you search for your university and I’m gonna pick an example here.

Let’s actually pick the SRCC, the Shri Ram College of Commerce, within the Delhi University framework. And when you search for that, you can see that university has received an institutional grade of an A plus which is fantastic. Now if a student has scored 60 percentile or above, also called as division one in their final grades, Let’s begin another example.

I’m gonna search for an example from back home in my home state, Sree Narayana College in Thrissur District. And if I search for that,what I can see here is the institutional grade awarded by the NAAC in India is only a B. So if I have a degree from this university, no matter what my percentile would have been,

my degree is not equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree. And so then I have to find perhaps a bridge program to get that additional year so that I can qualify for my master’s degree. You can also write a note to the universities and ask if your degree will be accepted.

The problem is that most will give you a standard answer and say sorry, we don’t accept a three-year degree. So in the case of University of Delhi, where that three-year degree count as a four-year degree equivalent in the US, the university will out rightly say sorry, we only accept four-year degrees and so you may not choose to apply to the university

because you’ve just heard back from the university.But with the credential evaluation,

that university could have been a great choice for you. So I think doing the credential evaluation may be a good step in terms of understanding what options you have. You don’t have to do it, you can clearly email the university and ask them and they should respond back but just know that they don’t really know the in and outs of every single university back home in country but the credential evaluators will be able to do it.

So that’s where I would lean towards and provide the advice in terms of what universities you should apply to.

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