Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory in Chicago
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 Chicago
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.
Top 476 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs in Chicago
- 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
Lewis UniversityMS in Computer Science - Software Engineering MS in Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence MS in Computer Science - Game and Simulation Programming MS in Computer Science - Enterprise and Cloud Computing MS in Computer Science - Digital Forensics MS in Computer Science - Non-Declared MS in Data Science Master of Science in Data Science - Computer Science MS in Computer Science - Cyber Security MS in Data Science - Computational Biology and Bioinformatics MS in Public Safety Administration MS in Criminal Justice MA in Organizational Leadership MA in Organizational Leadership - Professional and Executive Coaching MA in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education - Student Services MA in Organizational Leadership - Training and Development MA in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management MA in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Management
Aurora UniversityMPA MSW MBA
Benedictine UniversityMaster of Public Health Master of Business Administration
Loyola University ChicagoMaster of Social Work Online Bilingual (MAESTRÍA BILINGÜE EN TRABAJO SOCIAL EN LÍNEA) Master of Laws in Health Law Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law Master of Jurisprudence in Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management Master of Jurisprudence in Children's Law and Policy Dual Degree MA/MD in Bioethics & Health Policy Master of Arts in Bioethics & Health Policy
Concordia University ChicagoMA, Innovation and Entrepreneurship MA, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization MBA, School Business Management Specialization MBA, Health Care Management Specialization MBA, Finance Specialization MBA, Sports Management Specialization MBA, Not-for-Profit Management Specialization MBA, Chief School Business Official Specialization MBA, Digital Marketing Specialization MBA, Entrepreneurship Specialization The Concordia University Chicago Core MBA MBA, Accounting Specialization MBA, Leadership and Change Management Specialization
American InterContinental UniversityMBA - Marketing Master of Science (MSIT) - Information Assurance and Security Master of Science (MSIT) - IT Project Management MBA - Management MBA - Healthcare Management MBA - Project Management Master's - Healthcare Management MBA - Operations Management MBA - Human Resource Management Master of Science (MSIT) – Information Technology MBA - Finance MBA - Accounting
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyM.S. Applied Behavior Analysis M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology M.A. Forensic Psychology M.A. Counseling Psychology Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track AND Master of Legal Studies Ed.S. School Psychology M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Internship Track AND Master of Legal Studies
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Science in Information Technology - Project Management Master of Science in Management Master of Business Administration - Technology Management Master of Science in Management - Cybersecurity Management Master of Business Administration - Logistics Management Master of Science in Homeland Security Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Master of Business Administration - Data Analytics Master of Science in Information Technology - Security Management Master of Business Administration - Marketing Master of Business Administration - Operations and Supply Chain Management Master of Science in Homeland Security - Cybersecurity Policy Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Master of Business Administration - Project Management Master of Science in Homeland Security - Emergency Management and Public Health Master of Science in Computer Science Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Master of Business Administration Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Business Administration - Finance Master of Business Administration - Accounting Master of Science in Management - Project Management Master of Science in Management - Public Administration Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Northcentral UniversityMPA Project Management Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master of Science in Health Psychology Master of Science in Forensic Psychology Master of Science in Educational Psychology Master of Science in Data Science Master of Science in Cybersecurity Master of Science in Computer Science Master of Science in Information Technology Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology Master of Legal Studies Master of Human Resource Management Master of Education in Educational Leadership Master of Education - Sport and Athletic Management Master of Education - Special Education Master of Education - Reading Education MPA Strategic Management Master of Public Administration Master of Science in Instructional Design (MSID) Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Criminal Justice Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - General Organizational Leadership MPA Homeland Security MPA Management MPA Management Information Systems MPA Nonprofit Management
University of Illinois at ChicagoMaster of Science in Health Informatics
Northwestern UniversityMaster of Arts in Counseling
National Louis UniversityMA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Loyola University ChicagoMSW/Master of Divinity Dual Degree Master of Education in Catholic School Leadership Master of Education in Community Counseling Master of Science in Mathematics Master of Arts in Social Justice Master of Arts in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies Dual Degree JD/MA in Law & Comparative Education Master of Education in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies Master of Science in Applied Statistics Master of Education in Special Education Dual Degree JD/MEd in Law & Education Policy Master of Arts in Research Methodology Master of Science in Biology Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction Master of Education in School & Community Counseling Master of Arts in Sociology Master of Science in Bioinformatics Master of Education in Elementary Education Master of Arts in Philosophy Dual Degree MA/JD in Law and Political Science Dual Degree MA/MA in Theology & Women’s and Gender Studies Master of Divinity Master of Arts in Spanish Master of Arts in Urban Affairs Master of Arts in Applied Social Psychology
Dominican UniversityMaster of Science in Education with a Concentration in Literacy Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Reading Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Elementary Education Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in English as A Second Language
Chicago State UniversityLibrary Science and Information Media Curriculum and Instruction MFA in Creative Writing Biological Sciences Elementary Education Counseling Special Education Secondary Education Instructional Foundations Criminal Justice Social Work Technology and Education Educational Leadership History English Mathematics Early Childhood Education Computer Science Teaching of Reading Occupational Therapy Geography and Economic Development Bilingual Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignHuman Resource Development Community College Teaching and Learning Online Global Studies in Education Theoretical and Applied Mechanics - Online Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering - Online LEEP: Library and Information Science Master of Computer Science
Garrett-Evangelical Theological SeminaryMusic Ministry Divinity Christian Education Pastoral Care and Counseling
VanderCook College Of MusicMusic Education
Chicago Theological Seminary, TheDivinity Religious Studies Sacred Theology
Midwestern University (IL)Physician Assistant Biomedical Sciences Occupational Therapy Program Physical Therapy Program
Pacific College of Oriental MedicineMasters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine
North Park Theological SeminaryTheological Studies/Business Administration Christian Education Theology Theological Studies/Nursing
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and LeadershipMaster of Science in Nonprofit Management Jewish Studies Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies
School of The Art Institute Of ChicagoFine Arts MA Modern Art History, Theory & Criticism & MA Arts Admin & Policy Architecture Designed Objects Studio Filmmaking Art Therapy Writing Photography Historic Preservation Arts Administration and Policy Art Education Visual and Critical Studies Master of Arts in Teaching New Arts Journalism Fashion, Body and Garment Interior Architecture
Meadville/Lombard Theological SchoolTheology Religious Education
Lewis UniversityGraduate School of Management Educational Leadership - Master Master of Science in Nursing Reading and Literacy
Calumet College Of Saint JosephLaw Enforcement Administration
Trine UniversityLou Holtz Master of Science in Leadership
Seabury-Western Theological SeminaryTheology
Spertus CollegeJewish Studies
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