A Master of Science (referred to as M.Sc., M.S. or M.Sci.) is the type of degree that attracts students who are interested in getting an in-depth instruction to prepare for highly qualified professions or a future Ph.D. It is not uncommon for students to choose to do an M.Sc. degree only after an M.A., rather than pursuing such a programme right after their Bachelor's studies.
Regardless of whether you are just finishing your Bachelor's or a Master of Arts, if you are looking to apply to an M.Sc. degree there are some important details you need to know about the application process that we're going to share with you next.
You can only take an M.Sc. degree in certain subject areas
Before you decide on a Master's of Science you should know that this type of degree is typically awarded for studies in science-related subjects such as Natural Sciences, Engineering, Medicine and the like.
Also, some countries have more universities and colleges that offer English-taught Masters of Science than others. Going for an academic programme in one of these countries will increase your chances of studying abroad:
- M.Sc. degrees in the USA
- M.Sc. degrees in the UK
- M.Sc. degrees in Canada
- M.Sc. degrees in Germany
- M.Sc. degrees in Sweden
- M.Sc. degrees in the Netherlands
And just in case you don't know this yet, an M.Sc. degree will involve a lot of lab work, research and evaluation. You should apply to this type of degree if you are feeling confident about your logical and mathematical skills.
Admission requirements for an M.Sc. degree
To be eligible to apply to a Master of Science degree you'll need to fulfil some conditions which can vary according to university and country. Some of the most common M.Sc. admission requirements you can expect when applying abroad are:
- Preferably, you did a Bachelor's of Science (B. Sc.) or a Master of Arts. This is because universities and colleges want to make sure you master the necessary research and analytical skills to pursue an advanced degree.
- Alternatively, you must have pursued a 4-5-year Bachelor's or a 3-year Bachelor's and a 1-year preparatory course.
- Your previous studies must have been in the same subject area, or a very-closely related one. For example, if you want to pursue a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, you must have a Bachelor's in an Engineering subject area.
- A portfolio may be required for degrees like an M.Sc. in Architecture. The portfolio will show your practical experience in your chosen field of studies.
- GMAT and/or GRE tests are often required to have a minimum score in order to be eligible to apply. This minimum score varies from programme to programme.
- Some universities only accept applications that include a personal statement/ motivation letter and a video presentation. This makes the application more personal and allows the university to get to know you and your research interests.
- A CV showing a required work experience in your field of studies can also be an important admission requirement at many study programmes.
- Since you are going to study abroad in English, all universities will require some proof of language skills, typically through a language certificate like C1 Advanced, TOEFL, or IELTS.
The M.Sc. degree application process
Before applying we suggest reading the description of the application process for the M.Sc. degree you choose.
In general, to apply you need time, a scanner and a computer to save the scanned documents required for the application. You will go to the university page, select the programme you are applying to and upload the application documents on their application platform before the deadline.
Deadlines vary. Some academic programmes accept applications on a rolling basis. Most programmes have two admission sessions, one in the winter/spring and another in the summer/autumn.
After you have uploaded the application documents and paid an application fee (if there is one), you will wait for your file to be evaluated. Typically, if you're file shows you fit the admission requirements you will be invited to a Skype or face-to-face interview.
After that, you'll have to be patient and wait for the university's offer of enrolment! OR, you can skip all that and apply right now much easier.
Application documents required for an M.Sc. degree
We blabbered and blabbered about the application documents, but we haven't given you any indicative list. Let's make up for that. Think about printing this list and sticking it somewhere visible, crossing out the documents you have prepared:
- Copy of ID/passport
- Diploma OR documentation of graduation (of all previous studies)
- Complete transcript of records of your most recent studies
- Letter of motivation/statement of purpose
- Online application form
- Curriculum Vitae
- 2 letters of recommendation
- TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate
- Portfolio/ video presentation
Some universities and colleges will also require you to send a hard-copy of your application via post (also before the deadlines).
Once you are accepted?
Cheers, you got in! You should take a moment to be proud of yourself, and maybe brag about it to your family and friends. After that moment you should start getting serious. Find out if you need a student visa and follow the enrolment steps in your letter of acceptance. Make sure you have solved all the visa and tuition fees details on time.