You can earn some of the fastest online graduate degrees in a year or less. Some schools offer accelerated degree programs that allow you to pursue a master’s degree as you complete a bachelor’s program in a related field. Whatever your academic interests might be, you’re bound to find a fitting program among the 30 top fastest accredited online graduate colleges listed below!
A Graduate Degree Gives You Tools to Solve Bigger Problems
A graduate degree can be a wise investment in yourself and your career potential. More and more modern jobs are based on new technologies that demand highly trained workers.
In careers from education to health care, agriculture to resource management, a graduate degree can build upon your previous education and work experience to prepare you to take on bigger challenges. Learn to lead in your field, with innovative solutions and inspirational education provided by faculty with experience and expertise.
Online Graduate School Can Be Quick and Accessible
Some master’s degree programs take as little as a year to finish, while others require two years or more. Dual degree programs allow you to add a second master’s degree with just another semester or two of school. You can double your return on your educational investment with related degrees that support each other to make you more valuable in your career and community.
What Are the Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges?
In about a year or two of schooling, which breaks down to about 15-20 hours per week, you can earn a graduate degree from an accredited university. With flexible online learning that fits into your personal life schedule and accelerated learning options available, you may be closer to the career and personal advancement that an accredited graduate degree can deliver.
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then 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 programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more, visit our methodology page.
Liberty University is a Christian institution of higher education that focuses on leading with its principles while delivering fundamental academic concepts in each subject. As an online student at Liberty, you’ll get support from advisors and technical help at any time throughout your educational journey, from starting your application to earning your diploma.
Of the more than 275 master’s degrees available from Liberty, most of the degree paths are taught 100% online. That means you can get through your master’s program conveniently and quickly with an adaptable schedule of eight-week courses and eight start dates throughout the year.
Since there is no GRE requirement for applying to an online master’s degree program at Liberty, you can get started right away. All you need is your unofficial college transcripts to start the admission process.
National University provides a broad range of classes and degree programs at each of the more than 20 campus centers. Other students pursue educational goals from wherever they may be, with National University online classes.
Choose from one of 57 master’s to help you advance in your current field or prepare for a new career. Degree possibilities include the Master of Accountancy, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, and Master of Forensic Sciences, to name only a few.
NU provides support to guide you through your university journey toward a graduate degree, wherever you are. Academic advisors also help you create the fastest path toward your degree, and online technical help is available 24/7.
Offering the educational experience of a leading institution of research and higher education, the University of Cincinnati boasts 200 years of educational excellence. Now, with UC Online, the education comes to you, on a flexible schedule to fit your busy life.
Considered to be among the best sources of online programs in the country, and ranked the No. 2 university for innovation in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report, UC Online educates adults and prepares the next generation of leaders and thinkers.
UC Online offers an education that delivers a solid return on the substantial investment of time and resources that you put into your educational pursuits. What’s more, the same outstanding educators who teach on campus lead your online courses, so you can rest assured that you’re receiving a top-tier education.
Eastern Kentucky University serves the community surrounding Richmond, KY, with adult education and degree opportunities for new and returning college students. If you live outside of the region, however, don’t worry – EKU Online has over 15 master’s degree options available.
Through EKU, you can advance your skills and develop career potential in fields like education, psychology, and public administration, all on a flexible online schedule. With a convenient eight-week class structure that helps you complete your courses rapidly, you can progress toward your graduate degree with confidence.
EKU’s advanced learning management system includes a website for every class. Here, students and instructors interact remotely and participate in course activities on the web. What’s more, advisors will work with you to help you maintain career and family duties while pursuing a degree.
The University of North Texas is home to the educational specialists and experience you need to help bridge your past educational experience and your current degree goals. Each applicant to UNT is matched with an advisor to help develop a custom degree plan that is built around helping you to get the “missing pieces” you need to complete your degree.
With over 30 accredited online graduate degree programs available from UNT Online, you can pursue your educational goals on a flexible schedule, wherever you have an internet connection and the drive to succeed.
Here, you can choose from Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, and MBA degrees with seven different specialty areas. There is an accredited graduate degree at UNT Online for virtually every career or academic track.
Coming to you from the David Letterman Communication and Media Building on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, IN, is your chance to earn a potentially life-changing advanced degree. A graduate degree from Ball State Online can dramatically enhance your career potential and your knowledge base in your area of study.
Ball State Online delivers the same rich educational opportunities and academic excellence of its traditional counterpart, which has been central to the education of thousands of individuals over the years, including the legendary TV personality who is the namesake of the school’s communications building.
A host of master’s degrees from Ball State Online can be completed entirely remotely. If you’re still on the fence about distance learning, you can take one of Ball State’s online Information Sessions to help you understand the potential of online education and change how you think about earning a graduate degree.
Accelerated master’s degree programs at CMU Global give new meaning to the phrase multi-tasking, letting you streamline your education to fit your goals. The accelerated master’s degree programs at CMU Global give you a chance to start on your graduate degree at the same time that you are finishing a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan.
In an accelerated program, you will take courses that give you credit toward both bachelor’s and master’s degrees to save both time and money on your educational path. Accelerated degree programs here are offered as Master of Science in Administration or Master of Entrepreneurial Ventures degrees.
The University of North Dakota has a rich tradition of distance learning, going back to 1911 with mail correspondence courses. Today, more than 6,700 students around the world take classes and pursue degrees at UND Online
Earn a graduate degree quickly, on your schedule, with one of two course formats at UND Online. You have the option of taking either a Self-Paced Enroll Anytime course to let you complete your class in three to nine months or a semester-based course that follows the academic calendar. There is no difference shown on your transcript for the style of courses you take.
What’s more, at UND Online, you can combine an undergraduate major in civil engineering, chemical engineering, or electrical engineering with a Master’s in Engineering to multiply the value to your career in a fraction of the time it would take to earn both degrees separately.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a research university that prepares more than 11,000 students to advance to positions of responsible leadership in their careers and communities. Here, you’ll learn from leaders in their fields, as the UA Little Rock professors provide engaging and challenging courses on the path to your degree. Best of all, at UA Little Rock, you can get an affordable and efficient graduate education online
For example, you may pursue the MS in Information Science, which comprises a 33-credit-hour program and is offered online by webcast and recorded lectures. Alternatively, you can enroll in the M.Ed. in Rural and Urban School Leadership, which is a 30-hour, accelerated online program that can be completed in 12 months. If neither of those degrees suits your career aspirations, UA Little Rock offers a host of other excellent programs that will likely match your specific goals.
Make rapid progress toward your educational aspirations with accelerated programs in valuable degree areas ranging from business to education, and from health sciences to nursing. Pursue your master’s degree online at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley while you continue to serve in your career, putting your knowledge directly to work and preparing to help solve bigger challenges as you acquire additional training to lead in your field.
UNT offers two fully online degrees: a Master of Science in Nursing Education and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration. A Master of Education degree is also available and has five specialty areas, taking just 30 credit hours to complete; you can complete the M.Ed. in roughly 12 months.
In addition, UNT offers a Master of Public Affairs – Accelerated Online program that prepares you to lead in your community or civic organization. This 12-month program gives you the essential skills you’ll need to thrive in a political or non-profit setting.
Colorado State University has been educating students remotely for decades. Even in 1985, before the internet, CSU delivered courses on VHS tapes by mail.
Today, you can pursue one of the fastest accredited online graduate degrees through CSU Online. CSU Online continues to lead with innovation, not only in the delivery of education at light-speed online but also in crafting campus-based instruction.
With online master’s degrees in dozens of subject areas, you can find your educational path at CSU. For instance, you can choose from one of seven engineering master’s or from one of three health and human sciences master’s. From the disciplines of agricultural sciences to arts and music, and from computer science and technology to more than half a dozen specialty areas in an M.Ed. degree, educational possibilities are abundant at CSU Online.
East Coast Polytechnic Institute, or ECPI University, has been helping busy adults in their pursuit of an outstanding online higher education for 15 years. Students of ECPI University Online Campus get the convenience of online learning with no compromise in the quality of education as compared to campus-based education.
The fastest graduate degree programs available fully online from ECPI are in career fields with strong growth potential. Earn a technology graduate degree from the comfort of your home in as little as 13 months, with a Master’s of Systems Engineering in either Mechatronics or Software Engineering.
You can also build a solid base for career advancement in business with a management master’s degree; choose an emphasis that fits your career goals, whether that be organizational leadership, human resources management, or homeland security management. ECPI University Online also offers a traditional MBA that can be completed entirely remotely, with new terms beginning conveniently throughout the year.
Beyond the home campus in Tampa, FL, the University of South Florida reaches out to the world, providing funding for USF faculty’s global research efforts and sharing posts online from USF students who are studying abroad.
Offering dozens of accredited online graduate degrees, USF gives remote learners access to key student resources like support services and tech help online.
Through USF, you can develop skills in your career to participate in solving some of the world’s top concerns after you complete your degree. Prepare to join the field of experts in epidemiology, infection control, or global disaster management and humanitarian relief and put your advanced knowledge and training to work, helping to solve the most pressing issues of modern times
Students who are preparing for one of the online graduate programs at Stony Brook University attend a detailed orientation webinar that helps them hit the ground running with the learning management system.
The school of Professional Development at Stony Brook offers three fully online, accredited master’s programs: a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management.
Although you never need to attend class on campus, plan to schedule the time to work on your Stony Brook online graduate degree courses just as you would with onsite learning. Schedule 10-15 hours a week for completing coursework and assignments. Your graduate courses may require extra effort and time for projects or group activities that you complete online with peers in the program.
As an online institution of higher learning specializing in career-focused college degrees, Western Governors University provides courses and degree programs that are made with the needs of working professionals in mind. Most of WGU’s students fit their school schedules into busy careers and community responsibilities, so the online courses are made to be flexible and convenient.
The Atlantic pointed out that WGU is “upending the traditional college experience,” and notes that the innovations of the University have the potential to change people’s thinking about university education.
Best of all, WGU offers options to earn your online degree quickly and efficiently. Programs are designed for current professionals in education, business and management, information technology, and health. So, fulfill your career and personal goals through an accredited online graduate degree program at WGU.
Lamar University online offers working adults access to an advanced degree they need with a schedule that can fit into a busy career. In as little as 16 months, you can earn a degree in a field that can improve your career potential and enrich your life with the knowledge to solve problems and lead with confidence.
Degrees at Lamar University cover subjects like political science, criminal justice, business, education, nursing, and health sciences. Graduate programs cover a range of other career fields, too, that show continued growth potential in the coming years.
With the help of Lamar University, many students are able to continue to work in their field as they gain a greater depth of knowledge and career leadership that comes with an advanced degree.
Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Chrisitan school that is focused on delivering a thorough liberal arts education with accredited online learning opportunities for adult learners. IWU’s online program encourages students to work together as they consult with and support each other.
Instructors also interact with the class and challenge students to grapple with questions and find answers. Class sizes are limited so that the learning environment can be more intimate, even though you’re not physically in class day after day.
The education that you get with an online IWU graduate degree, though, is the same that you would get on campus, all with the convenience of learning wherever you are at.
LSU is known as one of the country’s outstanding institutions of higher education. The flagship campus in Baton Rouge is home to nationally known college sports programs and a leading research and education university.
Now serving students at campuses in three other cities in Louisiana and with LSU Online, the university strives to deliver education to the widest possible community by delivering accredited, respected college degrees remotely.
Famous for its rigorous educational standards and renowned faculty, LSU Online delivers the same classes online as students get on campus. Offering career pathways in disciplines that are in high demand, such as technology and data analytics as well as engineering and construction, LSU Online carries with it a stellar reputation for academic excellence that extends to your vocation and beyond.
Proud of a tradition of academic excellence and community involvement in Hays, KS, since 1902, Fort Hays State University is now online. Fort Hays Online is a leader in remote learning, offering innovative programs that challenge students to develop and progress forward in careers and other achievements.
Fort Hays Online now provides a personalized education for students who are unable to be on campus for regular class sessions. Online classes start in the fall and spring, following the schedule of traditional 16-week semesters. With that said, some courses are offered in an eight-week flexible format so you can quickly and efficiently satisfy the course requirements for your graduate degree.
Auburn University is known as one of the country’s leading universities, with academic excellence and sports achievements that have garnered much attention. A graduate degree from Auburn is a respected achievement that helps you stand out in a competitive career field.
Graduate programs offered through Auburn Online include master’s degree programs from the colleges of agriculture, business, education, engineering, forestry and wildlife sciences, and more.
Among the fastest graduate options offered through Auburn Online is the dual-degree program. With a dual-degree program, you can add variety to your career potential by earning a second master’s with as little as one more semester of coursework. Auburn Online’s dual-degree programs are offered in finance, information systems, and industrial and systems engineering.
Northern Kentucky University began in 1968 based on community involvement and demand for a higher educational institution in the area. Within a year, more than 1,000 students had enrolled, and the campus moved to its current home in Highland Heights, KY.
Growing to become a university by 1976, the school has since expanded to NKU Online and provides graduate degree programs that are available to students anywhere in Kentucky and beyond.
NKU Online accelerated graduate programs provide ways to reach your personal and educational goals without ever having to step foot on campus. Offering some of the fastest accredited graduate degrees, ranging from as little as 12 months for the online MBA to 18 months or more for other available master’s degrees, NKU can boost your career potential quickly and efficiently.
Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR, is known as a college of distinction. ATU helps to educate and enrich the entire world community, with alumni representing the university in 35 countries worldwide.
A strong reputation for competence goes along with every graduate degree awarded at ATU. In fact, each of its online graduate programs is built around the idea of improving students’ abilities to analyze information and make informed decisions.
Get a Master’s of Business Administration online from ATU to help prepare you to lead in your career. The MBA is offered in three study areas – General, Business Data Analytics, and Digital Marketing – each of which can hone your skills for the job you want. All MBA courses at ATU are offered online, so you can take care of business and finish your education efficiently.
Southeast Missouri State University is training tomorrow’s leaders of industry and society through more than 145 undergraduate majors, 100 minors, and over 75 graduate programs. The school also leads the way in staying on top of changing needs in the market, with dozens of accredited online graduate degrees available through Southeast Online.
If you’re a current or aspiring teacher, improve your education techniques and strengthen your credentials to lead with one of Southeast Online’s Master of Arts degrees. Choose an MA in areas like Elementary Education, Teacher Leadership, Exceptional Child Education, or Secondary Education to supplement your skills to and advance your career potential. Best yet, learn on your schedule part-time as you continue in your career or quickly complete the program full-time to prepare for a new job altogether.
Faulkner University was founded on Biblical principles and Christian values and continues to educate leaders of tomorrow with value-based education. The values that support the mission of Faulkner University are the same principles that leaders in business, government, education, and military service seek in new workers in any job: honesty, community service, and respect.
Offering innovative graduate degree programs that are built around today’s busy lifestyles, Faulkner University Online gives busy professionals a chance to fit advanced studies into a career that is already going. With programs including the Master of Science in Management, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Science in Counseling, and Master of Justice Administration, there are choices that fit in almost any career field.
Knowing that a graduate degree can be the key either to opening new opportunities in your current career or to transitioning to a new industry, Faulkner University makes higher learning accessible and appropriate to your needs and values. So, improve your career’s net worth and enrich your life with one of this school’s online graduate degrees.
Teaching technical career skills since 1958, Florida Institute of Technology began in Melbourne, on Florida’s “Space Coast,” with a purpose to educate working professionals. Today, the school is regionally accredited and respected for the degree and certificate programs offered both on campus and to students worldwide, online.
Florida Tech combines the academic skills of respected professors and leading researchers with innovative technology to deliver graduate degree programs remotely. The same faculty who teach on campus teach the online courses, drawing on extensive career experience in jobs with major corporations such as Xerox, Toyota, and Northrup Grumman. With this level of expertise on hand, Florida Tech offers strong master’s programs in disciplines such as aviation management, psychology, cybersecurity, information technology, and business.
It should come as no surprise that Florida Tech is ranked among the nation’s best-value universities by Forbes and is recognized as one of the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
Park University has been transforming lives since 1875. Guided by the same motto since its beginning, Park believes in the deep value of fides et labor, or faith and work.
Park University has grown and flourished as it’s advanced into the 21st century, and now the school helps to educate students from 60 countries around the world. Offering accredited online graduate degrees to help you prepare for career advancement or further academic pursuits, Park is there to lead you to a better future.
Online degrees at Park include an MA in National Security Studies, an M.Ed – Organizational Leadership and Adult Learning, and an MS in Information Systems and Business Analytics, to name only a few of the many programs available.
The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR, is known and respected as a leading research institution of higher learning. Now with convenient and highly adaptable online degree programs, you can apply to study at the University of Arkansas even if your work schedule or other duties keep you from being on campus for classes.
U of A degrees that can supplement your career experience and help take you further include a
Master of Arts in Secondary Mathematics, a Master of Education in Educational Equity or in Community College Leadership, and a Master of Science in Operations Management, among many other focused study areas.
U of A Online also offers a unique program that is the first advanced legal degree to focus on the areas of law relating to agriculture and food; the Master of Laws in Agricultural & Food Law can be completed entirely online.
A Christian University based in Southern California, California Baptist University teaches core life values along with essential academic principles. Established 70 years ago by the California Southern Baptist Convention, CBU now has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students.
Currently authorized to offer distance learning in 37 states, CBU is accredited to award master’s degrees in a dozen different study areas. Graduate programs are available in disciplines such as accounting, kinesiology, public administration, and education, among others.
An accredited online graduate degree can open doors to career advancement and leadership or can be the next step on your academic pathway to a top degree in your field. With the potential to learn on your own, wherever you are, the benefits of a CBU graduate degree may be closer than you imagined possible.
As the only Jesuit university in the Western Rocky Mountains, Regis University comprises five colleges that each offer a diverse range of degrees. With four campuses in Colorado, in addition to an online school that reaches students wherever they may be, Regis delivers a classical education in innovative and modern ways.
Regis offers a learning experience that blends a challenging curriculum with the opportunity to delve into the school’s key question: “How ought we to live?” With this in mind, online students engage with classmates and instructors in discussion and application of academic principles as they pursue degrees in criminology, nursing, and information and cybersecurity, among a host of other areas offered.
Online courses and programs have been part of Cleveland State’s repertoire for more than ten years. Offering over 250 online courses every semester, CSU has graduate and undergraduate degree programs that are available fully online.
Fully online programs at CSU span the range of currently in-demand degree areas. For instance, you can earn an MS in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy that will prepare you to handle information technology challenges as you help companies to protect data and network security.
Alternatively, for a graduate degree that you can complete quickly to add significant value to your resume, you can pursue CSU’s Online Accelerated MBA. Top MBA faculty here know how to challenge you to develop a deeper understanding of business principles and trends that apply to today’s management challenges. Best of all, the program can be completed in one year.
What Can a Graduate Degree Do For Me?
Advanced degrees statistically tend to lead to more stable and better-paying jobs. Each step on the college advancement ladder is shown to have a noticeable impact on the range of salaries that can be earned. A graduate degree can be a powerful tool that improves your career outlook, or it can be a step toward an academic career in your field.
Beyond improving career outlook and income potential, a graduate degree is known to improve the person who puts in the effort and discipline to earn it. Every student who applies for a master’s or doctoral program has already completed a lot of work and improvement to progress through previous college degrees, but the specific focus and rigorous academic standards of a graduate degree challenge learners in new ways that lead to personal growth beyond the acquisition of more knowledge.
Does an Online Graduate Degree Deliver the Same Education as its Equivalent on Campus?
Yes. The learning opportunities you have in an online degree program are equal to traditional classes in nearly every way.
The value of any college degree comes from the learner, of course. You must personally interact with the course materials, read thoroughly, and think deeply to get the most benefit from education.
Current learning management systems reach students wherever they are, in class or online, and bring them together to study and discuss the subject. The best online graduate schools provide classes led by the same outstanding faculty who teach students on campus.
The resources and support that students need to succeed in college are at your fingertips with online learning. You can work with your student advisor, get tech help from trained specialists, talk to financial counselors, and access the vast online collections and databases of the school’s digital library from anywhere in the world.
What Is the Fastest Online Graduate Degree?
The time it takes to earn a master’s degree can range from about 12 months to a few years. Factors that go into the timeline of your graduate degree program include the credit hours required for the degree, any concurrent or transfer credits you might apply to reduce the total classes needed for graduation, and the amount of time you have to work on school on a regular basis.
With 15-25 hours per week dedicated to classes, assignments, and projects, an accelerated MBA can be earned in one year.
Will I Miss Out on Valuable Campus Educational Opportunities With an Online Degree?
The experience of remote learning is certainly different from the full, on-campus experience of a traditional graduate degree program. Some opportunities for direct involvement in class leadership or activities that some graduate students perform in residential programs may not be fully available if you are not in the same city as the university’s campus.
With that being said, many online graduate students are actively pursuing their career as they seek an advanced degree. You may find that your current work experience is the ideal setting for a practical application of the knowledge and skills you are acquiring in your classes.
Most other resources and services that are available to students on campus, from support services to tutoring, to technical assistance and research, are all available in a convenient format online. Online learning opens up the world of education for busy adults who can’t be in class on a set schedule but can put in the time on their own, online.
Are Online Graduate Degrees Taken Seriously by Employers and Academics?
Yes. Modern online education is able to duplicate the learning experience of the traditional college campus degree program in ways that have not been possible previously. While online education may have once been considered inferior, things have changed with technology in education.
Most, if not all, top-tier universities in the country, along with leading state and private institutions of higher education, now offer a full range of online programs. This fact highlights the reality that employers and other schools have come to respect and recognize the value of an accredited online graduate degree.
The most important factor in your degree, however, is the amount of effort and work that you put into it. Remember: the best teachers and classes can’t educate a student who does not participate and accept the challenges and benefits of a good college education.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out the 30 Top Accredited Schools Offering Online Master’s Degrees and the Top 30 Easy Accredited Online Ph.D. Programs!