Masters Degree Programs: The Ultimate Directory
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
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.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||15,060||$134,430|
|Metro Area||Annual Mean Salary||Employment|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$148,700||4,200|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||$147,270||11,980|
|California-Lexington Park, MD||$145,620||490|
Top 565 Graduate Schools with Masters Programs
- 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
- Save up to 25%. Save thousands on your masters’s with the Strayer Graduation Fund.
- Strayer University is an accredited institution with a proud history of 125 years in quality education.
- With the help of dedicated personal support and AI technology, earn your degree online or on campus.
Northcentral UniversityMaster of Science in Educational Psychology Master of Science in Information Technology MPA Management of Engineering and Technology Master of Business Administration - International Business Master of Education - Athletic Coaching Master of Business Administration - Applied Computer Science Master of Business Administration - Management Information Systems Master of Human Resource Management Master of Public Administration MPA Nonprofit Management Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - General Organizational Leadership Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master of Business Administration - Criminal Justice Master of Education - Adult Learning and Workforce Education Master of Education - General Education Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Criminal Justice MPA Criminal Justice Master of Business Administration - General Business Master of Business Administration - Public Administration Master of Education - Reading Education Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Human Resources Management Master of Science in Cybersecurity Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management
Tufts UniversityMaster of Global Business Administration Master of Science in Health Informatics & Analytics
George Washington UniversityMaster of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics Master of Health Administration Online Master of Public Health Online
Syracuse UniversityMaster of Science in Communications Master of Science in Cybersecurity Master of Science in Accounting Master of Science in Information Management Executive Master of Public Administration Masters of Business Administration Master’s in Applied Data Science Master of Science in Computer Science Master of Science in Computer Engineering Master’s in Library Science Master of Science in Business Analytics
Simmons UniversityMaster of Science in Behavioral Analysis Master of Public Health MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Communications RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Emerson CollegeMaster of Science in Communication Disorders
New York UniversityMaster of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness
University of Southern CaliforniaMaster of Education in School Counseling Executive Master of Health Administration Online Master of Public Administration Master of Social Work - Health Master of Social Work - Families and Children Master of Social Work - Military Social Work Master of Social Work - Mental Health Master of Social Work Master of Social Work - Community Organization and Administration Master of Arts in Teaching & Gifted Education Certificate (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Social Science (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential - Secondary Science (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Science (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential - Elementary Multiple Subject Teaching (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential - Secondary English (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching & Special Education Credential (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching - Elementary Multiple Subject Teaching (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential - Secondary Mathematics (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Mathematics (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching with Teaching Credential - Secondary Social Science (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching - Secondary English (Online) Master of Arts in Teaching (Online) Online Executive Master of Urban Planning Master of Science in Nursing
Baylor UniversityMaster of Public Health EdD in Learning and Organizational Change Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders Master of Social Work Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Leadership & Innovation
University of DaytonMaster of Business Analytics MBA@Dayton Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership
American UniversityMaster of Science in Analytics (Analytics@American) Master of Arts in Strategic Communication, Digital Communication Strategies and Analytics Concentration Master of Science in International Relations and Business Master of Arts in Economics - Applied Economics Master of Public Administration and Policy Master of Arts in Strategic Communication Master of Science in Nutrition Education Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management Master of Science in Agile Project Management Master of Science in Sports Analytics Management Master of Science in Healthcare Management Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security Master of Legal Studies Master of Arts in International Relations Online MBA (MBA@American)
Pepperdine UniversityMaster of Legal Studies Master of Arts in Psychology Master of Science in Behavioral Psychology MS in Applied Analytics Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
University of North CarolinaMaster of Public Health Master of Business Administration (MBA)
University of DenverMBA Master of Science in Data Science Master of Social Work Master of Library and Information Science
Villanova UniversityMaster of Science in Analytics MS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering MS in Mechanical Engineering Ms in Electrical Engineering MS in Sustainable Engineering (MSSE) MS in Biochemical Engineering MS in Cybersecurity MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering MS in Chemical Engineering LLM in Taxation Master of Taxation Master of Business Administration
Dakota Wesleyan UniversityMaster of Business Administration Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Administration
Sacred Heart UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Masters in Social Work - Community Practice RN-BSN-MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership Masters in Social Work - Clinical Practice RN-BSN-MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader RN-BSN-MSN - Nurse Education Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Master of Science in Nursing Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing MA in Strategic Communication and Public Relations Master of Science: Healthcare Informatics Online
Regis CollegeMaster of Arts in Strategic Communication Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis Master of Education in Teaching Special Education
Temple UniversityProfessional Science Master's (PSM) in Computer and Systems Security Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Master of Science in Engineering Management Master of Science in Electrical Engineering Bioengineering M.S. Master of Science in Civil Engineering Master of Science Environmental Engineering MEd in Counseling Psychology MEd in Educational Psychology Master of Education in Urban Education MEd in Adult and Organizational Development EdS in School Psychology Master of Education in Urban School Leadership Master of Public Health in Applied Biostatistics Master of Public Health in Epidemiology Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences Master of Science in Neuromotor Science Master of Science in Athletic Training Master of Social Work
University of PennsylvaniaEducation, Culture, and Society, M.S.Ed. Teaching, Learning, and Learning, M.S.Ed. Reading/Writing/Literacy, M.S.Ed. Higher Education, M.S.Ed. Italian Literature - Master International Studies Folklore and Folklife - Master Computer and Information Science - Master Telecommunications and Networking Master's Program in Operations and Information Management Oral Biology Law History of Art - Master Germanic Languages and Literatures - Master Architecture - Master Anthropology - Master Urban Spatial Analytics Master of Biotechnology Language and Literacy - Master Landscape Architecture - Master Linguistics - Master Master of Medical Physics Medical Doctor Nursing - Master School Leadership
Seton Hall UniversityPhysics Asian Studies Master of Arts in Communication - Communication in Organizations track Master of Arts in Communication - Communication Technologies and Digital Communication track Master of Arts in Public Relations English Master of Social Work Chemistry and Biochemistry - Master Experimental Psychology Jewish-Christian Studies Master of Arts in Museum Professions History Public Administration Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations
University of Saint MaryMBA - Marketing and Advertising Management MBA - Finance Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Administrator MBA - General Management Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator MBA - Leadership & Organizational Health Masters of Business Administration MBA - Human Resource Management MBA - Health Care Management
Walden UniversityMS in Nursing (MSN from RN) - Public Health Nursing MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - General Program MS in Human Resource Management - Functional Human Resource Management MS in Psychology - Self Design (Career) Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Project Management - Tempo Learning® MS in Psychology - General (Career) MS in Human Resource Management - Integrating Functional & Strategic Human Resource Management MSN-BSN, Nurse Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Healthcare Management - Tempo Learning® MS in Human Resource Management - General MS in Nursing - Bridge for Registered Nurses - Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Human Resource Management Master of Social Work (MSW) - Social Work with Children & Families (Standard: up to 2 courses/term) MS in Nursing - Bridge for Registered Nurses - Education Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) - Population Health Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Marketing MS in Nursing (from RN) - Psychiatric & Mental Health NP MS in Nursing (from BSN) - Education MS in Psychology - Applied Psychology (Career) Master of Business Administration (MBA) - General (Fast Track) MS in Cybersecurity – General MS in Education - Mathematics (Grades 5-8) MS in Education - Educational Leadership & Administration (International; Non-Licensure) Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Self-Designed MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
Point Park UniversityMaster of Science in Health Care Administration and Management Master of Arts in Intelligence and Global Security MA in Communication Technology Master of Business Administration - Health Systems Management Master of Business Administration - General Management MA in Communication Technology - Applied Practices MA in Communication Technology - Social Media
Aurora UniversityMBA MSW MPA
Babson CollegeMaster of Business Administration – Part Time Master of Business Administration – Miami Online Master in Business Administration
Phillips Education Center of Campbellsville UniversityMaster in Marriage and Family Therapy
Brandeis UniversityMaster of Science in Health and Medical Informatics Master of Science in Strategic Analytics Online Master of Science in Technology Management Online Master of Software Engineering
University of the PacificMS in Data Science
Campbellsville UniversityMSW MBA MSN-FNP Master of Theology, Pastoral Leadership Master of Theology, Biblical Studies Master of Theology Master of Social Work - Foundation Master of Social Work - Clinical Track Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing Master of Music in Music Education Master of Divinity, Ministry and Missions Master of Divinity, Biblical Studies Master of Divinity Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education 8-12 Social Studies Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education 8-12 Science Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education 8-12 Math Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education 8-12 English Master of Theology, Theological Studies Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education 8-12 Master of Arts in Teaching Middle Grades: 5-9 Science Master of Arts in Teaching Middle Grades: 5-9 Math Master of Arts in Teaching Middle Grades: 5-9 English Master of Arts in Teaching Middle Grades: 5-9 Master in Management & Leadership MA in Teaching Enligh to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
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