Both the countries the UK and the USA are popular destinations for pursuing higher studies around the globe. MS or master’s options in these countries are limitless. The US offers MS programs in varied fields of study like Engineering, MBA, Ph.D., IT and allied fields, Sports, Sports Management, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biotechnology, Physiotherapy, Hospitality. In contrast, the UK offers master’s courses in Business and management studies, Law, social studies, art and design, Psychology, Education, Nursing, Biosciences, and Dentistry. These countries are highly competitive MS courses to a wide range of students spread across the world.

Comparison between MS in the US and MS in the UK

Comparing master’s programs in the US and UK from the perspective of graduates can be a tedious task considering factors like time, effort, and costs. Your career goals play an important role in deciding where you want to study master’s program,i.e., the United States or the United Kingdom. 

MS in the United States vs MS in the United Kingdom

Prestigious universities: 

US: The United States is home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Princeton University.

UK: The United Kingdom is a hub of renowned educational institutions like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, the Imperial College London, and HEC Paris, to name a few. 

MS programs duration: 

US: Master’s degree programs at most US universities are of a more extended period, i.e., a minimum of 2 years accompanied with compulsory thesis work. 

UK: The main USP of applying for master’s degree programs at UK universities is the shorter duration of the programs, i.e., 1-2 years. 

Admission requirements: 

US: MS programs in the USA requires:

  • 16 years of completed education; 12 years of schooling plus 4-years of bachelor’s degree in the relevant field of study. If you have only 3 years of bachelor’s degree, you might have to pursue 1-year additional diploma courses.
  • GMAT/GRE Exams.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Exams.
  • At least 3-4 years of work experience in MBA programs.

      UK: MS programs in the UK requires:

  • 15 years of completed education; 12 years of schooling plus 3-years of bachelor’s degree in the relevant field of study. 
  • GMAT/GRE Exams
  • Experienced candidates for go for MBA. In contrast, freshers can opt for MIM programs that require no work experience. 

Costs of pursuing MS programs:  

US: Tuition fees for MS programs in the US can range from $15,000-$45,000 per year. Whereas accommodation costs can be between$10,000-$15,000 per year. So, the overall cost of pursuing MS in the US can cost you approximately$25,000-$60,000 per year. 

UK:  Tuition fees for MS programs in the UK range from $11,105 to $13,326 per year. Whereas accommodation costs can be between $13,326 -$ 16,658 per year. So, the overall cost of pursuing MS in the UK can cost you approximately $ 24,432-$ 29,985 per year.

Student Visa requirements: 

US: To study MS in the USA must have an F1 visa. This visa costs around $160 plus an additional charge of $160 for a dependent visa, if any. You live in the USA for upto 60 days after completing your MS. However, you must work for a period not exceeding 20 hours per week.

UK: You must have a Tier 4 (general) student visa. The rules to get this student visa are more complicated than before. This visa might cost you around $ 344, which is higher than the USA. You can only be granted this visa for full-time education programs. You can choose to work either part-time or full time. In the case of part-time jobs, you can work upto 20 hours per week only. 


Making a clear-cut decision about whether to pursue MS in USA or MS in the UK can be difficult. One must keep in mind their budget, career goals, job aspirations while investing in their long-term careers.

Author Bio

Abhyank Srinet is a passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters’s in Management degree from ESCP Europe. This prompted him to create Mentr Me, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting-edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates.