Dear Mentor:

How many undergraduate years do I need to get admitted?

I am doing undergraduate degree, which is 10+3+3=10+6. But some colleges are not takeing these students for MS in their universities. Just tell me those universities that are accepting the GRE [Graduate Record Exam] score in between 1800-2000. Also, can I apply with only the GRE scores without the TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] scores?

Confused and Demanding, Andhra Pradesh, India

Dear Confused and Demanding:

We assume and hope that you do not intend to be rude ("Just tell me ") but it does indicate either carelessness on your part or a lack of command of the English language. This comment should be relevant to you, since you are concerned about the TOEFL which, after all, tests your proficiency in the English language.

We do not understand your 10+3+3 formula, other than it equals 16. The requirement for MS in the US is not just any 16 years of education, but a specific type of education.

Students completing the Bachelor's degree in America and Canada have had 4 years of college education, beyond the Grade 12 of high school. The minimum academic qualification to enter a Master's program is thus stated as a Bachelor's degree that is equivalent to the American or Canadian degree. This simply means that you must have at least 4 years of college education with at least a Bachelor's degree to apply for a Master's program in America or Canada.

Unless your Bachelor's program in India was 4 years in duration - such as in engineering - you are required to have completed at least the first years of a Master's degree from India for entering a Master's program. However, the requirement for academic qualifications is college-specific, and not universal. Some colleges even require that you must have completed the entire Master's program from India, if your Bachelor's degree were of 3-year duration. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There is no way to get around this fundamental requirement for admission, so just work with it!

One important note. Typically, your college education should be in degree-granting programs from traditional colleges. The ever-popular correspondence or distance education in India is not looked upon kindly. Diploma programs are not considered relevant to fulfilling the academic qualifications. Thus, the requirement is not just 4 years of post high school education, but a specific type of 4-year college education.

You can use the iMahal College Finder in the iMahal Education Channel yourself to identify colleges that best match your particular performance on the GRE and your personal needs.

Beyond the general requirements for admission that we can articulate, each college has its own, somewhat unique requirements. You need to study the requirements of each target college carefully. Most colleges require the GRE for MS in computer science, engineering, humanities, and sciences. Some of these colleges do not require the foreign candidates to take the TOEFL, because the GRE also tests your proficiency in the English language. You would have to do your own research to identify such colleges.

You can find the List of Colleges and Universities in the US in the iMahal Education Channel. From there, you can also find the lists by discipline.

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