One-Year and Accelerated Masters Programs

One year master’s programs may help you cut down the time it takes to earn your degree. These accelerated programs may allow you to earn your degree in less time than a regular graduate degree schedule.

One year master’s degrees may come in many forms. Although general options include Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees. In addition to more specific plans such Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees may be found as well. We’ll go into these different types of degree further down the page.

If you want to keep your job while you study, you may want to choose a flexible online master’s degree to suit your schedule. Therefore we’ll mention online master’s programs in several subjects to help you in your school search.

Continue reading to learn about the benefits of earning a one year master’s degree and get some info on your options. In fact, we’ve got lists of school rankings at this degree level and some scholarship information that may help lower your tuition rate.

Common One Year Masters Programs

Graduate schools across the U.S. may offer a variety of one year master’s programs. Here’s a list of some of the subjects where they’re fairly common:

  1. Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  2. Education
  3. Computer Science
  4. Information Technology
  5. Healthcare
  6. Social Work
  7. Criminal Justice

Programs in these subjects may be structured as standard study plans or intensive accelerated programs that require more credits per term than standard full-time study. Keep in mind that these programs may have a fairly intense study schedule. Many students may find it difficult to keep their jobs while earning a one-year master’s.

With the right time management, however, nearly anything is possible. Look into a variety of programs in your field to find the perfect match for you.

One-Year MBA Programs

One-year MBA programs are often highly intensive and fast-paced. For instance they cover a range of topics that normally takes two years to learn. To explain, these programs typically cover core courses and electives in three terms (fall, spring, and summer), all on a full-time schedule.

Some online MBA programs include learning experience courses, which may be delivered in a variety of ways. For example. they may include simulations or action-learning projects that typically help you develop decision-making skills and overcome the challenges of the business world.

Depending on your concentration, you might take MBA courses like these:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Data, Models, and Decisions
  • Managerial Economics
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Innovation of Products and Services

One-Year Master’s in Education

The courses you may take when pursuing a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree work to teach you the skills you need to succeed in education leadership roles.  In this case you may learn how to fine-tune curriculum elements, manage school operations or become a person of influence and agent of change for teachers and students.

Common Courses for M.Ed. Programs

Here’s a list of common courses you might take while pursuing a one-year M.Ed. degree:

  • Foundations of Literacy Development and Instruction
  • English-Language Learners in the General Education Classroom
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Management of School Resources
  • Organization

One-Year Computer Science Programs

Earning a computer science master’s degree in one year takes drive and dedication. In fact, students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field may be best suited for intensive programs like these.

Many computer science programs at this level lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Engineering (M.E.) degree. For this reason some students may choose to go on to earn a Ph.D. after finishing their master’s. You should plan to study full time if you want to complete your degree in one year.

Common Courses for M.S. Programs in Computer Science

Here’s a list of common courses you might see on your schedule in a computer science M.S. program:

  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems
  • Database management systems
  • Software engineering
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Distributed systems

One-Year Information Technology Programs

A degree in information technology (IT) at the master’s level may help you move into the management side of the field. In general, many of these degrees work to build on your IT knowledge with the business skills required for organizational leadership in tech.

Earning this degree in just one year often typically requires that you hit the ground running from day one. Therefore some prior learning in a related subject is a big plus. In this case students with a bachelor’s in IT, computer science or engineering management may have a good chance of earning an M.S. in IT on a shortened schedule.

Common Courses for M.S. in Information Technology Programs

Every IT school sets its own course list for these degrees, but there are a few subjects that many programs may have in common:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Project Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Business analytics
  • Data Management
  • IT Strategy
  • Blockchain

One-Year Healthcare Administration Programs

Healthcare administration is a vital part of the U.S. health system, and management jobs tend to require a master’s degree. For example, master’s degree programs in this field tend to lead to M.S. in healthcare administration or Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) degrees. Then again some programs may take the form of a Master of Public Health (M.P.H) degree, and some that focus on tech may be offered as an M.S. in healthcare informatics.

M.H.A., M.P.H., and M.S. programs in healthcare management are accredited by the following agencies:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Common Courses for M.H.A. and M.S. in Healthcare Administration Programs

The exact courses you take may depend on the schedule set by your chosen school, but here’s a list of subjects you might study in your program core:

  • Health Systems
  • Biostatistics
  • Theories of Health Behavior
  • Health Sciences Management
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Public Health Policy
  • Research Methodology

One-Year Social Work Programs

Social workers  make a difference in the lives of those in need. With this in mind, earning a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree typically  teaches you how to work more effectively with clients and help them deal with issues in their lives.

M.S.W. degrees may also prepare you to manage and lead social work agencies. Some programs give you the option to concentrate in either management or practice. In addition, many M.S.W. programs earn accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Common Courses for M.S.W. and M.S. Programs in Social Work

Not all M.S.W. programs offer the same set of courses, but there are a few subjects of study that many programs share:

  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Clinical Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups
  • Advanced Cultural Competence
  • Social Work Research
  • Program Development
Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology typically prepares students for successful careers through a blend of research-driven and experience-based degrees. Around 3,000 graduate students attended classes here in 2020, and the school has more than 125,000 alumni worldwide. The Saunders College of Business at RIT offers a Fast-Track One-Year Master of Business Administration (MBA) that features flexible scheduling. The program may also allows you to personalize your education by offering a variety of study concentrations.

Concentration Options:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management Information Systems
  • Entrepreneurship
Cal State East Bay has been part of the California State University system for more than 60 years and has more than 130,000 alumni. The school typically gives its diverse student body access to higher education and helps graduates engage with their community through academic programs and leadership. The One-Year Intensive MBA program at Cal State East Bay is typically designed to prepare you for the challenges of the modern business world. You may choose from several concentrations to prepare you for the rapidly changing, competitive, and global business environment.

Concentration Options:

  • Human Resources and Organizational Behavior
  • Information Technology Management
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Strategy and International Business
  • Finance
An independent, non-profit higher education institution, Babson College welcomes students from more than 80 countries around the world. Many of the programs here are designed to balance theory, education, and research, and they may feature real-world instructional settings. The One-Year Master MBA at Babson thinks outside the box in terms of preparing you for today’s business world. The program typically strives to develop your entrepreneurial ability by equipping you to create economic and social value in any industry and in any role. It features a problem-solving approach, enhanced through experiential learning.

Concentration Options:

  • Global Management
  • Corporate Financial Strategy
  • Investments
  • Marketing
By focusing on experiential learning, Northeastern University strives to ignite discovery and make learning a lifelong endeavor. For more than 100 years, Northeastern has been driven by the proven idea that experience deepens learning. Northeastern typically offers a variety of Master’s in Education Programs, many of which are possible to complete in one year. Talk to an advisor about your concentration options if you may not be sure ’re not sure which direction you want to go.

Concentration Options:

  • E-Learning and Instructional Design
  • Elementary Education
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Learning Analytics
  • Learning and Instruction
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
Designed as a caring and creative community to prepare students for careers in a rapidly changing world, the University of North Texas is one of the largest public research universities in the country. The College of Education at UNT typically offers a variety of master’s degrees in education, including a One-Year Master’s in Educational Leadership. The one-year program is likely designed for educators who are looking to jumpstart their career as administrators, or for those looking to move into other kinds of leadership roles.

Concentration Options:

  • Student Affairs Administration
  • Community College Leadership
  • General Administration
Founded in 1950, California Baptist University believes each person has been created for a purpose. CBU strives to help students understand and engage this purpose through a Christ-centered educational experience. Coursework for many of the master’s degrees in education at CBU may take as little as one year to complete. Some students may take longer to earn their degree. Often the specific length of your program typically depends on the concentration you choose and whether or not you keep your job while pursuing your degree.

Concentration Options:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Teaching
  • Early Childhood Studies
The prestigious Cornell University was founded in 1865 and has over 24,000 people in its student body. The Ivy League school has one of the best student-faculty ratios in the U.S., with just nine students to each faculty member. Cornell Tech is a branch campus of Cornell University, located in Manhattan. The one-year computer science degree here typically follows an M.E. study plan. Students may learn how to work across disciplines and build solutions as part of a team with diverse sets of skills.

Concentration Options:

  • Security and Privacy
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Data and Modeling
  • Human Computer Interaction
This Florida school is fairly young for a doctoral research university. NSU was established in Fort Lauderdale in 1964. It was a pioneer in online courses and degrees, offering its first online program nearly 40 years ago. The one-year M.S. in computer science at NSU features a general study plan and five concentration options. It typically consists of 10 courses and takes 30 credit hours to complete. Students may take either online or on-campus courses.

Concentration Options:

  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Systems
  • Data Science
  • Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Real-World Computing
This private school in Virginia is the second oldest university in the country. It was chartered in 1693, more than 80 years before the U.S. was established as a nation. It offers more than 40 graduate and doctoral study plans, including M.S., M.Ed., MBA and Ph.D. programs. William & Mary’s one-year M.S. in computer science typically takes 32 credit hours to complete. A total of 11 courses make up the program. It may be the easiest to complete the degree in one year if you earn two courses’ worth of graduate credit during your bachelor’s program.

Concentration Options:

  • Computational Science
  • Computational Operations
This public research university in Ohio educates close to 40,000 students each term. More than 400 total degree programs are offered at UC. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is counted among the school’s alumni. The 100% online master’s degree in IT offered here has a flexible schedule that allow a driven student to earn their M.S. in 12 months of full-time study. The UC campus features an NSA-sponsored center for cyber defense and cyber operations. Students with an interest in IT security might want to look closely at the UC program.

Concentration Options:

  • Programming
  • Web Development
  • Robotics
  • Game Design
Thomas Jefferson founded UVA as a public university in 1819. The old guard school has grown quite a bit since then, today serving over 25,000 students each term. Nearly 8,000 of those students pursue one of the more than 120 graduate and doctoral programs at UVA. The one-year M.S. in the Management of Information Technology (M.S. in MIT) at UVA is designed with adult learners in mind. Classes take place on Friday and Saturday, or on alternating Saturdays.

Concentration Options:

  • No concentration options available
Fordham is a private school in the Jesuit tradition. Located in the Bronx in New York City, Fordham welcomes nearly 17,000 students in each yearly class. The ratio of students to faculty here is a comfortable 13:1. The M.S. in IT at Fordham features courses that train both technical and management skills. A part-time option is available as well, for students who don’t want to leave their jobs while they earn their degree.

Concentration Options:

  • No concentration options available
Capella University is a private, for-profit school that delivers nearly all of its courses online. Close to 38,000 students were enrolled here in 2020, with more than 72% pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees. The M.H.A. program at Capella has a healthcare informatics focus. It aims to prepare students to take on leadership roles in a range of different settings. The FlexPath option typically gives you the freedom to complete your degree in one year.

Concentration Options:

  • Health Care Informatics
  • General Health Administration
  • Health Care Leadership
  • Health Care Operations
This private, non-profit school has embraced online learning in a big way. Founded in 1932, SNHU has just over 3,000 students on its main campus, but more than 135,000 people attend its courses online. The M.S. in healthcare administration here is offered 100% online and covers a range of topics. Students learn how to make budgets, recruit new staff, manage information, and assess a facility’s needs.

Concentration Options:

  • Health Care Informatics
  • General Health Administration
  • Health Care Leadership
  • Health Care Operations
UC Berkeley faculty and alumni have won numerous major awards. The current faculty contains nine people who have won Nobel Prizes and four winners of the Pulitzer Prize. The one-year M.P.H. degree at Berkeley is designed for clinicians or students on their way to clinical practice careers. If you have earned or are pursuing an M.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D. or other practitioner degree, this plan could be right perfect for you.

Concentration Options:

  • Health Care Management
Hunter College is a member school of the City University of New York with 150 years of experience educating students. Located on Park Avenue in New York City, Hunter admits more than 23,000 students each year. The learning environment here is close-knit, with just 13 students to each faculty member. If you have a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree, you may qualify for the advanced standing one-year M.S.W. program at Hunter. You must have earned your B.S.W. within five years prior to applying for the program, which requires 36 credit hours to complete.

Concentration Options:

  • Aging
  • Health
  • Mental Health
  • World of Work
This New Jersey school maintains five campuses across Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. A total of more than 160 undergrad and graduate programs are offered here. Around 10,000 students attend classes at Stockton each term. Stockton’s advanced standing one-year M.S.W. program is built on a general social work foundation. Students study social forces that keep people from meeting their basic needs and learn ways to help them overcome the setbacks they face.

Concentration Options:

  • Clinical Social Work
  • Leadership and Management
Known locally as Chico State, CSU Chico is a Hispanic-serving institution with more than 100 total degrees in its catalog. Located less than 100 miles north of Sacramento, Chico State claims the highest graduation rate in the CSU system. More than 75% of students here receive some form of financial aid. Students who have earned an accredited B.S.W. within five years of enrolling choose between two one-year M.S.W. programs. One program is taught on campus, and the other has a hybrid schedule that is delivered mostly online.

Concentration Options:

  • Social Work Practice in Mental Health Services
  • Social Work Practice in Families, Children and Youth Services
Located in the city of Beaumont, Lamar University is a member of the Texas State University System. More than half of the 15,000+ people who attend classes here each term are first-generation college students. LU features more than 100 student clubs and organizations to help engage your passions while you study. The online M.S. in criminal justice at LU is typically designed for law enforcement pros who want to move into careers at federal agencies like the CIA and FBI. Tuition rates here are affordable—the total cost of this program in 2020 was $9,000.

Concentration Options:

  • No concentration options available
Founded in 1874, UNR offers hundreds of degree options and more than 80 graduate programs. Students who typically like to spend time in the great outdoors take advantage of world-class hiking, biking, fishing, snow sports and more in the greater Reno-Tahoe area. UNR’s M.A. in criminal justice requires 33 credit hours to complete and be earned one of two ways. The thesis track includes six credits of research and writing for your capstone thesis project. The non-thesis track relies on a comprehensive exam instead of a research project.

Concentration Options:

  • Law and Justice
This member campus of the Auburn University system was established in 1967 and admits around 5,200 students each term. The campus at AUM is close-knit, with roughly half of its classes containing 20 students or fewer. The one-year M.S. in criminal justice at AUM prepare you for Ph.D. study or train you for leadership roles in the field. Students typically have three options for program completion: a thesis, a comprehensive exam, or a period of specialized work for course credit. If you have a GPA of 2.5 or better, the GRE or GMAT requirement for admission is waived.

Concentration Options:

  • Students complete six semester hours of concentrated work in addition to the required 30 semester hours.

Benefits of Earning a One Year Master’s Degree

One-year master’s programs may limited to certain subjects, but those subjects tend to be among the more popular programs available. As a result these fast-paced programs typically have the same curriculum as programs of standard length.

Here’s a quick list of the benefits of earning your degree through a one year master’s program:

#1: Earn Your Degree in Less Time

Many full time students  earn a master’s degree in two years. For this reason by choosing a one-year program, you’re typically shortening the time it takes you to earn your degree and bring your new skills to the job market.

#2: May Cost Less

Some one-year graduate programs come with a lower overall expense than regular programs. Taking less time to earn your degree may lower your expenses for transportation, campus fees and other associated costs.

Of course, every school is different. If cost is one of the key factors in your decision, be sure to check with several different schools and examine your full range of options.

#3: Jumpstart Your Career

Many people who make the decision to pursue a master’s degree have the goal of giving their career a shot in the arm. Earning an M.A., M.S., MBA, M.Ed., or other graduate degree prepare you for leadership roles and possible advancement, which is only one of the reasons why you should get a master’s degree.

#4: Increase Your Professional Network

A key benefit of enrolling in a master’s degree program is the people you may meet who share your career interests. Not only does this include your peers, classmates, and professors, but also any guest speakers, lecturers, or professionals who visit and give presentations. Of course, meeting new people in your field may open doors to future jobs, organizational memberships, and other opportunities.

Scholarships for Online Master’s Programs

Paying for school is usually no easy task, but chances are you qualify for one or more of the hundreds of financial aid programs on offer across the U.S. Each scholarship sets its own rules for deciding who’s eligible, so make sure to check the details before you apply. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

Here’s a diverse list of five student aid options for graduate students:

Bienecke Scholarship Program

This program is typically designed for U.S. college juniors who plan to earn an M.A. or M.S. in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Equally important, students at participating schools must be nominated to be considered for the award.

  • Award amount: $34,000
  • What you’ll need: Students are asked to complete their FAFSA and submit a series of documents. Your official transcript, resume, and personal statement are required, as well as three recommendation letters. Some eligibility forms unique to this award may also be required.
  • Deadline month: February

Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship

Aimed at student athletes, this program honors the former director of the NCAA. Whether or not you qualify depends on your GPA and potential for success in graduate school. In addition you may typically need to be nominated to be in the running for the award.

  • Award amount: $24,000
  • What you’ll need: The committee asks for an essay and a personal statement along with the application form. You’ll typically need at least one recommendation letter and an official copy of your transcript. They may also ask for lists of any service you’ve done and honors you’ve earned in school.
  • Deadline month: January

Annual Black Entrepreneurship Grant

Black students who have an idea for a business may apply for this aid package. In this case, award decisions are made based on the merit of their idea and the impact that extra funds would have on their chances of bringing it to life. Those already working on their business may also apply.

  • Award amount: $2,000
  • What you’ll need: Students must submit an essay and a personal statement with their application form.
  • Deadline month: December

(ISC)2 Cyber Safety and Education Scholarship

Students seeking graduate or doctoral degrees in cybersecurity or a similar field may qualify for this award. You must have a GPA of at least 3.5 to be eligible. Applicants may be enrolled in either on-campus or online programs.

  • Award amount: $1,000-$5,000
  • What you’ll need: You’ll typically need at least one recommendation letter, a personal statement, and an application essay. Also, your official transcript is essential as well.
  • Deadline month: March

Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship

Designed to reward outstanding students, this award also comes with a Summer Associate position at the investment firm. Those who receive this award and go on to take a position with the firm may get an additional signing bonus when they’re hired.

  • Award amount: $35,000
  • What you’ll need: There are no official requirements for this scholarship.

Deadline month: March

What Are the Fastest Online Degree Programs?

There are a variety of accelerated master’s programs that may be completed in one year or less. And here are some of the most common ones:

In addition, advanced-standing Master of Social Work (MSW) programs tend to only consist of the second year of the standard two-year study plan.

Request Info on One Year Masters Programs!

Visit our Masters page for available one-year master’s programs. After all, it is free to complete the form on this page to get matched to the perfect program for you.

Once you get your match results, it’s typically a good idea to seek out independent information from the schools themselves. If you’re still deciding, check out some of our other resource guides, like what master’s degree should you pursue, to help you in your search.