The USA is undoubtedly one of the top destinations for MS programs. Whatever the field is, it excels in providing top-quality courses. For instance, you can even do a world-class MIM from USA universities. However, it does come with a cost. The USA is among the most costly countries for education abroad. But you should know about the total expenses to study MS in the USA.

Apart from tuition fees, there are many other things as well. Accommodation, food, transport, study materials are some familiar names. And if you think this is it, then wait. It would be best if you considered other necessary expenses as well. For example, you have to submit an application fee for an MS in the USA. Standardized tests like GRE/GMAT and language proficiency tests have their fees. Then you will also require a flight charge to get to the USA for your program.

Total Expenses to Study MS in the USA

The total expenses can be measured by calculating all the costs monthly or yearly. But know that there are things that can reduce these expenses, such as scholarships, grants, prize money, and part-time work. So if finance is in the way of your dreams, keep your hopes up. To come up with a sum of total expenses, let’s look at all ways.

1.   Cost of Education (Tuition)

The most crucial element of your MS in the USA is the tuition fee. It covers most of your expenses while you pursue your degree. Where top-ranked universities in the USA can charge up to annual tuition of $50,000 (around 48 lakhs) and more, most universities sit around $20,000 (around 15 lakhs) yearly tuition. By choice of your university, you can decide on your total expenses. However, an average MS annual tuition in the USA is $25,000 (19 lakhs). This makes it a total of 38 lakhs for the standard 2-year MS degree.

Cost of Education (Tuition)

2.   Cost of Living

Your cost of living is something that is under your control. You can use the flexibility factor to minimize your expenses. The cost of living in the USA is location-dependent. Living in a prime location will cost you more, and a less famous city will cost less. In any manner, the average cost of living in the USA ranges from $600-$1200 monthly. It rounds up to an average of $10,800 (around 8.25 lakhs) yearly. Hence, for a standard 2-year MS program, the average cost of living in the USA is 16.5 lakhs. Remember that these numbers are very flexible, and most students do not pay this much.

3.   Application Fee

The first step of the admission process for an MS in the USA is your application. Every university has its criteria for the application fee. You can find it from $50 to even $200. The average cost of an MS application in USA universities is $100. And keep in mind that students do not just apply to a single university. In most cases, we see students applying for multiple universities like 4-5. So the actual average cost reaches $450 (around INR 35,000).

Other than this, you also send out your other records, for example, standardized test scores, bank statements, affidavits, etc. It all reaches around $150 (INR 11,500). Therefore the total average cost of application is INR 46,500. If you apply to more than 4-5 universities, it can go higher.

4.   Visa & Flight

After you complete your admission process, the university starts evaluating your profile. Later a given 2-4 weeks, the university will email you informing you if you have been selected for the program. After this, you are to start your visa process. The process costs a certain amount, around INR 27,000 (visa $160 and SEVIS fee $200). Your one-sided flight ticket ranges from INR 60,000 to 100,000 based on your preference). It’s safe to assume an average cost of INR 160,000 (going and return).

Also read: List of top MBA Colleges in Pune: Check Estimated Fee & Admission Process

Total Expenses to Study MS in the USA – Average Cost (INR)

There are other costs, such as personal expenses, and some irregularities can change your total cost. But counting these side expenses is not idle. Let’s see how much all this adds up to.

ExpensesAverage Cost (INR)
Cost of Education (tuition)3,800,000
Cost of Living1,650,000
Application Fees46,500
Visa & Flight160,000
TOTALINR 5,656,500

Considering all necessities and expenses, the tidal cost of an MS in the USA is around INR 5,656,500. This adds up to around 56 lakhs. This total expense is meant for an entire 2-year MS program. In many cases, students complete a 2-year MS course early with a semester or even a year left. You can significantly manage all your expenses, even tuition, with a plan.


MS in the USA sure does come with a considerable cost. But the return on investment (ROI) is also great. An MS graduate from the USA earns more than countries like Canada, the UK, France, and Australia. Not to mention you have options to reduce your total cost by scholarships, aids, and your living choice.