Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory in North Carolina
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 North Carolina
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|
|Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||$130,600||1,600|
|Greensboro-High Point, NC||$112,650||700|
Top 685 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in North Carolina
- 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!
Queens University of CharlotteMaster of Business Administration Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Master of Arts in Communication Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader Online Master of Health Administration Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration Master of Business Administration - Finance Master of Business Administration - Healthcare
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Military Family Therapy Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Child and Adolescent Family Therapy Master of Education - Organizational Leadership Master of Science in Instructional Design (MSID) Master of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science Master of Education - Early Childhood Education Master of Education - International Education Master of Public Administration Master of Education - English Language Learning Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy MPA Homeland Security Master of Business Administration - Management Information Systems Master of Education - Athletic Coaching Master of Business Administration - Financial Management MPA Health Care Administration Master of Business Administration - Project Management Master of Human Resource Management Master of Arts in Psychology - Gender Diversity Studies Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Human Resources Management Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master of Education - Instructional Leadership Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration Master of Business Administration - Management Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Criminal Justice
Reformed Theological SeminaryTheology and Divinity
High Point UniversityNonprofit Management Special Education with Concentration in Mental Disabilities Master of Arts in History Educational Leadership Strategic Communication Elementary Education Master of Business Administration Educational Administration Add-On License
Piedmont International UniversityM.A. in Ministry Religious Education Biblical Studies - Non-Language Track M.A. in Biblical Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillCommunication Studies Geological Sciences Ph.D. in Education - Culture, Curriculum and Change Physics and Astronomy Romance Languages and Literatures MAC Program Nursing Educational Psychology, Measurement, and Evaluation Marine Sciences French and Francophone Literature and Studies Health Care Systems Health Policy and Administration Italian Literature and Studies Master of Fine Arts Social Work Luso-Brazilian Literature and Studies Sociology City and Regional Planning Mathematics Certificate in Field Epidemiology Recreation and Leisure Studies M.Ed. for Experienced Teachers Rehabilitation Psych and Counseling Folklore Germanic Languages
Methodist UniversityPhysician Assistant Program Professional Master of Business Administration
Meredith CollegeEducation Business Administration Master of Arts in Teaching Master of Science in Nutrition
Salem CollegeSpecial Education Early Education and Leadership Language and Literacy Elementary Education
Montreat CollegeMaster of Science in Environmental Education Business Administration
University of North Carolina at CharlotteEducation - School Administration Criminal Justice Optical Science and Engineering Industrial / Organizational Psychology Social Work Mathematics Education Applied Statistics Child and Familly Studies (Early Education) Special Education Geography-Community Planning Sociology English Reading Education Secondary Education Information Technology Mechanical Engineering Chemistry Biology Engineering Management Health Administration Nursing Belk College of Business Graduate Programs Health Promotion and Kinesiology Geography Mathematics
Virginia Tech - Wake Forest UniversityBiomedical Engineering
Hood Theological SeminaryDivinity
Campbell UniversitySocial Science Education Counselor Education Clinical Research English Education Curriculum and Instruction Education Physical Education and Human Movement Studies Elementary Education Divinity Law Pharmaceutical Sciences Educational Administration Mathematics Education Middle School Education Secondary Education Science Education Business Administration and Management
University of North Carolina at AshevilleLiberal Arts Program
University of North Carolina (Interinstitutional)TransAtlantic Masters Program (TAM)
Winston-Salem State UniversityComputer Science Occupational Therapy Nursing Evening MBA Program Elementary Education Rehabilitative Counseling Physical Therapy
University of North Carolina at PembrokeBusiness Administration Public Administration Physical Education Mathematics Education School Counseling Middle Grades Education Mental Health Counseling Reading Education Science Education Art Education Social Studies Education Elementary Education Master of Arts in English Education School Administration
Charlotte School of LawJD/LLM L.L.M
Catawba CollegeElementary Education Education
Southeastern Baptist Theological SeminaryTheology Church Planting Church Music
North Carolina State UniversitySpanish Language and Literature Social Work Immunology Counselor Education School Administration Toxicology Nutrition Chemistry Textiles Analytics Public Administration Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Physics Economics Geospatial Information Science and Technology Biochemistry Genetics Mathematics Education Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Sociology Forestry and Environmental Resources Textile Engineering Biomathematics Creative Writing Applied Mathematics
North Carolina A&T State UniversityCounselor Education (School Counseling) Instructional Technology Adult Education Computer Science Reading Education Computational Science and Engineering Nanoengineering, MS & PhD Mental Health Counseling Clinical Electrical Engineering Child Development: Early Education and Family Studies Birth - K History Education MS Agriculture and Environmental Systems Chemistry Food and Nutritional Science Physics Management Information Systems Civil Engineering English Education Plant, Soil and Environmental Science Industrial and Systems Engineering Applied Mathematics Technology Management Mechanical Engineering Family and Consumer Sciences Education Human Performance and Leisure Studies
Pfeiffer UniversityMaster of Science in Leadership (MSL) Master of Science in Financial Fraud Investigations Master of Science in Global Sports Management Master of Business Administration/ Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Change Master of Arts in Practical Theology Master of Health Administration Master of Health Administration / Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Change Master of Business Administration Organizational Change and Leadership Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Change Master of Business Administration/Master of Health Administration
North Carolina Central UniversityHuman Development & Family Studies French Biology Library Science and Information Science Physical Education Parks and Recreation Management Mathematics Psychology Law Business Education Chemistry History Communication Disorders Music Sociology Criminal Justice Home Economics Public Administration Earth Science/Geography
Gardner-Webb UniversityMaster of Arts/Ed. S. in Mental Health Counseling MWTM Master of Wealth and Trust Management Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Religion (Dual-Degree) Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in English Education (Dual-Degree) Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration (Dual-Degree) International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) MA in Executive Leadership Studies Ed.S. in Executive Leadership Studies Master of Science in Nursing Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in English (Dual-Degree) Master of Accountancy (MAcc) Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN Master of Divinity MA in School Counseling MA in Religion Master of Divinity/Master of Arts/Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling (Dual-Degree) Physician Assistant Program MA in Middle Grades Education Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (Dual-Degree) Master of Business Administration (MBA) MA in Elementary Education
East Carolina UniversityEnglish Occupational Therapy Child Development and Family Relations History Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies: Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling Music Physician Assistant Program School Psychology Nutrition and Dietetics Communication Sciences and Disorders Business Administration Elementary Education Rehabilitation Studies: Rehabilitation Counseling MA in Communication Family and Consumer Sciences Education Physics Vocational Education Geology Communication Sciences & Disorders Physiology Social Work Special Education Medical Doctor Sociology Master of Public Health
Western Carolina UniversitySpecial Education Master of Project Management Public Affairs Studio Art Master of Business Administration Physical Therapy Nursing Health Sciences Teaching English Chemistry Biology American History Nutrition Two-Year College Education Music Teaching Biology Counseling Community Human Resources School Counseling School Psychology Music Education Technology Elementary Education English Middle Grades
Wake Forest UniversityPhysician Assistant Studies Law Clinical & Population Translational Sciences Documentary Film MMS/PhD - Joint Degree with Physician Assisant Program (PA) PhD/MBA English MD/MA - Bioethics MD/MS - Clinical & Population Translational Sciences Psychology Physics Health and Exercise Science Biology Religion Counseling MS in Business Analytics MS in Accountancy Master of Arts in Management Bioethics Chemistry Education (Teaching) MDiv/MA - Counseling Evening MBA Program Biomedical Engineering Communication
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