Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory in Illinois
What is A Master's Degree?
A master’s degree is an academic degree awarded by a college or university upon completion of a specific course of study. Students obtain a Master's Degree to further their studies in a specialized field and to gain highly developed skills in analysis and critical thinking.
Also known as a second-cycle academic degree, a Master's Degree usually precedes a Doctorate or Ph.D.
Do You Need 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.
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. 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.
How Much Does A Master's Degree Cost?
According to Sallie Mae, the average cost of a master’s degree was $24,812 for 2016-2017 full-time students. However, earning a Master's degree can vary in cost based on several factors such as in state residency, out of state residency, online, blended or accelerated programs. Learn more about how much a Master's degree might cost here.
Many graduate schools charge a cost per credit hour instead of charging a flat fee for tuition. This unit price reflects the number of classroom hours per week throughout a term. Usually it's 3 credits per course, and around 30 to 36 credits to earn a master's degree. Learn more about average cost per credit hour for a master's degree.
What is the Best Master's Degree To Get?
The best master's degree to get depends completely on your goals. For many it may be to increase your salary or to gain more skills in a specific area. Below are the most popular in terms of degrees awarded by subject.
Top 7 Master Degree Majors (according to the NCES by graduate degrees granted in 2015-2016)
Popular Master's Degree Programs in Illinois
|Ed.S. School Psychology||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology||MS|
|Master’s Clinical Mental Heath Counseling||National Louis University||N/A|
|Master of Science in Business Data Analytics||Loyola University Chicago||MS|
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
What Master's Degree Degree Should You Get?
Use our subject selection filter at the top of this page or start with the list below to find some of the most awarded degrees (by subject). 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!
Can I Get My Master's Degree Online?
Yes! There are many online master degree programs available! You can often choose between a campus and online masters program format as well as low residency formats which are mostly online but require some in-person attendance.
In some cases, especially for human centered and medical fields, your options for online degrees may be limited, however a hybrid or low residency choice may be offered.
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|Peoria, IL||$82,010||Not Reported|
|Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI||$81,700||Not Reported|
Top 433 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in Illinois
- Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
- Tuition around $4,000 a term - about half the cost of most other online universities
- Master of Business Administration, Healthcare Management, Data Analytics, Information Technology Management, Accounting, Leadership and more
- Programs start monthly - Apply free this week!
Aurora UniversityMPA MBA MSW
Benedictine UniversityMaster of Science in Accountancy Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Master of Business Administration Accelerated Masters in Business Administration Dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Health Master of Science in Nursing Master of Public Health Dual MBA-MSN Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Executive Leader Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator Master of Public Health - Health Management & Policy Master of Public Health - Health Education & Promotion Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Focus Accelerated MSMOB Dual Master of Public Health/Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyEd.S. School Psychology M.A. Forensic Psychology M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis M.A. Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track AND Master of Legal Studies M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Internship Track AND Master of Legal Studies M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology M.A. Counseling Psychology
Northern Illinois UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Digital Marketing Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Education Master of Public Health - Health Services Management Master of Public Health - Health Promotion Master of Science in Data Analytics
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration Master of Science in Management - Information Systems Security Master of Business Administration - Project Management Master of Science in Criminal Justice Master of Business Administration - Operations and Supply Chain Management Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Master of Business Administration - Global Leadership Master of Science in Healthcare Management Master of Science in Management Master of Science in Management - Public Administration Master of Science in Homeland Security - Emergency Management and Public Health Master of Business Administration - Accounting Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy Master of Business Administration - Logistics Management Master of Science in Information Technology - Security Management Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management Master of Business Administration - Marketing Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Science in Computer Science - Database Systems Master of Science in Management - Information Technology and Project Management Master of Business Administration Master of Science in Management - Organizational Leadership and Change Master of Science in Healthcare Management - Informatics Master of Science in Computer Science - Computer Systems Security Master of Science in Management - Homeland Security
American InterContinental UniversityMBA - Project Management MBA - Management MBA - Finance MBA - Accounting MBA - Human Resource Management Master's - Healthcare Management MBA - Operations Management MBA - Marketing Master of Science (MSIT) - Information Assurance and Security MBA - Healthcare Management Master of Science (MSIT) - IT Project Management
National Louis UniversityMaster’s Clinical Mental Heath Counseling Master’s in Health Services Administration
University of Illinois at ChicagoMaster of Science in Health Informatics
Loyola University ChicagoMaster of Science in Business Data Analytics Master of Science in Human Resources
Bradley UniversityMaster of Arts in Counseling – Professional School Counseling (PSC) Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (ADN/diploma or BSN to MSN-FNP)
Concordia University ChicagoMA, Innovation and Entrepreneurship MA, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization The Concordia University Chicago Core MBA MBA, Leadership and Change Management Specialization MBA, Accounting Specialization MBA, Chief School Business Official Specialization MBA, Health Care Management Specialization MBA, School Business Management Specialization MBA, Entrepreneurship Specialization MBA, Not-for-Profit Management Specialization MBA, Sports Management Specialization MBA, Finance Specialization MBA, Digital Marketing Specialization
North Central CollegeMaster of Arts in Higher Education Leadership Master of Arts in Sports Leadership Master of Financial Management Master of Business Administration Master of Human Resource Management Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
National University Of Health SciencesMaster of Science in Oriental Medicine Master of Science in Acupuncture
Erikson InstituteMaster of Science in Early Childhood Education
Chicago State UniversitySpecial Education Counseling Elementary Education Teaching of Reading Occupational Therapy Geography and Economic Development Early Childhood Education Computer Science Bilingual Education Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction Library Science and Information Media MFA in Creative Writing Technology and Education Social Work Biological Sciences English Mathematics History Criminal Justice Educational Leadership Instructional Foundations
Lutheran School Of Theology At ChicagoReligious Studies Theology
Pacific College of Oriental MedicineMasters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine
North Park Theological SeminaryTheological Studies/Business Administration Theology Theological Studies/Nursing Christian Education
Southern Illinois University School Of MedicinePharmacology
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and LeadershipMaster of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies Jewish Studies Master of Science in Nonprofit Management
Quincy UniversityBusiness Administration (MBA) Special Education Reading Education Curriculum and Instruction Teaching Certification
Seabury-Western Theological SeminaryTheology
Western Illinois UniversityEnglish Elementary Education Health Education History Geography Instructional Technology and Telecommunications Theatre Reading Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Physics Kinesiology Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies Educational Administration and Supervision Economics Computer Science Accounting Counseling Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Mathematics Communication Sciences and Disorders Psychology Manufacturing Engineering Systems Special Education Political Science Communication
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignSpecial Education Architecture Urban Planning Landscape Architecture African Studies Professional Science Master's Leisure Studies Communications Science and Disorders Health Behavior, and Health Policy and Administration Master of Laws Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Educational Psychology Finance Accountancy Business Administration for International Managers Health Education Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library Science Educational Organization and Leadership Statistics and Probability Educational Policy Studies Law Human Resources and Industrial Relations Curriculum and Instruction Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
School of The Art Institute Of ChicagoWriting Art Therapy Filmmaking Studio Designed Objects Architecture Art Education Photography Historic Preservation Interior Architecture Visual and Critical Studies MA Modern Art History, Theory & Criticism & MA Arts Admin & Policy Arts Administration and Policy Fine Arts Fashion, Body and Garment New Arts Journalism Master of Arts in Teaching
Southern Illinois University - EdwardsvilleEnvironmental Sciences Sociology Speech Communication Political Science Social Work Accounting Biological Sciences Environmenntal Science Management Foreign Language Psychology: Clinical Adult, Clinical Child, School, Industrial/Organizational Mathematics,Computational Mathematics,Statistics Teaching of Writing Music Nursing Kinesiology Educational Administration Instructional Technology Art Therapy Counseling Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology Electrical Engineering Computing and Information Systems Industrial/Organizational Psychology Economics and Finance Business Administration Biotechnology Management
Rush UniversityRespiratory Care Occupational Therapy Pharmacology - Master Physician Assistant Studies Clinical Laboratory Sciences Immunology and Microbiology - Master Speech-Language Pathology Molecular Biophysics and Physiology Respiratory Care RRT Advanced Standing Biotechnology Doctor of Medicine Clinical Research Generalist Entry Master's (GEM) in Nursing for Non-Nurses Radiological Sciences Biochemistry - Master Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Biomechanics Health Systems Management Residency in Medical Physics, PhD & Master's Health Care Ethics Anatomical Sciences Perfusion Technology Religion Health and Human Values
University of Illinois Global CampusMaster of Science in Patient Safety Leadership Master of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism Master in Information Systems with a concentration in Data Mining Master of Education Degree with a concentration in E-Learning
Trinity International University (IL)Bioethics Biblical Studies Communications and Culture Counseling Psychology
Dominican UniversityEarly Childhood Education Special Education Teaching Elementary Education MSW Program with Global and Family Centered focuses Organizaton Management Master of Business Administration Teaching in Secondary Education Accounting Educational Administration Library and Information Science Management Information Systems
SOURCES: [i] www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm |[ii] nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_ctb.asp | [iii] nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d17/tables/dt17_318.30.asp