The evolving education landscape has given birth to the fastest online master’s degree programs. Today, there are several schools that enable students to earn their master’s degree online in half the time. Aside from spending a lot less time to complete their master’s, students also save on tuition costs. Typically, fast-track online master’s degrees allow for credit transfers that result in significant reduction of master’s credit requirements.
For master’s students who hold regular jobs, accelerated online master’s degree programs are a highly viable option. It is to their advantage to obtain their master’s degree fast for career advancement. In terms of promotion and raised earning potential, they gain a competitive edge over their undergraduate counterparts. In fact, a 2013 study revealed that master’s degree holders earned a median pay of $68,000 a year while workers with bachelor’s degrees earned only $56,000.
We’ve put together 30 universities that offer the fastest online master’s degree programs. To come up with this list, we considered the number of accelerated master’s programs that the schools offer. We also emphasized the length of the fast track programs, the university’s online platform, and the accessibility of student resources. The quality of the schools’ fast-track master’s programs was factored in as well, as we explore how they help elevate the students’ potential for career success.
The online schools in this 30 Fastest Online Master’s Degrees Programs list appear in random order.
University of Miami
This university holds various online programs and degrees that students can take advantage of. The University of Miami currently offers more than 180 undergraduate majors and programs. For students planning to take on sped-up learning programs, they can earn certification and MBAs within 10 months to two years. This university’s most notable accelerated programs are MBA in Real Estate (40 credits), Master of Science in Finance (35 credits), and BSN programs (55 class credits). There’s a possibility of accelerated completion if you already earned credits from a previous learning experience. These types of programs answer the current needs of the growing global necessities for brokers or businesses planning to get into real estate, local and global investments and trade, and healthcare providers.
Benedictine University has campuses in Lisle, Illinois (Lisle Main Campus) and E. Main Street Mesa, Arizona (Mesa Branch Campus). Within the university is a network of colleges and departments including the Goodwin College of Business, College of Education and Health Services, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, and School of Graduate, Adult and Professional Education. Students may want to take advantage of their Master’s in Business Administration online program that can be completed as fast as 12 months if you attend two classes in each session. If you’re opting for the traditional one time class, you can earn the master’s in 22 months. The same applies to students who have not completed a prior related degree.
You can also opt to get the MBA program where students are required to take two classes for each session, as long as you already hold a related degree. In this fast-track master’s program, not only will you be taught the foundation courses for businesses; you will also learn critical analysis and essential decision-making processes.
California Baptist University (CBU)
CBU is a private-owned university in Magnolia Avenue Riverside, California. It offers undergraduate and graduate courses in the academic fields. The Masters of Science in Accounting (MSA) program is for students who want to advance in their accounting professional. Students with existing major credits can finish this accelerated course within a year. It’s a step above the undergraduate degrees that will take you closer to your dream of being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Students will need 30 major units before they can proceed with attending CBU for an accelerated master’s.
Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU)
Considered one of the largest private institutions in Marion, Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University offers over 90 degrees, many of them are offered online. You can get a Master of Education (M.Ed.) In Special Education online that can earn you 33 credits. This is specifically designed for teachers that are looking into specialized fields of educating students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Students can accomplish this certification in under two years or more by either passing at least one of the four CORE exams or completing a 3-hour credit in phonics. M.Ed in Special Education teachers find themselves lucrative jobs with an average of $46,158 and potential career growth.
University of North Texas (UNT)
Located in Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas holds 106 bachelors, 88 masters, and 37 doctoral degrees. Accelerated programs such as Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership is duly recognized by the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The aim of the graduate program seeks to advance students who want to take on leadership roles in the educational system in schools or school districts. This a 30-hour M.Ed. education that will require students to finish 10 Education Admin courses online. For students to finish this course within a year, they can take two courses for each session.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
Southern New Hampshire University is situated in Manchester, New Hampshire. It offers a fast-track program for CPAs who are looking to enhance their accounting skills in the real-world set-up. The MBA in Accounting is one such a course to help students get a leg-up in areas such as capital budgeting, portfolio management, and other aspects in the financial market. This MBA program can be completed within 15 months with two courses are taken on every 10-week term. Students can take advantage of this platform to learn at their own pace and accessible online. SNHU also offers one of the lowest online rates for this program.
Founded in 1891, Stevens-Henager College was founded in 1891 with campuses in Idaho and Utah. Aside from traditional courses, students can expect fast-track online master’s degree programs ranging from various academic disciplines. Healthcare Informatics is a master’s degree for those who are currently employed in the healthcare sector. Graduates of this degree will land jobs in insurance companies, government, hospitals, and clinics. You will earn your 60 credits once you finish this 15-month course. Another fast-track master’s degree offered in this college is the Master’s in Information Systems that students can complete in 15 months.
Ball State University
This university in Indiana offers accelerated learning programs online in the fields of learning and human development. The Master of Arts in Educational Psychology is one of Ball State University’s online programs for students of any academic background wanting to add education to their career. This course can be finished within 18 months and less than a year if you will take a full load for each term. You also get to earn 30 credits from this short course with 18 credits from core courses and 12 credits any chosen specialization (Gifted and Talented specialization, Human Development, Statistical and Research methods, and Neuropsychology). There will still be likely career opportunities for those planning to take teaching professions.
The Becker College has campuses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Leicester. Students can check out Center for Accelerated and Professional Studies for available online and accelerated programs of their picking. Under the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, students can pursue their Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, a 60-credit program. Through the school’s B.A. to M.A. option, eligible undergraduate students can start with their Mental Health Counseling master’s program before they reach their senior year. Becker College also offers the Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media online that is also a 60-credit program.
Mercy College is located in Dobbs Ferry, New York and offers more than 90 academic programs for graduates and undergraduates in five categories: Business, Health, Liberal Arts, Education, Natural Sciences, and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College is notable for its Master of Science in Cybersecurity online program. In fact, the program is recognized by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. As part of a dual degree program, Mercy College’s fast-track online master’s degree in Cybersecurity can be completed in 18 months.
Western Governor University (WGU)
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, this university is known to provide online platforms suitable for those who want flexibility and to those who don’t have sufficient resources to fund their studies. Under the school’s College of Business Online, Teachers College Online, College of Information Technology Online, and College of Health Professions Online, Western Governors University offers up to 37 accelerated online master’s degrees programs. In these competency-based programs, students work with a Faculty Mentor to optimize their schedules and work through their course materials. Students can transfer their previous learning credits to their desired online master’s program.
Located in Gaffney, South Carolina, Limestone College offers an accelerated online Master’s in Business Administration program. The school takes pride in its online courses that are characterized by a simple admission process, quality professors, and networking opportunities for future career growth. To be eligible for the fast-track MBA program at Limestone College, your current GPA should be 3.5 and you must have completed 90 undergraduate hours, half of which must be completed at Limestone.
Florida State College
This institution is located in Jacksonville, Florida where it offers online programs for students seeking accelerated master’s degrees. They can opt for the +1Planning where they can just add one course every semester and attend school all year to fast-track their learning. They can take a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) and Accelerated Curriculums focused on obtaining a certain degree, in the fastest way possible. Students may choose from 150+ programs, including fast-track master’s degrees that they can complete online.
Situated in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University offers graduate and undergraduate programs in online platforms. They have an 8-week undergraduate accelerated program to earn a degree for those taking it online. Traditional 15-week formats are also available for those who would want to have a more personal interaction with fellow students. Students can choose from academic studies in Business, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Fine Arts and Communication. Students in the healthcare sector may want to take advantage of their accelerated Master of Science in Nursing online program offered in an 8-week format.
Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak State College is located in New Britain, Connecticut. It offers accelerated degree programs, including a fast track online master’s, to those with Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Students with PLA can use previous credits from college, military experience, and certifications to earn an online master’s degree fast, depending on the number of credits earned and transferred. Students at Charter Oak State College are pursuing their accelerated online master’s degrees in various academic disciplines in the field of Business, Psychology, Health Information, Cyber Security, and General Studies to name a few.
East Coast Polytechnic University (ECPI)
East Coast Polytechnic University (ECPI) maintains various campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Primarily offering career-oriented programs, this school provides accelerated online master’s degree programs suitable for adult learners wanting to be more professionally honed in their chosen craft. Academic programs feature accelerated online master’s degrees in the field of technology, nursing, criminal justice, business, nursing, and health science can be earned in as short as two years. These programs are intended to prepare students for immediate employment after earning the degree.
University of Texas
Students may also look into the University of Texas for accelerated online programs. All in all, they can choose from 700+ web-based courses to help them achieve their degree with flexibility and in the least amount of time. University of Texas students can pursue the Master of Public Administration online at an accelerated pace. The complete coursework takes 24 months to complete with 39 credit hours. Students of this accelerated online master’s degree pay roughly $16,000. Graduates receive the same quality diploma as their traditional on-campus learner counterparts.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University offers accelerated online programs ranging from associate, bachelor’s degree, and doctorate degree. In particular, it has 15 online master’s degree programs that equip students with advanced expertise in their field of studies such as Education, Psychology, Nursing, and Special Education. At EKU, most online courses, including the accelerated online master’s degrees, are offered in two 8-week or 6-week terms during the fall and spring or summer semesters, respectively. In this accelerated schedule, students carry a full-time load while focusing on two classes only per term.
Aside from providing traditional on-campus programs, this university located in Pennsylvania offers fast-track online master’s degrees through College of Lifelong Learning. Various programs are available for adult learners in the fields of Business, English Communication, Nutrition, Nursing, Social Sciences, and Technology to name a few. Students with prior learning credits (up to 72 credits) can be converted as part of the degree to give them a shorter learning period.
Concordia University – Chicago
Situated in River Forest, Illinois, Concordia University offers accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Education (MEd). Fit for in-service educators, the fast-track online MEd programs at Concordia can be completed in one year. The school’s accelerated online MBA focuses on the principles of servant and ethical leadership, organizational change, global awareness, critical thinking, decision-making, financial modeling, and project management.
Albertus Magnus College
This university offers Online and Flex programs for students who want to complete their online master’s degree fast. At Albertus Magnus College, courses are usually completed within 8 weeks and in an accelerated format where students get practical and real-world applications suitable to their chosen field of interest. Students will need to take two classes for each term and earn 30 credits per year. They also have the option to attend hybrid master’s degree classes.
Located in Parkville, Missouri, Park University has 41 learning centers scattered across the United States. They offer a variety of online master’s degree programs that are offered online. Aside from a variety of disciplines available in accelerated learning formats, they also have 8 master’s programs for towards students with previous learning credits. Park University’s accelerated online master’s degree classes run on eight-week terms.
Colorado State University (Global Campus)
Colorado State University is situated in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Students can choose from accredited programs under Master’s Degree. Online students are given an 8-week program of their chosen field and degree. The Global Campus is also available monthly so there won’t be any missed dates should you choose on a later time. At CSU-Global, students earn their quick online master’s degrees in various areas of study including Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Music, Communications, Business, Organization, and Management, Computer Science and Technology, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Natural Resources and Environment, and Statistics.
Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University currently provides accelerated learning programs in the fields of Public Relations, Early Childhood Education, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Agricultural Business to name a few. Students are required a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) to be able to fully advance their learning curve with up to 12 hours of credit. Students earn their MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, MEd in Educational Leadership, MEd in Library Media, MEd in Special Education K-12, MS in College Student Personnel, MS in Emergency Management & Homeland Security, and MS in Health Informatics.
Azusa Pacific University
Located in Azusa California, Azusa Pacific University offers students accelerated degrees with their University College platform. Courses are intended for adults seeking earning a degree through evening school or online. The online master’s degrees offered at Azusa include in Nursing, Healthcare Administration, Leadership, Business Administration, Business Management, Physical Education, School Librarianship, Screenwriting, and more–which students can opt to take at an accelerated pace. In terms of the duration of its online classes, Azusa complies with the standard rule of thumb that is “3 hours of homework time for every hour of class time.”
Philadelphia University (Jefferson University)
Philadelphia University offers 8-week programs for students who’d want to earn their degrees in the least time possible. Fast-tracked online programs are offered in the areas of Accounting, Business Management, Law Enforcement Leadership, Professional Communications, and Behavioral and Health Sciences and more. Students can also take advantage of Innovation MBA that also provides an 8-week course that can be completed in one to two years. For its accelerated online MBA programs, Jefferson offers concentrations in Business Analytics and Strategic Design Thinking. To qualify for the online MBA, students must have post-undergraduate work experience.
Grand Canyon University
Students at Grand Canyon University can complete four credit courses in 7-week and 8-week online programs. With a quicker and more efficient pacing, you can choose from various degree programs suitable for your master. Popular fields of study include Business and Management, Engineering and Technology, Psychology and Counseling, Medical Studies, and Athletic Sciences. Adult learners with college-level background can look into Lifelong Learning Assessment for advanced education through the school’s fast track online master’s programs.
Regis University offers two online master’s degrees in 5-week to 8-week course programs through the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies. Students have the option to decide on their online Master of Arts degree plans, such as in Applied Psychology, Communication, Creative Writing/Literature, and Religious Studies/Philosophy. The total MA degree requirement is 36 credit hours. CCLS also offers the M.S. in Criminology degree at an accelerated pace and requires 36 credit hours. Career paths for online master’s in Criminology graduates include human behavior, leadership, and cybercrime and terrorism.
Intended for adult learners, Elmhurst College focuses on three fast-tracked programs that get you a degree in the shortest time possible. Under its online graduate programs department, Elmhurst offers an intensive, accelerated, and full-time 100% Master’s in Business Administration. To qualify for this quick online MBA, college graduates must hold a bachelor’s degree from either an accredited U.S. school or a foreign equivalent. This fast online master’s degree program requires a year of completion for full-time study.
Walden University offers a range of fast degree programs, an accelerated online master’s degrees. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walden University offers the Accelerate Into Master’s or AIM program. It covers 21 online master’s degrees including Communication, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Nursing, Healthcare Administration, Public Health, Public Policy, Management, and many more. With the assistance from the representatives of the school’s Center for Degree Acceleration, students can transfer up to 50% of their graduate credits so they reduce their credit requirements for master’s by the same. Through the AIM program at Walden University, you earn your master’s in half the time.
What is the length of a typical master’s degree program?
If you’re considering to upscale your degree, you need to consider the length of learning time. On average, earning a master’s degree usually takes 2 years. Depending on the field of study you choose, you can complete the credit requirements with around 30-60 semester hours (or a median of 36 semester hours). If you’re an adult learner who wants to go back to school without needing to give up your work or career, you will have to complete about 45 credit hours.
What criteria determine admission into a master’s degree program?
Certain tests are needed prior to entering a master’s degree program. A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a more common test for graduate admissions. The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a one-hour exam that consists of verbal-analogy questions. If you plan on getting an MBA, you need to pass the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) consists of questions that assess the reasoning, reading comprehension, and logic of incoming master’s in law students.
Transcripts are essential for previous learning credits for accelerated online master’s degree programs. You are also most likely to be asked to present letters of recommendation. The university will use these documents, along with your other submitted information, to assess your experience and preparedness for a graduate-level program.
A personal statement or essay will be required of you as well before admission to an online master’s degree program. Some programs may also require students to provide an academic writing sample from their undergraduate years.
How do I benefit from an online master’s degree program?
Specialized knowledge in your chosen field as a master’s degree holder gives you an edge over those without it. Earning a master’s degree gives you career stability and job security. Individuals who have obtained advanced educational degrees are more employable and have better earning potential as employers generally find you more credible and dedicated to your craft. A master’s also allows you to gain new skills for an even more solid footing in your area of study.