Iowa Hybrid Master's Degrees Programs

Many universities and colleges offer hybrid Master's Degree programs that blend online learning with a low residency campus experience. This unique learning approach varies between graduate schools, but might be a convenient alternative to a fully residential program. Sometimes most of the coursework is done online with short residential periods or intensives on weekends, evenings or during summer, other times online courses are staggered with on campus courses. If you are looking for a flexible study schedule, or a way to balance work, family and higher education, a hybrid Master’s degree is worth considering!  

What Are the Requirements for Hybrid Masters Degree Programs?

Hybrid Masters Degree Programs may be available for both the full time and the part time student, and how you choose to complete your master’s degree program may affect how long it takes to complete. The average program takes from one to two years of full time study, and a common prerequisite is a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year college. However, program lengths vary by school. Apart from this, each university and for that matter, academic field, is likely to have specific requirements that you can inform yourself about.

DID YOU KNOW? Total enrollment in postsecondary degree-granting institutions is expected to increase 15 percent between fall 2010, the last year of actual data, and fall 2021[i]

Why Earn a Master’s Degree?

Historically, the term ‘master’ has meant that a student had ‘mastered’ advanced topics enough to teach them[ii]. You may think of teaching in terms of standing in front of a classroom, however mastership has to do as well with critical thinking, problem solving, and applying knowledge to real-world issues.

Some potential reasons to work towards a hybrid Master’s degree might include:

Continued Education

Earning a Master’s degree may be a platform or intermediary step to a doctorate degree.

Some occupations require a Master’s degree at the entry-level

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are at least 33 occupations that require a master’s degree to qualify for entry-level occupations including[iii]:

  • Education administration
  • Statistician
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
  • Epidemiologists
  • Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  • Mathematicians

Potential Wage Premiums for a Master’s Degree

Yet another piece of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is that some occupations may not require a Master’s degree but pursuing one might lead to advancement or higher pay in the following areas[iv]:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Healthcare and Social Service
  • STEM

With this motivation in mind, earning a Hybrid Master’s degree may have some potential benefits as well:

  • Blended online degrees mean you get some visual hands-on learning which is especially beneficial and necessary in human centered fields such as education and counseling
  • You may be able to earn a hybrid master’s degree at a local university; especially practical if you are a working professional or need professional development credits
  • Low residency means you don’t have to relocate
  • As a hybrid grad student, you likely get access to online and on campus libraries, laboratories and facilities.

Choosing a Hybrid Master’s Degree Program has an extensive directory of sponsored listings for Hybrid Masters Degree Programs. We recommend you do a bit of browsing to find a few standout programs in your field. Graduate school could be the time to refine your career goals, and seek academic preparation through research, coursework, internships or a practicum, depending on your program. Choose from the following broad categories, and from their main pages, any of the further sub fields and programs:

  • Hybrid Business Master’s programs (e.g. Blended online M.B.A., Hybrid M.P.A., M.S. in Health Care Management, Strategic Design Executive MBA, MS Accounting)
  • Hybrid Criminal Justice & Legal Master’s programs (e.g. National Security M.S., Master in Criminal Justice)
  • Hybrid Education Master’s programs (e.g. M.S. in Research Administration, MS in Education)
  • Hybrid Fine Arts & Design Master’s programs (e.g. MA Media Literacy and Digital Culture, MFA Community Practice)
  • Hybrid Health & Medicine Master’s programs (e.g.  MS in Athletic Training, Master of Health Science –MHA, Master of Science in Nursing)
  • Hybrid Liberal Arts & Humanities Master’s programs (M.A. in Science Writing, Master of Communication)
  • Hybrid Math, Science & Engineering Master’s programs (e.g. MS in Analytics, Master of Science in Engineering Management, MS Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering)
  • Hybrid Public Affairs & Social Sciences Master’s programs (e.g. Master of Social Work Blended Online, Master of Public Administration)
  • Hybrid Religious Studies Master’s programs (e.g. Master of Arts in Religious and Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Global Ministry)
  • Hybrid Technology Master’s programs (e.g. Master of Science in Information Technology, Master of Science in Applied Computer Science)

Are All Master’s Degrees Created Equal?

Masters degrees are commonly titled using the form ‘Master of” where either a faculty (Arts or Science) or a field (Master of Engineering, Fine Arts, Master of Business Administration) is specified[v]. Out of these, the two most common are the Master of Arts (MA) which is offered in liberal arts, social sciences and humanities, and the Master of Science (MS) which is offered in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. In the event you come across multiple types of degrees within the same field (sometimes the case with MS and MBA or MA and MFA) it is recommended that you check through course curriculums and potential career outcomes and match them with your goals. has a great feature to help you contact the prospective graduate schools; use the request info tab to fill in details, or make an appointment for academic advising.

Take the Next Step

Look for accredited Hybrid Master’s Degree Programs whether you are a returning student, an executive or are interested in possibly leveraging a graduate degree for higher wages or career advancement.[vi] Remember that each graduate school has unique learning formats and features, different application requirements, curriculums and deadlines to take note of. The handy ‘request info’ tab and a spreadsheet documenting your findings should help you narrow your search, make an educated decision as you find your next academic step through a partially online master degree.

sources [i] |[ii] |[iii] box |[iv] |[v] |[vi] box

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