Graduate Schools in Kentucky | KY Graduate Programs

Bluegrass. Bourbon. Boone. And the Kentucky Derby. From the coal fields and caves in the west to the bluegrass regions and Appalachian Mountains in the east, Kentucky mixes breathtaking scenery with a Southern elegance and a down-home vibe.

In between all this stunning scenery are modern cities with vibrant independent arts, music, and dining scenes and a rich history that dates back more than 400 years. In the mountain towns and rural hamlets, a quiet culture prevails with natural beauty unfolding everywhere you go.

Popular Graduate Degree Programs in Kentucky

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Elementary EducationPikeville CollegeMEd
Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church GrowthSouthern Baptist Theological SeminaryMS
Educational Media LibrarianshipSpalding UniversityMS
Communication DisordersKentucky Virtual CampusMS
Master of Social WorkAsbury UniversityMSW
Nursing (MSN)Bellarmine UniversityMSN
Certificate in Advanced Agile LeadershipWake Forest UniversityN/A
Master – FinanceColorado State University GlobalN/A
Master of Science General PsychologyCalifornia Southern University, a member of the American InterContinental University SystemN/A
MS in FinanceThe University of Arizona Global CampusN/A
Ph.D. in General Psychology: Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Quantitative Research)Grand Canyon UniversityN/A
MSN in Complex Healthcare Systems AdministrationThe Catholic University of AmericaMSN

Why Go to Grad School in Kentucky

Students thinking about going to grad school in Kentucky can find myriad campus settings from which to choose, from small picturesque enclaves to modern urban settings. The easy blend between natural surroundings and intoxicating cities can be both stimulating and inspiring for graduate study. Students going to grad school in Kentucky can pursue a variety of degrees in both private and public universities.

Lively Louisville, on the banks of the Ohio River, crackles with an infectious energy, so evident in the colorful music and arts scenes. As an international gateway to Kentucky, the city buzzes with a diverse population and draws for its outdoor opportunities, cultural attractions, festivals, bourbon distilleries, an eclectic dining scene, and of course the Kentucky Derby.

East of Louisville is Lexington, home to the University of Kentucky. It feels like a university town, too, with a rich, diverse culture that belies its mid-size status.

Southwest of Louisville is the laidback artsy community of Bowling Green, the hub of the states Caves and Lakes region and home to Western Kentucky University – its bucolic surrounding could be an inspiring, relaxed place to study.

North of Bowling Green is Owensboro – the “Barbeque Capital of the World.” With so many backdrops at every turn, Kentucky offers a proper plate of places to pursue graduate studies.

Fun Fact

Near Lexington sits First Vineyard, the first commercial winery in the United States. It was founded in 1799 by John James Dufour, a Swiss entrepreneur; a descendant of one of Dufour’s first shareholders runs the winery today.

Living and Learning in Kentucky

The idyllic rural setting of bluegrass, craggy mountain peaks, mythical caves, and clear blue lakes paint an inspirational setting in Kentucky. Blend in such forward-thinking cities like Louisville and Lexington with more relaxed but spirited communities like Owensboro and Bowling Green, and you have a simmering cultural stew. You get all four seasons in Kentucky – hot, humid summers and rainy spring with brilliantly-colored autumns and snowy, somewhat mild winters.

Louisville and Lexington airports are major national gateways, providing easy access to destinations within the state and around the country. Many regional airports provide additional connections. Interstates, state highway, and scenic parkways traverse the state – a car is essential, true, but driving around is a treat.

Kentucky Culture

Kentucky has a rich Southern culture – literature, bluegrass, and bourbon all weave into the fabric of the state. And of course, that easy Southern charm, gracious hospitality, and the distinctive, polite Southern accent are part of the everyday culture. Louisville draws for its wide selection of performing arts – opera, theater, music, and dance – as well as art museums, historic neighborhoods, and specialized museums. Other urban areas like Lexington and Owensboro hold their own riches – music festivals, cultural attractions, and historical monuments.

Literature and music scenes form a cultural cornerstone, and you can find music and literary events around the state. Then there’s bourbon – everywhere, and distillery tours are a must-experience, many of which are set in bucolic settings along rivers and streams. And sports? Top minor league teams, NCAA basketball, and NASCAR racing. And then there’s the Kentucky Derby – the event of the year.

The Food Scene

Kentucky relishes its savory barbeque – a style that differs from barbeque across the country – and you can find it everywhere. In the small towns and rural area, hearty Southern staples flavor the menus fried catfish, fried chicken, cheese grits, corn pudding, fried okra, pecan pie, and more. Other regional staples in Kentucky burgoo (a spicy stew served with cornbread), country ham, and chili con carne In the cities, a more varied, contemporary scene unfolds.

Louisville is Kentucky’s culinary capital, and you can dig into diverse plates around the city – Thai, French, Spanish, and more. And barbeque, of course. Other cities are equally creative, serving up more refined takes on Southern fare. Wherever you go, you won’t go hungry.

Getting Outside

Outdoor enthusiasts will find much to discover, explore, and do in Kentucky. The state prides itself on its resort parks, recreation, historic sites, and outdoor activities.

Explore the underground passages of Mammoth Cave National Park, go camping and fishing at Green River Lake or Carr Creek, hike the trails in Cumberland Falls or Pine Mountain. Parks are easily accessible from every city and town, and the road to and from can be equally as scenic. Students going to grad school in Kentucky will have no shortage of stunning natural scenery to keep them inspired.

Major Kentucky Industries

Kentucky could be an exciting place to go to grad school. After grad school, you may find opportunities in Health Care, Technology, Science, and Business in Kentucky. Louisville, especially, can be a good place to look for post-graduate opportunities.

City Living

Students going to grad school in Kentucky will find much to discover in these urban centers. Easy access to Kentucky’s rural pleasures, a refined Southern culture, a vibrant arts scene, and a percolating dining scene set the tone. But there’s more, so read on!

  • Louisville
  • Bowling Green
  • Lexington
  • Owensboro


Transmitting an infectious energetic blend of Midwestern and Southern Culture, Louisville tastes like a flavorful cultural stew. The arts and music scene vibrates, the dining scene captivates, and the parks and outdoors scenes resonates.

Yet Southern elegance provides a pleasant balance – this is the home of the Kentucky Derby, one of the classiest events in the country. Louisville shows off its architectural history in Old Louisville, with its stunning Victorian buildings – the largest Victorian district in the U.S. – favorite local bars and restaurants. Surrounding downtown are other historic districts worth a stroll.

Art lovers will have much to uncover, especially on Market Street with its plethora of art galleries. Other museums to check out are the Speed Art Museum, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the design-focused KMAC Museum. Take in some high culture at the Louisville Orchestra, the Actors Theatre, or the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

The restaurant scene is varied, outstanding, and continuously growing – from palate-pleasing innovative local spots to short-menu cafes, your taste buds will be pleased.

Feeling recreational? Cyclists can pedal “the parkways”, which takes trekkers through three parkways. On top of that, the city has more than 100 parks for biking, hiking, picnics, or just chilling.

Nightlife spots are plenty, especially music venues – you can see top local and national acts.

Bowling Green

In the southwest part of the state, surround by caves and lakes, Bowling Green carries a rich pioneering history infused with progressive thinking and an easygoing pace.

Cultural attractions include the National Corvette Museum, the Kentucky Library and Museum, and the Smith Grove Historic District. Learn about the state’s Civil War history through museums and monuments on the Civil War Discovery Trail.

Take a road trip along the Duncan Hines Scenic Byway, an 80-plus mile route that passes historic homes, stately mansions, and antique shops; along the way you can stop and explore the caves in Mammoth Cave National Park.

Southern specialties and barbeque pepper the menus here, and you can discover a lot of hidden gems on dining scene. A number of parks make for good spots for relaxing, studying, or recreation.


As the capital of Bourbon country and the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington stands proudly as it does in the center of the state – and the center of Bluegrass Country. Visit the Kentucky Horse Park or the many horse farms around the city or stroll Manchester Street in the heart of the Distillery District – a hip enclave packed with bars, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants. The compact downtown, too, is worth a stroll.

Parks are central to Lexington – wander the nature preserve along the Kentucky River Palisades or walk through the roses and local grasses and other flora that fill the Aboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky. Historic homes, churches, and cemeteries embrace the city’s past, while museums like the Aviation Museum of Kentucky and the Headley-Whitney Museum of Art keep Lexington firmly in the present with an eye on the future.

A full calendar of events – including the Festival of Bluegrass and Woodland Art Fair – plus plenty of live music spots, bars, and a happening and growing dining round the mix here.


On the banks of the Ohio River, a 90-minute drive west of Louisville, mid-size Owensboro at first seems like a reserved city with an easygoing pace. That is until you dig into some barbeque – this is the Barbeque Capital of the World, and you’ll find plenty of zesty goodness at every turn.

It’s also known as “The City of Festivals” – to be sure, check out The International Bar-B-Q Festival and The Apple Festival for starters. Wander down to the riverfront and check out The International Bluegrass Museum, a weekly concert, or just take in the sunset and watch the river flow.

There’s the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, and Smothers Park – places to learn and unwind. Owensboro is a city on the move, changing and evolving, and really carving out an identity all its own. It’s a place for new opportunities, for sure.

Fun Fact

Though Bluegrass has its roots in European folk, Kentucky native William Monroe gave the genre its name and quick-picking tempo and vocal style he called “that high lonesome sound.” Thus, he is known as the “Father of Bluegrass.”

Explore Popular Graduate Programs in Kentucky

Looking to find a graduate school in Kentucky? You may find one that suits not only your area of study but also one that has an environment that fits your lifestyle.

Here are a few highlights:

For those who want to go to grad school in Kentucky, you can find many opportunities in the cities of Louisville and Lexington. Other smaller communities, like Owensboro and Bowling Green, offer opportunities, as well.

Health & Medicine

At the University of Kentucky, the Nutritional Science graduate program includes courses in biochemistry, physiology, macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism, and nutrition and chronic disease.

A graduate degree in Nursing at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond is designed to allow nurses with a baccalaureate degree to prepare for rural health advanced practice roles.

At Western Kentucky University, a graduate degree in Health Administration seeks to prepare students for management and administrative positions in various types of health care facilities, organizations, and agencies such as hospitals and nursing homes, as well as work in medical sales companies and the health insurance sector.

The Radiation Sciences graduate program at the University of Kentucky emphasizes academic and clinical education in therapy and imaging physics, with extensive practicum.


The Information Technology graduate program at the University of Louisville is designed for advanced computer professionals who wish to strengthen their knowledge and skills in Information Security, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science.

Northern Kentucky University‘s graduate program in Computer Science seeks to develop virtuosity at all levels of software construction by a combination of studies of the enduring principles of computer science; critical examination of the ideas behind new trends in software technology; and workshops addressing issues of programming practice.

The Library Science graduate program at University of Kentucky has designed a curriculum to prepare professionals for all types of libraries and information agencies.

The Master of Science in Managing Information Technology at Sullivan University in Louisville focuses on strategy and provides the management tools required to gain greater authority within the profession and related technology to the profitability of the company.


The Cognitive Science graduate program at the University of Kentucky offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of information-processing in natural and artificial systems, and the theoretical foundations for the study of information-processing.

At Eastern Kentucky University, the Chemistry graduate program strives to prepare students for further advanced study in either Chemistry or related Biomedical Sciences, and sophisticated careers in industry, government service, or to advance their current status.

Graduate students interested in the Physiology and Biophysics program at the University of Louisville will study the integration of basic systems physiology with an understanding of both cell and molecular techniques and clinical science.

At the University of Kentucky, the Microbiology graduate program offers students a wide range of laboratories, in diverse research areas, in which to perform their dissertation research.


At Northern Kentucky University, the Business Administration graduate program seeks to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for managerial success through seven areas of specialization to best meet your career goals.

The Hospitality Management graduate program at Sullivan University is designed to help students gain practical skills and knowledge, with an emphasis on day-to-day management issues.

At Murray State University, the Information Systems graduate program prepares students for management careers software development, information management, data analysis, information security, information systems architecture, systems planning, and systems analysis.

The Public Administration graduate program at Northern Kentucky University prepares students for careers in public management by helping them develop interpersonal, technical, and quantitative skills necessary for careers in local government, criminal justice, and not-for-profit.

Find a Graduate School in Kentucky

Want to go to grad school in Kentucky? You’ll can find many schools and settings from which to choose.

It’s simple! Just set your filters with the menu bar—degree level, subject, etcetera.

Then apply with the on-page form. You’re all set!

  • Wake Forest University

  • Colorado State University Global

  • California Southern University, a member of the American InterContinental University System

  • The University of Arizona Global Campus

  • Grand Canyon University

  • The Catholic University of America

  • Pikeville College

  • Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

  • Spalding University

  • Kentucky Virtual Campus

  • Asbury University

  • Bellarmine University

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