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

The U.S.A and Canada are two popular study abroad destinations and at least one of them really caught your eye when you looked for a Master's program. If you haven’t finished a Bachelor's degree is the U.S. or Canada, getting admitted to a graduate program may seem quite difficult or even impossible. However, because colleges and universities from the States and Canada don’t want you to give up, they introduced the Pre-Masters programs.

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The most common reasons why international students apply to a Pre-Master program in U.S. or Canada:

  • they don’t meet the academic requirements for direct admission to a graduate degree program
  • they don’t meet the required level of English proficiency or haven’t taken the official TOEFL/IELTS exam
  • they realized their Bachelor major or degree doesn’t fit their future career goals or expectations

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

  1. What is a Pre-Master program?
  2. Popular Pre-Master programs in USA and Canada
  3. How a Pre-Master can help you avoid “culture shock”

What is a Pre-Master program all about?

A Pre-Master program is pretty much like a normal Master degree, except for:

  • courses and topics covered during classes are more on an introductory level
  • not as a general rule but usually, assessments and exams are more relaxed and less rigorous
  • the class atmosphere, especially in the first weeks, is also more relaxed

The whole point of a Pre-Master program is for students to get introduced to the theories, concepts of the field of study and get adjusted with the requisites, teaching style and learning methods that are typically used in the U.S. or Canada. Simply put, you will develop a background in one area of study and will be fully prepared for “the real Master program”.

Although a Pre-Master program does not guarantee that you will be accepted to the Master program that you initially intended or actually applied to, your chances to be admitted increase significantly. On the other hand, once you successfully complete a Pre-Master at a graduate school in the U.S. or Canada, the wise thing to do is to apply to at least three different universities for a Master program in the field that you are interested in and most likely you will be accepted in one of them.

Some of the most popular Pre-Master programs in USA and Canada

In your search for Pre-Master programs in the USA and Canada, you will discover that you will find a larger number of Pre-Master programs in certain fields.

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Check below some of the most popular Pre-Master or graduate preparation programs and what you will learn:

1. Pre-Master 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 make a presentation in a professional environment
  • GRE or GMAT test training

2. Pre-Master program in Engineering

  • enhance your skills in the field of engineering, most times, you get to choose the specialization of engineering you will further want to study: chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical etc.
  • take the core course in the engineering subject area: mathematics, chemistry, physics, introduction to computer science
  • practical experience: learn to apply the theories that you learned in a modern lab or real setting
  • GRE or GMAT test training

3. Pre-Master 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

4. Pre-Master program in English language

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

5. Pre-Master program in Management

  • core courses of management: economics, business statistics, finance, marketing, industrial organization
  • English business and writing skills

Within any Pre-Master program, you will learn more about the chosen field through case studies, and you will also develop English language study skills and adjust to the general requirements and type of assessments that are specific in the academic environment in a U.S. college or Canadian university.

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Prepare for a Master degree and understand the local culture

During a Pre-Master program in the U.S. or Canada, you will not only develop the necessary skills for the future courses you will take in the Master program, but you will also meet other benefits.

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  1. In most colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada, you can discuss with a qualified counselor that can advise and guide you in terms of your future study and career plans.
  2. You will be included in a special program dedicated to international students and get the details about how you can successfully apply to a graduate program.
  3. During a Pre-Master course, you will also gain knowledge about the typical academic environment of a college from the U.S. 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 the time in the university, campus and while you discover the city where you will live for one year.

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