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Are you too old to Study in USA ? 10 Years of Experience, 35 Years age ?

Life takes us in different directions and many of us may not be able to pursue our dreams due to our circumstances at a certain juncture of our life. Studying in the US is no different for a few.   Some of us may not be able to pursue our dreams of higher education at an early point in our careers due to various factors of family pressures, financial difficulties, no clarity, etc…

Now, once life is settled, which is after 5 to 15 years of work experience, when someone is at the age of 35 or 40, they may wonder if it is the right thing to study abroad like in the USA. Many of them are unsure, of how they will be received in the classes and will they be able to cope with their younger peers in the class.  This article focuses on shedding some light on the reality at Graduate schools in America and if it is the right age for you to study.

Average Age of Graduate Student ( MS or MBA) in United States – Distribution

As per the research by National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of graduate students is about 33 years. Also, the below table from the same report indicates the age distribution of a typical graduate student enrolment.  The key stat to look at is that about 50% of the graduate students are over 30 years of age.

Average Graduate Student Age Distribution in USA

Are you too old to go back to School and Study Masters?

Looking at the above data, you can notice that over 22% of the students are over 40 years and about 28% of the students are between 30 and 40 years. Data speaks volumes…You do NOT need to worry that you are too old.  You are not old to go back to school. There are quite a few students in the same age group.

In fact, when I did my MS and MBA, I personally noticed the same. Many of my teammates were much older than me, it was fun to have all the experience folks in the class and my team as well.  You are NOT too old to go back to school! You bring a lot of value to the class and make it more engaging.

Pursue your dream of Higher Education  with Passion

When you are thinking about going back to school, you need to be very clear on your goals.  As you are already quite experienced, most of the time, your degree may NOT be giving you the instant return as you would expect immediately, unless it is a requirement as part of the job.  If you always wanted to get higher education and experience the education system in America, it is totally fine, just go for it.

Also, pursuing higher education with the goal to settle in America has to be considered with caution, with the H1B Lottery. Read Apply for MS with H1B Lottery.  Also, you do NOT have to pursue MS or MBA in your same field or area, you can change your major or specialization in MS.  If it was your dream to study Marketing but you somehow ended up in Computer Science in Bachelors, it is your chance to switch majors and pursue that dream.  Just plan it such that your education can help you make a career transition.

If you can afford the time with family commitments and have money to fund your education, it is an enriching experience to study in America.  There are so many great things about education in America, it is not about just the classes and research, it is about the activities that are part of the student life like Student Orgs , Student Leadership Activities, etc. that define the overall student life experience, … Many might question your decision as it may not be pragmatic, but what the heck? If it is your dream, go for it!  Many dream, only few dare to achieve it…Are you that one?

Next steps to Study, if you decide that age is not a bar and ready to commit ?

First thing you need to do is think about your goals for studying in US, what is is your passion. Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to plan to accomplish that.  Below are some steps to get started.

  • Step 1: Research for Universities that offer the degree or program you want to pursue and create a list of the Universities that offer the degree or program you plan to pursue.
  • Step 2:  Pick 4 to 5 of the universities that you plan to study based on some factors that you prefer like ranking, fees or proximity to cities, etc.
  • Step 3: Visit each of the shortlisted Universities’ websites and then look for requirements to get admission in those schools. Usually, you need to go to the Admissions website and then to the specific School web page like School of Engineering, School of Business, etc.
  • Step 4: List down the common requirements across these schools and make it part of the plan you want to study. Usually, most of them need GRE, TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Step 5: Start to apply after taking the required tests. You can write to admissions and get details as needed.
  • Step 6: After you get admission, attend visa interview as needed and then travel to study in that University.  That’s it !

What do you think ?  Did you choose to go back to school after the significant experience? Share your experiences


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  1. Hi I am Devi,
    I did my B.tech in 2008 in E.C.E and i could not afford to pursue my M.S due to financial status of my family that time and hence i continued with my job and i am 35 now and have close to 13 yrs work experience and as i feel it tough to get H1B Visa for USA for my Job profile which is Non-IT, purely relate to Clinical data management, hence i would like to go with study visa F1 and pursue MS in life sciences or drug development which adds on to my current work experience and then continue working there in USA.

    Please guide me on this as going through study Visa is apt decision to make at this point of Age 35

    Thanks for your guidance

  2. Dear sir,
    My name is afzal I ‘m from India,
    I have a dream to persue my masters in USA. But the problem is very long gap,
    I completed my bachelor in 1991,
    Since then I’m working,
    I worked in saudi arabia in different companies as a sales and marketing manager, but now every where is digital marketing,hence I want to study MBA in USA, what is the chances for getting visa , I’m 51 years old.

    Plz suggest.

  3. Very good advice. Through this article, you can clearly know what kind of planning to make in your career, and there are clear learning and working methods
    Thank you

  4. This article is encouraging. I am at 57 years and I was taken early retirement from software industry. Even though I worked for 19 years in software industry, I didn’t had a formal qualification in technology side. I am planning to pursue MS in USA right now and selected 4 universities which I am going to apply. After doing MS I want to pursue any research opportunities in US if available like Ph.d leavering my experience and future learning? Is there a possibility?

    • Radhakrishnan,
      That is really inspiring to see that you have the passion to study at 57. Yes, that is definitely a possibility.
      When you are doing MS, try to take the Thesis option and work with a professor. That will be your foundation for PhD. Talk to your prof on your PhD plans and prepare from the beginning, that way you will get full funding. Check Thesis vs Non Thesis option in MS

      • HI, Kumar.

        I am sudha, I completed MCA in 2013. I worked for5 years experience in Admin. Now I am planning to do MS/MBA in the USA. I am married and had one kid. They wish to stay in India only. I had Properties in India to prove my strong ties in India.
        Now I am the only person looking to do MS/MBA from the USA. please let me know about the possibility to get F1 Visa. Please let me know about the Courses to choose.

        • sudha,
          Good to have the ties. But, the fundamental question is you need to know what you want to study. This is something that you need to know and figure out what your passion is. Once you figure that out, then plan for next steps.

          • Sudha,
            Yes, you will get it (Of course, depends on the Visa officer and how you perform in the interview). That’s how international students get option to Study MBA in US.

  5. Hi Kumar,
    First of all, thank you for this article. It was informative as well as encouraging for me.
    I’m currently 37, working in an IT company for last 8 years (and have previous approx 3 years of experience in another industry). Although I am already a masters degree holder from India, I am looking forward to applying for an MS degree in the USA right now in a domain that adds value to my CV. But, I was always wondering about the bias against age and experience on my resume. Your article is reassuring, although the data is quite dated from 2008. I have family also in the USA who have assured me that age is not a consideration, neither is switching domains. So, I feel more confident with my decision at the moment. I’m aware that the H1B lottery system ruins genuine aspirations of candidates who are experienced, capable and determined to bring real talent to the US economy. But education (especially high quality and pedigree ones) never go in vain – it’s what I have learnt in all my years 🙂 Just wanted to say thank you for sharing a positive and helpful article on the web.

    • Arpita,
      Happy to hear that you find it helpful and encouraging. The data does not change much with years.
      As long as you are aware of the H1B Lottery and getting into study mode with passion, you are absolutely fine ! Many have false expectations and then get disappointed.
      Good Luck!

  6. I completed B Tech in 2003. I worked for 12 years .in that I worked 5 years in UK. Got PR. Now my age is 42 years. Now i am planing to do MBA in USA. I am married and had a one kids. They wish to stay in India only. I had Properties in India to prove my strong ties in India. She also worked in USA between 2008 to 2012 on H1.
    Now I am only one person looking to do MBA from USA. please let me know for possibility to get F1 Visa.

  7. My husband got h1b and we would be travelling to US soon. With me on H4 I can’t work. What is the best way to get job? Is doing MBA a better method to get job than trying h1b in common category? Will spending huge money on mba be worth it? Pls suggest

    • Laxmi,
      Well, doing a degree does not mean you will get job. It is just going to keep you busy. One option is to find job at H1B Cap Exempt places like Universities & non-profit research institutes. You can plan for H1B for next year. If you have the passion to study, you can move to F1 and study. You can work on F1 on campus or get internship after two semesters. Check https://redbus2us.com/study-in-us-on-h4-visa-instate-options/

  8. Hi Kumar,

    I am PK Chakravarty, a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and currently posted as the Director, Census Operations. I am 58 years now and have completed my MBA and Master of Development Management (MDM) from AIM, Phillipines while in service. Currently I am going to complete my Ph.D. from the NIT. Can I get a teaching job after 60 years of age in the US?
    Thanks PK Chakravarty

    • Pradeep,
      Well, it is going to be slightly tricky to get a job without any teaching experience in the US. It is not about your age, is is more about your experience.
      One path I see is for you to pick up a Post Doc position based on your PhD to work in US. Alternatively, you can reach out to few schools and professors and share your interests with them on working in US. I definitely think, you have good chance, if you put in effort and reach out to professors.

  9. Hi Kumar,

    This is Sachin (Age 44), I am working in Automotive industry from last 17 years in various Indian OEMs (4 years) & US MNCs (13 yaers). I diid M Tech in Automobiles from reputed institute in India
    I am at managerial level & having sound work experience in Project management with track record of successfully delivering many projects. Now at this stage of life I feel I should pursue higher studies in USA in Engineering management like MIT SDM . My ambition after studies is to work in USA & become a global leader ( like I am working with my US manages).

    What are the risks involved in this since I have to quit current job. Also please suggest options for MBA in US & Canada. I want to work in Automotive field only after MBA.

    Thanks in advance

  10. Hi, I’m Anita from India. I’m about to be 30 in a few months. I’ve been working in a company for six years and I have reached a management position in a quality management team. I now feel like I lack the theoretical knowledge of management best practices, quality assurance and analytics, which I want to learn to broaden my horizon and look for the next step in my career. I love my field of work but I feel stagnant at my current job. So, it feels like the right time to pursue my masters. My concern is the university fee. I’m looking for an affordable school so it doesn’t turn into a burden if I can’t get a visa or a job in the US post my study. Could you please suggest some affordable universities and courses that I could take? Thanks!

  11. My age is 37 years and having 13 years of experience in IT. To be honest i always had dream of study and work in USA but due various other personal factors it never happened. Now, i feel that i have all the resources to pursue that dream. The only concern i see here is H1b visa lottery system.

    It worries me a lot thinking about the uncertainty once i finish my masters and didn’t get through the lottery thing. How can i make up my mind to put all my energy towards this dream of mine? Any suggestions. Thank you very much.

    • Gaurav Sharma,
      If your goal is to work in US, then it is right now very difficult to tell as the lottery is still there. We do not know how rules may work. The least thing you can consider is that you will get 1 year OPT to work in US. So, if your passion is to study and just get US work experience, then it may be something to consider…
      Again, bottom line, your goal is what matters…if you want to experience education, just go for it. If you want both work and study, then hard with current rules…

  12. Hi,

    Myself, Sumit Gupta from Mumbai, 40 years of age. I would like to pursue PHD (big commitment) in USA. I have 15+ years of corporate experience and I did collect some information from colleges like Harvard and MIT. I feel that I will qualify for their requirement.

    The confusion I have right now is it worth to spend 5/6 years in PHD, even though I will get a stipend. After doing PHD, do I still have to go through the H1B to work there and settle there?


    Do we have separate pathway for the PHD in USA?

    Please guide

    • Sumit,
      It is all about your passion. Now, rules as of today, they stand exactly like you said. You need to go through H1B lottery.
      However, if you are really successful researcher and have many international publications, with patents and all, then you maybe able to apply for something called O-1 visa. You can read more on USCIS O-1 Visa page

      The big question, you need to ask yourself is why are you doing PhD ? If you are clear on that, then it is fine.
      Read Goals for Studying in US. and Is it worth studying in US with H1B lottery

      • Hi Kumar,
        I am a 57 year old , with 36+ experience,out of which,23 years experience in banking and finance as AVP, 13 years experience in IT as SAP FICO CONSULTANT AND SME In Tax.. I always had a dream to study in US universities.. What are my chances, how should I proceed.. I also want to start my consultancy there.. Please advice..

        • Venkat R,
          if you are passionate about education, you can always start. US is pretty friendly in that aspect. So, focus on getting good scores and have good Statement of Purpose so that you get admission. Now, coming to consultancy and all, you can think about that later, do not worry about it now…

  13. Hi,
    I am a CS Engineering graduate from India, with 4 years of work experience in IT and 6 years of experience in central government job (Central Excise). Will it be fruitful for me to pursue an MS/MBA in US, and will it be possible to get a job after completing my degree, considering my recent non IT (govt.) job profile?

  14. Hi,
    My name is Chrissy! I’m a graduate of biochemistry from a school in Nigeria! I graduated with a 3rd class honours! I never really liked the course but pressure from my family made me study that. I’m 31 years old and I want to apply for a course in environmental toxicology in the USA. I also have 5 years experience in this field. Am I too old for a second degree?

    • Chrissy,
      You are never old to study, if you have the passion to study. I suggest you be clear on what you want to study, reach out to schools in US, start collecting requirements and then apply for the same. Good Luck !

  15. Dear sir/madam,
    IAM a student from India,completed mechanical engineering in 5.5 years due to some backlogs (this is because iam not at all interested in mechanical engineering but due to family pressure I joined this course).I am very much interested in biotechnology.Now my question is can I join ms in biotechnology?what are prerequisites required to join ms biotechnology?

    • Bhanu,
      Yes, you can join the course of your choice. The requisites are always defined by the school you plan to join, so you need to ask the University that you plan to study at.

  16. Hello,

    I am having 8.5 years of experience in IT mainly worked in testing, operations and currently working as Business System Analyst which is mostly focussed on operations , metrics, auditing and project management. I am thinking of doing Masters in Information Systems Management to bridge gap between technical and management skills. But I am concerned if MIS will truly add value to my profile and also considering MBA which might avenues in terms of Business Analyst /Product Owner roles. Please advise which might be better option in the long term.


    • Goutam,
      Check this article – Careers of MS in MIS program. If you are planning to get into general management, MBA is a good path…If you are looking to stay in IT related roles, then MS in MIS could help… It boils down to your long term goals, based on that you need to make a decision.

  17. Hello sir,
    I am a girl, age 33 years, chartered accountant by degree( commerce background). Im a mother if 6 years old boy. I have no work experience due to family commitments,but now i want to work but have no job opportunity as of now. Im thinking to go for further studies. Will going usa fr further studies will b beneficial for me? If yes then being frm commerce background, which field should i go for !
    Pls suggest

    • Archita,
      It is hard to say, getting a higher degree would benefit, unless you have a clear goal on what you want to do. Just studying because you did not get job may not be the best idea..what is the guarantee that you will get job after doing Masters ? Not trying to discourage you, but asking you to think about it…Think about what you want to achieve in life and then plan with your education that can help you to get there…US has great education, but also it has a lot of visa hurdles and lottery kinds of things, so think about all of these and make an informed decision.

      • Hello sir,
        I am Madhu sudhanan
        Did my bachelor’s in civil engineering 2015-19.
        I have secured 2.7gpa .
        I have 1year of experience .
        Published a journal.
        Pls help me on to improve my overall profile ?
        To apply for masters in construction management in usa

        • Madhu,
          It is very hard to evaluate profile just on this. It all varies by school requirements and where you plan to study. If you get really good scores in GRE, TOEFl, you can overcome the 2.7 GPA thing…seems low to me…

  18. Hi sir., i am a b.tech graduate of 2013 passed out. I dont have any realtime experience.. Due to family commitments i couldnt do any job.. But i want to start a carreer now.. So i want to start with my masters in US.When ever i contacted any consultancys they r saying that u wont get visa bcz of d gap. U should have experience. Is it true.. As i dont have any should leave the hopes of studying masters and start a new life

    • Not necessarily true. Getting admission is not dependent on your gaps. Also, when asked in visa interview, if you have a valid answer and can convince the visa officer, you will be fine. You need to have good scores, admission from good school, then it will help cover up that gaps and everything…

  19. Hi , my name is Umang and currently working in IT company in India with 10 years of work experience. Can i pursue MS or MBA in US/Canada after a gap of 10 years in previous study ( i graduated in 2009). I went to one consultancy and they told me that i cannot pursue MS as colleges won’t give me admission due to huge gap between previous studies ( 10 years).
    My question is are the universities not giving admission to people who wish to study after huge gap ?

    • Yes, you can. No, that is wrong information. You can apply to any school of your choice. You need to get good scores in GRE, TOEFL and then have a good Statement of purpose, then you can apply and get admission. Yes, they will. As I said in article, many of my classmates were much older with a lot of gap.

  20. I am working in Dubai and have 6 years of experience in oil and gas industry, I would like to pursue MS in engineering management STEM course from US and I am trying to get in to university based in texas which would help me to get oil and gas industry job. Usually I see students getting jobs in Software sector, I have never seen anyone getting into oil and gas sector, My concern is, how easy to get the job in US with my oil and gas industry experience? Will I still have an opportunity to get a job in different sector? Thanks!

    • Absolutely you can get something in Oil and Gas. Your thought process is right, you should get into any schools in and around Houston area as there are many Oil and Gas Companies. It is no different for getting job in other sectors, there will be challenges, you need to apply give interviews and get role. So, if you are passionate, then go for it. But, you need to be aware of the H1B lottery situation in US as well.

  21. Hi, I have done my Master’s in Biotechnology from India. After that I have worked in clinical research industry for 10 years.
    I am confused, if I want to study further in USA, can I apply directly for Ph. D. or I have to apply for MS first and then later do Ph. D.?

    Also I want to know the scopes of H1 Visa for students graduating from the life science field? I have heard that people who are into software industry are more likable to get Sponsorship from the companies? While its not the easy Sponsorship from Life Science graduates?

    Do you recommend, with this experience and interest, is it advisable to go to USA for MS/Ph. D. at this point of time and age?

      • Dear Sir or Madam
        I have been in Nepal government OFFICE since 27yrs and qualification is Diploma in Electrical engineering and Bachelor in political science(I did some yr before),I want to study in Electrical or electronic engineering,Bachelor from USA,age is 49yrs,I am highly interested since beginning but could not did due to money problem,please suggest.

        • Manoj,
          Yes, you can study for sure. Try to write to few schools, if they can offer you any scholarships.
          You are definitely eligible to study. You may need to take few exams like GRE and TOEFL. Check University website that you plan to apply to for more details.

  22. Hello ,

    Myself kalpesh . i am 31 years old i have done my MBA from india in 2014 then i got job in sales and marketing. now i have total 5 years of experience. i wanted to pursue MS in digital marketing. Can my age and study gap does matters while admission in US and visa process as well ???..Thanks

    • No, it does not really matter for admission. Many with much older age get admission and visas… If you are passionate, go for it.

  23. Hi,Kumar
    I am 42 year, want to peruse MBA from USA, is TOFEL is good enough for this or I have to take GTE too.

  24. Am a teacher currently working ,with 20 yrs of experience .Now i think i need a masters degree in child phycology ,want to know vsrious methods used in forgien countries.Am at my 50s five more yrs to retire. which course is good and the university in US and also wants to know the proceders

    • Geetha,
      That’s commendable that you have the passion to study and learn. I wish I could suggest you on the universities. You will need to do your own research and apply for schools. I have added Next steps section to the above article. Please read that to get high level idea. Good Luck !

  25. Hi, I’m 42 years old and i have two kids, one 11 years old, another 2 years old. I have almost 17 years of work experience as an HR and Admin specialist, but i’m thinking for the last few years that if I have any opportunity to study in the USA to learn more about the Human Resources. So, do you think i will have any chances to study in the USA doing my master’s degree now? I’m from Mongolia. Pls kindly reply to my question. Thanks, Bolormaa

    • Bolormaa,
      You have absolutely every chance to study in US. There is no differentiation based on your age and you will really like it. You need to start researching for schools, take required tests and then apply for the same. Read to Next Steps to study section above.

  26. I have few years of experience in Data science and want to do MS in Artificial Intelligence.
    I am over 37. Can I do it? and I am going to take loan for it. Is it worth it?

    • Yes, you can do it. Well, the worth depends on what you want to get out of it. If you already have experience, it may or may not help you with career directly, as you already have experience…But, such degree is a requirement for your job, then you may get more value…Also, if your goal is passion to learn more and experience it, then of course worth it…in terms of visa and other things, you need be practical about H1B lottery, etc. Read Study in US with H1B lottery

  27. Hi,
    I have completed my bsc microbiology, zoology and chemistry as majors back in 2002.
    Due to financial restrictions and family commitments, i couldnt persue my masters, am 37 years now and i would love to go for masters.
    Is that possible to persue masters and switch my majors.
    Kindly suggest

    • Yes, it is absolutely possible. You can apply to any school and pursue Masters. You can switch majors as well. Research schools, find requirements, take the required tests, and apply. You may be asked to take some pre-requisite courses, if you want to change major.

      • Hi, I am Muhammad Aamir, 38.

        Pakistani working in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2013.

        I did my BBA and MBA marketing in 2004.

        I am retail sales professional.

        Looking for new place, culture, people and life to experience. Money is not my motivation, but the time from 38 to 48 is!

        I wana spend quality time exploring new horizons, my budget 25,000 euros, where should i persue my Masters?

        1. US (tough visa, low budget)

        2. Europe (Germany)

        3. Australia (budget constraint)

        The goal is rich experience, meet new people and see life in another perspective… Change in life via further studies…

        • 1. I can speak for US as the experience you get is much richer because, US is a melting pot of cultures and some outstanding education.
          2. I heard good things about Germany too.
          3. Australia is a great place and if you study in cutting edge fields, there are good prospects.

          I would go for US first..maybe I am biased as well because I studied in US.

  28. Dear Sir,

    My name is irfan and i’m 27 years old and i did my graduation in the year of 2013 now i want to do MBA from US could you please advise we am i eligible to do MBA and what is the procedure.


    • You are eligible for it. The procedure is you need to research for the schools online and look at specific requirements for the schools that you want to study at and take the tests required and apply for the same.

  29. My name is Mohammed, I have around 12 years of IT Experience for SAP BOBI Administrator. I have completed Bsc physics and then joined in Wipro as WASE and completed MS degree as work integrated course .

    Currently i have a desire to do higher studies in USA but my present age is 34, i am looking for any Technical course like 1 or 2 yrs in USA, will it be possible for me to do higher studies in USA? any help would be really appreciated.

    what are the details do i need to check and any best possible way to get higher studies for me?


    • Of course, you can. You have couple of options, either to do a full blow one year fast track program like in Kellog for MBA or normal 2 year masters program. Off the top of my head, I do not know such courses for Technical stuff, you need do research. Your age is not an issue.

  30. Hi,
    I sandeep Vishvkarma, pursued Engineering in Chemical, Working in One of the MNC (Govt. Organisation).
    I would like to prefer MS in USA , For that what to do ? Is there any mean by which I can directly applied for admission in USA on the basis of 9 years of experience.

  31. Hi my name is nabin and I am from Nepal actually my question is I have passed my 10 standard 11 years ago and after that I didn’t study now I want to study in abroad and complete my study can anybody help me

    • Nabin,
      What do you want to study ? First, you need to complete your 11th and 12th grade and then look at Bachelors degree. Visit any college around you and get guidance, they will help you.

  32. Hi,
    I am currently doing Btech WILP program of BITS and working in UAE as an engineer. I want to know whether I can do regular MBA from US/Europe universities and suggest some of the best universities?

  33. Hi,

    I’m Sowmya. I applied for ms in CS at university of Dayton in fall 2018. But due to family commitments (I have a daughter of 6 years and she is studying in UKG).
    Deferred my admission to spring 2019.
    Now this month I gave 2 times visa interview. Both time I got rejection from Chennai embassy.

    I don’t know what to do? Not sure to apply again. My classes starts from Jan 14th.

    Please need suggestion.

    1st interview: was nervous.
    Visa officer told I’m a fully established professional. Going to make big money

    2nd interview:
    Lady officer: asked y usa?

    Then 214 b letter.

    Now I have full family support.
    But don’t know what to do?


    • Sowmya,
      It can be tricky with 214(b), we may not know what the visa officer is looking for…sometimes, you may have everything right, but if they believe that based on your profile and conditions that you may not return back, then they would just issue 214(b). Sometimes, people get it after few attempts, sometimes some do not get it…All you can do is be confident and try to answer with conviction on why USA, why studying in US and you plan to come back for so and so reasons…

  34. Hi Kumar, thanks for the useful article. I am 43 with more than 15 years of teaching experience in a medical college after completing my MBBS MD in nonclinical subject. I have an intense desire to persue my PhD in USA in health related areas. Can I apply to Universities in USA for PhD in my interest areas without GRE and TOFEL?
    Do they consider my application without GRE?

    • Yes, you can. Well, you will need GRE and TOEFL as they are pretty much required for majority of the good schools. You may seek a waiver from the school, but I doubt, if they will waive it. It can also become an issue at Visa stamping, if you skip them. You can write to few schools and seek their advice, if they can waive.

  35. Hi i am prateik amirapu I have studied only till 12th class or intermediate I failed and quit my BTech is there anyway to start studying for associates degree in US/Canada I am very poor in studies so plz suggest me a easygoing course

  36. Helllo Mr. Kumar,

    I am from Nepal, and 36 years old.
    I had completed my B.E. in Electronics & Communications at 2006 from Nepal at a renowned University of Nepal with average grade.

    And then I started working in Nepal. Now I want to complete Masters as well as Ph.D. in same field.
    Could I eligible to get VISA in USA for further studies in USA.

    Bishnu Bahadur Bhujel

    • Yes, you are eligible to study Masters and PhD in same field and get visa to study in US. Getting visa depends on many factors and not in our control, but if you have admission from good schools, it should not be a problem.

  37. Hello Kumar,

    I am into the IT industry for approx 12 years now and previously a B.Tech in ECE.
    WHile I have been working into core Business Intelligence and DataWarehousing technologies I now want to take a shift into the Data Science and associated technologies and want to pursue a Masters in that.My query is that since now I am 35+ does it really make sense to get a masters.
    ALso is it possible to get a direct entry for a PHD course and if yes then how.
    Please help me by sharing your thoughts.

    • MRoy,
      Yes, if that is what you are passionate about, you should pursue it. Yes, you can apply for PhD directly without doing MS. Reach out to few schools that are of your interest and write to few professors of the potential schools that are you are thinking about and then start the process. You need to be clear on the goal for MS in USA

  38. Hi . You article is very good . Thanks for the deep info, I am sure this article is helping many people around . My problem is now I am 36, I have done only class 12 in commerce (2001) , due to some problem I was not able to complete my further studies . I was a average student . After my 12 I started to work. Later I realised that I am very much interested in computer so while doing job I also did some short term computer course like diploma in computer hardware and networking and later I started working as IT support . I even did few more short computer courses and continued working in IT filed . Now my question is if after so many years of gap can I go abroad and do my graduation in IT ? Is there any chances ? It will be very much helpful if you reply and clear my doubts . Thanks in advance.

    • Khim,
      Of course, you can. You hav every chance to get admission. Your gap in education does not really matter. You need to articulate your passion for higher education in your Statement of Purpose, so that they understand your situation. Go for it, you will be fine to get admission.

  39. Hi Kumar,

    Can a person, if otherwise eligible, apply for PhD in business in any good US university at the age of 51? The prospective candidate has an MBA from top Indian University and an MPA from Ivy League University in addition to almost 28 years of experience in the financial sector.

    Thank you

    • Yes, why NOT ? There is no age discrimination in US schools. I have had someone like in early 70s doing Masters along with me. Having someone in late 40s or early 50s is very common…your age should not restrict you from pursuing your passion.

  40. i want to delve into I.T sector but i have a B.A in religion from one of the African universities, but i want to move to the united states to pursue this dream of mine i am currently age 30, but it seems i am too old for an undergraduate…any advise on how to attain this dream of mine at this age

    • No, it is never late to get a degree, in what you want to pursue. If you want to change career, you can start to apply for a Masters degree in your field of interest, instead of another bachelors degree. You will be asked to do some foundation courses, that’s it.

  41. My story is different. I have dropped my studies after 12th and completed my graduation in English lit from IGNOU in 2015 .Right now pursuing masters from IGNOU also.Is it possible to enroll myself in PhD program in US?I am 35 now.

  42. Dear Kumar, sorry but I do not agree with you at all.
    I have personally contacted several agencies who are the market leaders in the MBA admission filed. The crux of the conversation is that if you’re above 30-32, its VERY VERY difficult to break into the top 10 MBA colleges in the US.
    Maybe you have different stats.

    • Jayanth,
      I am not sure, whom you have talked to…it is misleading info. Talk to the actual school admission department in top schools, not middle agencies.
      I know many friends who have been accepted at over 35 years into top 10 schools. Many students in late 20s apply and pursue MBA, that does not mean that you cannot get into a school, if you are 30+. Age really does not matter, your experience, your essays, your credentials like scores & acads matter…not your age…

  43. Hi Kumar,

    I am a Graduate Mechanical Engineer. I am 38 years old. Presently I am working in design field of Oil and gas industry with experience of 13 years. I like technical field very much . That is why I had choosed Mechanical engineering. My wish was to do higher study (Mtech, MS) , but due to family responsibility I did not go for it. But now I feel saturated in my present field . I want to go either MS or MBA in US/Canada. Not yet decided. But my doubt is when I will complete MS/MBA, I will be 41 years old , then can I get jobs in US/Canada ? Will the industry accept me over there because my age?

    • Sumeet,
      It all depends on what you want to do after your higher education either MS or MBA. Everything depends on your internship and what you can make it with that. Also, to give you perspective immigration in US is not very friendly with H1B lottery and other new measures…I would think Canada could be a better choice, if you find a good University…Again, you need to be clear on what you want to do in life and then use Higher education like MS or MBA to help you get there….take time to think and make a decision. Your age will not really matter, you will be able to succeed and get a job of your choice…

    • Hi Sumeet ,
      i am under very similar situation and similar profile.Really need suggestions if any canadian university will offer me admission or not.

  44. I am 26 now. I had completed my MCA last year and have 2 year gaps(while i was preparing for competitive exams). I wana do MS in CyberSecurity. Is is good for me to do MS or i need to get job experience before MS. I can opt for Phd too but only if i get full grant in tution fees.

    • If you really passionate about going deep in that subject of interest and pursuing a career in that, it is a good choice. Many are not clear on what they want to do. You already have a Masters, you need to think about the reality of getting another masters and the value add of new masters…take time to think about it, how much it will add value, then proceed. If you are passionate about it, then go for it.

  45. Hello Kumar,
    I am having a total of 5.5 years of experience in IT industry working with a big MNC. I have a B.Tech degree in CSE and have a good CGPA of 9+. I am thinking about pursuing MS in CSE from USA, but due to current Immigration rule changes and Visa complexities, I am afraid of apply for any full-time course.
    So, I was going through online MS offerings from Universities in US. Is it a good idea to pursue online MS degree course?

  46. Thanks for Nice Article. I need some advice regarding my career. I have a PG in MCA and have around 10 Years of experience in IT. Currently working in USA as full time in one of the MNC on H1b (already completed 3 years of my visa ). My company is not going to file GC and i am not getting any call from consultants or companies.. thinking either to do MS or go for certification which will give some light to my career.Feeling like sinking in ocean and everything BLACK around. Please suggest what will be the best options for me

    • Revanth,
      I would look at it other way around, what do you see yourself doing in next 5 to 10 years ? Think from that perspective so that you can pick something that will add value to your goal and help you get there. Just doing for the sake of doing without concrete goal in mind may not be of great help.

  47. Hi kumar,

    It was a nice article. I’m 32 and has around 10 years of experience in IT field. I couldn’t appear for masters soon after doing my graduation due to commitments mentioned in your article. Now still i see there are more financial commitments now. would there be any such possibility in US that will help me work & study go in parallel.


    • Peppy,
      If you can get a job in MNC that has office in US and then talk to the company, let them apply for work visa for you and then move to US, so that you can work and study either on weekends or evenings, typically considered part time, but degree will be same.

  48. Hi Kumar,

    Nice article. Really helped.
    I am having 13 years of experience in software industry and always wanted to do MS from US. Due to my responsibilities towards family, I couldn’t do that. Now, I wan’t to pursue my dream by my GPA is very poor (56%) with a one year gap and 12 backlogs in total. Do I have a chance to get admit in US universities for Master’s in Computer Science? How I can convenience the VISA officer?


  49. hello Kumar,
    i am siddharth. i have completed my diploma in civil engineering in 2004. i have worked in various company from last 13 years. now i am currently associated with a good company as a deputy manager but i also wish to complete my degree in same field. so question is that can i complete my degree course in usa now? my current age is 38 years. i am married & have a 3 years son. please reply.

    • Siddarth,
      Yes, it is always a good idea to go back to school and get your degree. You can definitely complete your degree in US. Age is definitely not a problem. If you can afford to study in US and take time off, it should be fine.


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