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 449 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in Virginia
- Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
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- Strayer University is an accredited institution with a proud history of 125 years in quality education.
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The George Washington UniversityMSHS in Integrative Medicine MSHS in Integrative Medicine - FELLOWSHIP MSHS in Integrative Medicine - NUTRITION Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration MA in Education and Human Development in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership MA in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning Political Management Strategic Public Relations MSHS in Biomedical Informatics Dual Degree: BSHS/MSHS in Clinical Research Administration MSHS in Translational Microbiology MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences MSHS in Laboratory Medicine MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology MSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management MSHS in Regulatory Affairs MSHS in Health Care Quality MSHS in Clinical Microbiology MSHS in Correctional Health Administration Master of Business Administration in Healthcare
South UniversityMasters in Public Administration MBA in Healthcare Administration RN to Master of Science in Nursing FNP Clinical Mental Health Counseling MS in Information Systems MS in Leadership MS in Nursing FNP MBA Master of Business Administration
Liberty University OnlineMaster of Arts: Public Policy: Leadership Master of Arts: Christian Apologetics (Non-Thesis) MS: Exercise Science and Wellness: Nutrition and Wellness MA: Music Education: Music Studies MA: Biblical Studies MED: Curriculum and Instruction: Urban Education (Non-Licensure) Master of Divinity: Homiletics MA: Sports Chaplaincy MA: Medical Sciences: Health Informatics Master of Science: Sport Management: Tourism (Non-Thesis) MS: Health Informatics MS: Project Management MA: Clinical Mental Health Counseling JM: International Legal Studies MS: Criminal Justice: Public Administration MDV: Community Chaplaincy (Non-Thesis) Master of Divinity: Church History MED: School Counseling: Teacher Licensure Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education Master of Arts: Strategic Communication Master of Business Administration: Project Management Master of Science in National Security MED: Curriculum and Instruction: Educational Technology (Non-Licensure) MS: Finance: General Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Discipleship and Church Ministry
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Business Administration - Homeland Security MPA Project Management MPA Nonprofit Management MPA Homeland Security Master of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science Master of Science in Data Science Master of Education in Educational Leadership Master of Science in Educational Psychology Master of Business Administration - General Business Master of Business Administration - Public Administration Master of Business Administration - Management of Engineering and Technology Master of Arts in Psychology - General Psychology Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship Master of Education - E-Learning Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Human Resources Management Master of Business Administration - Management Master of Legal Studies Master of Science in Health Psychology Master of Education - Curriculum and Teaching MPA Management of Engineering and Technology MPA Financial Management Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy - Medical Family Therapy Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master of Education - Instructional Leadership Master of Business Administration - International Business
Christopher Newport UniversityApplied Physics Environmental Science MAT - Language Arts MAT - History Computer Science Science Mathematics
Virginia State UniversityEconomics Vocational and Technical Education Interdisciplinary Studies Biology English Guidance Physics Psychology Mathematics Education History Educational Administration and Supervision Special Education
Catholic Distance UniversityMASTER OF ARTS IN THEOLOGY
University of Management and TechnologyProject Management Master of Science in Computer Science Management, MBA, and Computer Science and Information Technology Business Management Master of Science in Management
University of Northern VirginiaBusiness Administration Computer Science and Information Systems Technology
University of RichmondBusiness Administration Law
University of Mary WashingtonEducation, Master of Business Administration, Master of Elementary Education
Troy UniversityM.S. in Human Resources Management
Portering the Glory Bible College & SeminaryUndergraduate and Graduate Programs in Ministry, Theology and Counseling
Mary Baldwin CollegeMaster of Letters/Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance Teaching Education
University of FairfaxMaster of Science in Information Security Management (MSISM) Master of Science in Enterprise Management (MSEM)
Baptist Theological Seminary At RichmondSocial Work Religious Studies
American Medical Student AssociationMedical Spanish Study
Central Michigan UniversityMaster of Science in Administration MS in Nutrition and Dietetics MS in Administration Master of Arts in Educational Technology Master of Business Administration in SAP Master of Business Administration in Value Driven Organization
Lynchburg CollegeBusiness Administration Special Education Counselor Education Program English Education Curriculum and Instruction Programs Educational Leadership Programs
Messianic Bible Institute-YeshivaMessianic Judaism
Institute of Textile TechnologyTextile Technology
Virginia Theological SeminaryChristian Education Theological Studies
University of Virginia - CharlottesvilleInstructional Science & Technology Graduate program in nursing
College of William and MaryGifted Education Elementary Education Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership Flex MBA Program Physics Chemistry Curriculum and Instruction Applied Science Graduate program in American Studies Higher Education Master of Accounting School Psychology Literacy Leadership Special Education Full-Time MBA Program M.S. Program in Biology History J.D. Program Secondary Education Counselor Education Programs Computer Science Graduate Program in Psychology Executive MBA Program Graduate program in Anthropology with specialization in Historical Archaeology and Historical Anthro
Eastern Virginia Medical SchoolClinical Embryology and Andrology (Biomedical Sciences - Distance Learning) Public Health Medical and Health Professions Education Laboratory Animal Science
Virginia International UniversityMaster of Business Administration (MBA) Health Care Management MBA Master of Business Administration (MBA) Marketing Management Master of Business Administration (MBA) International Finance Master of Science in Computer Science (MCS) Master of Science in Information Systems (MIS) Master of Business Administration (MBA) Global Logistics Master of Business Administration (MBA) International Business Management
Washington and Lee UniversityJ.D. - Juris Doctor
Eastern Mennonite UniversityReligion Graduate Counseling MA in Biomedicine Center for Justice and Peacebuilding - Graduate Program Business Administration Divinity Church Leadership Education
Hampton UniversityCommunicative Sciences and Disorders Marine Science Biology Computer Science Nursing Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Music Education Physics History Medical Science Mathematics Elementary Education Counseling Business Administration Chemistry Masters in Teaching
Hollins UniversityChildren's Literature Playwriting Creative Writing Liberal Studies - Master Teaching Screenwriting and Film Studies Dance
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