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 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
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 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 and self-paced learning. This learn at your own pace school of thought allows students to set their own deadlines and move through the material faster than traditional programs, 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. However, through Capella’s Prior Learning Assessment, students can earn credit for previous academic or professional experience. What this means is students who enroll in the maximum number of classes and earning the maximum credit for previous experience can finish a 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.
University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910, the University of Southern Mississippi is often known as Southern Miss. More than 14,500 students call this school home. Today, the school is a comprehensive school that offers degrees from the bachelor to doctoral levels including a number of master’s degrees that can be completed in a year. One of these degrees is the online master of science in logistics, trade, and transportation. This 30 credit online program can be completed in a year by taking 12 credits in the fall and spring semesters and six credits in the summer. Students in this program can elect to take an internship in the nearby Gulf Coast region or at a number of approved locations around the country.
Ball State University
Ball State University is an engaging higher-educational institute that was founded in 1918 in Muncie, Indiana. For 16 years Ball State University has been called one of the best universities in the midwest by The Princeton Review. This top-tier university offers one online master’s program that can be completed within 12-months, a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Psychology. Educational psychology is the specialization of understanding human learning and individual differences within learning. This program offers many concentrations that can bring you into a multitude of different careers. These concentrations include gifted/talented, human development, neuropsychology, applied behavior analysis, and a customizable specialization. As a student in this degree program, you’ll be taking 18 credits of core classes and 12 credits within your concentration. Each path chosen is taught with relevant research-based information by professionals in the field of educational psychology.
Boise State University
Boise State University is located in one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation but continues to keep a small-town feel. This university is surrounded by rivers, mountains, lakes, and great skiing locations making this school a top choice for individuals who love being outdoors. Boise State has three different master’s degrees that can be completed in as little as 12 months all from the ease of your home. These three programs are an online Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy, and a Master in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning. The Master of Science in Accountancy program has been ranked highly multiple times including more recently being ranked #42 in the nation for Best Online Masters in Business Programs from the 2021 U.S News and World Report rankings. All of these programs have high satisfaction rates from graduates, with graduates going on to be tax managers, financial analysts, business owners, executives, medical directors, risk directors, and hospital administrators.
14-Month Master’s Degree Online
For over 135 years Trine University has been providing quality education that prepares students to lead and serve in future careers. in 2019, 99% of individuals were employed or accepted into graduate school at the time of graduation. Trine University has two master programs that can be completed online, in as little as 14 months, an Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice and an Online Master of Science in Engineering Management. TrineOnline offers classes every 8-weeks and allows students to work at their own pace from the comfort of their homes. Both of these programs are highly recommended for being intriguing and taught by engaging professors. A few of the different courses you can look forward to taking include, criminology, victimology, crisis intervention for law enforcement, project management, business ethics, finance engineers, and executive communication. Completing one of these two degrees from Trine University will assist you in growing more advanced skills and becoming more confident in your leadership skills.
The University of North Texas
The University of North Texas is where innovative leaders are developed. The institution offers 109 bachelor’s degrees, 94 master’s degrees, and 36 doctoral programs with over 80 of these programs being offered 100% online. The University of North Texas has one online masters’ program that can be completed in as little as 14 months, an Online Master of Science in Learning Technologies. This program is 36-credits and consists of 12-courses. Within this program, individuals will choose a track from one of the following, instructional systems, instructional systems technology, instructional systems design, teaching & learning with technology, workforce leadership & development, project management in workforce performance, and artificial intelligence. Technology is constantly evolving and is changing the way we teach and learn. This program will teach you how to manage, evaluate, and teach using the advanced technology that runs our world today. A few of the top professions you can go into after graduation include training/development specialists, postsecondary education teachers, instructional coordinators, instructional designers, and technologists.
15-Month Master’s Programs Online
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a private university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Southern New Hampshire University has 17 master’s programs that can be completed in as little as 15 months or at your own pace. A few of these programs consist of, an Online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, Online Masters in Criminal Justice, Online Master’s in Sport Management, Online Masters in Cyber Security, Online Masters in Creative Writing, Online Masters in Higher Education Administration, Online Masters in History, Online Masters in Information Technology, Online Masters in Management, and an Online Masters in Organizational Leadership. Many of these programs have concentrations for students to choose from and specialize their future careers even further. The master’s degrees offered at Southern New Hampshire University are top-tier programs taught by professionals. Earning any one of these prestigious degrees is guaranteed to boost your career and make you stand out.
Northcentral University is an accredited private online institution located in beautiful San Diego, California. The university has developed a rich culture intended to foster learning and success. Two of Northcentral University’s online master’s programs can be completed within 15 months, Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and Master of Science in Technology Management program. Each program is 30 credits long, for students who choose the Master of Science Technology Management path you’ll have specializations to choose from. These concentrations are asset management, information technology management, general management, cybersecurity management, data science management, and project & program management. These degrees are comprehensive and challenging but have a high satisfaction rate with graduates going into careers as senior IT managers, IT team leaders, technology consultants, education administrators for a variety of schools, and distance learning coordinators. If you’re looking to complete a program in as little as 15 months, consider attending Northcentral University.
18-Month Master’s Programs Online
Boston University is among the more prestigious and highly valued universities in the nation. The university is renowned for its historical efforts in research, this reflects in the over $500 million in research awarded to the institution in 2020. Boston University offers a multitude of 18-month master’s programs that can be completed all online. These programs are their online Master of Arts in Art Education, Master of Music in Music Education, Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, and their online Master of Science in Health Communication. Each of these programs is taught by exceptionally trained professionals and students will have the opportunity to practice their skills in hands-on experiences. Earning your degree from such a respected university will put you among alumni who are scholars, Presidential Award winners, and innovative researchers.
Northeastern University is built on a tradition of engaging with the world around it. Founded in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, NU is considered one of the best schools in the region. Northeastern offers a number of accelerated programs as well as dual degree programs that can be completed in one year or one and a half years. Among many of their programs, Northeastern offers an online Master of Science in Commerce & Economic Development, Master of Science in E-Learning & Instructional Design, Master of Science in Global Studies & International Relations, and a Master of Science in Project Management. Many of these programs have concentrations so students can make their degree unique to the specialization of their future professions.
University of Florida
The University of Florida is a well-known school and has even landed itself #30 on the Best National Universities according to the U.S. News and World Reports 2021 rankings. The university is dedicated to a student-centered model that gives students more time one-on-one time with professors and faculty. For students looking at 18-month online master programs, the University of Florida offers three exceptional programs, a Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, a Master of Science in Biostatistics, and a Master in Educational Leadership. Each of these programs is designed to challenge you and prepare you to excel in very competitive settings.
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Online Master’s Programs for You
EDsmart has found that a master’s degree can be earned in 6 – 18 months.