What is the Cost of a Master's Degree in the USA?

By Brianna Burrows

The popularity of completing a master’s degree program has risen dramatically in the last decade in the United States. According to Vox, more than 16 million people in the USA now have a master’s degree, which is a 43 perecent increase since 2002. One of the many reasons for the increase in popularity is due to the data that shows that people with a graduate degree boost their earning power, in comparison to people who only completed a bachelor’s degree. Likewise, many international students seek to benefit from completing a master’s degree in the USA. While popularity has increased, many international students wonder, what is the cost of a master’s degree in the USA?

The cost of a master’s degree strongly depends on the institution you are seeking a degree from and the program you are interested in. The cost of tuition varies wildly from as little as $8,000 to $120,000 a year. Schools that are private institutions—that do not receive funding from the government—are generally more expensive. Schools like Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Duke University have some of the most expensive graduate schools in the USA. Alternately, many public universities offer more affordable graduate programs like Mississippi State University, Bemidji State University, and many more. While there is no exact cost for obtaining a master’s degree in the USA, you can expect to pay at least $15,000-$20,000, and most likely more.

Not only do students need to take into account the cost of tuition, but they need to consider the cost of textbooks, living expenses, housing, health care and other miscellaneous costs. The city in which the school resides will also dictate the cost of certain things, like housing and the price of food. These are factors you should consider when estimating the cost of your master’s degree.

It’s important to do a lot of research on the master’s programs that interest you so you can determine the costs of the program and the costs associated with completing your degree. Luckily, there are many financial aid and scholarship opportunities for international students that wish to study in the USA.

Brianna Burrows is a freelance marketing specialist and alumna of Northeastern University. She specializes in event management, social media management, and content branding. She can be reached at briannaburrows@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter here.

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