Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory
What is A Master's Degree?
A master’s degree is an academic degree awarded by a college or university upon completion of a specific course of study. Students obtain a Master's Degree to further their studies in a specialized field and to gain highly developed skills in analysis and critical thinking.
Also known as a second-cycle academic degree, a Master's Degree usually precedes a Doctorate or Ph.D.
Do You Need a Master's Degree?
On average, full-time workers with a Master's Degree can potentially earn $25,000 more per year compared to all workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Professional development, cultivating more expertise in your field of study, and potentially earning a salary increase, are a among the reasons many students consider earning a masters degree. In some occupations you are likely to need a Master's Degree in your field to qualify for entry-level jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master’s degree may not be required but having one might lead to advancement or higher pay. Another reason to earn a Master's degree is that it usually required for those continuing education at the Doctoral level.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master's Degree?
Most master degree programs require 1-2 years of study, depending on the program type and enrollment. This may entail completing around 36 to 54 semester credits or 60 to 90 quarter semester credits; equivalent to about 12 to 18 graduate-level courses. Of course, program lengths and course requirements vary by school and type of Master's Degree Program.
A bachelor's degree is typically required to apply into a Master Degree program, although some programs offer a combined bachelor's to master’s program.
How Much Does A Master's Degree Cost?
According to Sallie Mae, the average cost of a master’s degree was $24,812 for 2016-2017 full-time students. However, earning a Master's degree can vary in cost based on several factors such as in state residency, out of state residency, online, blended or accelerated programs. Learn more about how much a Master's degree might cost here.
Many graduate schools charge a cost per credit hour instead of charging a flat fee for tuition. This unit price reflects the number of classroom hours per week throughout a term. Usually it's 3 credits per course, and around 30 to 36 credits to earn a master's degree. Learn more about average cost per credit hour for a master's degree.
What is the Best Master's Degree To Get?
The best master's degree to get depends completely on your goals. For many it may be to increase your salary or to gain more skills in a specific area. Below are the most popular in terms of degrees awarded by subject.
Top 7 Master Degree Majors (according to the NCES by graduate degrees granted in 2015-2016)
Popular Master's Degree Programs
Masters of Science Degree
The Master of Science, or MS degree, is a type of masters degree that is typically awarded in the sciences, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematical subjects such as computer science and analytics. Generally, an M.S. degree takes 2 years of full time study and requires a thesis or research project. Admission to M.S. programs is usually contingent on the applicant having previously obtained their Bachelor’s degree which is often a Bachelor of Science.
Master of Arts Degree
The Master of Arts, or MA degree, is a type of graduate degree which includes all arts and humanities disciplines as well as some social sciences. The M.A. degree is typically awarded in English, history, communication studies, international relations, international business administration, humanities, philosophy, and social sciences. Generally, an MA degree takes 2 years of full-time study for a non-thesis program, and longer for a thesis option; the Master of Arts (M.A.) may either be entirely course-based, entirely research-based or a combination. Admission to M.A. programs is usually contingent on the applicant having previously obtained their Bachelor’s degree which is often a Bachelor of Arts.
Master of Fine Arts Degree
The Master of Fine Arts, or MFA degree, is a graduate degree that usually requires 2 to 3 years of postgraduate study after a Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Unlike the Master of Arts, the M.F.A. centers around practice in a particular discipline and is recognized as a terminal degree in visual arts, design, dance, photography, theater, and creative writing.
Master of Business Administration Degrees
The Master of Business Administration, or MBA degree, is a master’s degree in business administration (management) that actually originated in the U.S. as a scientific approach to management; it is both a terminal degree and a professional degree. Core topics in MBA programs commonly cover accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations.
The Professional Science Master, or PSM degree, is a graduate degree intended to allow students to pursue advance training in science or mathematics at the same time as developing workplace skills. PSM programs tend to be interdisciplinary, can take about 2 years of full time study, and usually involve an internship. Often, you can find the PSM degree in forensic science, computational chemistry, applied mathematics and bioinformatics programs (STEM fields).
BY THE NUMBERS
In 2015–16, over half of the 786,000 master's degrees conferred were concentrated in three fields of study: business (187,000 degrees), education (146,000 degrees), and health professions and related programs (110,000 degrees).ii
Try a MicroMasters Program
MicroMasters programs are a set of masters-level online courses that help you earn professional credentials and valuable university credits. Now you can test drive a MicroMasters Program for Free! Browse MicroMasters Programs now.
Some popular types of master degree programs are Master of Science (MS Degree), Master of Arts (MA Degree), Master of Fine Arts (MFA Degree), and Master of Business Administration (MBA Degree). The type of master degree awarded may depend on the school, program focus and area of study.
Professional Insight into Earning a Master's Degree
“Earning my master’s degree has already opened new doors to career opportunities. I always wanted to return to the television industry after spending a majority of my career in a newsroom. Going to grad school helped me achieve that goal. I now manage an online graduate program in television management, teaching the industry’s future leaders.” Click To Tweet!
Professor Michelle Bradsher-McHugh, Associate Director, Paul F. Harron Graduate Program in TV Management at Drexel University
What Master's Degree Degree Should You Get?
Use our subject selection filter at the top of this page or start with the list below to find some of the most awarded degrees (by subject). You will find accredited M.A., M.S., M.F.A., M.B.A., P.S.M. and other specific master degree programs with the help of our subject selection and sponsored program listings. The broad list of masters degree programs include the following subjects:
- Masters in Business
- Masters in Psychology
- Criminal Justice & Legal
- Fine Arts
- Health & Medicine
- Liberal Arts & Humanities
- Math, Science & Engineering
- Public Affairs & Social Sciences
- Religious Studies
DID YOU KNOW?
Securities, commodities and financial service agents workers who had a masters degree earned nearly 90% higher wages than workers with a Bachelor’s degree.i
Potential Features of Masters Degree Programs
The basic premise behind earning a Master’s degree is that the student has achieved a “high-order overview” of their academic discipline. This could involve the following.
- Advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and practical topics
- Highly developed skills in analysis and critical thinking
- Understanding of professional application of their subject matter
- Ability to solve complex problems
- Independent thinking
While Masters programs vary in scope, these capabilities might be achieved through rigorous coursework, a thesis paper or final project, an internship or supervised practicum, exams and case studies.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you are a professional and can’t take time off to earn a traditional master's degree, a MicroMasters program may be an accessible and affordable option.
How to Choose a Masters Program
- Consider that your Master’s degree should reflect your professional career needs as well as targeting your academic goals.
- Remember your M’s: MS, MA, MEd, MBA, MFA, PSM, and whether you are excited to study on campus or need the convenience of online.
- Read these helpful articles to help you navigate subjects like accreditation and applications.
- Finally, always reach out to the graduate school for full program details, especially because there are deadlines and you want to stay ahead of the class as you master your field of study!
Can I Get My Master's Degree Online?
Yes! There are many online master degree programs available! You can often choose between a campus and online masters program format as well as low residency formats which are mostly online but require some in-person attendance.
In some cases, especially for human centered and medical fields, your options for online degrees may be limited, however a hybrid or low residency choice may be offered.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||15,060||$134,430|
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$148,700||4,200|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$147,270||11,980|
|California-Lexington Park, MD||$145,620||490|
Top 460 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs
- Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Arts in Psychology - General Psychology Master of Business Administration - International Business MPA Project Management Master of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Master of Legal Studies MPA Management Master of Education - Organizational Leadership Master of Arts in Psychology - Gender Diversity Studies Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Health Services Master of Science in Educational Psychology Master of Business Administration - Computer and Information Security Master of Business Administration - Marketing Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Education in Educational Leadership Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Project Management MPA Computer and Information Security Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy MPA Management of Engineering and Technology Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy Master of Business Administration - Human Resources Management MPA Financial Management Master of Public Administration Master of Science in Technology and Innovation Management - Engineering Management Master of Business Administration - Criminal Justice
Ball State UniversityMaster’s in Chemistry (MS or MA)
Lewis UniversityMS in Computer Science - Game and Simulation Programming MS in Data Science MS in Computer Science - Non-Declared MS in Computer Science - Enterprise and Cloud Computing MS in Data Science - Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Master of Science in Data Science - Computer Science MS in Computer Science - Digital Forensics MS in Computer Science - Cyber Security MS in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence MS in Computer Science - Software Engineering MS in Criminal Justice MS in Public Safety Administration MA in Organizational Leadership - Professional and Executive Coaching MA in Organizational Leadership MA in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Management MA in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education - Student Services MA in Organizational Leadership - Training and Development MA in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
Rockhurst UniversityMaster of Business Administration Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics Master of Arts in Management
Phillips Education Center of Campbellsville UniversityMaster in Marriage and Family Therapy
Aurora UniversityMBA MPA MSW
Canisius CollegeOnline NYS School Building and District Leader MS in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Online Online MS in Anthrozoology Education Technologies and Emerging Media Online MS in Respiratory Care (MSRC) Online MS in Sport Administration Online M.S. in Health and Human Performance Online MS in Applied Nutrition Online MS in Physical Education Online MS in Community and School Health (MSCSH)
Winthrop UniversityMaster of Business Administration - Strategic Leadership Master of Arts in Arts Administration Master of Business Administration – Sports Marketing & Revenue Generation Master of Education in Special Education Intervention Master of Business Administration - Marketing Master of Business Administration Master of Social Work - Traditional Track Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing
American UniversityMaster of Science in Organization Development
Benedictine UniversityDual Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Accelerated MSMOB Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Master of Science in Accountancy Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Accelerated Masters in Business Administration Master of Public Health Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Master of Public Health - Health Education & Promotion Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health Master of Public Health - Health Management & Policy Master of Business Administration Master of Science in Nursing Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Executive Leader Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator Dual MBA-MSN Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Focus
The University of ScrantonMaster of Science in Finance Master of Accountancy - Forensic Accounting Master of Accountancy Master of Accountancy - Accounting Analytics Master of Science in Health Informatics Master of Science in Human Resources Management Master of Business Administration MBA - Business Analytics Master of Health Administration MBA - Finance Dual MBA-MHA
Purdue UniversityMaster of Science in Communication Master of Science in Communication: Communication & Leadership Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology Master of Science in Communication: Health Communication Master of Science in Education in Special Education Master of Public Health Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Intergrated Stem Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Mathematics Education Concentration Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies Concentration Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - English Language Learning Concentration Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Educational Technology Concentration Master of Science in Engineering Technology (MSET)
Georgetown UniversityMaster of Science in Finance Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Widener UniversityMaster of Business Administration Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing Master of Social Work
Loyola University ChicagoMaster of Science in Medical Physiology Master of Public Health Master of Science in Neuroscience Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Immunology Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology Master of Science in Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics Master of Science in Clinical Research Methods and Epidemiology Master of Science in Dietetics Dual Degree MD/MPH in Public Health and Medicine Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science Master of Science in Health Informatics Master of Science in Exercise Science
Brandeis UniversityMaster of Science in Strategic Analytics Master of Science in Health and Medical Informatics Online Master of Software Engineering
Queens University of CharlotteMaster of Business Administration - Finance Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration Online Master of Health Administration Master of Arts in Communication Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Master of Business Administration Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader
Quinnipiac UniversityMaster of Science in Accounting Master of Science in Public Relations Master of Science in Journalism Master of Science in Sports Journalism Master of Business Administration MBA Chartered Financial Analyst Track MBA Supply Chain Management Track
Roger Williams UniversityM.P.A. Public Administration M.S. Historic Preservation M.A. Forensic & Legal Psychology M.A. Forensic Mental Health Counseling
St. John's UniversityMaster of Business Administration: Risk Management & Insurance Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Academic Librarianship Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Archival Studies Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Special Librarianship Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Management Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Youth Services Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Public Librarianship Master of Science in Library and Information Science Master of Public Health Master of Science in Accounting
Fremont CollegeMBA (Master of Business Administration)
University of the PacificMS in Data Science
Babson CollegeMaster of Business Administration – Miami Master of Business Administration – Part Time Online Master in Business Administration
Temple UniversityMaster of Science in Sport Business Master of Science in Hospitality Management Master of Education in Secondary Education Master of Education in Urban School Leadership Master of Science in Education TESOL Master of Science in Engineering Management Professional Science Master's (PSM) in Computer and Systems Security Master of Science in Civil Engineering EdS in School Psychology Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Master of Science Environmental Engineering MEd in Counseling Psychology MEd in Educational Psychology Bioengineering M.S. Master of Education in Urban Education Master of Science in Electrical Engineering MEd in Adult and Organizational Development Master of Science in Neuromotor Science Master of Science in Athletic Training Master of Social Work Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management Master of Public Health in Applied Biostatistics Master of Public Health in Epidemiology Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of DelawareMaster of Arts in Strategic Communication Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Master of Business Administration - International Business Master of Science in International Business Master of Science in Cybersecurity Master of Public Administration
Moore College Of Art And DesignMaster of Arts in Art Education Master of Fine Arts in Socially Engaged Studio Art Master of Arts in Socially Engaged Art
Grand Canyon UniversityM.S. in Nursing: Public Health (Bridge) M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Public Health Nursing M.S. in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Adult Gerontology M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Education (Bridge) M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems M.B.A. and M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems (dual degree) M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge) M.S. in Nursing: Nursing Education M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (NITL) M.Ed. in School Counseling (ITL) M.Ed. in Educational Administration (ITL) M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure) M.A. in English with an Emphasis in Education M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM (ITL) M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education (ITL) M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders M.A. in History with an Emphasis in Education M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (ITL) M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages M.S. in Instructional Technology M.Ed. in Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education NITL M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
Concordia University ChicagoMA, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization MA, Innovation and Entrepreneurship MBA, Not-for-Profit Management Specialization The Concordia University Chicago Core MBA MBA, Sports Management Specialization MBA, Accounting Specialization MBA, Leadership and Change Management Specialization MBA, Chief School Business Official Specialization MBA, Finance Specialization MBA, Digital Marketing Specialization MBA, Entrepreneurship Specialization MBA, Health Care Management Specialization MBA, School Business Management Specialization
Michigan State UniversityMaster of Science in Criminal Justice Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
Rivier UniversityMaster of Business Administration RN to MSN: Leadership in Health Systems Management Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Master of Public Health Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Education RN to MSN: Nursing Education RN to MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership in Health Systems Management Master of Business Administration in Marketing Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management Master of Science in Project Management
SOURCES: [i] www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm |[ii] nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctb.asp | [iii] nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_318.30.asp