How Long Does it Take to Get a Master's Degree?

How long does it take to get a mastersWondering how long does it take to get a master’s degree? The short answer is two years for a regular master’s as a full-time student. But there are plenty of other options and formats so you can choose the option that best fits your goals and schedule.

Continue reading to find out the different types of master’s degrees and how long it takes to earn each.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s?

While, it usually takes full-time students two years to earn a master’s degree, the specific time depends largely on what type of master’s degree you choose and the degree you pursue.i

For instance, the number of years it takes to earn a master’s degree may vary depending additional requirements, such as clinicals or practicums, or if you choose an accelerated or part-time program.

How Long Does It Take to a Part-Time Master’s?

2-5 Years

Many part-time master’s programs are designed to work around your busy schedule, which may provide more flexibility so that you can choose how many courses to take per semester.

There are a wide variety of part-time master’s degrees for you to choose from. In fact, many schools offer many of their master’s degrees with a part-time option, though you should check with each school to make sure. If you’re interested in part-time programs, check out the sponsored listings below for some options.

List of 3 Part-Time Master’s Programs

#1: Johns Hopkins University

Part-time Master’s at JHU

Special Education (Full-Time and Part-Time)

Designed for individuals seeking their initial teacher certification, the Special Education Master’s program is 39 credits and can be completed in four semesters or on a part-time basis. Some of the key topics include:

  • Applied experiences in legal issues
  • Psycho educational assessment
  • Data-based decision making
  • Instructional programming
  • Behavior management

Whether you’re an experienced special education teacher or someone interested in becoming one, these topics and coursework strives to offer a deeper understanding of educating students with special needs.

#2: University of San Francisco

Part-time Master’s at USF

Part-Time MBA

The University of San Francisco offers a number of MBA programs, including a Part-Time MBA which offers evening classes. This design allows you the opportunity to transform your career while you’re working, so that you can immediately apply lessons and coursework to your career.

The flexibility of this program offers busy professionals the structured support to allow you to earn your degree in two to five years at the pace that works for you.

#3: Adler University

Part-time Master’s at Adler

Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration: Urban Mental Health Concentration (Part-Time)

Through a rigorous curriculum that prepares students to be public policy leaders, the MA in Public Policy and Administration focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating policy interventions that promote health, as well as social, political, and economic justice.

The Urban Mental Health concentration focuses on helping the 80.7% of the U.S. population that lives in urban areas and who are more prone to mental health issues. This part-time program teaches students how sound planning and public policy can promote the well-being of their urban populations.

H2 How Long Does It Take to Earn a Dual Master’s Degree?

2-6 years

One of the key benefits of earning a dual master’s degree is that because you may take overlapping courses as electives, you can usually earn the two masters in less time together than if you earned them separately.

However, it’s important to remember that there are different types of dual master’s degrees, which may affect how long it takes to earn. In addition, every school has unique requirements.

Check out the sponsored listings below or discover dual master’s degree programs and dual MBA programs to learn about your other options.

List of 3 Dual Master’s Programs

#1: Simmons College

Dual Master’s at Simmons

Master of Arts in Teaching and Liberal Arts: Dual Degree

The MA in Teaching and Liberal Arts Dual Degree strives to prepare students for teaching licensure while simultaneously providing a concentration in a chosen area of liberal arts, such as:

  • Children’s Literature
  • English
  • Gender/Cultural Studies
  • Spanish

In order to earn your dual degree, you must complete the program within six years of enrollment. While each of these programs offer a different focus, they all strive to prepare you for careers in elementary education and educational leadership.

#2: Roger Williams University

Dual Master’s at RWU

M.S. in Historic Preservation / J.D. Law – Dual Degree

This new joint degree draws on the strength of both Roger Williams University’s School of Architecture and School of Law to fill the need of the historic preservation law within the field of environmental law.

Designed to teach students to become leaders and advocates in the field, the dual MS / JD program teaches how to maneuver federal, state, and local regulations while protecting historic resources.

#3: John F. Kennedy University

Dual Master’s at JFKU

JD / MBA Dual Degree

One of the most popular dual degree programs available is the MBA / JD dual degree option. At John F. Kennedy University, it is offered both online and on-campus and emphasizes the values of social justice and community service with a focus on socially responsible business practices and sustainable organizational development and operations.

Usually, this program takes four years for students to complete and starts with MBA coursework in the first year and switches to law studies in the second year.

In addition to the MBA / JD program, JFKU offers a number of other dual MBA programs, including:

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Accelerated Master’s?

12-18 months

Many accelerated programs take about a year to earn. While this provides a number of benefits, such as a quicker turnaround and may cost less than a regular, full-time master’s program, accelerated master’s are usually intensive.

In fact, at many programs students are unable to work full-time while earning an accelerated master’s in order to meet the requirements of the program.

Keep in mind that some accelerated programs may take longer than others because of practicum requirements, which is especially true for Master of Science in Nursing programs.

Discover the partner programs below or check out accelerated MBA programs and accelerated MSN programs if those are the degrees you’re interested in pursuing.

List of 3 Accelerated Master’s Programs

There are many types of accelerated master’s programs, some of which are listed below with programs offered at different schools.

Keep in mind, that many of the partnered schools listed below offer a variety of programs or concentrations in each of the degrees, so be sure to check with the school to see which option is perfect for you.

#1: Accelerated MBA Programs

Drexel University

Online MBA - Accelerated

LeBow Evening Accelerated (LEAD) MBA

As one of the most recognized academic and research institutions in the U.S., Drexel offers two types of accelerated MBA programs to fit your schedule. These programs build upon your education and professional experience to teach leadership and management techniques through critical analysis.

Benedictine University

Accelerated MBA

Designed for motivated professionals who want to complete their degree faster by taking two classes during each session instead of one, the one-year accelerated online MBA includes business foundation courses as well as managerial studies in critical analysis and decision making.

Elizabethtown College

Accelerated MBA

The accelerated MBA program at Elizabethtown College is a part-time degree that allows you to earn your MBA in as little as two years and helps working adults increase their earning potential.

#2: Accelerated MSN Programs

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The accelerated MSN at Fairleigh Dickinson University strives to serve those who desire to study advanced nursing and offers both nonclinical and clinical tracks such as:

  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric/ Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Indiana Wesleyan University

MSN: Nursing Education (Accelerated)

Designed to prepare students to serve in a variety of settings, the accelerated Nursing Education MSN provides students with a theoretical foundation in the art of teaching and principles of effective education.

University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

Accelerated Nursing Master’s Programs

The accelerated nursing master’s programs at UPenn are similar to the nursing bridge programs listed further down this page. These programs are designed for those who have earned an RN license through an ADN or diploma program and / or have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.

UPenn offers 14 master’s specialties, as well as dual degrees in public health, bioethics, and business administration so that you can tailor your curriculum to fit your goals.

#3: Other Accelerated Master’s Degrees

East Tennessee State University

Master of Public Administration – Accelerated

Created to develop ethical professionals and leaders committed to the public interest, the accelerated MPA at ETSU integrates theory and real world practice of public administration.

New York Medical College

MS in Basic Medical Sciences (Accelerated and Traditional)

Offered in a special one-year accelerated track, the interdisciplinary MS in Basic Medical Sciences is a pre-medical program that allows students to take selected pre-clinical medical school courses alongside the first-year School of Medicine students.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master's of Science in Nursing Bridge Degree?

2-4 years

Nursing bridge programs are designed for students who are a licensed RN and / or have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. As a result, the specific amount of time it takes to earn the degree varies depending on a number of requirements, such as meeting clinical hours and completing required coursework.

Some programs award both a BSN and an MSN, while others only award the MSN, so be sure to check some of the partner programs below. You can also learn about direct-entry nursing programs and online RN-MSN programs.

List of 3 Master of Science in Nursing Bridge Programs

#1: Marquette University

MSN Bridge Program at Marquette

Master of Science (MSN) Programs – Including Direct Entry Bridge Programs

Marquette University offers many types of MSN programs, including two that are direct entry nursing bridge programs. One of these is designed for those with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing and who wish to become nurses.

The other is for those with an ADN but a bachelor’s in a field other than nursing. Learn more about each of these programs.

#2: Nova Southeastern University

The nursing bridge programs at Nova Southeastern University teach RNs who wish to quickly advance to higher levels and many may be completed in as little as ten months or less.

Plus, NSU offers a number of nursing bridge program concentrations, including:

In addition to the MSN awarded at the successful completion of the program, these bridge programs also award a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

#3: Georgia Southern University

DNP Bridge Programs at GSU

If you’re looking to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice as opposed to just a Master of Science in Nursing, then the nursing bridge programs at Georgia Southern may be for you.

These programs offer four clinical tracks:

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner
  2. Psychiatric/ Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  3. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  4. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Plus, the BSN to DNP programs offer an opt-out to students after they’re earned an MSN, which provides national certification exam eligibility.

Find the Perfect Master’s Program for Your Schedule!

As you can see, exactly how long it takes to earn a master’s degree depends on the type of degree you want to pursue, if you choose an accelerated or part-time option, and if the degree requires any clinicals or practicums.

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information about any of the schools or specific programs. Or, complete the form on this page to get matched to the perfect program for you.

Don’t forget about other types of master’s degree options, such as self-paced master’s programs and advanced standing MSW programs, which may take less time to earn than normal master’s degrees. Or, you can check out the earning potential in different careers if you’re still on the fence about earning a master’s degree.


[i] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm

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