2019 Master's Degree Programs
What is A Master's Degree?
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.
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.
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.
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 the NCES by graduate degrees granted in 2015-2016)
What Kind of Master's Degrees Are There?
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
What Subject Can I Get My Master's Degree In?
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!
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.
GradSchools.com Offers 44,978 Master Degree Programs
Nova Southeastern University
Counseling, M.S. - Substance Abuse Counseling and EducationUpcoming Start Date: March 11, 2019
The master’s degree in Counseling with a Substance Abuse Counseling and Education concentration (60 credit hours) is an innovative academic program designed for the working professional actively involved in or entering the field of Substance Abuse Coun..
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
The limited-residency Master of Fine Arts in Photography is specifically designed to meet the needs of practicing photographers seeking the terminal degree in the discipline while maintaining active, full-time, professional careers.
- West Hartford, CT
Trinity Law School
Over the years, job seekers have earned MBA degrees as a way to fast-track their career advancement. The problem is that so many MBAs have been awarded that the market is saturated, making it harder for candidates to stand out.
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...
Full Sail University
If you want to learn how to craft the compelling stories behind film, television, games, and other entertainment media – and gain the skills to effectively market your work – Full Sail University’s online Creative Writing Master of&...
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s fully online Master of Science in Recreation Management - Professional Development is a versatile program that will enrich your professional experience and inspire you to achieve more.
Law is the most powerful tool in health care. Those who can communicate the intricacies of law and policy may be needed since today’s health care industry is heavily regulated by federal and state laws. While ever...
St. Bonaventure UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 21, 2019
St. Bonaventure University’s online Master of Science in Cybersecurity is designed to develop the critical skills you’ll need to build a career at the forefront of business and technology.
- 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.
- 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
- Providence, RI
American InterContinental University
In AIU’s ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs) accredited Master of Business Administration program with a specialization in marketing, students can acquire an essential understanding of the important roles marketing profession...
- Atlanta, GA
Liberty University OnlineUpcoming Start Date: February 11, 2019
Warner Pacific University
Whether you believe that leaders are born or made, one thing is for certain: leaders, and the organizations that rely on them, can benefit from focused education in managerial practices.
- Portland, OR
Join a respected program that’s renowned nationally in athletic administration education, and has been preparing outstanding athletic administrators. Network with a diverse community of administration professionals and faculty Obtain you...
The Parks and Recreation concentration allows flexibility to design a course of study that meshes your needs with the needs of the industry.
- Newton, MA
Loyola University Chicago
Develop linguistic competence and cultural awareness to help Spanish-speaking clients thrive by earning a Bilingual Masters in Social Work online. This unique MSW is taught primarily in Spanish and focuses in Health/Mental Health and Migration Studies.
- Chicago, IL
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyUpcoming Start Date: May 06, 2019
Expert hands on training with faculty comprised of both Business & Psychology professionals. Available 100% Online or on Campus. Our I-O master's program provides opportunities for a broad range of real-world learning experiences.
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Irvine, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Washington, DC
Eastern Kentucky University
Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management - Concentration in Fire & Emergency Services
The Fire & Emergency Services Concentration is designed to build graduate-level knowledge on top of the experience-based skills of professional fire, rescue and emergency response personnel. The curriculum of the Fire & Emergency Services concentration...
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
With more than 230 million global citizens living outside their home countries, international migration is one of the most critical issues facing the global community in the 21st century.
- San Francisco, CA
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is proud to be one of just a handful of universities in the United States to offer a Master of Science degree in Homeland Security. The School now also offers the program with a focused concentration in Emergency Managem...
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Greenwood Village, CO
Demand for preventive care continues to rise in the U.S. - especially now that millions of Americans have access to medical services through the Affordable Care Act. However, with primary care physicians in short supply, more and more individuals and...
Advance the depth of your science knowledge and skills to improve student outcomes, test results, and understanding of scientific information. Become a College Instructor, Consultant or Advisor, Program Director, Curriculum Director, Division or Depa...