In pursuit of advanced education, many students elect to embark on master’s degree programs despite the obstacles that often stand in the way. While many people are able to take four years to focus solely on their undergraduate degrees, by the time they are ready to obtain their master’s degrees, they are often very busy with work and family responsibilities that make getting an advanced education difficult. Additional factors like time and financial restraints, make not only pursuing a degree difficult but also selecting a program tricky. Finding a reputable, accredited masters program which maximizes time and money investments without sacrificing academic quality while minimizing risk and expense is a tough job. Finding one online which often best suits today’s masters degree candidates’ busy lives was more than tough. But someone had to do it.
So, that’s what we did. We have gathered a list of some of the most innovative, affordable masters degree programs available online and then ensured they were offered from some of the most excellent colleges and universities in the nation. The programs on the following list have received several awards and top honors from multiple reputable sources such as US News & World Report, Forbes and Affordablecollegesonline.org. Their tuition rates are reasonable, and the various degrees they offer are well worth the money students spend on them. Furthermore, these schools maintain a tradition of excellence and expect the same from their students. These colleges are proud of their rich heritages, and they should be. Each University is unique in its particular bragging points, but each University has several.
The Universities on this list have excellent and knowledgeable faculty members who are experts in their career fields and who use their expertise to prepare graduate students for advancement in their current fields, as well as to prepare students to transition into new career fields they may be interested in. The faculty at these schools also caters to a wide variety of careers as the Universities offer several degree programs. The following schools are the best in the nation according to their academic quality, general affordability and excellent reputation. They meet or supersede rigorous academic standards that prepare students to become knowledgeable leaders in their chosen fields. They do not just teach students basic principles that they could learn from reading a textbook; the professors help the students gain valuable knowledge that can only be given by someone with real-world experience.
Here are the Top 15 Accredited Schools Offering Online Masters Degrees:
1. St. John’s University Online
St John’s University Online is a private Roman Catholic university with online graduate degree programs including: Master of Arts in Global Development and Social Justice, Master of Arts in Accounting, Master of Science in Management and Risk and Master of Science in School Building Leadership. It’s top ranking Best Online Graduate Education Programs are listed on the U.S. News and World Report as Number 1 in the nation. St. John’s online master’s degree students are required to log on to Black Board every day to participate in discussions with classmates and professors by posting a certain number of responses. St. John’s University is accredited at the regional level by Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education as well as at the state level by the State Education Department of New York. Online graduate tuition costs between $1,100 and $1,325 per semester.
For more about St. John’s University’s online Programs, go here.
2. Penn State Online
Penn State became a pioneer in distance learning in 1892 when it began offering one of the first correspondence courses in the nation. Penn State Online still offers academic leadership and excellence today. Its world-class graduate faculty offers a superior academic education to career-focused students from a variety of backgrounds plus each program is designated within the top 50 rankings of the U.S. World & News. Penn State Online offers a variety of master’s degrees in areas including: adult education, applied statistics, earth sciences, geographic information systems, homeland security, and renewable energy and sustainability systems. Penn State is accredited at the regional level by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and many of Penn State’s individual degree programs have additional accreditations specific to their career fields as well. Tuition is $736 to $1,100 per credit and $7,414 to $13,200 per semester for graduate-level courses.
For more about Pennsylvania State University’s Online Programs, go here.
3. Virginia Tech University Online
Virginia Tech University Online is unique in that it offers several useful resources to online students including academic success seminars, proctoring services and “Ask a Librarian” live chat services. Virginia Tech Online offers 37 graduate-level degrees in fields such as instructional technology, ocean engineering, agricultural and life sciences, integrated STEM education, computer engineering and aerospace engineering. It’s graduate programs are highly ranking and consistently list among the U.S. World & News “Best of” Lists. Virginia Tech has received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. At the graduate level, tuition is $621.50 per credit hour for residents of Virginia and $1,230.25 per credit hour for nonresidents.
For more about Virginia Tech University’s Online Programs, go here.
4. University of Southern California Online
The University of Southern California began as a secular institution in 1952 before eventually affiliating itself with the Methodist Church. Today, the University of Southern California has the largest number of international students of any university in the United States. The University of Southern California Online offers master’s degrees in geographic information science and technology, business taxation – working professional, communication management, school leadership, gerontology and academic medicine. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and listed by the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs, Best Graduate Engineering Programs, and Best Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Tuition rates are $43,722 for two semesters of 15 to 18 credits each.
For more about University of Southern California’s Online Programs, go here.
5. Arizona State University Online
Top ranked by US News & World Report, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and Forbes, Arizona State University Online is an excellent choice for students who want a master’s degree they can be proud of. Arizona State University Online offers unique degrees including: Master of Advanced Study in American Media and Popular Culture, Master of Engineering in Embedded Systems, Master of Science in Clinical Research Management, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis and Master of Science in Information Management. Arizona State University is accredited at the regional level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. Arizona State University’s tuition rates are between $482 and $852 per credit hour for graduate degree programs, though this number does not include program fees.
For more about Arizona State University’s Online Programs, go here.
6. Washington State University Online
Washington State University was founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grand university. Their mission was the same then as it is now: to improve peoples’ quality of life. Today, Washington State University Online offers students an exceptional education along with additional perks including an academic advisor, round-the-clock tech support and various off-campus activities where students can connect. The degrees offered at Washington State University Online include: Master’s in Agriculture, Master’s in Special Education, Master’s in Engineering and Technology Management and Master’s in Strategic Communication. Washington State University has received its accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, plus many of its graduate degree programs have achieved their own accreditations as well. Graduation tuition for Washington State University Online is $587 per credit or $5,868 for a full-time semester of 10 to 18 credit hours.
For more about Washington State University’s Online Programs, go here.
7. University of South Carolina Online
The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as an attempt to unite Southern Carolina residents after the American Revolution. Today, the University of South Carolina Online is a great way for students to further their education around their busy schedules. The University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and many of its programs are individually professionally accredited or endorsed as well. Available degrees include: the highly ranked Master of Education Programs (#5 by the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Education List), Master of Health Information Technology, Master of Science in Engineering Management and Master of Public Health. Tuition is $15,110 to $28,940 per year for full-time tuition and $436.50 to $625 per credit hour for part-time tuition.
For more about the University of South Carolina’s Online Programs, go here.
8. University of Michigan at Flint Online
The University of Michigan at Flint seeks to provide “an uncommon education for the common man.” The university offers both fully online degrees and mixed mode degrees, which require campus visits every four to six weeks. Available degrees include: Master of Arts in Education Technology, Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration. The University of Michigan at Flint has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and many of its individual programs have received their own individual accreditations as well. Graduate tuition is $499 per credit hour for Michigan residents or $748 per credit hour for nonresidents. The full-time tuition rate is $3,992 per semester for Michigan residents or $5,984 per semester for nonresidents. There is also a $43 online course fee per credit hour.
For more about the University of Michigan’s Online Programs, go here.
9. Auburn University Online
Auburn University offers some graduate degrees entirely online as well as some graduate degrees that are achieved through a mix of online and off-line coursework. This allows students to receive some of the benefits of an online education without completely losing touch with on-campus life. Available online degrees offered by Auburn are all listed among the U.S. World and News’ Top 10 Graduate programs. Programs include: Master of Science/Master of Agriculture in Agronomy & Soils, Master of Business Administration, Master of Early Childhood in Special Education and Master of Materials Engineering. Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Full-time tuition, nine credit hours, is $9,858 for in-state graduate students and $26,382 for out-of-state graduate students.
For more about Auburn University’s Online Programs, go here.
10. Sam Houston State University Online
Sam Houston State University has received top rankings from US News & World Report and Affordablecollegesonline.org. It has also been named a military friendly school. The university’s available online degrees include: Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Master of Science in Family and Consumer Science. Sam Houston State University has received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, plus its various degree programs have received individual professional accreditations as well. Tuition and fees for a 12 hour graduate semester are $5,048, plus an additional online course fee of $101 per credit hour.
For more about Sam Houston State University’s Online Programs, go here.
11. Robert Morris University Online
Robert Morris University seeks to change students’ lives to they can change others’ lives as well. Robert Morris University Online offers graduate degrees in business administration, engineering management, IT project management, information systems and communications, nonprofit management, nursing and organizational studies. The university’s online classes are unique in that they are all only eight weeks long. Robert Morris University is accredited at the regional level by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and many of the university’s individual programs have additional accreditations as well. Online courses are $680 per credit.
For more about Robert Morris University’s Online Programs, go here.
12. University of Florida Online
The University of Florida began as a small seminary school in 1853. Today, the University of Florida is Florida’s leading university and one the best online graduate schools in the nation. It is also one of the most academically diverse universities in the United States. The University of Florida offers graduate degrees in agriculture and life sciences, business administration, education, engineering, fine arts, journalism, nursing and veterinary medicine. The University of Florida Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Graduate off-campus tuition is $12,640 plus fees.
For more about the University of Florida’s Online Programs, go here.
13. Clarkson College Online
Clarkson College is Nebraska’s first health care education institution. It is built on the Episcopal Church, and an impressive 90 percent of its students enroll in at least one online class each semester. Clarkson College Online offers online graduate degrees including Master of Health Care Administration and Master of Science in Nursing with specialty areas in nursing education, nurse anesthesia and family nurse practitioner. Clarkson College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its degree programs have their own professional accreditations as well. Graduate tuition is $497 per credit hour, plus a $40 online class fee.
For more about Clarkson College’s Online Programs, go here.
14. Ferris State University Online
Ferris State University was founded in 1884 as a way for people to escape jobs as lumberjacks and farm laborers and create more opportunities for themselves. Ferris State University makes transferring from a two-year to a four-year degree easy, and they have the highest transfer rate of any Michigan University to show for it. The university offers students degrees such as Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Nursing with a hands-on and practical approach to learning. Ferris State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and many of its graduate degree programs have individual professional accreditations as well. Tuition is $507 per credit hour for graduate classes.
For more about Ferris State University’s Online Programs, go here.
15. Graceland University Online
Graceland College is a liberal arts college dedicated to providing for the higher education needs of today’s college student. Graceland University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and the nursing and education programs have received their own additional accreditations well. Graceland College is unique in its financial options for students. Tuition is $450 per semester hour, but the college offers group rates for groups of three students or more. Plus, Graceland offers students interest-free payment plans that allow them to pay their tuition over the course of a few months, instead of owing the entire balance by the first day of classes.
For more about Graceland University’s Online Programs, go here.