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 58,737 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.
Popular Master Degree Programs
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.
Find 58,737 Master Degree 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!
St. John's University
Online MPH from St. John's University prepares you to become a community health leader. You will learn to plan, implement and evaluate projects and interventions; acquire valuable real-world experience with expert faculty and fieldwork.
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.
Antioch University’s online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling allows you to channel your passion for helping others into a meaningful and rewarding career as a mental health counselor.
This MBA degree with a specialization in Human Resources Management focuses on the interrelationships between the organization's most important resources – its employees, its leadership, and the business organization in general.
- Thousand Oaks, CAThousand Oaks, CA
California Lutheran University
This program expands students’ knowledge on both the development of research and counseling skills in clinical psychology.
- Thousand Oaks, CA
- Oxnard, CA
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.
- Circleville, OHCircleville, OH
Ohio Christian University
The MBA with concentration provides the leaders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a competitive business environment within specific industries.
- Circleville, OH
- Grove City, OH
- Hillsboro, OH
- Lancaster, OH
- Dublin, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Chillicothe, OH
- Morrow, GA
New York University
NYU’s online MS program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders enables students nationwide to earn their degree and pursue licensure without attending classes in New York. Deadline approaching.
- Pasadena, CAPasadena, CA
Fuller Theological Seminary
Fuller’s MA in Theology—now available 100% online—is for those who want to learn from outstanding faculty practitioners to more effectively serve others and communicate God’s word in the church, academy, culture, and world.
- Purchase, NYPurchase, NY
Successful organizations need effective leadership at all levels and replacing outgoing talent is a critical issue for companies around the world. The MS in Business Leadership is a focused MBA alternative to position you to fill this talent gap.
- Purchase, NY
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Integrate theory with practice, analyze information needs to create solutions by applying a variety of tools and technologies. Insure the organization, accessibility, and management of library and information resources.
- Boston, MA
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Saint Mary's University's online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is here for you to build on your technology expertise and cultivate crucial leadership skills to help you direct organizations in preventing cyber-attacks.
- Winona, MN
- Rochester, MN
- Minneapolis, MN
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
The MBA in Professional Accounting program allows non-accounting majors to earn an accounting degree and qualify for the New York State CPA Exam...
- Buffalo, NY
University of New Haven
UNH offers an exciting, 36-credit master’s degree program in Criminal Justice, where students study alongside leading professionals in law enforcement, investigation, politics, forensic science, and law...
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate University’s online Master's in Evaluation & Applied Research—designed with input from with the acclaimed Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC)—is tailored for students with an interest or some experience in evaluation and research.
- Chico, CAChico, CA
California State University, Chico
The College of Business at California State University, Chico offers graduate level business courses to aspiring and working business professionals.
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
The Clinical Practices in Psychology program is a full-time program, with a two-year sequence of course work and practicum experiences, leading to the Master of Arts.
- West Hartford, CT
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The School of Law at Loyola offers the Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) degree to professionals working in the field of child welfare who do not want to practice law but who seek a deeper understanding of the laws affecting children and families.
- Chicago, IL
University of Northern Colorado - Extended Campus
The Masters of Arts program in Special Education Generalist is designed to prepare special educators to work with K-12 students across a range of abilities, from significant support needs to mild/moderate disabilities.
- Denver, CO
Develop professional competence in a world of rapid change with a Master of Arts in Organizational Management degree from Ashford University. Study organizational change, marketing, decision-making, strategic thinking, and innovation while learning t...
Eastern Kentucky University
Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management - Concentration in Occupational Safety
The Occupational Safety Concentration will develop the critical management skills required by engineers, occupational safety and loss prevention personnel involved in risk management and occupational safety. The curriculum builds knowledge on hazard con...