The Quickest Online Master’s Degrees
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
A master’s degree is a credential that almost always translates to a pay bump for working professionals and better employment opportunities. It’s also a quick way to switch careers if you’re looking for something completely different from your previous employment. On top of that, with the current trend in professional careers, a master’s degree is required for many entry-level positions. For example, many accounting firms will not even consider candidates unless they are CPA-ready (150 credits, so basically an undergraduate + graduate degree).
Thanks to the increasingly fast-paced world, many graduating students and the currently employed are considering whether a master’s degree will help them have leverage on their careers. Because the marketplace can be increasingly competitive, we here at EdSmart have put together a list of some of the easiest master’s degrees online that can be finished in as little as one year.
Featured Online Master’s Programs
Online Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
6-18 Month Online Master Degree Programs
If a six-month online master’s degree program sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Master’s degrees tend to require at least one year of study. However, there are ways to “game the system” through a combination of specific course enrollments and prior learning credits.
At the bare minimum, master’s degree programs are 30 credit programs. It is up to you and your school whether those 30 credits are earned through semester blocks, eight-week classes, or self-paced learning. The point is, there is a time factor to consider.
We should note here that if you are determined to find a six-month program, a Google search for six-month master’s degree programs will bring up lists of international schools that offer highly accelerated programs. At this point, we have to warn you that not all these programs are accredited by the same academic bodies that govern schools in North America. If you choose to consider one of these international programs, be sure to note the accreditation and whether North American organizations recognize degrees from these foreign schools.
You can check any school’s accreditation status by searching the institution’s name on the Distance Education Accrediting Commission’s website here. When you get to the site, scroll down a bit to see the search menu. If the school is not on the accredited list, future employers will not recognize its degrees as valid, so move on to another online college option.
Above all, don’t shortchange your education for a “piece of paper.” Earning a master’s degree through a graduate program is about learning new skills that will help you in your career. If you accelerate too quickly, you may not retain the knowledge you learn.
6-Month Master’s Degree Online
Capella University is a pioneer in online degree programs and self-paced learning. This learn-at-your-own-pace school of thought allows online students to set their own deadlines and move through the material faster than traditional online courses, making this an ideal choice for students looking to finish their master’s degrees faster. Typically, a master’s program at Capella can take up to 18 months to finish your online learning. However, through Capella’s Prior Learning Assessment, graduate students can earn credit for previous academic or professional experience. What this means is students who enroll in the maximum number of classes and earn the maximum credit for previous experience can finish an online graduate program in as little as six months. Capella University offers various MBA specialization degrees as well as MS in Psychology as degrees that can be finished quickly, though the school is always willing to work with student needs.
10-Month Master’s Degree Online
University of Miami
A private university in the Miami area, the University of Miami is home to more than 16,000 students from all around the world. In addition to being a nationally ranked school, this institution offers accelerated programs in fields like finance and accounting. This “fast track” is composed of highly specialized coursework that only focuses on what the school feels are the most practical and applicable programs for students to succeed in the workplace. Additionally, some of the programs (like accounting) require students to already be undergraduate students in order to enroll in the accelerated program.
Located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University is a Christian University that was originally founded as a high school in 1905. Since then it has grown to be a school that always reaches out to serve the community. The Gardner-Webb MBA 10-month MBA is created specifically to meet the needs of a busy, active professional. As a fully online program, it can be completed in less than a year and helps students develop better managerial skills that have real-world applications.
Louisiana State University – Shreveport
Louisiana State University – Shreveport is a branch school of the Louisiana State University system. Located in the northwestern part of the state, this school has grown a lot since its humble beginnings in 1967. Today the school offers more than 25 undergraduate degree programs and 13 graduate degree programs, including a 30-credit online MBA that students can finish in as little as 10 months. This competitive program features classes in subjects such as international experience, labor and employment law, hospitality and casino management, managerial use of accounting data, economic analysis for managers, and more.
Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges
University of the Cumberlands
The University of the Cumberlands is a growing school of around 7000 students that features more than two dozen accelerated master’s degree programs. With a 17:1 student to faculty ratio, both online and traditional students are able to get the attention they need to succeed in their coursework. University of Cumberland’s master’s degree programs includes a variety of subjects like business, education, information technology, psychology, criminal justice, project management, teaching, digital forensics, Christian studies, and more. These courses are built around eight-week blocks which allows students to earn their degrees in as little as ten months.
University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley is located in one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States at the southern tip of the state. Currently poised to be the second-largest Hispanic-serving school in the nation, UTGRV emphasizes cultural education so that graduates are able to understand different perspectives, languages, and values of people of different backgrounds. UTRGV features a large number of accelerated degrees for students that are looking to speed up their education. Some of the stand-out programs from this school are the online Master of Education degrees that can be finished in 10 months. Courses in these programs are built around seven-week blocks for maximum efficiency.
1-Year Master’s Programs Online
The majority of fast-paced master’s degree programs are around the one-year mark. A lot of the pace is dependent on the classes a student has previously taken, and whether or not the school translates employment experience into academic credits. One-year master’s programs are fairly common to most schools, and most schools these days feature a one-year online MBA program. Here are some standouts in our searches.
Home to more than 30,000 students, Auburn University is a prominent part of Alabama society. As one of the largest universities in the South, Auburn is one of the leaders in education with its blend of arts and applied science that ensures that students get the skills they need to succeed when they graduate. One of the fastest master’s degree programs is the online Master of Accountancy program. As a 30 credit program, students can complete the degree in one year and become CPA eligible at the completion of the program. Though students pay the same tuition regardless of their online or traditional status, all online students must complete a three-day on-campus orientation.
Benedictine University Online
Benedictine University is a Catholic university founded in 1887. As is such, the school holds itself to high academic and religious ideals, guiding traditional and online students to live moral and ethical lives. Located on the west side of Chicago, the school is a cherished part of the community. One of the accelerated degrees the school offers is the Master of Business Administration. Benedictine University’s online MBA program is designed to help business professionals move up into high-level leadership roles and lead organizations through the challenges of the 21st century. With a flexible coursework schedule, students can quickly finish their education and rest assured that they are prepared for their careers.
Fontbonne University is a co-ed Catholic University located just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Home to more than 3000 students, the school believes strongly in its online programs. This is due to the level of support students receive even while enrolled in a distance learning program. Fontbonne University offers an online master’s degree in supply change management that can be completed in one year. Classes are taken in accelerated eight-week blocks so that students can quickly earn their education. This program was specially designed through collaboration with experts in the St. Louis area and prepares students for the Council of Supply Chain Management SCPro Level One certification.
California Baptist University
California Baptist University was founded in 1950 with a goal to help students reach their full potential, today the university is educating over 11,000 students. This is a Christian university so students are required to have some emphasis and courses related to Christianity. As a graduate student at California Baptist University, there is a multitude of online master programs that can be completed within 12 months. A few of these programs include Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Education: Specialization in Special Education, Master of Science in Information Technology Management, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Science in Kinesiology, Master of Healthcare Administration, and so many more exceptional programs for individuals to choose. With such a wide range of degrees to choose from you’re guaranteed to find your path and succeed in what you’re passionate about.
Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M opened its doors in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher learning. Today this school has grown into one of the most prominent schools in the state as well as a research-intensive school dedicated to pushing the boundaries of human thought. Texas A&M offers a wide variety of online master’s degree programs that can be completed in a year. Among them is the MBA program from the school’s elite MBA program. This program enables students to work in teams to collaborate on problem-solving situations, analyze business data, and resolve ethical issues in a socially responsible manner. For students to finish in one year, they will have to have previous enrollment as a Bachelor of Business Administration.