Master's Degree Programs
A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study and a second-cycle academic degree, usually preceding a doctorate degree. Students usually obtain a master's degree to further their studies in a specific field of study or area of professional practice.
We have 66,643 Master's Degree Programs for you to choose from!
Why Earn 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.i
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.i 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.
Top 7 Master Degree Majors
(by graduate degrees granted in 2015-2016)iii
Types of Master Degree Programs
Masters degrees are usually awarded in different categories and often focus on a single specialty area. The type of master degree awarded may depend on the school, program focus and area of study. Some examples of popular master degree programs are listed below.
Master of Science
M.S., MSc, MSci or SciM
Master of Arts
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Business Administration
Specialty and Professional Master Programs
Master of Science in Nursing
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Work
Master in Education
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
List of Masters Degree Subjects
Use our subject selection filter at the top of this page or start with the list below. 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!
Campus, Online or Hybrid Master's Program?
Within the above categories and their sub-fields, you can often choose between a residential (campus) and online masters program format. In some cases, especially for human centered and medical fields, your options for online degrees may be limited, however a hybrid choice may be offered. These blend on-campus and online learning. Choose ‘campus’, ‘online’ or ‘hybrid’ to refine your search or use the location settings to find graduate schools and graduate programs in a specific city, state or country.
Search 66,643 Master Degree Specialty Programs
Many master degree programs are offered in a more specialized or disciplined field of study. Students may select masters programs by subject, and in some cases, specialties. Use our Category and Subject navigation to find the best master's program for you!
Widener University's online Master of Social Work (MSW) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). It prepares you to improve both your life and the lives of others through clinical social work and social justice.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Leadership program provides students with the skills to develop professionally and gain self-confidence in their own leadership styles. Students learn to integrate a conceptual foundation for an executive l...
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
This prestigious program is the ONLY Low Residency MFA in the country that is dedicated exclusively to Illustration.
- West Hartford, CT
Saint Xavier University
The online MSN from Saint Xavier University supports your transformation into a trusted nurse leader with a high-quality and recognized program that is affordable, accessible and immediately applicable.
Nova Southeastern University
The R.N.-to-M.S.N. degree is a dual degree program that saves you time and money — preparing you for your chosen nursing career in leadership, education, or informatics.
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Tampa, FL
California Baptist University
The online Master of Arts in Public Relations degree program (MAPR) equips students with critical thinking and professional practice skills while challenging them to integrate biblical thought with contemporary cultural concepts.
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
Guaranteed paid internships and NAAB-accredited. Exciting two- and three-year options available in the M.Arch program offered by the School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation.
- Bristol, RI
Master of Science in Analytics Mobile devices, social networking sites, transactional data, sensor systems, cloud computing—these are some of the innovations changing the face and pace of business while generating a va...
University of Delaware
Develop insights to better manage your classroom and improve student outcomes. Organized and taught by the University of Delaware’s faculty of experienced researchers and educators, this program focuses on providing the proven theory, current t...
George Washington University
Earn your Master of Public Health (MPH) in as few as 12 months with GW’s online program. Make a meaningful difference in public health with MPH@GW. GRE waiver available. Apply today!...
Our Lady of the Lake University
Our Lady of the Lake University's Worden School of Social Service, offers its acclaimed Master of Social Work degree program entirely online, giving working adults the opportunity to work toward this career-building,service-oriented credential.
Purdue University Global
This graduate-level degree is designed to prepare students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to pursue mid- to senior-level positions in the field of accounting.* The curriculum is designed to enrich skills in auditing, taxation, cost ac...
- Edinboro, PAEdinboro, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Edinboro University offers coursework leading to a PA Online Instruction Program Endorsement in conjunction with an MEd in Middle and Secondary Instruction.
- Edinboro, PA
New England College of Business
As the business environment becomes increasingly competitive, organizations that invest in a quality systems management program could improve their products and services, enhance customer service and gain an advantage through higher productivity and incre...
University of North Carolina
Learn strategies to enhance your organization’s effectiveness through Walden University’s ACBSP-accredited Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program.
Earn your master’s in applied behavior analysis in less than 2 years online at Pepperdine. Experience clinical training and prepare to sit for the board certified behavior analyst exam. GRE not required.
University of Southern California
Nursing@USC delivers the online Master of Science in Nursing program from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing. RN and BSN req’d.