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Studying a Postgrad Program in Massachusetts


The state of Massachusetts has an incredible academic reputation and the unparalleled breadth of courses make it an excellent base for postgraduate study. It is located in the north east of the US and one of the states that makes up the New England area. Massachusetts is a popular place to live, visit and study, and most of the 6.8 million people who call Massachusetts home live in the Greater Boston area. There are a number of other smaller cities and towns such as Worcester, Quincy, Plymouth and New Bedford that are all desirable places to live.

Bordered by Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, Massachusetts is a well-connected state. It takes just over three hours to travel from Boston to New York City by train and is an ideal choice for international students.

Postgrad Study in Massachusetts

Where can you study a postgrad program in Massachusetts?

There are a 114 universities and colleges based in Massachusetts. Here is a small selection of them to give you a taste of what is on offer.

Suffolk University: Based in downtown Boston in the Beacon Hill area this private university has an excellent reputation for research. Along with their highly rated MBA courses the Law School is well regarded and attracts many famous guest speakers. The 10,000 strong student body and central location make Suffolk University a popular choice for postgraduate study.

University of Massachusetts Amherst: This is the largest public university in the New England area with nearly 30,000 students. Amherst is less than a two-hour drive west of Boston and is considered to be one of the best college towns in the US to live in.

Harvard University: Many think of Harvard as one of the best universities in the world and places on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are highly sought after, particularly at the Havard University School of Medicine and the Law School. The main campus is located in Cambridge, three miles north west of Boston. This Ivy League college was founded in 1636. There are 14,500 postgraduate students studying a large range of courses in and around the Boston area.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Along with Harvard University, MIT has a stellar reputation and is also considered one of the best universities in the world. The reasons for this are numerous and are detailed here. Established in 1861 to concentrate on technologically based research MIT has nearly 7,000 postgraduate students.

Boston University: With 13,500 postgraduate students and 16,500 undergraduates, Boston University is one of the largest institutions in Massachusetts. Based in Boston with two main campuses, it has an excellent reputation for research. This private university has a wide range of courses and a nationally competitive hockey team.

What postgrad programs are available to study in Massachusetts?

The breadth of postgraduate study available in Massachusetts is substantial. With such a large number of globally respected institutions, the courses on offer range from internationally renowned MBA courses to almost any field of study in the legal profession. There are excellent choices for research postgraduate degrees in the areas of medicine, dentistry and IT. You can also study numerous international relations, education and policy development courses. There are also many wonderful options for studying fine arts, theology and music.

Tuition fees and living costs in Massachusetts

The tuition fees for international students will vary between institutions, ranging from around $45,000 to $60,000 per year depending on the course and institution. Living expenses are estimated at $10,000 to $15,000 per year not including an approximate extra $2,000 for health insurance. You also need to include the cost of return trips back to your home country. Once you have found the perfect course the individual universities can guide you to the specific costs involved with textbooks and extras that each course requires.

International admissions and applications

The admissions process for most postgraduate courses for international students in Massachusetts' universities are usually just the same as domestic students. The only difference is English language standards. English language standards differ between institution and departments. The general rule is that most need complete fluency. If you are concerned about studying in English, then look through this guide. Also, have a read of this general advice for tips on postgraduate admissions.

Interesting Massachusetts alumni

The universities in Massachusetts have a wealth of famous alumni. Harvard and MIT have numerous alumni who have gone on to do ground breaking things such as Mark Zuckerberg and John F Kennedy. However, many of the other Massachusetts universities have interesting alumni as well. Martin Luther King studied at Boston University, as did the actor Julianne Moore. Meanwhile the actor Richard Gere and writer Paul Theroux are both alumni of University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Student case study

Boston University student, Jessica, is originally from Florida, and she thinks that living and studying in a city with so many other students has great advantages. She explains that being able to study and spend time with students from all over the US and the world means there are plenty of others to help her to adjust to the cold winters and adapting to life in the northern US.

What can you do in Massachusetts when you're not studying?

There are plenty of activities to fill your time in Massachusetts when you’re not studying. The main city of Boston has a huge selection of things to do. Going to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play is a big part of Boston life. Visiting the many historic sites connected with the American Revolution and early life in the US is high on many visitors to do list. Boston has a wonderful selection of art galleries, museums and parks to visit. Exploring the wider New England area also makes for superb days out and weekends away. A trip to Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard is a lovely way to visit costal Massachusetts. The towns of Stockbridge and Williamstown both have well renowned museums and galleries. Many towns in Massachusetts have historic sites and do reenactments, for example Salem.

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