A self-paced master’s degree is designed for adult learners who may not be able to dedicate themselves to a regular course load or structure while pursuing their degree, preferring instead to engage in flexible learning where they can work at any time. As more top universities recognize how difficult it is for some students to fit the pursuit of a master’s degree into the real world of their professional and personal responsibilities, self-paced programs are being offered at more institutions and they’re offering more master’s degrees, including self paced masters degree online programs. Continue reading to read about best self-paced programs online and on campus and learn about nine universities offering self-paced master’s degrees.
Did You Know? The number of master’s degrees conferred from 2000-2001 to 2015-2016 increased 66%, or from 474,000 to 786,000.i
Universities with Self-Paced Master’s Degree Programs Online & On-CampusWhile many universities offer online master’s degrees or at least some type of hybrid learning for your degree, the nine listed below offer a variety of self-paced learning options that allow you to take courses at your convenience – including self paced masters degree online options.
- M.S. Accounting
- M.S. Homeland Security
- M.S. Health Education
- Master of Public Administration
- M.S. Psychology
Walden University has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners. Today, Walden serves students from all 50 states and more than 150 countries from around the world through programs that reflect current market trends and promote positive social change. Tempo Learning, Walden’s self-paced learning format, is an innovative and custom way to complete your degree. These programs allow you to use real-world experience to potentially speed your progress through a curriculum that can be applied to your job immediately. Some of the Tempo Learning programs are:
- Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) – General
- Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) – Self-Designed
- M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology – Online Learning
- M.S. in Criminal Justice – Self-Designed
- M.S. in Human Resource Management – General Program
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership
- Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication
- Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
- Master of Science in Project Management (ALIGN)
- Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Informatics
#5: Grand Canyon UniversityGrand Canyon University offers over 200 academic programs across nine colleges and various online learning platforms. GCU is Arizona’s premier private Christian university earning regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and its predecessor since 1968. GCU expects to grow to 25,000 students within the next five years and have invested approximately $1 billion in campus and academic infrastructure. Some of GCU’s programs are:
- Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
- Graduate Teaching Certificate – Biology
- M.S. Nursing – Associate to Master’s – Nursing Administration
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Global Health
- Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Policy and Administration
- Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sport and Fitness Administration / Management
- Master of Science (M.S.) Predictive Analysis
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Systems
- Master of Business Administration (MBA): Leadership
- Master of Arts (MA): Marriage and Family Therapy
- Master of Arts (MA): Strategic Communication
- Master of Education (Med): Teaching and Learning: Early Childhood Education
- Master of Public Administration (MPA): Law and Public Policy
Self-Paced Learning DefinitionSelf-paced learning provides students the flexibility to make their own schedules while pursuing a degree. Most of these are online programs that not only allow you to perform your coursework and post assignments at your convenience, but also dictate your course schedule. While every university has a unique design for their self-paced offerings, some allow you to complete courses in as little or as much time as it takes you. Others offer you the option to take as many courses as you feel comfortable during each term. While these programs can be a great option for busy people looking to earn a degree, you still need to make sure that you meet all of the required deadlines for each of your courses so that you earn full credit.
How Self-Paced Learning Has Changed Over the YearsWhile self-paced learning has been around in some form since the 1700s when private correspondence courses were advertised in the Boston Gazette, it didn’t really take off until the internet became readily available. Since then, wi-fi, especially in public places and coffee shops, and mobile devices have made self-paced learning, especially in graduate school, even more accessible. And, as we can now be connected wherever we are, it is easier to meet deadlines, perform research, and communicate with peers and professors. Plus, with more professional and personal responsibilities, self-paced master’s programs allow you the option to take as many or as few online courses or offline courses as you feel comfortable. Some even allow you to complete a course in as little as two weeks. While many self-paced programs are offered online or in a hybrid format, understand your own learning style to decide whether a campus or distance program is better for you.
Did You Know? The Society to Encourage Studies at Home, created in 1873, was the first correspondence school in the United States.
Difference Between Self-Paced and OnlineOnline has some self-paced options, such as performing coursework and posting to message boards whenever it is convenient for you. However, that doesn’t make every online program a self-paced one. For instance, many online master’s degrees are designed in a similar way and adhere to a similar schedule as on-campus or hybrid programs, which means you take a certain number of courses and complete them in a designated amount of time. On the other hand, self-paced programs, including self paced online masters degrees are designed to fit into the busy schedule of degree seeking professionals. Some of these programs even allow you to complete a course in as little or as much time as you need to feel comfortable with the material.
Benefits of Self-Paced Master’s ProgramsSome of the benefits of self-paced master’s programs are:
- Design your program
- Take as many or as few courses as you’d like
- No stress over deadlines
- Widely accepted by employers
- Perform coursework at your convenience
- May give you a technological edge over brick and mortar graduates
- May offer more interaction between instructor and students
List of Self-Paced Online Master’s Degree Programs
|Graduate School||Sample Self-Paced Degrees Awarded|
|1.Southern New Hampshire University||MS Data Analytics, MS Public Health, MS Operations Management|
|2.Purdue University Global||MA Liberal Studies, MSN, MS Homeland Security|
|3.Thomas Edison State University||MA Liberal Studies, MSN, MS Homeland Security|
|4.Wilmington University||MBA Health Care Admin Concentration, MS Applied Technology|
|5.Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies||MS Global Health, MA Public Policy, MS Information Sciences|
|6.Liberty University||MBA, MA Family Therapy, MA Strategic Communication|
|7.University of North Carolina||MSW, MBA, MPA, MS Public Policy|
|8.Walden University||MPH, MBA, MS Instructional Design|
|9.Northeastern University||MS Criminal Justice, MS Applied Nutrition|
Earn a Master’s Degree at Your Pace Today!Think a self-paced master’s degree online or on-campus is right for you? Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page, including those listed above, for more information about the degree and the school and how to apply.
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