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Graduate School USA

Graduate School USAThe term Graduate School, which is often referred to as Grad School, is only used in the USA – in the rest of the English-speaking world it is generally referred to as postgraduate studies. Graduate school is a loose term for institutions offering a postgraduate education that may be professional courses or more academic subjects or both. Most universities in the USA award postgraduate qualifications so would be considered graduate schools, so they are not necessarily a separate institution. 

Who attends Graduate School?

The people who attend grad school are students who have completed a first degree in a relevant subject area and want to go on to study a masters program in the USA. A student's undergraduate degree must be in a sufficiently high enough mark to qualify for entrance and some institutions in the USA are extremely prestigious and require excellent qualifications. Many students in the USA may attend Graduate School when they are in the middle of their careers to either change the direction of their careers or to improve their prospects or to collate their knowledge and research further. The majority of students go to graduate school straight from completing their first degree to get started on their career. 


Graduate School USAWhat subjects are studied at Graduate School?

Any subject that a student wishes to pursue at a higher and more focus level is probably available for study somewhere in the USA. Some institutions only offer academic subjects, such as the social sciences, and other institutions offer more professional subjects, such as nursing and engineering. At a Graduate School, such as Georgetown University, students attending postgraduate level courses would be often planning to go on to study a PhD and Johns Hopkins School of Nursing offers only highly specialised professional courses in nursing.

Graduate School USAAre there any differences between public and private institutions?

The main difference between the public and private institutions in the USA is the way that they are funded. Private universities in the USA only receive funds from tuition fees and donations and public universities are also funded by the state governments so are usually called state university like Ohio State University. Public universities tend to be much larger institutions that offer a wide range of subject areas and are perfect for international students who want to meet lots of different people outside of their course. Private universities are usually much smaller and are often highly specialised and this means that they can often be highly regarded in a small subject area. For international students, it might be that a small private university can offer the best masters education for a certain career plan in the world. 

Graduate School USAHow long do students spend at Graduate School?

The length of time students spend at Grad School depends on the course and to what level a student is planning on studying to. For a masters course, then most students will spend two years studying full time at Graduate School. If they go onto study a PhD, then they will spend an additional three or four years there. 

Graduate School USAHow do international students find out more?

There are a number of different ways that an international student can find out about a particular type of Grad School. First, an international student can learn plenty about an institution by reading available information online, rankings tables and on social media. Taking part in a short exchange trip or summer sessions to the USA before committing to a masters course or a PhD in the USA is a great way to make sure it is suitable.

Graduate School USADo many international students attend Graduate School?

The USA attracts a great number of international students, especially from countries like China and India. However, it doesn’t matter which country you are from as the USA probably has people studying from your home nation somewhere in the USA. 

Let’s take a look at which Grad Schools were recently deemed the most popular in the USA.

US University

Number of International Students

New York University


University of Southern California


Columbia University


Arizona State University


University of Illinois


Northeastern University


Purdue University


University of California, Los Angeles


Michigan State University


University of Washington




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