How to plan the timeline of your Fall applications?

MS in USA application process can be overwhelming and cumbersome. So, here we have tried to simplify it for you so that you can keep a tab on what’s happening.


Take by end of Aug so that you have enough time to retake if necessary
Retake GRE if required by end of Sep (need 21 days between reattempts)

Shortlist Schools

by end of Sep – mid Oct. Here’s full post on how to shortlist schools.

Email Professors

Drop emails to relevant Professors you are interested to work with (especially for people interested in research) by mid of Oct.

Apply for WES

If any of your shortlisted schools require a WES evaluation, apply for it by the end of Oct since it can take a month or more to get their results.

Check for scholarships

There are some third party scholarships available for MS applicants. Search these by end of Oct (so that you can apply by their stated deadlines)

Order transcripts

from your undergraduate college by end of Oct

Finalize SOP, essays and LORs

by mid Nov

Fill the application online and send application packets where required

by end of Nov – mid Dec

Follow up on the status of your applications

and if the required material has been received by the schools in Jan. Resend if anything is amiss

Receive results

by end of Mar-Apr

Submit financial docs for I-20

by end of Apr

Finalize your school and apply for education loan

by May

Appear for visa interview

by end of June

Arrive on the campus

by Aug (2 weeks earlier if you need to look for funding on campus)

That’s it – it is not as cumbersome if you know what to expect. Save this infographic for a quick reminder.

Timeline for MS applications (fall)


For personalised assistance for your applications, check our counseling packages.

MTech in India vs MS in USA – which is better?

Let’s cut the chase. Many applicants wonder if they should just go for an MTech in India instead of supposedly expensive MS degree in USA. Here are my thoughts on the same.

Whether you should go for GATE or not partly depends on where did you do your Bachelors from.

How helpful is an MTech degree?

Pros: MTech is cheaper than studying abroad and can make you eligible for placement in PSUs. If you did Bachelors from a low tier college and if you can do MTech from IIT/NIT/BITs (that means doing very very well in GATE), it will increase your employability and can give you access to top tier of employers in India.

Cons: Education quality in India is not good enough and the same is true for MTech. You have to, at the end of the day, deal with same kind of teachers and similar infrastructural constraints in colleges. That is why I said it depends on your college. If you did undergrad from a good college, MTech will give you only a little additional advantage in terms of job opportunities and I don’t think spending 2 years is worth it. Even if you get into a top tier institute in GATE, I feel that employers always have a higher demand for undergrads at these places and you might compete against not only your MTech batchmates but BTech guys as well. The fact is a Master’s from India is not considered that cutting-edge. So, if you think you are going to gain some major knowledge boost, that is wishful thinking.

Just to give you a perspective on how competitive GATE is, IITs offered < 700 seats in Computer Science for MTech in 2011. Even if we double the number of IITs and calculating for more branches, that is <10,000 seats for MTech in IITs when 7.5 lac+ people appear for GATE every year. So, 98.5% of the candidates appearing for GATE will end up not meeting the cut off or even if they do, they will get non-IIT kind of colleges.

Pros of doing MS from USA

  1. Education is just way way better than in India. At UIUC and NYU, I had the privilege of learning under Nobel Laureates, reputed award winner scientists and people who were truly experts in their fields.
  2. Starting salaries are quite high (read USD 85k and above) that you can earn so much more than what you will back in India. Many students have this myth about financial affordability but if you do the math, you can repay the loan in 2-4 years if you go to a decent enough school and work hard to get a good internship/job since CS folks are really in demand there.
  3. Besides the exposure to a foreign land, opportunities and learning to be independent are something that will make you a better person and professional in the long run. It will prepare you for a global career better than an MTech.

So, what to do?

In the end, it depends on your financial constraints but if you can manage a semester worth of fee, I highly recommend looking at Master’s from USA instead of MTech in India.

Agree/Disagree? Comment below!