With more than 1 million international students from different parts of the world, the USA has emerged as a top study-abroad destination. The US universities offer everything from bachelors, masters, PhD to a variety of diploma courses. Out of all, masters in USA witness the most number of students every year, which makes it a very competitive program. 

If you are seeking to pursue your masters in the US along with other eligibility criteria, having a bachelor’s degree is a must. Now, the undergraduate requirement in USA varies across universities and programs. Some institutions require you to complete 16 years of education before applying, while for others 15 years is enough. These 15 years are further bifurcated into 10+2+3, wherein there are 12 years of schooling and 3 years of undergraduate study. 

Let us take a look at the various colleges and universities in USA that allow students 15 years of academic learning as opposed to 16 years of education to apply for their master’s programs. 

List of Universities in US that Require 3 Years of Undergraduate Study for their Master’s Program

Many of the universities in India have a 3-year undergraduate for the majority of the courses they offer. But sometimes, that 3-year undergrad program is not enough, and foreign universities demand a 4-year undergraduate study. The good news here is, there are still tons of universities across the USA that one can apply to after a 3-year undergraduate study.

3 years

Here is a list of universities in USA that accept a 3-year undergraduate degree for their master’s program:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Columbia University
  3. Harvard University
  4. The State University of New York at Potsdam
  5. McGill University
  6. Princeton University
  7. Carnegie Mellon University 
  8. University of Arizona
  9. Santa Clara University
  10. Stevens Institute of Technology
  11. University of British Columbia
  12. Johns Hopkins University
  13. Texas A & M University
  14. Yale University
  15. Northwestern University
  16. University of California, Berkeley
  17. Duke University Fuqua School of Business
  18. University at Buffalo
  19. Bentley University
  20. York University
  21. Booth School of Business
  22. University of North Carolina
  23. Tuck School of Business
  24. Stony Brook University
  25. Zicklin School of Business
  26. Wharton School of Business
  27. Darden School of Business
  28. Syracuse University

What to do if your Desired Institution Requires 16 Years of Former Education?

16-years proof of education is what some American higher education institutes ask for master’s admissions. It is basically a 10+2+4 of former years of education, with four years of undergraduate study. 

But most of the undergraduate programs in India are of a 3-year which American universities find unacceptable and incomplete. And what if the university you want to apply to doesn’t accept your 3-year undergraduate degree?

Listed below are a few ways for you to overcome this hurdle:

  1. The non-profit organization, known as the World Education Services, helps students who are having trouble applying to their dream school just because of their inadequate years of study. There are a few requirements for a student to seek help:
  • The student must secure a Division-1 in their undergrad degree.
  • The degree must come from a university accredited by the National Admission and Accreditation Council.

2. You can pursue an additional degree, be it a graduate or undergraduate from your native country, to fulfil the year criteria for the institution in the US you wish to apply. The most popular option is a graduate degree of one year will help you do the same without wasting much of your time.

3. You can transfer to another university in the USA between your undergrad degree for completing your 4th year of education, adding to the years of undergraduate study requirement.

Different options are available for you to fulfil the 4-year undergraduate eligibility requirements in the USA. But before you do dive into all these solutions, make sure you even need them. Check the university website to see if they waive this eligibility and consider a 3-year bachelor’s degree for master’s admission. You may also get in touch with former university students, as they can provide insights about several things related to the admission process, costs, scholarships, and so much more. Contact one of the best overseas educational consultants for further guidance and assistance to study at your dream university in the USA. 

Experienced Educational Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Passionate about early childhood education and empowering educators to make informed instructional decisions to meet the needs of all learners. Skilled in professional development, instructional design, curriculum development, educational marketing, and educational publishing and editing. Strong consulting professional with a M.S.Ed. in Curriculum Development and Instruction from California State University at Fullerton. Currently living is Seoul.


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