Pre-Masters: Stepping Stones for a Graduate Degree in the USA and Canada

The United States and Canada are two popular study destinations, and at least one of them really caught your eye while looking for a Master’s program.

But if you haven’t finished a Bachelor’s degree in the USA or Canada, getting admitted to a graduate program can be a bit difficult. However, colleges and universities in these countries want to make this transition easier, which is why they introduced pre-Masters.

These are the most common reasons why international students enroll in a pre-Master’s course in the US or Canada:

  • They don’t meet the academic requirements for direct admission to a graduate degree
  • They don’t meet the required level of English proficiency or haven’t taken an official TOEFL or IELTS exam
  • They realize their Bachelor’s major or diploma doesn’t align with their future academic goals or career plans

If you’ve recognized yourself in one of the situations listed above and think that enrolling in a graduate school in the USA or Canada sounds good, read below and find more details about:

  • What is a pre-Master’s program?
  • Popular pre-Master’s programs in the US and Canada
  • How a pre-Master’s can help you avoid ‘culture shock’

What is a pre-Master’s program?

A pre-Master’s is a support program that helps students with a Bachelor’s diploma to make an easier transition towards their Master’s studies.

The whole point of a pre-Master’s is for students to get introduced to the theories, concepts of the field of study and get familiar with the requirements, teaching style, and learning methods that are typically used in the US or Canada. Simply put, you will develop a background in one area of study and will be fully prepared for ‘the real Master’s degree’.

Although a pre-Master’s program does not guarantee that you will be accepted in the Master’s, your chances of being admitted increase significantly.

On the other hand, once you successfully complete a pre-Master’s at a graduate school in the US or Canada, the wise thing to do is to apply to at least three different universities for a Master’s program in the field that you are interested in; and most likely you will be accepted at one of them.

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Popular pre-Master’s programs in the USA and Canada

In your search for pre-Master’s programs in the USA and Canada, you will discover a large number of pre-Masters in various fields. Check below some of the most popular pre-Master’s or graduate preparation programs and what you will learn:

1. Pre-Master’s program in Business or Pre-MBA

  • applied business methods, finance and investments, business information management, marketing strategies
  • receive training about how to make a speech and a presentation in a professional environment
  • GRE or GMAT test training

2. Pre-Master’s program in Engineering

  • enhance your skills in the field of Engineering; most often, you get to choose a specialization of Engineering you will study further: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.
  • take core classes in Engineering: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Solid Mechanics, etc.
  • practical experience: learn to apply the theories that you learn in a modern lab or a real-world setting
  • GRE or GMAT test training

3. Pre-Master’s program in Computer Science

  • attend basic courses about academic speaking and writing
  • gain knowledge about computer architecture, database systems, language processing, operating systems, and more
  • apply Computer Science theory in group or individual projects

4. Pre-Master’s program in English language studies

  • English academic writing skills
  • English speaking and presentation skills
  • IELTS/TOFEL exam training

5. Pre-Master’s program in Management

  • core courses of Management: economics, business statistics, finance, marketing, industrial organization
  • English business and writing skills
  • develop skills like: time and people management, project planning, evaluation, etc.

During any pre-Master’s program, you will:

  • learn more about the chosen discipline through case studies
  • develop English language skills
  • adjust to the general requirements and type of assessments that are specific in the American or Canadian academic environment

Find pre-Masters worldwide

Prepare for a Master’s degree and understand the local culture

During a pre-Master’s in the US or Canada, you will not only develop the necessary skills for the future courses you will take in the Master’s program, but you will also enjoy other benefits:

  • At most colleges and universities from the US and Canada, you can discuss with a qualified counsellor who can advise and guide you in terms of your future study and career plans.
  • You will be included in a special program dedicated to international students and get details about how you can successfully apply to a graduate program.
  • During a pre-Master’s course, you will also gain knowledge about the typical academic environment of a college from the US or Canada and get a grasp of the local culture. Although sometimes this literally means that your curricula also include a culture class, generally speaking, you will get the insights of the American and Canadian culture by simply spending time at the university and while you discover the city where you will live for (at least) one year.

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