How To Shortlist Universities For Masters in US Education in 2023


The US offers more than 500 great universities and innumerable courses to choose from. And this leaves most people spoilt for choice when it comes to them shortlisting which universities they’d want to apply to. The process of shortlisting universities can’t be skipped to find the course and school that’s most suited for you. You wouldn’t want to apply to any university randomly. Here are the key things you need to keep in mind before you begin the process-

  • Check GRE/GMAT/TOEFL requirements

For a lot of universities, these test scores are a major factor in the selection process. Check the university websites for the suggested score brackets. If the GRE range for a university is 320-340, know that this is the average of the class. You can still apply if you meet other requirements but have a 300 instead of a 320.

  • Academic record

Like standardized tests, consistent academic records play a big part in deciding if you will receive that acceptance letter. While US universities are known to screen applicants through a holistic point of view, some really emphasize academic scores. Research what it is that your dream universities really care about. If you have a great academic record, this is an advantage.

  • Shortlist 3 kinds of schools

It’s impossible for you to know exactly what the universities are looking for. Each year their requirement might slightly change. To be on the safer side, and also not lose out on the best opportunity. While sorting schools, group them into three buckets:

Aspirational- schools that you really want to get into but require more rich profiles than you currently have.

Achievable- these are schools whose requirements perfectly match yours and, at the same time, still aspirational enough. 

Safe- you might have heard the phrase “safety schools” before. Group the schools that you know you will get into in this bucket. 

  • Location of school

Depending on your career goals and weather tolerance, you need to put just about enough emphasis on the school’s location. If you are pursuing a business degree, picking a school in or near the city will present you with more opportunities. Established companies intend to have offices in cities primarily, a great place to start networking. But if your course is more research-oriented, staying a little farther away from the hustle and bustle of the city will bring you the peace to focus heavily on your next project.

  • Tuition fees and funding

For international students especially, the most crucial factor in deciding which university to go for depends on how much the education works, and if there are funding options. Some US universities can be extremely costly, while public schools are cheaper. Check the school’s websites to see what scholarships they offer and if there are provisions to find other funding opportunities- like working on campus or assistantships.


Shortlist universities with these parameters in mind. This is the first step to figuring out what the next phase of your life will look like.

Other stories you might like