United States Campus Masters Programs | Graduate Schools
Many accredited universities and colleges offer masters programs in residential, or on-campus formats. Students choose to earn a master’s degree for many reasons including the education demands of certain fields[i], the potential for increase in earning[ii] and continued education. These factors may be why the number of master’s degrees conferred rose by 34% from the years 2003-4 to 2013-14.[iii]With the variety of master’s programs to choose from, there are different elements to consider when choosing a graduate school, as well as different types of master’s degree programs to acquaint yourself with.
Masters Programs: Essentials
Masters programs often require 1 to 2-years of study beyond the Bachelor’s degree, although some universities offer a blended Bachelor’s-Master’s which may affect the duration, and program lengths and course requirements vary by school. Considered ‘higher education’, earning a master’s degree may entail:
- Conducting research; learning research methodology
- Learning theory and practical applications of your subject
- Advanced problem-solving
- Critical analysis
- Writing a thesis paper
- Internship or supervised practicum
- Choosing a concentration area
DID YOU KNOW? Of the 754,500 master’s degrees conferred in 2013–14, nearly half were concentrated in two fields: business (25 %) and education (20 %). The three fields in which the next largest percentages of master’s degrees were conferred were health professions and related programs (13 %), public administration and social services (6 %), and engineering (6 %)[iv].
Why Earn Your Master’s Degree on Campus?
Choosing a university or college with a residential or campus masters program instead of opting for online may offer some great feautures:
- Access to student services (tutoring, library services, career counseling)
- Onsite facilities (laboratories, libraries, sports)
- Activities and Associations (join, participate)
- Quality of faculty may be experienced on campus than online
- Foster relationships, grow networks
- Face-to-face interactions with professors
- Human-centered fields may have in-person courses
- You may have more choices for courses
Choose a Master’s Degree Program: Subject Selection
Historically, the term “master” has meant “mastery”[v] and one can find masters programs in many academic subjects. One thing to consider is what your ideal career outcome (e.g. research or management?) is. You want to work towards a master’s degree that supports these goals, or is a platform to a doctorate degree. GradSchools.com has an extensive directory of sponsored listings. Look under the major headings for sub categories:
- Business Masters Programs (e.g. on campus MBA, Master of Taxation)
- Criminal Justice and Legal Masters Programs (e.g. on campus Master of Science in Criminal Justice)
- Education Masters Programs (e.g. on campus Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, MA School Administration)
- Fine Arts and Design Masters Programs ( e.g. on campus MFA Film Production, Master of Music)
- Health and Medicine Masters Programs (e.g. on campus Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia, MSN, MA Biomedical Sciences)
- Liberal Arts and Humanities Masters Programs (e.g. on campus MS in Journalism, MA Liberal Arts)
- Math, Science and Engineering Masters Programs (eg. on campus Professional Science Master in Biotechnology, MS Systems Engineering, Master of Science in Mathematics)
- Public Affairs and Social Sciences (e.g. on campus Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, MPA, Master of Social Work)
- Religious Studies Masters Programs (e.g. on campus Master of Religious Studies, Master of Divinity)
- Technology Masters Programs on campus (e.g. on campus Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology)
Types of Master’s Degree Options: MS-MA-MPS-MBA-MFA-MEd-MPA
Once you have a sense of your potential career path(s) and you are involved in your search, you may notice that different types of masters programs are offered. This will show up in the ‘type’ of master degree as each option tends to have a specific orientation which is going to be reflected in course content and curriculum as well as whether you have a thesis option or not. Once you know what you are looking for, you can filter your search for graduate schools even more. Broadly, a few of the main variations in masters programs are:
Master of Science Degree (MS)
A master of science is commonly awarded in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics fields; sometimes economics and social sciences are included. In some cases, the MS has a stronger research component and may involve more computer or statistics courses.
Master of Arts Degree (MA)
A master of arts is commonly awarded in the arts and social sciences such as education, languages, literature. Instruction is often via lectures and seminars.
Master of Professional Studies (PSM)
A professional master’s degree is usually an interdisciplinary type of master program with courses that could draw from technical, practical and industry-specific business courses.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
A master of business administration is designed to provide students with the broad training in core aspects of business and is often combined with a specialization to tailor the degree to a specific interest.
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
A master of public administration is a similar to the MBA but with a focus of public policy, the public sector, international administration and policy analysis. Related degrees are the Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Affairs (MPA), Master of Public Health (MPH).
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
A master of fine arts is a professional master’s degree that is usually awarded in the visual, performing and studio arts such as creative writing, graphic design filmmaking and theatre.
Master of Education (MEd)
A master of education degree prepares students to pursue certification or provides already certified teachers with a graduate degree which may be necessary for specialized fields in education such as administration or special education.
Find a Graduate School with Masters Programs
Once you have found the type of masters programs you want to apply to – there may be more than one – you could look for a graduate school that might meet these academic preferences. You can find accredited universities and colleges by conducting a location search for campus programs by city, state or country. It is a good idea, if you are able, to visit your choice grad schools to get a sense of its community and see if it is a fit. Some campuses are in large urban areas and major cities, others in smaller towns.
Take the Next Step
We recommend that you contact the schools with the ‘request info’ setting. This starts a dialogue, and fills you in on some of the important details such as curriculum, enrollment requirements, and of course, deadlines. With masters programs available in many disciplines, concentration areas and locations, finding a master’s degree program that might take your forward personally and professionally is at your fingertips on GradSchools.com.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
Representing and advocating for children, families, women and the elderly is enhanced with an understanding of the psychological and social dynamics that characterize these populations.
- Chicago, IL
- Oxnard, CAOxnard, CA
California Lutheran University
This program focuses on the family as an interactive system and will prepare you for a successful career in MFT counseling.
- Thousand Oaks, CA
- Ewing, NJEwing, NJ
College of New Jersey, The
The Hybrid MBA, Built For Today. Three cutting-edge specializations in high-growth fields. The hybrid nature allows for the flexibility of online classes with the added benefit of in-person sessions and networking opportunities...
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Integrate theory with practice, analyze information needs to create solutions by applying a variety of tools and technologies. Insure the organization, accessibility, and management of library and information resources.
- Boston, MA
- Paxton, MAPaxton, MA
Anna Maria College
Anna Maria College's Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O Psychology) blends coursework from the fields of counseling psychology and business.
- Paxton, MA
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
The College of Business at California State University, Chico offers graduate level business courses to aspiring and working business professionals.
- Morrow, GAMorrow, GA
Ohio Christian University
The MBA with concentration provides the leaders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a competitive business environment within specific industries.
- Morrow, GA
- Dublin, OH
- Circleville, OH
- Grove City, OH
- Chillicothe, OH
- Lancaster, OH
- Hillsboro, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Northern Colorado - Extended Campus
The Masters of Arts program in Special Education Generalist is designed to prepare special educators to work with K-12 students across a range of abilities, from significant support needs to mild/moderate disabilities.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York Institute Of Technology
The Master of Science in Architecture, Urban and Regional Design degree offers advanced studies in architecture withinthe context of urban and regional issues. This degree is meant for students who already have a professional degree in architecture...
- New York City, NY
- Old Westbury, NY
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
The Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations is a 45 credit degree program that includes both core and elective classes as well as a professional internship. ...
- Costa Mesa, CACosta Mesa, CA
The Master of Science in Nursing is for Registered Nurses who are licensed to practice in the State of CA; who possess a bachelor’s degree; and who want to advance their careers by preparing themselves to be health educators, college faculty, or leaders.
- Costa Mesa, CA