Why Graduate Studies in the USA?

It is true that the two main graduate degrees in the United States are the master’s degree and the doctoral degree, just like in Europe, but you can pursue such a degree at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities, unlike in Europe. These over 1,000 institutions offer programs leading to a graduate degree in a wide range of fields.

Like all graduate programs, the master and the doctoral programs in the USA rely on a combination of research and coursework as U.S. graduate education involves in-depth training and specialized instruction.

Beyond the commonalities that graduate programs may share throughout the world, U.S. programs display some unique features, very appealing, too.

Flexibility

To the Romanian students’ surprise, in certain fields of study you may not be required to have an undergraduate degree in the same field in which you want to pursue a graduate degree. The best example would be a students with a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages who may choose to change direction and pursue an MBA program, that is a graduate degree in business. Another good example of flexibility is the fact that many doctoral programs do not require previous completion of a master program as this may actually represent the very first part of the doctoral program. The timeframe of graduate programs in the USA is also quite flexible as Master programs tend to take 1-3 years beyond a bachelor’s degree while the Ph.D. programs will take 5-8 years of additional study beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Diversity

Not only can you get a graduate education at over 1,000 academic institutions in the USA, but you can also opt for academic or professional programs. The academic programs are the master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) at master level, and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) at doctoral level. The professional programs cover a range of options at master level, such as master of business administration (MBA), master of fine arts (MFA), master of social work (MSW) or master of education (MEd) and a number of doctoral programs, such as doctor of education (EdD) or doctor of business administration (DBA).

Choice

When you come from a country with 80 universities or so like Romania, the sheer number of academic options available in the USA at graduate level is hard to grasp. Good graduate programs in your field of choice on urban campuses, but also in the countryside (a concept one needs to redefine when in the USA, anyhow); huge campuses enrolling over 50,000 students, but also cosy campuses with as few as 800 students; comprehensive institutions with strong departments in a number of fields but also institutes that advance knowledge in a very specific field.

Academic Excellence

After you look at all possible international university ranking systems – The Times Higher Education Supplement, Shanghai 500, QS, and the like – you come to see a pattern: in a fat year 16 U.S. universities will rank in the top 20 universities in the world, in a lean year there will be 15 in the super academic elite. But academic excellence with its corollary of service learning and community engagement – so beneficial to Romanian students – filters into all accredited U.S. campuses.

Strong Research Focus

Over the past decades U.S. universities, especially their graduate programs, have been acknowledged as the core of the U.S. science and technology system. The total amount spent on university research  and development programs in the USA in one year – 2009 – was $54.9 billion. As such, U.S. graduate programs are the destination of choice for aspiring scientists and engineers from all over the world.

Merit-Based Financial Support

Financial support will be awarded on a competitive basis, both for university-research programs and for talented international students who want to pursue a graduate education in the USA. What may come as a surprise to you is the sheer amount of this funding: billions of dollars in Government funding for research in the medical sciences, in biology and engineering; full funding for doctoral students, that is around $40,000/year. Not surprisingly, 92% of the international students doing their PhD on U.S. campuses were funded by their universities.The over 620 Romanian students enrolled on graduate programs in the USA attest to this massive financial aid policy and illustrate the benefits of graduate assistantships, specifically teaching or research assistantships. In one year international students in the USA attracted over $9 billion as financial aid packages offered by U.S. universities.

And now the profile of a top research university in the USA. How would you react to the university information below if you knew that the university in question has among the highest graduate Romanian enrollments – fully funded, too – and the Romanian graduate community thrives there?

The university profile below might well provide a fine answer to the question „Why go for graduate study in the USA?”. If by the end of the profile you have discovered what superb university in Illinois is described below, please let us know. We are eager to celebrate excellence!

Academic Resources

Library Collections

  • 24,000,000+Items mark one of the largest public university libraries in the world.
  • 1,000,000+Visitors to the online catalog every week.
  • 20+Area studies libraries; one of the larger engineering libraries in the country, state-of-the-art agricultural library, and world-renowned rare book and manuscript library.

Campus Research

  • $583,754,000Spending on research and development in science and engineering in 2012.

Computing

  • 100%of all classrooms have wireless access.
  • 360 buildings on- and off-campus have wireless access.
  • $29.4 million initiative implementing increased community access to high-speed fiber-optic Internet and developing community-wide Intranet with special federal and state funding.

Campus Life

Facilities

  • 320 main campus buildings, 8 square miles (1,783 acres).
  • 647 total buildings, 1 square miles (4,552 acres).

Museums, Galleries, and Collections

Sports and Recreation

  • 10 & 11 number of men’s and women’s (NCAA) teams (respectively) with 14 major facilities including Memorial Stadium (62,000 seating), the State Farm Center (17,200 seating), Atkins Tennis Center, Huff Hall (4,000 seating), Illinois Field (3,000 seats for baseball), Eichelberger Field (1,500 seats for softball), the Illini Track and Soccer Stadium, two 18-hole championship golf courses with driving range and the newly opened Demirjian Golf Practice Facility
  • 470,000 square feet of recreational space between two newly expanded campus recreation and wellness centers. Includes indoor tracks, leisure pool with slide, climbing wall, basketball and racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor 50-meter pools, and much more; other recreational facilities include an ice arena, outdoor adventures center, inline skating rink, and several play fields
  • 100,000 people visit the Robert Allerton Park and Conference Center (1,500-acre national landmark located 24 miles from campus) each year
  • 16,000 daily visitors to the Illini Union have access to a hotel, banquet facility, food court, art gallery and recreation room; Two ballrooms and 24 break-out rooms are available for conferences, meetings and events

Housing

  • 23 undergraduate University residence halls accommodate 8,550 students, including nine Living-Learning Communities
  • $10,636 per year for double room and board (20 meals/week) in 2013-14
  • 6,000 undergraduate students living in 16 Private certified housing units and 62 Greek Houses
  • 2,000 single graduate students or students with families living in two University-owned apartment complexes; two residence halls are home for 720 graduate students
  • 1,000+ registered student organizations, coalitions, honorary societies, and teams

Programs and Services for People with Disabilities

  • #1 rated as one of the most “disability friendly” U.S. campuses
  • First to provide students with disabilities access to all university services, curricula, and facilities; developed first architectural accessibility standards; designed & instituted a wheelchair-accessible bus system; first to offer comprehensive wheelchair sports programming
  • Developed the first transitional living program for students with physical disabilities needing personal assistant support services. Students with physical disabilities who require personal assistant support services have an 87 percent graduation rate; nearly 60 percent obtain employment within a year of graduation, while another 32 percent enroll in graduate or professional schools

Graduate and Professional Education

Graduate Base Tuition and Fees (fall 2013)

  • $14,938 a year for residents; nonresident: $28,204 a year (law, medicine, and veterinary medicine assessed separately)

People

Students

  • 44,520 total students: 32,281 undergraduate and 12,239 graduate and professional students, 55% men, 45% women, 5.0% African-American, 7.0% Latino/a, 14.0% Asian-American, 2% Multiracial and 14% International

Faculty (FTE)

  • 2,548 Members; 1,851 tenure/tenure track, and 697 visiting faculty & instructional staff

Staff (FTE)

  • 3,665 administrative and academic professional
  • 4,136 support staff

Alumni

  • 425,000+ living alumni of the University of …………… , one of the largest U.S. alumni organizations

Enjoy! U.S. unversities and their graduate programs have so much to offer!