of Master Degree Programs
Most programs take approximately two years to complete and involve
coursework and some research. Master's degree programs are more
specialized than bachelor's degree programs because they allow students
to concentrate on one particular subject. Master's students may
be required to complete an original thesis in order to graduate.
Online master's degree programs give students more flexibility and
control when it comes to completing coursework and assignments.
Colleges offer many different varieties of master degree programs.
Here's a list of some of the popular degrees:
An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is considered the
gold standard for those interested in business management and executive
positions. Students study the latest business theories and strategies
and learn what it takes to succeed in the competitive modern business
An MFA, or Master of Fine Arts, degree is intended for writers,
painters, musicians and other artists. The goal of these programs
is to allow talented students to develop their artistic talents.
Additional master degree programs include the Master of Arts and
Master of Science programs. The Master of Arts (MA) is generally
pursued by students studying Literature, History, Sociology and
other liberal arts fields. The Master of Science (MS) degree may
be earned by students studying Psychology, Mathematics, Computer
Science, Biology or other hard sciences.
More specialized masters degree programs are:
- Master of Social Work (MSW)
- Master of Education (Med)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Master of Project Management (MPM)
Master degree programs can vary from entirely research-based to
more structured class-based programs but usually there are programs
tailored to utilize both methods.
Master's Degree Prerequisites
With very few exceptions, you will need to hold a bachelor's degree
in order to be admitted to a master's degree program. The type of
master's degree program that you're interested in will dictate the
type of bachelor's degree you should earn. Some graduate-level programs
don't require you to have an undergraduate degree in a particular
subject, while others, such as engineering and architecture programs,
require that you've earned a degree in a related discipline. Some
programs will also require that you meet certain course prerequisites.
As an example, art therapy master's degree programs often require
you to have completed at least 12 credits of psychology coursework
as an undergraduate. Certain healthcare programs, such as physician
assistant programs, will require that you have a predetermined amount
of clinical or laborator experience. You might also need to provide
proof of having maintained a certain GPA as an undergraduate.
Selecting an Online College for a Masters Degree Program
Only accredited programs should be sought out by prospective master's
degree students. Accreditation is a minimum standard of quality
set by an individual agency. Specific evaluation criteria and peer
reviews are used by these agencies during the process of deciding
whether or not a program or college is providing a good education.
For graduate schools, there are often additional accreditation agencies
for advanced disciplines. For example, if you're pursuing your Master
of Psychology, you should make sure the programs in which you are
interested are accredited by the American Psychological Association.
It's important that prospective students avoid diploma mills. These
unaccredited colleges and programs offer an education that is less
than what you would expect after giving your time and money. Diploma
mills care little about the quality of education they provide; their
main objective is to make a profit. The unfortunate students who
enroll in diploma mill master's programs are not required to complete
much work, and consequently, they don't learn efficiently. Degrees
from diploma mills are rejected by employers because the students
who earned them are not properly trained.
Top Online College Degree Programs for Master's
Master of Business Administration
Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are developed
for individuals working in a variety of organizations who wish to
increase their business and management skills. Courses cover finance,
accounting, marketing, economics, leadership skills and organizational
behavior. Some programs offer concentrations, such as human resource
management. MBA's are the most widely available online college degree
programs for master's degrees.
Master in Healthcare Management or Administration
Master's degrees in Healthcare Management or Administration are
designed for healthcare professionals who wish to advance their
careers and take on leadership roles within the healthcare system.
Students study finance, technology, economics, marketing and strategic
planning. Students also explore policy, research and quality improvement
in U.S. and global healthcare systems. Some programs offer concentrations
ranging from healthcare information management to gerontology.
Master in Education
Master of Arts in Education and Master of Education degree programs
are widely available online. Programs in Educational Leadership
and Education Administration are also popular and are sometimes
combined with a Master of Education degree. Students can specialize
in curriculum development, special education or early childhood
education. Many programs are designed for current teaching professionals
who wish to advance their skills. However, some are aimed at individuals
in other fields who wish to become teachers. Courses cover curriculum
development, technology integration, evaluation practices, classroom
strategies and techniques and critical issues in education.