Most popular online masters degree programs range from business to healthcare to social work and include many valuable concentrations in each of these fields. Plus, choosing to pursue your degree online, you may gain more freedom around submitting assignments and the ability to hand in coursework when it is most convenient for you.
Did You Know?
In 2017, there were nearly 2.25 million applications to graduate school, or up 1.2% compared to 2016. However, this is lower than the average annual rate of growth during the years 2006 to 2016, which was 5.7%.
Most Popular Online Masters Degree Programs
As the prevalence of online learning continues to grow (according to some reports, the number of U.S. students who enrolled in at least one online course rose 5.6% from 2015 to 2016), more students are pursuing online master’s degrees.
Many students enjoy the freedom and flexibility that these top programs provide, including the ability to perform coursework when it is most convenient and fits best into the student's schedule. This allows students the option to pursue their degree as a part-time student while still working full-time without having to relocate or only attend nearby schools.
However, according to a study by Aslanian Market Research and LearningHouse, online learners still want to be a part of the community and value interaction with classmates and instructors as important aspects of programs.
This is one of the reason why many schools are now focusing on learner-centered online master’s programs, one year masters programs, and facilitating more opportunities for interactions, such as through message boards, email, and instant messaging services.
Most Popular Masters Degrees : Online MBA Programs
Many online MBA programs provide you with a number of options to earn your degree, including accelerated MBA programs that take as little as one year, or the option to pursue your degree as a part-time student at a pace you’re comfortable with.
Coursework usually combines an emphasis on business principles, how they relate to different fields, and real-world applications or theories and research through case studies and analysis of real companies and business problems. MBAs also strive to develop your entrepreneurial spirit and develop effective leadership skills.
Many online MBA programs offer concentrations to tailor your curriculum and include:
- Health Care Management
- Human Resource Management
- Project Management
- International Business
- Supply Chain Management
In addition, some schools offer dual MBA programs that combine the coursework of an MBA with degrees such as:
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Juris Doctor (JD)
- Master of Social Work (MSW)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
Every school has a unique design and may not offer all of the concentrations or dual degree options listed above. Therefore, be sure to check with a number of schools to find the perfect program for you.
As a private research higher education institution, Syracuse University has nearly 150 years of history, a global footprint, and looks for students who dream big.
The online MBA programs at Syracuse offer students around the country and around the world access to the Whitman School of Management without having to relocate or put their careers on hold. Plus, The Financial Times ranked the program as the #7 Online MBA in the U.S. in 2018.
Two options for every earning an online MBA at Syracuse include:
Lawrence Technological University is all about taking abstract ideas into the real world to solve tomorrow’s programs. Founded in 1933, LTU continues to prosper and accelerate its growth, hone its educational philosophy, and build important community and professional alliances.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Online program combines engaged faculty and cutting-edge curriculum with an educational platform that caters to busy professionals. By combining theory and practice, the MBA teaches practical skills that help you make critical decisions.
As a comprehensive, independent, and private institution founded in 1946, Utica College offers excellent academic programs and outstanding faculty with a high degree of personal attention. With a broad range of opportunities to grow personally and intellectually, Utica strives to help you build a strong foundation for success in your professional life.
Besides the General MBA at Utica, the school offers a number of concentrations for your online degree, including:
Most Popular Master's Degrees : Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs
Social workers help people and communities cope with problems in their everyday life. In addition, clinical social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.i
As a result, online MSW programs teach how you can help improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and groups, especially those in underserved or at-risk communities.
Many programs are also designed to help you pursue the social work career path that fits your goals and expectations, which include either at the micro, mezzo, or macro levels. While similar, each of these roles have different responsibilities, so be sure to compare a number of programs before applying.
Available MSW Concentrations
In order to provide you with the coursework and analysis to help you pursue your desired career path, many MSW programs offer concentrations, such as:
- Advanced Clinical Practice
- Military Social Work
- Social Work in Healthcare
- Social Work with Children and Families
- Macro Social Work
All of the schools listed below, and all others that offer an MSW, may not offer all of these concentrations. Therefore, if you’re looking for a specific one, be sure to check with a number of schools.
Social Work Career Growth
According the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of social workers will increase 16% during the ten years from 2016 to 2026.ii
For more than 100 years, Simmons College has put the needs of students first by combining intellectual leadership and professional preparation to help students lead meaningful lives and build successful careers.
The Simmons School of Social Work offers an online Master of Social Work (MSW) through full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks so that you can earn your degree at the pace that fits you and your lifestyle.
Plus, the online MSW offer four concentrations:
- Advocate for Children and Families
- Provide Trauma-Informed Services
- Work with Adults and Families Across the Life Span
- Support Those with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Disorders
As the only National University of the Catholic Church in the United States, the Catholic University of America seeks to cultivate a new generation of Catholic minds, to find new ways to apply the inexhaustible resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition, and to help solve the problems of contemporary life.
The online Master of Social Work (MSW) prepares you to obtain your license in clinical social work practice so that you may learn how to provide much-needed mental health care services aimed at preventing and treating a wide range of mental and behavioral disorders in people from all social, financial, and ethnic classes.
Sacred Heart University has the mission of educating the whole person while preparing students to lead and serve in the modern world. Rooted in the liberal arts and Catholic intellectual traditions, SHU is particularly committed to social justice and encourages students, faculty, and staff to promote the common good and to serve others.
The online MSW programs at Sacred Heart are designed to deepen your level of assistance to vulnerable populations and prepare to take on leadership positions. There are two different concentrations for you to choose from, though both programs incorporate aspects of the other to offer a well-rounded and complete understanding of all the key topics.
The two concentrations are:
In Demand Masters Degrees : Education Master’s Degrees
Online education master’s degree programs teach you how you can have an even greater impact on the lives of your students. Many of these degrees focus on:
- Professional development
- How to apply theories and current research to the classroom
- Impact of technology on learning
- Curriculum design
This combination of theoretical and practical knowledge can be applied right away to your current position, while fitting your coursework around your professional responsibilities.
Types and Concentrations for Education Master’s Programs
While some master’s programs in education offer the option to earn your degree with a concentration, there are different types of degrees offered that focus on a specific aspect, which are:
- Master of Arts (MA)
- Master of Science (MS)
- Master of Education (MEd)
All of these are academically equivalent and take into account different aspects of educational leadership and curriculum design. Some of the education master’s degrees available include:
- Online Curriculum and Instruction
- Online Special Education
- Online Educational Leadership
- Online Learning and Technology
- Online Teacher Education
- Online Adult Education and Training
- Online Early Child Education
With more than 115,000 alumni worldwide, Dayton University is a top-tier Catholic research university and one of the largest private universities in Ohio. Plus, as a Catholic, Marianist university, Dayton is devoted to education for service, justice, and peace, and they strive to develop critical minds and compassionate hearts.
The online Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership teaches the most pressing issues facing the educational community today:
- School law
- Leadership in diverse communities
In just a short time, George Mason University has made impressive strides in size and stature. Now, as Virginia’s largest public research university, George Mason is setting a benchmark for a bold, progressive education that serves the needs of their students and community.
Among many online and education programs, George Mason offers a Master of Education in Special Education. This program prepares students to address the complex learning needs of individuals with disabilities through a unique, innovative approach.
Plus, there are two concentrations available for your degree:
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private, nonprofit university that focuses on a relationship-driven, person-centered education. The school strives to provide a welcoming community and focuses on providing a practical, hands-on learning experience.
Among a number of graduate degrees in education, Saint Mary’s offers:
- Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
- Master of Arts in Special Education
- Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Though each has a different focus, these programs teach how to create inclusive classrooms, how to leverage technology to teach a new generation of tech savvy students, and how to create strategies for today’s modern educational challenges.
Common Masters Degrees : Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs
As the healthcare industry continues to experience growth and changes in technology, medicine, and regulation, many students are pursuing online MSN degrees, making it one of the most popular online masters degree programs.
These programs teach critical thinking and leadership skills, as well as current research and trends in the field, to prepare you for continuous learning and how to adapt to these constant changes.
Many online programs are designed for students who are already licensed RNs, though every program has unique admissions requirements, so be sure to check with a few options before applying.
Common MSN Concentrations
Depending on which area of nursing you’d like to focus your curriculum, there are a number of concentrations for your online MSN, such as:
- Nurse Administrator
- Nurse Educator
- Nursing Informatics
- Diabetes Nursing
Many schools also offer direct entry nursing programs, though these may not be online or may have residency requirements to meet clinical requirements while you earn your license. In addition, many schools also offer accelerated MSN programs that may have similar requirements.
Nursing Career Outlook
The BLS projects that the number of advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, will increase 31% during the ten years from 2016 to 2026.iii
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University holds the distinction of being Chicago’s oldest Catholic university that challenges students with a forward-thinking curriculum that encourages them to reach their full academic potential.
Xavier offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) that teaches how you may transform yourself into a trusted resource for your patients, peers, and supervisors by focusing on management, business, and clinical skills.
The online MSN at Xavier offer three concentrations, which are:
- Clinical leadership
- Executive leadership
- Nurse educator
Grand Canyon University is committed to integrating faith across all aspects of the community, which stems from their mission of educating students from a Christian perspective and to prepare you for your career.
The online nursing programs at GCU include the following options:
These programs may help you prepare for roles as a clinical leader or educator, how to use patient data to improve decision-making, and how to address today’s complex public health issues.
As one of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University was founded in 1856 and has been developing the minds, hearts, and spirits of students ever since. As a whole, the school performs more than 40,000 hours of community service every year.
SHU offers a variety of online MSN degrees, including these three:
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Health Systems Administration with Case Management
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nurse Practitioner (Online)
As today’s healthcare environment requires executive nurse leaders who possess broad skillsets that combine hospital administration and patient care, these programs have aspects of both with a different focus depending on which program you choose so that you can balance these requirements.
Choose One of the Most Popular Online Master’s Degrees and Apply Today!
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[i] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-6 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-6