Getting a master’s degree requires hard work and dedication. But some programs require much more work than others. If you want to continue your education without the burden of an intensive program, consider enrolling in one of these easy online masters degree programs.
What is the Benefit of Earning a Master’s Degree?
The obvious benefit of earning your master’s degree is that you expand on your existing knowledge with a greater detail of understanding. You’ll build advanced skills, learn new strategies to improve your on-the-job performance, and explore new topics that make you a more well-rounded student, employee, and person.
You’ll be a well-paid expert, too.
As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports, advancing your education increases your earning potential. On average, workers with master’s degrees take home a median weekly salary of $1,574. Compared to the median earnings of $1,334 for bachelor’s-level workers, $963 for associate’s-level workers, and $809 for high school graduates, you can see the financial benefits of continuing your education in one of the easiest master degree online programs discussed below.
What Types of Jobs Require Master’s Degrees?
By 2026, the BLS predicts that jobs in masters-level occupations will grow by almost 17 percent. That’s the fastest growth rate out of any education level. To compare, the across-the-board predicted job growth is just seven percent.
A bachelor’s degree might be all you need to get your foot in the door at some companies, but a master’s degree is often the key to moving up the ladder. Today, more students than ever before are pursuing bachelor’s degrees. Having a master’s degree sets you apart in an increasingly educated workforce.
Some careers, like occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, or mental health counselor, require a master’s degree. For other jobs, like those in teaching or business, a master’s degree helps prove that you are ready to take on more responsibility. According to the BLS, 85% of managers have master’s degrees.
How Does Earning a Master’s Degree Online Save Money?
Pursuing a master’s degree online saves you money in many ways. First, a flexible online degree program allows you to keep your job while you study. This means you can continue to work full-time, earn your full wages, and still have time to dedicate to your studies.
Second, you won’t need to rent an on-campus apartment or fill your gas tank twice a week commuting back and forth to school. You can learn from the comfort of home knowing that your bank account retains a little more of your hard-earned money.
Lastly, many universities offer accelerated programs for online learners. For example, some easy online masters degree programs require just a year to complete. The quicker you graduate, the sooner you get to reap the benefits of your new credentials.
What are the Best Online Master’s Degrees?
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to rank the programs listed below.
Each program is scored individually. Those scores are compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of on-campus and online programs as part of the ranking criteria.
To learn more, visit our methodology page.
Liberty University strives to train “Champions for Christ.” Enrolling more than 100,000 students, this large institution combines advanced learning with Christian principles. Here, you can pursue dozens of graduate degree programs online. Several of these are faith-centered programs, like:
- Master of Divinity
- Master of Arts in music and worship
- Master of Arts in pastoral counseling
Likewise, you can pursue a graduate degree in areas like:
- Teaching English as a Second Language
- Healthcare Administration
- Information Systems
Liberty’s online courses take eight weeks to complete. With multiple start dates throughout the year, you don’t need to wait until the fall to begin your academic journey. On average, Liberty’s programs require 36 credit hours, taking approximately 18 months to earn.
While headlines continue to warn about the rising cost of higher education, Liberty has frozen its tuition rates for online master’s programs since 2016. Additionally, military members and their spouses receive reduced tuition rates, as do first responders.
With campuses across Delaware and New Jersey, Wilmington University offers in-person, evening, and online courses that accommodate hectic schedules. If you pursue a WilmU degree online, you’ll join a community of nearly thousands of distance learners striving towards their educational goals.
WilmU has online master’s degrees in various disciplines, from accounting and administration of justice to homeland security and nursing. Degree programs begin in the fall, spring, and summer. Courses usually follow either a 15-week semester or a 7-week accelerated format. WilmU offers different ways to take classes, too, which lets you customize your educational experience to fit how you learn best.
WilmU emphasizes peer-to-peer collaboration, and online learners like you can expect plenty of (virtual) interaction with your classmates. Though most classes can be accessed 24/7, some programs require synchronous scheduling for certain courses to ensure real-time, lively class discussions.
If you enroll at East Carolina University, you’ll get to call yourself an ECU Pirate for the rest of your life. And with this university’s affordable tuition rates, you don’t need to worry about spending all of your treasure on paying for a degree!
ECU is in Greenville, North Carolina, not far from the ocean. It calls itself a “national trailblazer” in online education, and U.S. News & World Report tends to agree. The university’s online master’s in nursing program ranks 29th in the nation, and its online master’s in criminal justice holds the twenty-first spot.
ECU has dozens of fully online master’s degrees, from education and English to data science and public health. You can pursue a master’s degree in nursing, history, or education administration as well.
The same faculty teach on-campus and online, utilizing the same syllabi to ensure you get the same quality of education. When you study at ECU, you can set your own study schedule, but some scheduled real-time discussions ensure you network with your peers.
Ranked at number 29 on U.S News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools, Raleigh-based North Carolina State University is well known for its academic excellence. This university is especially well-respected in engineering, education, and business.
Since online students learn from the same faculty that teach their traditional counterparts, it’s not surprising that NC State’s online graduate programs in these disciplines are also revered. On U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, NC State ranks seventh in engineering, 20th in business administration, and 46th in education.
At NC State, you’ll find around 50 fully online master’s degree programs covering areas like aerospace engineering, horticultural science, and textile chemistry. And when a school has a highly respected online graduate program in computer science, you can rest assured that their online learning platform will be top-of-the-line. NC State is constantly improving its technology to ensure a smooth online experience for online learners like you.
Named for a leader of the Texas Revolution, Sam Houston State University is doing some revolutionizing of its own. Enrolling more than 18,000 students, this Huntsville-based university is changing lives and families through higher education. A majority of SHSU’s students are the first in their families to graduate from college.
SHSU started as a one-building teacher’s college. Today, it’s at the forefront of education’s technological advances, offering dozens of fully online master’s degrees. SHSU holds the number two spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs. It also ranks highly in computer information technology (16th) and education (24th).
As an SHSU online learner, you’ll follow a semester schedule with courses held in the fall, spring, and during summer sessions. Whether you’re studying online or in person, the academic expectations are the same, and you’ll earn the same degree from the same faculty. In other words, you can reap all the advantages of being a Sam Houston State student without ever having to set foot on campus!
As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. If you earn a degree from Arkansas State University, you’ll join an alumni network that’s tens of thousands of students strong. If you choose to pursue your studies online, you’ll also be in good company. Since 2008, A-State has graduated thousands of online learners.
A-State Online has a large selection of master’s programs, most of which are focused on education. Other degree areas include public administration, strategic communications, and sports management.
As a learner in A-State’s program, you’ll complete the same coursework as on-campus students. However, your professors will be entirely dedicated to the online community, ensuring you are trained to address your specific educational needs.
A-State provides its online students with an individually assigned teaching assistant. This person can give you academic support as you work through your program’s coursework requirements.
Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University’s students complete tens of thousands of hours of community service each year. This university’s students take a “Beneficence Pledge” to do good and respect others. So, as an online student at Ball State, you’ll have complete access to its campus, support services, and the friendly folks that work and study there.
Ball State has a robust selection of fully online master’s degree programs. Many of these can be completed in a blended format if you’d like to incorporate in-person learning into your program of study.
You’ll find online graduate programs in the usual disciplines and programs that are highly ranked, too. For example, Ball State ranks 20th on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs, 20th in nursing, and 28th in education. Additionally, Ball State offers unique online degrees in interior design, public relations, and educational psychology.
Based in Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas is one of the largest universities in the nation, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 students. But UNT proves that big schools can have small environmental footprints. Any new campus construction uses the highest green building standards, and UNT takes recycling seriously.
But what could be greener than studying online? It certainly saves on gas! UNT offers nearly 40 online master’s degree programs. Many of its degrees can be earned in an accelerated format, taking as little as 12 to 18 months to complete.
UNT’s master’s degree programs span academic disciplines from business to criminal justice to public health. You can also earn an M.Ed in Higher Education if you aspire to become a college or university administrator.
Or, if the career opportunities you pursue demand expertise in more than one field, you might choose to pursue UNT’s Master of Arts or Master of Science in interdisciplinary studies.
Western Governors University was established in 1997 by a group of U.S. governors looking for a solution. These leaders knew that more college-educated residents would lead to more prosperity in their states. But they also recognized that higher education’s traditional model wouldn’t work for most students. WGU was their answer, a university specifically designed for adult learners.
Western Governors University utilizes a competency-based learning model. Its programs focus more on ensuring you’ve mastered the material and less on the time you put in. Here, you don’t need to wait until a new semester to continue earning credit at WGU. Once you prove what you’ve learned, you can continue to your next course, moving at your own pace.
WGU has four colleges in business, health professions, teaching, and information technology. Each offers online master’s degrees in:
- healthcare management
- data analytics
- instructional design
As a nontraditional student at Weber State University, you won’t be in the minority. More than half of this university is part-time students. WSU is in Ogden, Utah, a short drive from Salt Lake City, and it enrolls more than 29,000 students. The average age of its graduate students is 38, which shows that advancing your education is not just for those at the start of their careers.
Weber State has a handful of online master’s degrees in criminal justice, radiological sciences, respiratory therapy, and health administration, among others. Its Master of Health Administration is an executive-format program that includes a one-day, in-person orientation.
WSU’s online courses follow a semester schedule, but you can start them at any time. And if work or family responsibilities pop up and interrupt your studies, you won’t need to worry. WSU allows you up to six months to finish a class.
Reach new heights by becoming a Western Kentucky University Hilltopper. This school’s nickname derives from its hilltop campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city just 65 miles north of Nashville. But WKU’s online master’s programs mean you won’t have to climb mountains to earn your degree.
WKU’s online offers business, health services, and education degree options. Liberal arts, engineering, and the sciences are additional options. Some of WKU’s most popular programs are the Master of Arts in organizational leadership, the Master of Science in biology, and the Master of Social Work.
WKU offers both semester-based and on-demand online courses. Semester-based courses follow the same curriculum as on-campus classes with pre-determined start and finish dates. With on-demand courses, you can move through the material at your own speed, finishing a course in as little as seven weeks.
Do you think of yourself as an innovator? If so, then Arizona State University is the school for you. ASU has held the number one spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Most Innovative Schools for many years.
This university prides itself on its willingness to give new ideas a try. One example of innovation at ASU is its partnership with Uber, providing qualified drivers with full-tuition scholarships to earn their degrees.
Unsurprisingly, this cutting-edge university is leading the way for distance learners, providing one of the largest collections of fully online master’s degrees of any school in the nation. Here, you’ll find online degree programs uncommon at other institutions, like a Master of Arts in World War II studies, a Master of Sustainable Tourism, and a Master of Project Management. There are various social sciences degrees, too.
Online classes are taught by the same on-campus faculty, which ensures you get the same high-quality education as your on-campus peers. Additionally, as an online student at ASU, you can take advantage of a host of student support services to help you succeed.
Do you dream of working for Pixar? Well, it’s one of the many companies that hire graduates from the Academy of Art University!
Based in San Francisco, the Academy of Art has educated artists and designers since 1929. Today, it’s the country’s largest private art school.
Creativity knows no bounds, and the Academy of Art’s online master’s programs allow you to earn your degree from anywhere, at any time. Here, you’ll find master’s degrees in animation and visual effects, graphic design, game development, and photography, among many others.
The Academy of Art utilizes an online learning management system that is custom-designed to the specific needs of each art student. Your coursework combines instructional material like videos, narrated slideshows, and interviews with experts from your field of study. Your professors can also use visual mark-ups and recordings to give you feedback on your artwork.
In other words, your online education at the Academy of Art University is equally interactive and diverse as students who attend classes on campus.
The University of Missouri ranks proves that quality doesn’t have to come at a premium price. For example, nearly half (48 percent) of Mizzou’s students graduate without student debt.
Thousands of students enroll in courses through Mizzou Online. But online learning is not just an option here. It’s a priority. As part of a statewide eLearning initiative, Mizzou strives to increase access to higher education by reaching 25,000 online learners.
Mizzou has dozens of online master’s degree programs. These programs span more than a dozen colleges in academic disciplines like veterinary medicine, engineering, and journalism. Here, you can help the next generation with a degree in youth development, protect natural resources with a degree in agroforestry, or improve public health with a degree in health promotion and policy.
You can do all of this at a school that U.S. News & World Report ranks 80th among best value schools and 121st among national universities.
15. Capella University
With an average student age of 39, Capella University proves that it’s never too late to advance your education. And unlike many institutions of higher education, a majority of this university’s students – 70 percent – pursue graduate-level degrees.
Capella offers online master’s degrees in various fields. Among its most popular disciplines are:
- nursing and health sciences
Capella’s online programs are designed to help professionals like you reach your academic goals while continuing to earn a paycheck. You can choose between two modes of online learning. The traditional option allows you to study wherever, whenever, but weekly assignments and discussions keep you on track to graduate.
With FlexPath, you control the pace of your program. You can move as quickly or as slowly through material as you want. You can also begin a new course as soon as you’ve finished the last, or wait awhile before moving on. The FlexPath program enables you to complete your degree faster – some students have earned their master’s degrees in as few as 12 months.
American Public University is at the service of U.S. service members. APU offers reduced tuition to active-duty military and veterans, who make up 80% of its student body. Additionally, APU extends potential transfer credits for military experience, helping servicemen and women quickly earn an affordable graduate-level degree.
APU has dozens of online master’s degrees. The most popular areas are business, security and global studies, and arts and humanities. However, you’ll find unique programs geared toward those with military backgrounds, too. For example, you can pursue Master of Arts programs in emergency and disaster management, homeland security, and military history. APU also offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Studies.
APU’s online courses start each month, allowing you to begin earning your master’s degree right away. Classes last either eight or 16 weeks, and APU’s master’s degree programs typically require 12 to 15 courses. APU’s dual degree programs allow you to earn two master’s degrees with only one capstone thesis or project, which saves you further time and money.
Seattle is home to multinational juggernauts Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks. This city is smart (and well-caffeinated). Unsurprisingly, the University of Washington is a leader in academic excellence and ranks 19th on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Schools.
UW is dedicated to providing a quality education at a reasonable price. Moreover, UW Online allows distance learners like you to earn the same respected degrees as the students who attend school on campus.
UW has more than a dozen fully online master’s degrees, most of which are STEM-focused. For example, you can earn a Master of Science in mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical bioengineering, or computational linguistics. Other options include sustainable transportation, construction management, and health informatics.
UW’s online courses are asynchronous, so you don’t need to be online at any given time. But these programs follow the typical academic calendar, so start dates are limited to traditional fall, spring, summer, and winter terms.
Pennsylvania State University is another higher education heavy hitter. This university ranks 31st on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools and comes in at 77th among national universities. Penn State is also a member of the prestigious Ivy League.
With Penn State’s World Campus, you can earn a master’s degree with clout, all while continuing to work. Plus, you’ll join a network of hundreds of thousands of alumni with valuable degrees from a top university.
Penn State offers more than 50 online master’s degrees, all of which are focused on in-demand careers. Here, you’ll find programs that span academic disciplines from data analytics and human resource management to nutritional sciences and special education.
Penn State’s World Campus employs faculty members with experience teaching online, ensuring they understand the unique needs of distance learners like you. Expectations are clearly defined at the start of each class. And although you can move through your studies on your own schedule, weekly discussion boards promote peer-to-peer engagement.
On top of being the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer. His self-motivated determination is the inspiration behind Abraham Lincoln University.
Established in 1996, this university began as an online school of law for professionals. Specifically, ALU provided students with the ability to earn a Juris Doctorate while keeping their jobs.
Today, Abraham Lincoln University has expanded its online degree programs but maintains its original focus on legal studies. ALU has three fully online master’s degrees: a Master of Science in Law (MSL), a Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
ALU’s MBA program includes a coaching concentration and prepares you to help others excel in their careers. Likewise, the MSL program offers various specialty areas, including law, finance, and management.
Focusing on one thing at a time can be difficult when juggling your job, school, and family. But National University can help you do it. NU’s online courses last just four weeks. This format allows you to delve deeply into one topic at a time, mastering the content you need for future success.
National University has a wide selection of online master’s degree programs. You can study in areas like:
- criminal justice
- social sciences
You can begin your courses throughout the year with monthly start dates. This flexible schedule allows you to complete your studies as your schedule allows.
Established in 1971 by a retired U.S. Navy captain, National University is dedicated to helping service members earn their degrees. In addition to online, NU offers classes at its San Diego campus and on several military bases. The university also offers special financial aid opportunities for service members, like the Military Spouses Scholarship.
You can get an education your way with the flexible online master’s degree programs from the University of Arizona Global Campus.
Formerly Ashford University, UAGC makes it easy to continue your education. There are no application fees, no standardized testing requirements, and you can earn credit for your work and life experiences. On top of that, UAGC allows you to test a course for up to three weeks risk-free. If you like the class, great! If not, you can drop the course without penalty.
The online graduate programs at UAGC follow an accelerated format. Each graduate course takes just six weeks, so you can concentrate on one subject at a time, learn it quickly, and then move on to the next course.
UAGC also has many graduate programs from which to choose. Accountancy, Education, and Healthcare Administration are three popular options. Other programs include:
- Organizational Management
- Master of Business Administration
- Human Resources Management
Northcentral University is a young school, having been founded in 1996. However, it has quickly grown as an institution that offers higher education opportunities to working professionals like you.
A fully online, accredited university, NCU is geared toward graduate-level students. Since most of its students – about 95 percent – are pursuing advanced degrees, NCU only employs faculty members with doctoral degrees.
NCU offers a nice selection of online master’s degrees in disciplines like:
- marriage and family therapy
- information technology
- public administration
Boasting a “class size of one,” NCU uses a one-to-one learning model. In each class, one professor focuses on providing personalized feedback to one student. Furthermore, some of NCU’s programs don’t require much time commitment. For example, the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in organizational leadership can be completed in as little as one year.
23. University of Arizona
If earning the 48th spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools doesn’t grab your attention, then maybe this University of Arizona fact will. UA is a longstanding partner of NASA and has taken part in all of the space-exploring organization’s planetary missions. However, you don’t have to set foot in space, or even on campus, to earn a degree at this leading university.
Not to be confused with the University of Arizona Global Campus, the University of Arizona Online has a full complement of online master’s degree programs. Most respected are its programs in computer information technology, business administration, and education. UA’s engineering and nursing are also highly respected. Other options include cybersecurity, information management, and real estate development.
In addition to receiving support from an academic advisor, UA gives you the option to find an alumni mentor in your desired career track. This helps you build connections with more experienced members of your career field while ensuring you have the guidance to succeed in your degree program.
Michigan State University is one of the most well-known institutions of higher learning in the nation. It’s also one of the largest, with an enrollment of nearly 40,000 students. If you join the Spartan nation, you’ll participate in high-level studies with professors who work hard to provide an engaging online learning experience.
MSU offers many different master’s degree programs online (with some hybrid options, too). For example, you can enroll in a Master of Arts program in Special Education, a Master of Science degree in User Experience, or a BSN-MSN degree to become a Nurse Practitioner.
In some cases, MSU’s graduate degrees are quite short. The Master of Arts in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences requires just 30 credits to graduate. Other programs that require just 30 credits include:
- Criminal Justice
- International Planning Studies
- Educational Technology
- Global Health
- Food Safety
Regardless of the program you choose, your coursework will generally be in an asynchronous format with no scheduled meeting times.
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York is situated on New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue. And although you’ll never be required to go to NYC to earn a degree from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies, you might be tempted to visit with a home base like that.
CUNY SPS has more than a dozen fully online master’s programs. In addition to degrees in common areas like business, nursing, and psychology, this school has a unique Master of Arts in museum studies. This program lets you jumpstart a museum career by gaining hands-on experience with the New York Historical Society.
CUNY SPS also has the country’s first stand-alone Master of Arts in disability studies program. This degree focuses on the experience of people with disabilities, preparing you to advocate for improvements in the daily lives of disabled people.
At number seven on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools, the University of Florida is a public university that gives you the high-quality education you deserve. The Gators don’t just dominate in the classroom. They also rule on the field. UF’s athletics teams have taken home dozens of national championships.
UF’s online programs haven’t missed out on the glory. In U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the best online graduate programs, UF sits second in education, five in business administration, and twelve in engineering.
The University of Florida has more than 80 fully online master’s degree programs, many of which aren’t offered elsewhere. For example, UF has a Master of Arts in mass communication with eight specializations. Aspiring pharmacists can earn a Master of Science in pharmaceutical sciences online. And if insects are your thing, then UF even has an online Master of Science in entomology!
Additionally, you can explore more traditional programs at UF online. For example, you can get a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, or a Master of Arts in Music Education, to name a few.
Walden University’s mission is to “Be a force for good.” On top of helping you advance your education through online degree programs, Walden encourages you to enact positive social change in your community after graduation.
As part of this commitment, Walden is dedicated to diversity. Its students come from 150 countries across the globe. Additionally, online learners like you can gain a global perspective through study abroad opportunities.
While studying abroad, week-long classes focus on specific topics in context. For example, past study opportunities in Jamaica focused on learning about the country’s public services.
Walden has dozens of online master’s degrees covering areas of study like social work and human services, psychology and counseling, and public policy and administration. With so many people-focused degrees, you can expect some programs to require in-person practicums but with the flexibility to complete your coursework online.
From the founder of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis, to CNN’s leading news anchor, Wolf Blitzer, the University at Buffalo boasts some impressive alumni. As part of the SUNY school system, UB is New York state’s largest and most revered public university.
Currently, UB ranks 31st on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools. Not only do online graduates get to put this impressive university’s name on their resumes, but UB’s online classes are taught by the same faculty members that teach on campus.
UB’s fully online master’s degree programs revolve around three areas of study: education, library science, and counseling. If you’re an aspiring teacher, you can earn a Master of Education in as little as three full-time semesters. This program offers specializations like:
- literacy education
- math education
- English education
What’s more, UB offers School Librarianship, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Educational Psychology programs.
If you’re a teacher, a master’s degree can help you move into leadership roles within your school or district. It can also boost your salary. The American College of Education’s online master’s degrees in education can help you achieve both of these goals without having to hit pause on your career.
ACE’s Master of Education programs typically take less than two years to complete. You can specialize in several areas, like educational leadership, bilingual education, or STEM education. ACE also has 34-semester-credit Master of Arts programs in Elementary Education and Secondary Education.
While education is ACE’s bread and butter, this university also has a BSN to MSN program. In 16 months, you can earn your master’s degree in nursing and expand your career possibilities in healthcare. Likewise, ACE has a Master of Education program in Health and Wellness that helps you build the necessary skills to assist others in creating healthier lives for themselves.
No, Ottawa University is not in Canada. This non-profit Christian institution is in Kansas. And ready for another surprise? Ottawa has additional residential campuses in Arizona, Wisconsin, and online. Nevertheless, online learners don’t need to visit Ottawa’s campuses to earn one of its nine fully online master’s degrees.
Ottawa’s online graduate degrees run the gamut from accountancy to addiction counseling to human resources. Other options include school counseling, elementary education, and nursing.
If you’re still unsure that online learning is right for you, you can sample one of Ottawa’s online classes. This dry run allows you to see what a virtual classroom looks like. And even though Ottawa’s sample class is just for fun, your professor is real and can answer any questions!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important for a school to be accredited?
Earning your degree from an accredited school protects two things: the quality of your education and the reputation of your degree. In short, it helps guarantee that you’re learning the right material from qualified instructors, and it ensures that future employers recognize the value of your academic accomplishments.
Accreditation in higher education is achieved in two ways. An entire university can earn institutional accreditation, typically from regional agencies like the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations act like external educational watchdogs, ensuring the school’s standards are up to par.
In addition to earning institutional accreditation, a degree program can earn programmatic accreditation. For example, a Master of Business Administration program might have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or a library science program might have accreditation from the American Library Association. These stamps-of-approval show that a program’s curriculum covers the competencies you’ll need in your desired profession.
Again, that’s important because you want to be able to use what you learned in school. You also want your degree to attract employers, showing them you have what it takes to do the job and do it well.
Which Master’s degrees lead to the biggest salaries?
According to Northeastern University, people with master’s degrees in business administration who work in information technology, marketing, or sales have some of the highest incomes. The national average salary for each is in the six figures, with the lowest being $132,290 per year.
That business leaders with master’s degrees earn the most might not come as a shock to you. But other fields can be lucrative too. Northeastern reports that nurse anesthetists who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing in nurse anesthesia have a national average annual salary of more than $183,580. Engineers also tend to be well paid, particularly those who work as chemical engineers, software engineers, or electrical engineers. Petroleum engineers also have a very high income – $137,330.
What are the most common online Master’s degrees?
Many universities offer online Master of Business Administration programs, and you’re also likely to find online master’s degrees in education, nursing, and psychology among most institutions’ offerings.
Why? These professions often require graduate-level training as workers rise in the ranks. But they also give weight to hands-on experience. An online degree allows you to gain both at the same time.
What are the admission requirements for a Master’s degree program?
Admissions requirements vary based on which schools you apply to and the type of program you want to enter. For example, a Master of Science program in biology might have much different requirements than a Master of Arts program in accounting.
Nevertheless, all universities require you to have a few general qualities. For example, you should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Most graduate schools also set a minimum GPA requirement for applicants, like 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Your school of choice might also ask for GRE or GMAT scores. And if you’re pursuing a master’s degree in an area like nursing or education, you’ll likely need to provide proof of licensure, too.
Again, these requirements vary from one program and one school to the next. Be sure to thoroughly investigate the individual admissions requirements for each school that interests you.
Will my diploma show that I earned my degree online?
No, it won’t. Most universities treat online learners just like their traditional counterparts, as they should! The academic expectations are the same, no matter if you learn on campus or online. So, the degree you’ve earned is the same too.
As such, more and more graduate students are earning their degrees online. In 2016, more than 30 percent of students reported earning their degree completely online. That’s up from 5% in 2000. This just goes to show that online learners are no longer outliers. Instead, you are increasingly becoming a bigger part of a university’s community and priorities.
Are online masters degrees respected?
The short answer to this question is yes. However, it’s a little more complicated.
If you enroll in an accredited online graduate program, your degree will certainly be respected. Most colleges and universities that offer online graduate degrees are institutionally accredited at the regional level, which is the most prestigious type of accreditation. Other schools have national accreditation, which isn’t as prestigious, but it still indicates that you attended a school with a quality academic reputation.
That being said, some online graduate degrees – like those purported to be free online masters degrees – are decidedly not respected. As with anything, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and free masters degrees are definitely too good to be true!
Likewise, if you enroll in a program from a school that isn’t accredited, the likelihood that your degree will be respected is greatly diminished. In fact, some employers require you to have a degree from an accredited institution, so getting a degree from a school that isn’t accredited could end up being a financial black hole.
So, is an online masters degree respected? As long as it’s from an accredited institution, the answer is likely yes!
What student resources are available to online learners?
This depends on the university, but you can take advantage of any resources open to on-campus students. If you live in another state, having access to your school’s health center might not be a big perk. Regardless, you are guaranteed to find faculty and staff who can help you with academic tutoring or career counseling, no matter your location. You’ll have access to the university’s library services as well.
And, if you visit the campus, your status as a student gives you access to student facilities like the student union, athletics events, participation in clubs, and so forth.
In other words, being an online student is highly similar to studying on campus – yet you can do so according to your schedule and while saving money, too!
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, you should check out the Top 30 Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges and the Top 15 Accredited Schools Offering Online Master’s Degrees.