Timeline to College in Europe | Getting a Master’s Degree

We got you! ✊

“Regardless of whether you’re currently in the middle of your bachelor’s program, looking to make a career change, or somewhere in the middle, opportunities for a master’s in Europe are abundant. So long as you are willing to travel and step outside your comfort zone, exploring master’s programs in the EU will open your eyes to the fact that exciting and affordable higher education alternatives are within your grasp.” 

– Jenn Viemont, Beyond the States Founder Emeritus

First things first, there are over 8,000 accredited, 100% English-taught master’s degree programs to choose from across Europe; no foreign language required. Yes, you read that correctly! But with SO many options, and few guides (but for ours), it can be difficult to know where to start. 

The admissions criteria and processes may be confusing, or you may have questions around the educational quality and degree recognition or logistics involved. You are not alone, and this is why Beyond the States exists – we’ve made navigating these options easier and more efficient! Unlike similar services and portals, we visit European schools regularly to learn about their programs, and bring first-hand, objective information back to our community of members.

The biggest obstacle American students have when pursuing graduate school in Europe is that most require that applicants have a related undergraduate major. This is generally defined as a set number of credits achieved in the study areas that the university defines ast “related”. There are sometimes requirements for research-related classes. For these reasons, the ideal time to start exploring is when you still have time to register for and take these required courses. (But don’t fret if you’re already well beyond this point – read more below in our FAQs).

Keep in mind, exploring these master’s degree options does not have to mean that you are committed to them. The research will allow you to make an informed decision about where you decide to study, be it in the US, Europe, or elsewhere in the world. The bottom line is that though there are certainly ideal times to start the process, it’s not too early or too late, no matter what stage you’re in

More and more people from the US, and other countries, are heading to Europe for higher-ed opportunities, and for good reason – there are so many affordable, high-quality English-taught programs that offer something…more. 

FAQ for YOU:

  1. Can’t I just do this online research myself?

Finding these programs in Europe is notoriously burdensome, difficult, and confusing – which is why Beyond the States was conceived in the first place. This is especially true since many institutional websites are in foreign languages. We know, from personal experience, that making the decision to study abroad can be difficult, and so…we’ve made it easy for you by scouring the continent for vetted, and unbiased programs. Unlike other portals, we don’t accept compensation from the schools we include in our database and materials, which allows us to be objective, comprehensive, and honest about what we provide.  

  1. Are there master’s programs in Europe that don’t require you to have a “related” undergraduate degree?

Yes! Although it isn’t the norm, there are individual master’s programs across the various areas of study that don’t require you to have an aligned bachelor’s. There are also Pre-Master programs across Europe as well. These are usually one year in duration, and designed to fill in the missing pieces of your transcript, if this was ever necessary. The Pre-Master programs are geared toward those who choose to change their area of study between their bachelor’s and master’s degree and/or want to change their career altogether, or for those who simply don’t meet all the program requirements. Check out our blog post on this topic. 

  1. How expensive is an English-taught master’s degree in Europe?

English-taught master’s degrees in Europe are much more affordable than in the US. When you study in Europe as an international student, the average tuition across the EU is just below $9,000 per year. Affordability can be found even in traditionally high priced programs, like MBAs, so it is significant to note that there are over 1,300 options in our master’s degree database under $3,000 per year, and hundreds that are tuition free (yep!) – even for international students. The savings continue to reveal themselves when you consider that many of these master’s programs are just one year in duration.  

  1. Can I get student loans and/or scholarships as an international student in Europe?

Yes, there are options! Nearly 3,000 of our 8,000+ English-taught master’s programs work with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – these programs are identified in our database, and you can even apply our database filter for these programs – easy, peasy. However, sometimes schools in Europe offer other funding opportunities, like scholarships or subsidies, even for international students. You’ll find this information with each listing in our database too! 

  1. Is a degree from Europe recognized in the US?

First of all, all the programs we list are fully accredited and the degrees are internationally recognized. Usually, this question pertains to employment though. Good news on that front! A recent study by the Institute of International Education found that studying abroad for longer periods of time has a high impact on job offers, as well as job advancement.

The experience of living outside of one’s home country helps students gain the soft skills that today’s employers are looking for, and often find lacking in US graduates. Employers are looking to hire people with these soft skills who can excel in cross-functional teams with people from different backgrounds. The emphasis on group work at these schools provides experience in working with different perspectives. Study abroad graduates are often flexible, adaptable, and experienced navigating unfamiliar circumstances – all of which lead to success in the workplace, including management, engineering, science, arts, and more. 

Multinational companies recognize the skills that these students bring, and even partner with many of the European universities to recruit students and/or offer opportunities for internships. These companies include Google, BP, JP Morgan, Accenture, Deloitte, Cisco, and many more.  

NEXT STEPS for Master’s Prospects: 

  1. If you haven’t already – HEAD INTO OUR DATABASE: You’ll find 8,000+ accredited, 100% English-taught master’s programs across Europe, and across all areas of study. Our regularly updated database is super user-friendly, and reflects only vetted, unbiased programs. Each listing is chock-full, and has the current program description, admissions requirements, our notes or program highlights, tuition and scholarship information, school and city information, and more.  

  1. IT’S TIME FOR BUILDING YOUR BEST FIT LIST: You can do this on your own, with a DIY approach, using our database, courses, and many other resources, or you can skip any overwhelm and have us bear the load by signing up for our Perfect Placement or Guaranteed Admissions offerings.

  1. IT’S TIME TO PLAN & APPLY: When it comes to a master’s program in the EU, the main requirement for international students is that you have a certain number of credits, usually your major, in a related field of study. You’ll be carefully checking each program’s requirements, as the related fields and number of credits required are usually spelled out quite thoroughly. They may also require motivation letters, online interviews, or portfolios. From time to time, you’ll see other requirements, such as GMAT/GRE scores, but these are generally only required for business-related programs. Other programs may require a minimum GPA, entrance exam, or post-bachelor work experience. Each program’s listing in our database will include admissions requirements, but you can also confirm details using the program’s web link we include as well. 

Pro Tip: Our private-member Facebook community is an ideal and supportive place to turn for on-the-ground advice on ALL topics – many in the group have gone through the same process as you, and have practical tips to share. (Our Facebook group access comes with a Beyond the States membership, or other offerings.) 

Master’s Prospects | Check Out These FREE Resources:

Ultimate Guide to Master’s Degrees in Europe

Podcast: Master’s Degrees in Europe for International Students

10 Mind-Bending Career Benefits of Studying in Europe

EU Master’s: 3 Reasons to Get Your Master’s in Europe

Podcast: How to Get a Master’s Degree in Europe 

**Otherwise, check out our extensive collection of FREE Resources, like blogs, podcasts, guides, rankings pages, student stories, and more, covering all aspects of the college in Europe experience.  

That’s it for now, you’re on your way. This process can feel daunting, as is true even when applying to programs in the states – breathe deeply, be patient and scrappy, and remember that thousands of other US students have been where you are, and have gone on to find their life-changing degree and experience in Europe! Any extra help you need during this critical (and exciting) time, we’re here to help with each step in the process.  

– The Beyond the States Team


Top 5 English-Taught Colleges in Europe

Kickstart you education abroad with a powerful degree taught entirely in English, all without taking on any student loans!

Free Guide Form

Some praise for Beyond the States:

“The options for studying in Europe are amazing, but starting your research can be daunting! Beyond the States was indispensable in providing the information my student needed to understand how the European system works, which programs fit his interests, how to apply, and much more. It was well worth the investment!”-Heidi “Beyond the States has been amazing in helping me narrow down my options and commit to a school in Europe. It brought me further in the process after doing research on my own and provided information about universities that I couldn’t find myself!”


“Beyond the States’ Best Fit List helped me find my dream university. Using the expertise of Beyond the States helped me find a college that meets all my needs and I will graduate debt free. Thank you!” 


Similar Posts