Japa: Six key documents you must have for your M.Sc in US


As Nigerians continue to travel abroad in search of quality education and better living, the United States has become a destination for getting a master’s degree.

Having a master’s degree in America is one of the ways to upgrade’s one life because the certificate earned abroad is the most accessible means to success or to get a well-paying job.

It is then important that those who plan to pursue this know all the requirements, and this piece helps to enumerate six important documents you need to travel to the US for a master’s degree.

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1. International passport

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One of the first documents you must possess before commencing your master’s application abroad is the Nigerian international passport.

A valid international passport is one of the first documents a prospective master’s student should possess if they wish to relocate to the US.


The international passport is like an identity card that identifies you as a citizen of your country. It is required before you will be given admission, and it is also needed as a travel document.

2. Academic transcript

Anyone planning to travel to the US to study for a master’s degree must have their first degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) transcript with them.

The transcript is an academic document that spells out your performance in school while studying for your first degree or HND.

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Any American university you are applying to will ask for your transcript to assess your suitability before offering you admission.

And it is very pertinent to note that these US universities expect your transcript to be original copies from the issuing schools. Sometimes, your graduate school sends it directly to the admitting school.

3. Statement of purpose

Many universities in the US require you to tell them why they should offer you admission. The statement of purpose assists you to cover other things that could not be covered in your certificates and other documents.

It is the document that helps get you admitted for a master’s degree in the US if it is well-written, and has to be clear and precise.

SOP offers a better understanding of your motivations and qualifications to the admission panel and helps them foresee you as a potential fit for the academic programme you are pursuing.

4. Reference letters

Other crucial documents for your master’s degree admission in the US are your reference letters.

Nigerian students seeking to gain admission for a master’s degree are required to present at least one reference letter except otherwise stated by the school.

In some cases, the schools demand that you get reference letters from your school lecturers or a direct boss who can vouch for your suitability for admission. These letters are important because some universities may not admit students without them.

5. IELTS/TOEFL or any other English test

As a Nigerian student seeking to study for a master’s degree in the US, the universities over there will require you to prove that you can study in English without language barriers.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are the most common tests required by US schools and others which Nigerian students must pass before advancing to have a master’s degree.

The IELTS is jointly owned and administered by British Council, IDP, IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.

According to the Education Testing Services, TOEFL is accepted by more than 11,500 universities, including in the US.

However, it should be noted that many universities in the USA have actually started waiving English tests for Nigerian students.

6. University certificate

The last but not the least document you are required to have while applying for admission to study for your master’s degree programme in the US is your university certificate.

Many schools in the US require you to submit this at the point of application. Also, other schools require you to present original copies of your degree certificate on arrival at the school.

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