California 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 3,012 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 3,012 Master Degree Programs in California
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!
- Tracy, CATracy, 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
The MBA degree with a specialization in Management Information Systems focuses on development and management of information systsystems, data, telecommunication systems, and Local Area Network (LAN) / Wide Area Network (WAN) networks, from both a man...
- 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
Antioch University’s online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling allows you to channel your passion for helping others into a meaningful and rewarding career as a mental health counselor.
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
Fuller Theological Seminary
Fuller’s MA in Theology—now available 100% online—is for those who want to learn from outstanding faculty practitioners to more effectively serve others and communicate God’s word in the church, academy, culture, and world.
- 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.
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate University’s online Master's in Evaluation & Applied Research—designed with input from with the acclaimed Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC)—is tailored for students with an interest or some experience in evaluation and research.
University of Southern California
From new technologies to new competitors, change has become business as usual for every organization in practically every...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
The Asia Pacific Studies program provides students with cultural competency and knowledge critical to a deep understanding of Asia.
- San Francisco, CA
- 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
Union Institute and University
Become tomorrow’s healthcare front runner. Union Institute & University’s NEW! Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership degree program will prepare you to climb the ladder ranking within your healthcare career towards a leadership role.
California Baptist University
The purpose of the online Masters of Business Administration in General Management degree program (MBA-GM), is to equip working professionals for advancements in a variety of senior level positions in business.
- Riverside, CA
American InterContinental University
The online Master of Information Technology degree with a concentration in Information Assurance and Security is a team-based program and is one of the few in North America solely dedicated to providing graduates with the up-to-date Information Technol...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Northridge
Join the largest MPA program in California and the third-largest in the nation. Graduate with a network...
- Los Angeles, CA
- Northridge, CA
- Santa Clarita, CA
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The Master of Science program in Industrial Engineering equips students to design , develop and manage manufacturing processes...
- San Luis Obispo, CA
- Alhambra, CAAlhambra, CA
California Institute of Advanced Management
California Institute of Advanced Management (CIAM) is nonprofit University dedicated to providing a practical, hands-on, and applicable MBA program based on real-world experience. Rolling admissions deadlines, with Financial Aid for those who qualify...
California Southern University
California Southern University’s School of Education offers a graduate program that leads to a Master in Education (M. Ed) with concentrations in Counseling in Education, Curriculum and Instructional Design and Organizational Leadership.
California State University, Northridge
Want to empower disabled individuals to live more fulfilling lives? The online MS Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services program was created to form assistive technology specialists who'll ensure AT users benefit fully from advances in the field.
- Loma Linda, CALoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University
The MS in Counseling is a 2-year, 90-quarter credit program with options to specialize in Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC), Pupil Personnel Services in School Counseling (PPS), or both.
- Loma Linda, CA
- Monterey, CAMonterey, CA
Meridian Institute, located in Monterey, California, offers a unique approach to the teaching and practice of integrated medicine.