Pennsylvania 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.
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The Graduate Secondary Leading Teacher Program (GSLTP) is guided by the mission of Duquesne University, the conceptual framework of the School of Education, and state/national standards.
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Reading, PAReading, PA
The Graduate Program in Education at Albright College leads to a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree and offers five concentrations. Candidates can pursue PA teacher certification in an area (or state endorsement in ESL) while completing the mast...
- Reading, PA
- Immaculata, PAImmaculata, PA
The increasing number of persons of limited English proficiency demands teachers, counselors, administrators, and social workers that are well-prepared. The Master of Arts program in Cultural and Linguistic Diversity responds to a genuine need and offer...
- Immaculata, PA
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
The Moravian MBA is designed to develop leaders with the skills and adaptability to manage comples, diverse, and fast-changing situations.
- Shippensburg, PAShippensburg, PA
Offered fully online and as a hybrid program for working professionals. Can be completed part-time in 2 years.
- Shippensburg, PA
- York, PA
- Harrisburg, PA
- East Stroudsburg, PA
- Dallas, PADallas, PA
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
The Masters program trains graduate students in the skills required to become an independent practitioner or work as a contributing member of an inter...
- Dallas, PA
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
The program prepares practitioners-scholars to take an interdisciplinary approach to language, literacy, and culture studies and an integrative approach to the teaching of reading and writing in schools, colleges, and universities. The program also offe...
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
Housed within the Department of Information Science and Telecommunications, the Telecommunications Program draws on resources from the Departments of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Communications, and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of...
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Theological seminary affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) but ecumenical in teaching and outreach with over 20 denominations represented in the student body. Joint degrees with other local universities in Social Work, Law, and Public Policy...
- Pittsburgh, PA