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 44,972 Master Degree Programs
- Valhalla, NYValhalla, NY
New York Medical College
The Department of Pathology offers a vigorous multidisciplinary milieu for training in pathology. They focus on the comprehensive study of the pathogenesis of human disease; this knowledge and the ability to apply it is critical to the ultimate preve...
- Valhalla, NY
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The Master of Science in Economics is a full-time program designed to provide advanced preparation in economics for individuals desiring careers as economists in the business, financial, academic, and governmental sectors...
- San Luis Obispo, CA
- Oneonta, NYOneonta, NY
State University Of New York, College At Oneonta
The Cooperstown Graduate Program, prepares students for careers in museums, historical societies, and related agencies.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
Milano’s groundbreaking Nonprofit Management program was the first of its kind in this country. From the beginning, our highly engaged curriculum has resonated with innovative thinkers familiar with The New School’s deep commitment to advancin...
- New York City, NY
- Lombard, ILLombard, IL
National University Of Health Sciences
National University's Master of Science in Acupuncture program offers you a comprehensive curriculum in acupuncture coupled with training in how to balance an Eastern medicine approach with Western medicine...
- Lombard, IL
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
William James College offers a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Forensic and Correctional Counseling. Graduates meet the requirements to become a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts.
- Newton, MA
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Columbus College of Art & DesignUpcoming Start Date: May 13, 2019
The MFA focuses on individual artistic/design development and creative leadership.
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University's new Master of Science in Computer Engineering is designed to train and educate students to work as computer engineers who understand the design tradeoff and the interdependency between hardware and software in computers,...
- Teaneck, NJ
- Madison, NJ
Colorado State University
Colorado State University's online Master of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (M.F.W.C.B.) focuses on the ecology and management of wild animals, for their benefit and the benefit of humans.
- New Brunswick, NJNew Brunswick, NJ
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Health Administration is rapidly growing throughout the country. Many leaders are retiring, leaving a void of leadership in hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, pharmaceutical companies...
- New Brunswick, NJ
Albany Medical College
The Alden March Bioethics Institute’s Online Graduate Programs provide mid-career professionals, joint degree students, and highly motivated post-baccalaureate students with an opportunity to supplement current education or career training with cutting-...
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
To advance your career in this steadily growing field, earn a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) from Villanova University. Our program is modern, relevant, balanced and comprehensive; providing foundations in basic theory coupled with c...
- Villanova, PA
- Villanova, PA
Big data is a big buzzword in the business world. But it’s a serious concept, referring to data sets so large and complex that traditional data-processing applications simply can’t handle them. That means it presents a challenge — and opportunity — for a...
- Purchase, NYPurchase, NY
The Master of Science in Sport Business Management at Manhattanville School of Business is a 36 credit program that con be completed in 18 months for an accelerated completion.
- Purchase, NY
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
In the Health Policy and Management MPH, you will learn to design, develop, implement, and manage public health-related programs and initiatives.
- Philadelphia, PA
Frontier Nursing University
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and a Post-Graduate Certificate are offered in the nurse-midwifery specialty track.
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The MS in software engineering is designed to attract students with a formal undergraduate background in software engineering, computer science, or computer engineering, preferably with professional experience.
- Rochester, NY
- Northampton, MANorthampton, MA
For 90 years, the Smith College School for Social Work has provided graduate social work education to men and women around the world. Our program is internationally recognized for its dedication to and specialization in cli...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
The general M.A. program in Sociology is designed to equip students with a broad foundation in general sociology and a particular focus in a more specialized field of relevance to the student's career interests in teaching, research, governmental work,...
- Chicago, IL
California State University, Northridge
Join one of the nation's largest MPA programs from anywhere in the world with CSUN's Masters in Public Administration online program. A focus on Public Sector Management and Leadership prepares you to effectively lead all types of public organizations.