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!
- 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 Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy challenges you to develop innovative solutions for the world’s thorniest challenges, which are increasingly urban and global...
- New York City, NY
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality
This master's program is designed to familiarize students with the four paths of Creation Spirituality in tandem with each student's own spiritual practice and spirituality.
Frontier Nursing University
The ADN Bridge Entry Option allows registered nurses holding an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) as the highest degree earned (no bachelor’s in any field), to directly enter our Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
U.S. News & World Report ranks “Civil Engineer” among the top 10 technology jobs in 2013, and it appears 26th on the list of top jobs overall. With a variety of career paths available and projected employment growth of 19.4% (Bureau of Labor Statistics...
- Villanova, PA
- Villanova, PA
- Lombard, ILLombard, IL
National University Of Health Sciences
National University's Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program offers you a comprehensive classical curriculum in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine coupled with training in how to balance an eastern medicine approach with western science...
- Lombard, IL
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
The Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers 5 areas of emphasis, including a generalist track, couples & family therapy (MFT), expressive arts therapy, forensic & correctional counseling, and health & behavioral medicine.
- Newton, MA
The Canisius College Master’s in Sport Administration is a fully online program that will prepare you for careers in intercollegiate athletics, amateur or professional sports, sports marketing or event and facility managemen...
- Buffalo, NY
- Paxton, MAPaxton, MA
Anna Maria College
Anna Maria's Master of Education program is for adults with a baccalaureate degree who want to become licensed teachers and teachers who want to earn their Professional Teacher License. Anna Maria College offers four Master Degree programs that will qua...
- Paxton, MA
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security (MSCHSA) program is administered by the School of Administrative Science (SAS) from the Metropolitan Campus and is conducted off-campus (week nights and Saturdays) and online.
- Teaneck, NJ
- Madison, NJ
- Bethesda, MDBethesda, MD
Uniformed Services University
Modern biology has been revolutionized by developments in molecular and cell biology.
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Columbus College of Art & Design
The MFA focuses on individual artistic/design development and creative leadership.
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-...
- Edinboro, PAEdinboro, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
The M.Ed. Reading program will enable students to obtain a master's degree in Reading and will qualify them for certification as a reading specialist.
- Edinboro, PA
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Our Behavior Analysis program prepares students for leadership roles in the implementation, evaluation and administration of applied behavioral analytic principles and methods...
- Boston, MA
- Alhambra, CAAlhambra, CA
California Institute of Advanced Management
California Institute of Advanced Management (CIAM) is nonprofit University dedicated to providing a practical, hands-on, and applicable MBA program based on real-world experience. Rolling admissions deadlines, with Financial Aid for those who qualify...
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
The Graduate Architecture and Urban Design program offers a Master of Science, Architecture and Urban Design. The program is 33 credits and three semesters (Summer, Fall, Spring).
- Brooklyn, NY
- New York City, NY
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The MS degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing prepares students to meet the national nee...
- 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...
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics' Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year correspondence program running in Fall-Spring-Summer semesters over each of the two years of the program...
- Boulder, CO
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
Stockton University offers the MSW in a two-year format, or a one-year format called Advanced Standing. Advanced Standing is open to individuals who have earned baccalaureate degrees in social work from a social work program accredited by the Counci...
- Pomona, NJ