Whether you are an American student or an International student ready to embark on a graduate degree, there are a wide range of potential options for a US graduate school. The number of master’s and doctorate degrees being awarded in the United States is growing. With accredited grad schools throughout the US, each state and grad school has unique features and graduate programs to offer, so stay excited about the journey you are embarking on and read further!
What is a US Graduate School?
A USA Graduate school, is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (master’s and doctoral degrees) and commonly require that students have earned a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution. Many universities award grad degrees, so although the term ‘graduate school’ is typical in the United States it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a separate school. Furthermore, there is a distinction that is usually found in the U.S. between graduate schools and professional schools. The latter tend to offer advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering and law, however this differentiation isn’t written in stone. FACT: The U.S. is the global hub for higher education, receiving 21% of all students studying abroad.
How to Choose a USA Graduate School?
With a wide variety US graduate schools, choosing one is likely to reflect your chosen field of study and career ambitions, type of graduate degree (masters or doctorate) and location preferences. Much like gathering ingredients for a perfect meal, you can personalize your experience due to the huge number of accredited USA graduate schools and graduate degree programs. There are a few things to look for in a US graduate school which you can keep in mind as you search our extensive directory. A few of these are:
- Accreditation Standards
- Types of Graduate Degree Fields
- Location within the U.S. (city, state, urban, suburban)
- Program format (online, campus, hybrid)
DID YOU KNOW? According to the NCES, “Between 2003–04 and 2013–14, the number of master’s degrees conferred increased by 190,200, reflecting an increase of 34%. In 2013–14, the three degree fields in which the most master’s degrees were conferred were business (189,300), education (154,600), and health professions and related programs (97,400)”.
Accreditation for US Graduate Schools
Accreditation for a US graduate school is an important consideration. Accreditation in general means that an outside authority has recognized the university or graduate program as having, meeting, and maintaining quality standards. In the U.S., this accreditation occurs at the regional and national levels, and in some disciplines, there is an additional program-specific accreditation that needs to be looked into. Here is a list of some useful accreditation resources:
- The U.S. Department of Education
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- North Central Association of Colleges & Schools
- Northwest Commission of Schools & Colleges
- Western Association of Colleges and Schools
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- American Psychological Association (doctorate psychology programs)
- The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- The American Bar Association (Law)
- ABET (applied science, computing, engineering, engineering technology programs)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- AACSB (business programs)
Find a USA Graduate School
One of the potential pluses about a US graduate schools is that you can find many schools with similar sounding, albeit unique, graduate degree programs and academic fields of study. Interested in an MBA program or a Master of Science in Finance in the United States? Check out our business graduate programs. Drawn to drama? Look into a Master of Fine Arts Program. Driven by data and digital technology? There are many STEM graduate degree programs in the U.S.. Search our directory of USA graduate programs by subject category and program level, then keep refining your search by your specialized interests or a concentration area that attracts you.
Find a US Graduate School by Location
Another way to search for graduate programs first, then find graduate schools in USA with the help of our location settings, using the state and/or city tabs to narrow things down. You can select multiple states at once, and each search will yield results for you to browse. There are often several accredited grad schools within a large city. Out of 100 major U.S. cities, the 9 largest are:
Each state has its own unique landscape, customs (and football team), cuisine, and terms of endearment. You may be interested in a large city. Or, you may simply want the best academics and will be happy in a smaller city as long as they have a graduate degree program you long to enroll in. Location is as much about finding a campus that matches your personality as it is about finding a graduate school with the Masters or doctorate program you are excited about. Luckily, universities in the U.S. offer both and there is something to suit all tastes, whether you prefer to study business in a mega city with skylines and fast-paced life, animal science with days off hiking in the mountains, or marine life on the coastline. Earning your doctorate or masters in the U.S. could place you in some great higher learning institutions and beautiful natural settings.
Search for Graduate Schools by State
Online, Campus, Hybrid Graduate Programs in the U.S.
Whether you are looking for a completely residential program (campus), an online program or a blended online (hybrid) program, factor these preferences into your search for graduate programs in the U.S. Many accredited colleges and universities offer several different learning options. You could potentially live in one state and study in another, especially if you are currently working, or want to develop contacts or internship opportunities within this vast country.
Take the Next Step
The United States places great importance on graduate education. In fact, according to the Council of Graduate Schools, “graduate education is critical to the country’s strength and prosperity” Students are turning to graduate degrees both for the potential to advance within a current occupation, the possibility of higher wages, and the necessary education for entry-level occupations in some fields. GradSchools.com is a great resource for finding accredited graduate schools in USA by state and city. Read our helpful articles to learn more about the application process, learn about the different degree types and remember to contact all the grad schools in the U.S.A. that interest you without delay; there are deadlines to stay on top of and so many possible campuses to visit!