Cost of MS in USA for Indian Students - Check Total Expenses Here


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Jun 09, 2022 04:34 PM IST

Wondering how much it can cost you to complete your MS from USA? From different entrance exam fees to the cost of living in the USA, we have covered all the important costs to evaluate the average estimated cost of MS in USA for Indian students.   

Cost of MS in USA for Indian Students - Check Total Expenses Here

Cost of MS in USA for Indian Students: There is no doubt that the United States of America (USA) is one of the most popular study abroad locations for Indian students, particularly for those who wish to pursue a master's or an MS degree abroad.

If you intend to pursue your master's degree at one of the prestigious universities in the USA, you must have a rough budget or estimate of how much it will cost you to pursue your MS degree.

If you are lost and do not know where to begin, then here is the right place for you to be. We will be individually discussing different types of costs in detail that will add to the total expenses or cost of MS in USA for Indian students.

Overview of Total Cost of MS in USA for Indian Students

The table tabulated below will quickly give you an overview of your total cost ofMS in USAfor Indian studentsLet us have a look at it and post that, we will discuss all the individual costs/expenses that you will incur while studying MS in USA

Cost/Expense to Study MS in USA

Amount in INR

Entrance Exam Fee

3,000 - 18,000

MS Application Fee

5,000 - 15,000

Additional Application Fee for MS

10,000 - 20,000

VISA Processing Fee



F and M visa: 28,000

J visa: 17,100

Airfare Expenses


Average Yearly Cost of Studying (Tuition Fee)

27,00,000 - 35,00,000

Average Cost of Living

10,00,000 - 12,00,000

Expected Total Cost of MS in USA for Indian Students

42,00,000 - 48,00,000

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Entrance Exams Cost to Study MS in USA

When you are calculating your expected total cost of MS in USA for Indian Students, the very first cost that you might incur is the cost of the entrance exams that you have to give and qualify too in order to seek admission to a US university. These entrance exams include exams like GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE. The table tabulated below will help you in knowing the expense of each exam:

Test Name

Registration Cost in INR

GRE Exam

General: 15,900

Subject: 11,146





PTE Academic


Duolingo English Test


Note: The total cost of MS in USA for Indian students is incomplete unless the cost of these entrance exams is included.

Application Cost to Study MS in USA

The variable application cost is the next cost to consider when determining your estimated total cost of MS in USA for Indian students. Fees for applying to each university for MS courses in the USA range from INR 5000 to INR 15,000, depending on the type of university. Furthermore, the application will be incomplete until the TOEFL/IELTS scores are submitted. Sending English proficiency exam results to each university would incur an extra application fee.

Also, several universities in USA ask students to submit a hard copy of their application materials. In this scenario, you will have to pay additional courier fees. The postal envelopes have a maximum of roughly INR 10,000.

If you are applying for master's programs such as architecture or fine arts, consider adding a fee to this application fee. This is the fee for uploading your portfolios to Slideroom. The cap varies depending on the number of portfolios involved, but it is usually between INR 5,000 and INR 10,000.

Student Visa Cost to Study MS in USA

Post estimating the various entrance exam cost and the variable application cost as a part of the total cost of MS in USA for Indian students , the next cost is that of the US Student Visa.

Once you have received the Form I-20 from your US university confirming your place at the university, you must apply for a US Student Visa. Indian students studying in the United States often apply for the F-1 or J-1 student visa.

SEVIS fees or F1 visa fees add an extra INR 28,000 (USD 360) to your travel costs to the United States. This is the only one-time expense that cannot be avoided or reduced. The J-1 student visa SEVIS fee is INR 17,100 (USD 220).

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Airfare Cost to Study MS in USA

Another additional variable cost that you have to keep in mind while calculating your estimated total cost of MS in USA for Indian students is the airfare. The average cost of one-way airfare is $675. A single-way ticket might cost INR 50,000 or more, depending on the airfare class, destination, city, and aircraft. On average, flight tickets to the US cost somewhere between INR 50,000 to INR 1,00,000 for a single way trip.

Tuition Costs to Study MS in USA

One of the most important costs to take into consideration while estimating your total cost of MS in USA for Indian students is, of course, the tuition cost that you will pay to the selected university to pursue your MS in USA. You must also keep in mind that the tuition fee will vary from university to university and also on the specialisation that you have opted for.

The average estimated tuition cost of studying MS in USA at some of the top universities is tabulated below:

Top Universities in the USA

Yearly Average Fees in INR

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

50 - 60 lakhs

Harvard University

40 - 60 lakhs

Stanford University

28 - 50 lakhs

University of California

19 - 20 lakhs

California Institute of Technology

38 - 42 lakhs

University of Southern California

42 lakhs

Yale University

33 - 40 lakhs

Columbia University

24 - 65 lakhs

University of Houston

12 - 15 lakhs

University of Texas

13 - 29 lakhs

Get to know about some of the amazing foreign scholarships for Indian students that will help them to study abroad and fulfil their dreams!

Affordable Universities to Study MS in USA

There are numerous affordable universities in the USA for students on a tight budget. Here are a few examples of universities with relatively low tuition fees:

Affordable Universities in the USA

Yearly Average Fees in INR

University of South Florida

23 lakhs

Wichita State University

21 lakhs

Dakota State University

30 lakhs

Eastern Michigan University

32 lakhs

Wright State University

20 lakhs

Kent State University

28 lakhs

The University of New Mexico

22.5 lakhs

Missouri State University

20 lakhs

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

27.5 lakhs

University of South Dakota

17.6 lakhs

Cost of Living in the USA

The cost of living in the USA is another very important cost to consider while evaluating the estimated total cost of MS in USA for Indian students. Having said that, the cost of living in the USA while pursuing an MS degree will also vary from one city to another.

Furthermore, the cost of living is also influenced by a variety of factors such as location, number of roommates, and kind of housing. An individual's monthly living expenses range from USD 1,000 and USD 1,500 (or even more in some situations). As a result, the average annual cost of living will be between USD 12,000 and USD 18,000 (~ INR 9.3 lakhs - INR 13.9 lakhs) or more in some cases.

Popular MS Specialisations in the USA

Post evaluating your average estimated total expensed to study MS in USA, do notforget to research the specialisation that you wish to pursue in the USA. The country offers a plethora of options to international students. Here are some of the topmost trending MS specialisations that US universities are offering to international students:

Popular MS Specialisations in the USA


Electrical Engineering

Power Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Computer Science

Aeronautics/Aerospace Engineering

Pharmacy Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Game Design and Development


Data Science and Analytics

System Design and Management

Cloud Computing


Cyber Security

Applied Chemical Science/Chemistry

Management Information System


Software Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Business Studies

Environmental Engineering

Business Analytics

Telecommunication Engineering

We hope that the information provided above will assist you in becoming familiar with the average total cost of MS in USA for Indian students so that you can have a good idea of all the different types of expenses associated with pursuing an MS degree in the USA for nearly two years.

For Indian students, the total annual cost of studying MS in the USA ranges between INR 42 lakhs and INR 48 lakhs (or more). A degree from one of the top-ranked universities in the USA is undoubtedly an excellent way to kickstart a successful career.

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What are the sources of acceptable funds for USA education?

Some of the prominent and reliable sources of acceptable funds for USA education are: 

1. Balance in savings accounts in Scheduled Public/Private/MNC Banks

2. Balance in a savings account/monthly income scheme/recurring deposit in Post Office

3. Fixed Deposits (FDR) with banks

4. Withdrawable balance in PPF, GPF, EPF or CMPF

5. Loans from nationalized banks or private sector banks

What is the credit system in universities to study MS in the USA?

As an MS student in the USA, you must finish 30 credits. Each course is assigned credits based on the subjects. It is up to the student if he or she wishes to earn the credits before the term finishes. Instead of taking a summer break, one could stay at university, finish a topic, and receive credits by taking the exam. This will assist a student in completing an MS in one and a half years. 

Is it worth studying MS in USA?

Studying MS in the USA is most likely the best thing you can do to advance your career. Degrees from US colleges are worldwide recognized, the education system is flexible, and the US is one of the top destinations for students wishing to study an MS. However, numerous criteria come into play, such as your academic history, GRE scores, interest in a specific major, financial situation, and so on.

Which are the most affordable universities to study MS in USA?

Some of the most affordable universities to study MS in USA on a budget are: 

  • University of Texas, Austin

  • North Carolina State University

  • University of California, CA

  • University of Virginia

  • University of South Dakota

  • Kent State University.

  • The University of New Mexico

  • Mississippi State University.

  • University of New Hampshire

Which cities in the US have a very high cost of living?

In the USA, there are a few cities with a high cost of living and a few cities with a much lower cost of living. As a result, if your university is located in one of these expensive cities, the overall cost of your MS program will rise. The following US cities are extremely expensive in terms of living expenses: 

1. New York

2. San Francisco

3. Washington DC

4. Boston

5. Los Angeles

5. San Diego

How can I reduce my total expenses to study MS in USA?

Here are some of the prominent ways to reduce your total expenses to study MS in USA:

  • Scholarships (merit-based and need-based)

  • Apply for Teaching Assistant (TA) position

  • Apply for Research Assistant (RA) position

  • Applying at affordable universities

The above-mentioned tips or ways can help you in reducing your total expenses to study MS in USA and complete your higher education on a budget.

What is the salary offered after completing MS in USA?

The salary offered after completing MS in USA is based on your degree specialization and your sector of employment, your salaries and hence can vary drastically. On average, you can earn anywhere from USD 40,000 to USD 80,000 per year, which is equivalent to INR 31 to 62 lakhs. 

What is the average total expense of studying MS in USA?

Although, the average total expense or cost to study MS in USA depends on various factors as explained in detail above, like the university, the course, the city in which you will be residing, and more. However, on average, it costs around INR 40 - 48 lakhs for Indian students for 2 years.

Can I do a master's or MS in USA for free?

Pursuing a master’s or MS degree in USA for free can be difficult. Students can definitely take advantage of a plethora of scholarships offered by different US universities to attract the foreign student population and help them to bring down their tuition fees and thus also brings down the total expenses to study MS in USA. 

What is the average application fee to study MS in USA?

The average application fee to study MS in USA ranges between INR 5000 - INR 15000, depending on the type of university you are applying to and the type of course also. Depending on this, your application fee can be lower than the given range or above. Having said that, you will also come across certain universities that don’t ask for an application fee from students. 

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