Master's Degree Programs
A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study and a second-cycle academic degree, usually preceding a doctorate degree. Students usually obtain a master's degree to further their studies in a specific field of study or area of professional practice.
We have 58,725 Master's Degree Programs for you to choose from!
Why Earn 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.i
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.i 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.
Top 7 Master Degree Majors
(by graduate degrees granted in 2015-2016)iii
Types of Master Degree Programs
Masters degrees are usually awarded in different categories and often focus on a single specialty area. The type of master degree awarded may depend on the school, program focus and area of study.
Popular Master Degree Programs
Master of Science
M.S., MSc, MSci or SciM
Master of Arts
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Business Administration
Specialty and Professional Master Programs
Master of Science in Nursing
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Work
Master in Education
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
List of Masters Degree Subjects
Use our subject selection filter at the top of this page or start with the list below. 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!
Campus, Online or Hybrid Master's Program?
Within the above categories and their sub-fields, you can often choose between a residential (campus) and online masters program format. In some cases, especially for human centered and medical fields, your options for online degrees may be limited, however a hybrid choice may be offered. These blend on-campus and online learning. Choose ‘campus’, ‘online’ or ‘hybrid’ to refine your search or use the location settings to find graduate schools and graduate programs in a specific city, state or country.
Find 58,725 Master Degree Programs
Many master degree programs are offered in a more specialized or disciplined field of study. Students may select masters programs by subject, and in some cases, specialties. Use our Category and Subject navigation to find the best master's program for you!
Delivered online by Baylor University School of Education, the EdD in Learning and Organizational Change prepares students to apply essential learning principles toward managing the dynamics of organizational change.
Learn to navigate and manage information in ways like never before. Accredited by the ALA, the Masters of Library Science program allows students to customize their coursework based on their career focus, including a specialization in Data Science.
- Smithfield, RISmithfield, RI
Ranked Top 15% of all Communication programs in the U.S., Bryant Master’s in Communication program is designed to help you succeed. Students can specialize in Organizational Communication, Health Communication, or an individually tailored area of study.
University of Southern California
USC Price’s online Executive Master of Urban Planning is an accelerated program that bridges the gap between urban planning goals and the objectives and constraints of effective real estate development. USC Price has been ranked both No.
- Belmont, CABelmont, CA
Notre Dame de Namur University
Join Notre Dame de Namur University's top-ranked MBA today. With multiple start dates, format options, and locations, we make it possible to attend classes and complete coursework while you continue working.
- Belmont, CA
- Tracy, CA
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
Available on campus or online, the M.S. Criminal Justice program provides you with both theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the legal system.
- Bristol, RI
Sacred Heart University
You'll expand the level care and assistance you can provide to vulnerable populations and be a force of positive change in your community when you earn your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree online at Sacred Heart University.
- Fairfield, CT
Purdue University's online Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology gives you vital knowledge and innovative techniques to design and deliver effective instructional materials...
Customize your online MA in Organizational Leadership degree with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. This concentration is tailored to offer training in people-focused strategies, tools and skills as well as how to apply them to nonprofits.
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
Serving primarily the pharmaceutical industry, biochemical engineering is a niche discipline within the biomedical engineering field, which is ranked first on CNN Money’s list of the “Best Jobs in America” (2012). With solid earnings potential, a 10-yea...
- Villanova, PA
- Villanova, PA
- Harrisburg, PAHarrisburg, PA
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
The 36-semester hour graduate program in Human-Centered Interaction Design intends to promote the human-centered collaborative mindsets that are required for careers in the research, specifications, and development of technologically-driven experiences...
- Harrisburg, PA
Earn your master’s in applied behavior analysis in less than 2 years online at Pepperdine. Experience clinical training and prepare to sit for the board certified behavior analyst exam. GRE not required.
- Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC
The Global Sport Management (GSM) graduate program is a totalimmersion cohort model in which students complete their degree requirements in three terms (summer, fall, and spring) in seated classes and through experiential learning or directed research.
Seton Hall University
The online Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.C.) from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business does more than prepare students for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
- South Orange, NJ
Nova Southeastern University
The R.N.-to-M.S.N. degree is a dual degree program that saves you time and money — preparing you for your chosen nursing career in leadership, education, or informatics. You'll earn both the B.S.N. and M.S.N. credentials.
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
Grand Canyon University
Widener University's online Master of Social Work (MSW) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). It prepares you to improve both your life and the lives of others through clinical social work and social justice.
New York University
NYU’s online MS program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders enables students nationwide to earn their degree and pursue licensure without attending classes in New York. Deadline approaching.
The online Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management provides professional education to individuals who desire to advance their expertise in managing corporate and technological resources to combat financial crime.
Brandeis GPS degrees are for students currently working and seeking to advance their careers. We take a holistic approach toward evaluating applicants, looking at work experience, references and goals. GMATs or GREs not required for admission...
George Mason University
Delivering a diverse skill set with a global perspective, George Mason's online MBA gives students the credentials and confidence to assume critical leadership roles in business, government, and public institutions worldwide. Courses are availabl...