Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory in Iowa
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 Iowa
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|
|Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA||$96,560||Not Reported|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||$90,590||320|
|Sioux City, IA-NE-SD||$89,940||120|
|Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||$87,000||190|
|Iowa City, IA||$83,930||120|
Top 635 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in Iowa
- 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!
Purdue University GlobalM.S. in Nursing Accelerated BSN to MSN MSPY - Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. in Higher Education - College Teaching and Learning M.S. in Accounting - Audit Specialization M.S. in Higher Education - Online College Teaching MSN - Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Instructional Technology - Adults Master of Science in Psychology M.S. in Management and Leadership/Project Management M.S. in Accounting Master of Public Administration M.B.A. in Marketing MSPY - Industrial/Organizational Psychology Specialization M.S. in Human Services M.S. in Higher Education - College Administration and Leadership Master of Health Informatics M.S. in Higher Education - Educational Assessment and Evaluation M.B.A. in Project Management M.B.A. in Health Care Management Master of Health Information Management Master of Business Administration M.S. in Accounting - Government Specialization M.S. in Finance M.S. in Finance - Financial Planning
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Business Administration - Criminal Justice Master of Science in Technology and Innovation Management - Information Systems Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration MPA Nonprofit Management Master of Education - Corporate Wellness Master of Education - Leadership in Higher Education Master of Business Administration - Computer and Information Security Master of Business Administration - Homeland Security Master of Education - Early Childhood Education Master of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management Master of Social Work Master of Science in Data Science Master of Business Administration - Financial Management Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Science in Health Psychology MPA Health Care Administration MPA Human Resources Management Master of Science in Educational Psychology Master of Business Administration - Management Master of Science in Computer Science Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology MPA Strategic Management Master of Education - Athletic Coaching
Maharishi International UniversityBusiness Administration Distance Program
Marycrest International UniversityEarly Childhood Education Education
Morningside CollegeTechnology-based Learning Special Education Reading Specialist Elementary Education
St. Ambrose UniversityMaster of Speech-Language Pathology Business Administration Master of Nursing Administration Social Work Occupational Therapy Criminal Justice Organizational Leadership Information Technology Management Accounting Master of Education in Educational Administration Master of Education in Teaching
Upper Iowa UniversityMaster of Public Administration - Government Administration emphasis Master of Business Administration - Organizational Development emphasis Master of Public Administration - Nonprofit Organizations emphasis Master of Business Administration - Corporate Financial Management emphasis Master of Public Administration - Justice and Homeland Security emphasis Master of Business Administration - Quality Management emphasis Master of Public Administration - Public Personnel Management emphasis Master of Public Administration - Health and Human Services emphasis Master of Business Administration - Human Resources Management emphasis Master of Higher Education Administration - Community and Technical College Administration emphasis Master of Business Administration - Accounting emphasis Master of Public Administration - General Study emphasis Master of Business Administration - Global Business emphasis Master of Higher Education Administration - Leadership emphasis
Southwestern College - KansasMaster of Business Administration Master of Science in Security Administration Master of Education in Special Education Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction Master of Science in Leadership Master of Arts in Theological Studies Master of Arts in Teaching Master of Science in Management Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries
Maharishi University Of ManagementMasters of Education Business Administration Secondary Education Maharishi Vedic Science Computer Science
Iowa State UniversityEntomology Early Childhood Education Meat Science Agricultural Economics Engineering Mechanics Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology School Mathematics Interdepartmental Genetics Astrophysics Veterinary Microbiology History Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program Adult and Extension Education Electrical and Computer Engineering Mathematics Human Development and Family Studies Landscape Architecture Statistics Counseling Psychology Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Education Curriculum and Instruction Chemistry Journalism and Mass Communication Analytical Chemistry
University of Northwestern-St. PaulMaster of Organizational Leadership Master of Arts in Theological Studies Master of Divinity Master of Arts in Education
University of Northern IowaHealth Education PK-12 Principalship School Library Studies Political Science French Psychology Reading Education Doctor of Industrial Technology Chemistry Theatre School Psychology German Public Policy Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs: Physical Education School Counseling Environmental Technology Middle School/Junior High Education Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Science Education Women's Studies Mathematics Spanish Biology
Buena Vista UniversityTeaching English as a Second Language Effective Teaching and Instructional Leadership
University of DubuqueMaster of Arts in Missional Christianity Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Business Administration Communication Education
Loras CollegeExecutive MBA in Business Analytics Master of Arts in School Couseling Master of Arts in Counseling Master of Athletic Training Master of Arts in General Psychology
Palmer College of ChiropracticAnatomy (Gross, Neuroscience, Biomechanics emphysis)
Grand View UniversityM.S. in Innovative Leadership
Clarke CollegeMaster of Science in Nursing Master of Arts in Education Master of Business Administration
Dordt CollegeCurriculum and Instruction
Drake UniversityElementary Education SecondaryEducation Master of Financial Management School Counseling Educational Leadership JD/MBA Adult Learning, Performance, and Development Master of Business Administration Effective Teaching, Learning and Leadership Master of Public Administration Pharmacy Special Education Master of Business Administration Master of Communication Leadership Counselor Education Master of Accounting Early Childhood Education
Faith Baptist Bible College And Theological SeminaryTheology Religion Biblical Studies
Des Moines UniversityMaster of Biomedical Sciences Master of Health Care Administration (MHA) Master of Science in Anatomy Master of Public Health (MPH) Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies
Wartburg Theological SeminaryConcentration in Youth, Culture and Mission Theology Theology, Development and Evangelism Sacred Theology
University of IowaBotany English Communication Studies Educational Administration Statistics Biology Mathematics Education Dance Art Religious Studies Greek Public Health Genetics Geology Film and Video Production Comparative Literature Asian Languages and Literature Composition Elementary Education Health and Sport Sciences Community and Behavioral Health Political Science Biostatistics German Urban and Regional Planning Curriculum and Supervision
Allen CollegeFamily Nurse Practitioning
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