Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory in Virginia
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 Virginia
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|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||$114,940||1,870|
Top 1,243 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in Virginia
- 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
The George Washington UniversityMA in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership Political Management Strategic Public Relations MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners MA in Education and Human Development in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services MA in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
George Mason UniversityMaster of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder Master of Science in Health Informatics Master of Business Administration Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner
James Madison UniversityInformation Security
Liberty University OnlineMaster of Business Administration: Project Management Master of Science: Sport Management (Non-Thesis) Master of Arts in Religion: Pastoral Ministry Master of Arts in Teaching: Middle Grades Education Master of Arts in Global Studies Master of Theology: Global Studies (Non-Thesis) Master of Arts: Public Policy Master of Business Administration: Leadership Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Leadership Master of Divinity: Church History Master of Arts: Human Services Counseling: Executive Leadership Master of Science: Sport Management: Tourism (Thesis) Master of Science: Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media Master of Arts in Religion: Homiletics Master of Divinity: Biblical Studies Master of Business Administration: Marketing Master of Arts: Public Policy: Policy Studies Master of Arts: Christian Apologetics (Non-Thesis) Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Discipleship and Church Ministry Master of Arts: Human Services Counseling: Life Coaching Master of Theology: Theology (Non-Thesis) Master of Theology: Biblical Studies (Non-Thesis) Master of Religious Education Master of Divinity: Leadership Master of Divinity: Chaplaincy (75 hour)
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Arts in Psychology - General Psychology MPA Criminal Justice MPA Strategic Management Master of Education - Special Education Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Child and Adolescent Family Therapy Master of Education - Reading Education Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Project Management Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Public Administration Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - General Organizational Leadership Master of Education - Sport and Athletic Management Master of Education - Athletic Coaching Master of Education - Instructional Leadership Master of Business Administration - Human Resources Management Master of Education - General Education Master of Education - Global Training and Development Master of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Master of Public Administration Master of Education in Educational Leadership MPA Human Resources Management Master of Science in Cybersecurity Master of Education - Leadership in Higher Education Master of Business Administration - Public Administration Master of Education - International Education MPA Homeland Security
Jefferson College of Health SciencesNursing
Troy UniversityM.S. in Human Resources Management
Christendom CollegeTheological Studies
University of RichmondBusiness Administration Law
Christopher Newport UniversityMathematics Applied Physics Environmental Science MAT - Language Arts MAT - History Computer Science Science
Central Michigan UniversityMaster of Business Administration in SAP Master of Business Administration in Value Driven Organization Master of Arts in Educational Technology Master of Science in Administration MS in Nutrition and Dietetics MS in Administration
University of Mary WashingtonElementary Education Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of
Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian EducationGraduate programs in Christian Education Bible, Theology, Ethics, Church History
University of Management and TechnologyManagement, MBA, and Computer Science and Information Technology Business Management Master of Science in Management Master of Science in Computer Science Project Management
IGlobal UniversityMaster of Business Administration (MBA)
Lynchburg CollegeCounselor Education Program Special Education Business Administration Educational Leadership Programs English Education Curriculum and Instruction Programs
Shenandoah UniversityHealth Systems Management, MSN MSN/MBA Music Education Occupational Therapy Business Administration Administration Reading Specialist Dance Nurse Midwifery, MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, MSN Physician Assistant Studies Athletic Training Teaching Concentration (International) Music Teaching Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN Music Therapy RN to MSN (Four Specialty Tracks)
Baptist Theological Seminary At RichmondSocial Work Religious Studies
Portering the Glory Bible College & SeminaryUndergraduate and Graduate Programs in Ministry, Theology and Counseling
Missouri State UniversityProject Management Criminology and Criminal Justice Administrative Studies Business Administration Elementary Education History Computer Information Systems - MS Early Childhood and Family Development
Hollins UniversityChildren's Literature Playwriting Creative Writing Liberal Studies - Master Teaching Screenwriting and Film Studies Dance
American Medical Student AssociationMedical Spanish Study
University of FairfaxMaster of Science in Information Security Management (MSISM) Master of Science in Enterprise Management (MSEM)
Institute of Textile TechnologyTextile Technology
Messianic Bible Institute-YeshivaMessianic Judaism
Eastern Virginia Medical SchoolMedical and Health Professions Education Clinical Embryology and Andrology (Biomedical Sciences - Distance Learning) Public Health Laboratory Animal Science
University of Virginia - CharlottesvilleGraduate program in nursing Instructional Science & Technology
Virginia Tech OnlineMaster of Science in Aerospace Engineering Master of Science in Ocean Engineering
Virginia Theological SeminaryChristian Education Theological Studies
Washington and Lee UniversityJ.D. - Juris Doctor
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