What are the degree programs at US Universities and how to select them?

There are a number of degree programs available for Indian students to choose from. This article provides in detail about the degree courses in US like Master of Science (MS), Master of Engineering (M.Eng), Master of Science (M.Sc), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) and MIS (Master of Information System)

Selecting department of education in US
  1. For Computer Science and IT students in India, it is quite easy to select the department as almost every University in US has a department of Computer Science offering MS in Computer Science. For Mechanical Engineering students in India, it is again quite easy to select the department as almost every University in US has a department of Mechanical Engineering offering MS in Mechanical Engineering.
  2. For Electrical, Electronics and Electronics and Telecommunication students in India, there is a huge dilemma regarding selecting the right department for higher education. Some Universities in US have department as Electrical Engineering offering all range of specializations coming under Electrical and Electronics. The degree offered in such Universities is MS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (MS in EE). Some other Universities have department as Electrical and Computer Engineering offering MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS in ECE).  
  3. Electronics or Mechanical specialization graduate students in India who have worked in an IT company always feel the urge to specialize in Computer Science. An IT work experience and training will definitely help in higher education in Computer Science departments degree programs. There are a few Universities offering these courses to non-Computer Science background students provided they complete the necessary pre-requisites within six months of reaching US.

Selecting degree program for higher education in US
Read more about the following degree programs offered by graduate studies department of the US Universities.
  1. MS (Master of Science): The most popular and preferred degree program by Indians in US is M*S. All the US Universities offer MS degree for different fields like Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, etc. It is typically a 2 year course including thesis or project. After MS, many students pursue a PhD which helps them specialize in their field of interest. After MS, a lot of job opportunities are also available if your aim is to get placed in industry and start working after MS.
  2. M.Eng (Master of Engineering): This degree program is offered by select Universities in US. Although the most popular degree program among Indians in US is MS, M.Eng is slowly becoming an excellent alternative to MS. All the US Universities which offer MEng degree have specialization for different fields like Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, etc. It is typically a 1 year course with similar number of credits as MS. But you are not required to complete a thesis or project while pursuing MEng, as is required with MS. Most SPRING applicants apply for M.Eng degree program as you can get an internship immediately after 1st semester. But the requirements for internships vary from University to University. Also, the option of pursuing a PhD after M.Eng is very difficult. If your final aim is a PhD, do not choose MEng, go for MS instead.
  3. Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy): Ph.D is the highest academic degree that one can hold in US. If you already hold an MS degree, you can complete your Ph.D within 3 years. Else, the typical time period required to complete a Ph.D in US is 4 to 5 years. Almost every major University in US offers Ph.D programs to students. Ph.D is mandatory if you wish to pursue a career in teaching in US Universities.
  4. MS in MIS (Management Information Systems): MIS degree in US Universities is a mid-way between research and management related courses. There is equal number of leadership credits and research based coursework credits required for MIS. It is an excellent option for all those aspirants who wish to find a management related career without opting out of their Computer Science background completely. Job opportunities for MIS specialisation are comparable to Computer Science students.
  5. MBA (Master of Business Administration): One of the oldest and most popular degrees in the world – MBA needs no description. All the industry jobs at management level open up after completion of this very reputed degree. Recently, MBA admissions are also given to students who have taken GRE instead of GMAT.