MS or MBA in US duration

Is MS/MBA in US one year or Two years or more? Can you graduate early?

In Application Info by KumarUpdated : 14 Comments

When I was back in home country (India), I used to ask others questions like :

  • How long is MS program in US ?
  • How many classes should you take ?
  • Can you graduate early ?
  • How to graduate early ?
  • Is the degree valid if you graduate early ?
  • Will I get CPT and OPT if I graduate Early ? Will  I get advanced quota for H1B filing  if I graduate early ?

Some of you may have similar questions if you see programs at schools where they say you can get a masters in One year. It can be confusing at times. I will share some of my thoughts on this and my personal experience.

How long is MS or MBA program in US ? How many Classes or Years ?

Just to clarify, it is not the length(i.e., how long you study) of the program that determines the degree, it is the number of classes that you take in the program that determines the completion of program to graduate. It is up to you how long you take to graduate. Schools in US let you graduate anywhere from 1 year to 8 years. Some students just do classes part time one class a semester.  Some students are aggressive and they take 12 credits a semester and take all 3 semesters to complete 36 credits and graduate exactly in a year. In fact, for my MBA program, I followed the same strategy and am graduating in one year.  Typically, full time students take anywhere from 1 and half years to 2 years to complete coursework. They do not take summer classes, so it will be two falls and two spring terms.

Is the degree valid if you graduate early ? OPT Validity ?  H1B quota ?

Yes, the degree is valid as long as you graduated from an accredited US University. Yes, you will get OPT even if you complete your degree  in One year. Also, Yes you will be counted towards the advanced degree cap if you apply for H1B visa. Also, you can do CPT too when you are studying. The reality is, it would be way too much work load to study 12 credits a semester and can be hard to balance everything. Remember, as an international student you have to maintain GPA of 3.0 to be in status.

What’s the best duration to study and graduate ?

There is nothing set on stone. It depends on your goals and capacity. I know students who have taken 12 credits and did very well in Masters, also I know students who could not handle the work load and went out of status as their GPA dropped to below 3.0. If you are coming from other country and it is your first semester, I would not recommend you to hastily take more classes to graduate. Take the minimum number of credits to be enrolled full time and just understand how system works. Once you are comfortable then you can take the call and take extra classes.  Most of the students take anywhere from 1.5 years to 2 years.

What do you think is the best duration to graduate ?

Image credit :


Other Articles

Comments ( 14 )

  1. sid

    I am a from chandigarh(india) and have 74% in my degree and i was thinking of doing mba from havard…but now after some research i can see that from now on no matter what i do i can never get selected in havard…and that is the reality.

  2. Nidhi Patel

    hello, i am doing BBA now in 2nd year and wannt to do MBA in USA so i want to kne inforamtion about what exam to give before going to do MBA university???

  3. avdesh dubey

    my friend who is in 10th class and he wants to get his further study in u s or u k . is it possible that he will do his 11th class in u s upto RS 1000000 with all expences .

  4. DD

    When students come from other countries to grad school, they attend grad school for a purpose: either to pursue research (usually, in engineering and sciences) or to get a good job. A graduate degree is all about adding value to your education and making it more meaningful.

    I strongly feel that every student should either pursue their research interests or gain experience of some sort. Hence, you should either do research, possibly a thesis, or do an internship. This will strengthen your education and add value when you wish to study further (PhD, Post-Doc) or want to work (research ‘generally’ helps in academia, research orgs, research positions, while internships help in getting into the industry).

    Whenever you have added this ‘value’ to your graduate education, according to me, you are ready to graduate. Anyone can take classes and graduate. It is not too difficult to take up many courses, study religiously and get a decent grade. For that matter, you can always take the easy courses and wind up your education faster. But that’s not the purpose of education, is it? We usually forget whatever we learned from books or in classes. But your research work and internships will improve your education quality. Someone might be able to juggle a lot of classes with a full-time internship or research. That’s great! On the other hand, someone might feel like taking the minimum required number of classes and focusing more on research/internship. That’s perfectly fine (actually, better) according to me. The duration might vary from 1 year to even 3 years or more for a Masters’ degree. When students claim they completed the degree in lesser time than the usual, I wonder if they added any value – some geniuses can do that! But it is fine to take your own time.

    Hence, I feel, the best duration to graduate is when your purpose of doing the program is complete. I-20 extensions and other issues can be easily sorted out with your academic advisor and international students office – just check the rules since they may be different for your program/university.

Leave a Comment

Comments Policy :
  • Comments are to drive conversation, add your thoughts, experiences, ask questions!
  • Do NOT write hate speech, swear words, or get into fight. Maintain etiquette
  • Enter your Name, valid Email, URL(optional - Facebook, LinkedIn profile URLs).
  • Your email will NOT be published. Do NOT post any phone numbers, email-ids
  • Do NOT post any links from other websites, unless official sites, University websites.
  • By submitting your comment, you agree to Term and Conditions of our website.