MS in USA with Backlogs: Top US Universities Accepting Backlogs for MS in 2024


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Anand Patinge

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Home to some of the world’s most admirable universities, the USA is unquestionably a popular study destination and an educational hotspot.

Thousands of international students apply to the USA every year for various courses and programs.

While most people believe that only students with excellent academic scores can apply to the US, let’s break this myth.

Many students study in the US with backlogs at the best universities.

A backlog has been considered a setback by many aspiring students, thus making them miss out on many opportunities.

But that’s not the case.

The USA educational system is opening up to students with backlogs, not making it a setback for students in building their careers.

While it is clear that backlogs don’t stop you from pursuing MS in the US, you will need a backlog certificate to get an admission.

A backlog certificate states the number of backlog papers and the number of attempts you made to clear your exam.  

This certificate is to be submitted to your desired university while applying.

Furthermore, check out the list of US universities accepting backlogs and find out how many backlogs are allowed for MS in the USA.

List of US Universities Accepting Backlogs, Number of Backlogs Allowed for MS in the USA and the Application Process  

Backlogs are simply caused by a student’s inability to pass an exam.

Other reasons, such as irregular attendance, or absence from an exam due to personal or health issues, may simply be marked as absent.

However, second attempts can easily clear backlogs, provided you work harder and remain focused.

Upon completion, a backlog certificate issued by the college/university will validate that you successfully completed the course.

Apart from this certificate, a few other factors allow students with backlogs to be considered for applications in the USA.

Some of the deciding conditions for students with backlogs in US universities are:

  • GPA/CGPA – Possessing a high GPA/CGPA will automatically act as a primary factor for assessment, regardless of your backlogs. To achieve a high CGPA despite your backlog, it is important to score well consistently, as you will be evaluated based on it.
  • Course or subject of backlog – The other important factor for admission is to clear your backlog soon. Especially if you wish to pursue the same subject or course that you failed earlier. However, the backlog will cause no harm if you apply to a different course.

    Do clear your backlog to get admitted to the US university of your choice.
  • Time – The time taken to clear backlogs, such as a semester or the number of years and the number of attempts, is a crucial factor too. For instance, if you have a single backlog that was cleared in the first attempt can increase your chance of being accepted.
  • Status of backlog – The final condition during your admission is the number of active or inactive backlogs. A backlog certificate will indefinitely declare all related records. Some US universities do not accept active backlogs for applications.

It is necessary to mention here that prestigious USA universities, such as the Ivy League, do not accept students with active backlog status.

Hence, students must produce a no-backlogs certificate to make the admission process effortless.

How Many Backlogs Are Allowed for MS in the USA?

A master’s or MS in the US is a popular choice of study in the US. But, if you have backlogs, check out how many backlogs are allowed for MS in the US.

To study MS in the US with backlogs, a minimum of 5 backlogs to a maximum of 15 backlogs are allowed.

Do keep in mind that the educational sphere of the US is highly competitive; this is why it is not always the first choice for every university in the USA to accept backlogs.

While MS in the USA with 15 backlogs is entertained considerably, any applicant with more than 15 backlogs won’t be considered in any US university.

Nonetheless, students with backlogs can keep their worries aside now and apply to the US universities listed below.

Best USA Universities Accepting Backlogs For MS in the US

With several leading universities providing top-notch education, studying MS in the US with backlogs will help you drive a successful future despite your academic bump.

Although reputed and prestigious universities might not consider students with backlogs, there are many respected universities that accept international students with backlogs.

The table below has a list of US universities accepting backlogs-

University Backlogs Accepted
Marist College, New York Up to 5
Wichita State University, Kansas Upto 5
Kent State University, Ohio Upto 5
Clarkson University, New York Up to 5
Gannon University, Pennsylvania Upto 5
Murray State University, Kentucky Upto 8
Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas Upto 8
Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Upto 8
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago 5-10
Pace University, New York 5-10
University of South Dakota, Vermillion 5-10
Missouri State University, Springfield 5-10
California State University, San Bernandino 5-10
Rowan University, New Jersey 10-15
Golden State University, California 10-15
Pittsburg State University, Kansas 10-15
Old Dominion University, Virginia 10-15

The list of US universities accepting backlogs, fortunately, are numerous.

Since the question of how many backlogs are allowed for MS in the US has been answered, students can now be prepared to apply for MS in the US with backlogs

Some of the popular MS programs offered in the US are Data Science, Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Software Development and Veterinary Science.

Get in touch with a SelectRight professional to help you filter the best universities accepting backlogs.

Applying for MS in the US with Backlogs

15 backlogs is the maximum number of backlogs you are allowed to study MS in US universities.

While backlogs are a hindrance to admission abroad, a few factors compensate to help you get selected at the US university of your choice.

If you have a backlog, you need to amp your other skills wisely to make you worthy of an admission.

Some of the best ways to patch your backlogs with your excellence are

  • Participate in co-scholastic activities such as seminars, conferences, or any other competition.
  • Engage in any other extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, community service, educational clubs, hobbies and passion etc.
  • Succeeding in scoring a GRE score of 315 to 325 will considerably aid the student application process.

Despite your backlogs, outstanding GRE/GMAT scores increase your chances of getting selected at reputed universities.

A backlog will not hold you back if you are a candidate with an outstanding profile, impressive academic scores, personality, catchy communication skills, and leadership qualities.

The application process for a student with a backlog is similar to that of any other application. The only difference is your application is the highlight of your backlogs.

However, don’t hesitate to be honest in your application. This will help you defend your backlogs.

Hiding your backlogs during your application process will only raise questions in the future, leading to the rejection of your admission.

Even if your backlog might make you nervous, being honest and positive about your future is the best way to approach your career.

Mandatory documents Required for MS in USA with backlogs

  • Academic transcripts
  • Passport
  • CV/ Resume
  • Bachelor’s Degree or any equivalent certificates, mark sheets
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • GRE/GMAT scorecards
  • IELTS/TOEFL scorecards
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Certificates of extra-curricular activities
  • Proof of Funds
  • Backlogs clearance certificate

The important note to make here is that if you fail to clear your backlogs by the time of admission, the university will not issue the I20 form that will help you get a visa.

Following the list of transcripts that are to be arranged in advance, some advice can be heeded as preparation for personal interviews will take over after you’ve cleared the hurdles of your backlogs.

The university and visa interviews are the most important interviews to move abroad.

Your first impression is the last impression.

As you face these interviews, you will have to justify your backlogs. This is why you must prepare a solid response well ahead of the interview.

It is equally important to convince the interviewers of your seriousness in the field of academics.

Talk bout what caused your setbacks, how you have improved yourself and why you are fit for admission regardless of your backlogs.

Acknowledge any skills that decipher as an advantage and help impress the academic brains, spell that out to your interviewer.

While applying to countries like the USA, students need to note that the admission committee will look at more than just your academic scores.

Your entire student profile, as mentioned above, includes students’ interests in extracurricular activities and co-curricular activities.

It is of most importance that you stand out as a candidate and show your worthiness.

Your interviewer must feel that you will add value to the campus.

Our best advice to all aspiring applicants is to be exceptional and honest.

There is no harm in accepting your journey and positively looking out for your future.

We trust in your capabilities, so get in touch with SelectRight professionals to help you with your admission abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Can I apply for MS in the US with backlogs?

Ans: Yes, students with backlogs can apply for MS in the USA.


2.How many backlogs are allowed for MS in the USA?

Ans: A minimum of 5 backlogs and a maximum of 15 backlogs are allowed in US universities.


3.Do backlogs affect visa applications for the US?

Ans: Yes, students with active backlogs will not be issued form I20, which is essential for visa application. However, students with cleared backlogs will face no issue in the visa application process.


4.Can I apply for MS in the US with backlogs to Ivy League colleges?

Ans: Ivy league colleges are known not to accept applicants with backlogs.


5.Which universities in the USA accept applications with backlogs?

Ans: The list of USA universities accepting backlogs includes Kent State University, Ohio, Clarkson University, New York, Pittsburg State University, Kansas, Golden State University, California and Old Dominion University, Virginia are some of the universities accepting 5- 15 number of backlogs.

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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