I have plans to apply for a Masters in computer science in the United States as an international student. I see that some universities (Stony Brook etc.) have masters program which can be completed within 18 months or so. While the tuition fee can be cheaper compared to a 24-month masters, do such masters program have any drawbacks when it comes to applying for jobs/OPT or working with faculty for a project?

It appears to me that the students are expected to complete the credits within 3 semesters which can be relatively hard and considering the fact that international students can stay without a job for at most 3 months after completing degree requirements, it might have drawbacks in career aspects as well.


A MS in the US doesn't have a national definition. It is defined by the individual university (or university system). So, the time to completion of the degree gives you almost no information about its quality.

Since Stony Brook is highly reputable (one of the top two state universities in New York) I'd expect that education there to be high quality.

It is also possible that some such programs don't break for the summer, so it could possibly be 18 months without any long breaks. And even a "24" month degree is more like 21 in reality.

Use other criteria to judge quality. Both the recognized reputation of the university and the actual courses in any given program.

And, like most students, an international student must also figure out their next steps after completion and take some actions toward acquiring a job or another degree. The time to completion isn't relevant here either.

What might be relevant, is how hard you need to work. But that is true at any top level institution for any degree.

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