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10 Best Online Masters in Social Work 2022

BEST ONLINE MASTERS IN SOCIAL WORK

Are you thinking about getting an online master’s in social work?

If you have strong communication and interpersonal skills and enjoy working with others, a degree in social work might be a smart choice. As a social worker, your responsibility will be to help others solve and adapt to problems in their everyday lives. 

You could work to help people overcome behavioral, mental, and emotional obstacles, working in settings such as schools, hospitals, and clinical environments. With just a couple of years of study, you’ll acquire the skills you need to work at counseling couples and individuals, to advocate for change in the social welfare system, to become a teacher, and so much more.

Although many social workers go on to rewarding lifelong careers with just a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree will provide you with the formal education and professional experience you need to secure a leadership role. You could direct a social service department, manage a child welfare agency, and so much more.

The work of a social worker is not easy. You’ll have to learn how to cope with a great deal of emotional stress, from having to deal with the extremes of abuse and injustice to the difficulties of working with marginalized and vulnerable client populations. 

Despite these challenges, being a social worker is incredibly rewarding. 

One thing that shouldn’t be difficult? Finding the right program. All kinds of colleges offer master’s degrees in social work but not all are of equal quality. 

To find a great program that will help you meet just about any career goal, the Council on Social Work Education (an authority in this field) recommends that graduates of Master’s in Social Work programs have at least 900 hours of supervised field experience.

This kind of experience will enable you to apply your advanced theoretical knowledge to social work in a supervised setting. You’ll be able to integrate the major concepts and skills you’ve learned in your classes with real-world clients. 

You may also want to consider a program that gives you the option of choosing a concentration. There are many common MSW concentrations to choose from, including children’s mental health, medical social work, clinical and direct practice social work, and much more.

The opportunities are endless! 

You might feel as though you don’t have many opportunities, however, if you are already working full-time and don’t know how you will fit the demands of a full-time course of study into your jam-packed schedule. That’s where an online degree can help.

When you earn an online master’s in social work, you’ll not only be able to acquire the skills that you need for professional practice but you will be able to do so on your terms. Most online programs can be completed both on a full- and part-time basis but offer flexibility in that you can take classes whenever it’s most convenient for you. It doesn’t matter if you need to study at 3 a.m.—an online degree will allow you to make things work. 

A rewarding career is within reach—learn more in our comprehensive guide to the 10 best online master’s in social work. 

What Are the Best Master’s in Social Work Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. University of South Florida

Master of Social Work

Best Affordable MBA in International BusinessWith tuition rates starting at just $434.51 per credit hour for graduate students, it’s easy to see that the University of South Florida places a premium on affordability. However, that’s not to say that quality plays second fiddle. This school has some of the best master’s degrees in the country, ranked as one of the top Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Located in Tampa, FL, the University of South Florida has numerous other campuses around the state, including those in Sarasota and St. Petersburg. It also has a thriving online campus, where thousands of students each year pursue their degrees and network with other professionals.

The top online master’s in social work is one such example. This specialized course of study prepares graduates for clinical practice in all kinds of settings, from families and group work to agency or organization-based community practice. It is available on both a full- and part-time basis. There’s even a concurrent Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health degree that you can pursue if you want to earn both degrees at the same time.

The degree requires 60 credit hours of study with most candidates graduating in just eight semesters. If you already have a background in social work, you can earn your degree in just 35 credit hours or three semesters of full-time study.

You’ll take core classes such as:

  • Foundations of Social Welfare Policy
  • Social Work Practice With Groups
  • Diversity and Social Justice

You’ll also need to complete a field experience that will allow you to gain more hands-on experience and a one-credit-hour capstone project. 

#2.  University of Houston

University of HoustonMaster of Social Work

The University of Houston is the third-largest university in the state of Texas, home to more than 46,000 students. Not all of these students study on-campus in Houston, however. Many choose to complete their studies fully online.

You’ll have lots to choose from and to explore as an online student here. The school has more than 282 degree programs in 16 academic colleges on campus, with many of these programs also offered online. It is also home to nearly four dozen different research centers and institutes, making it easy for students both on-campus and online to take their learning to the next level.

The Master of Social Work here is a fantastic option for self-motivated learners who need a more flexible schedule. You’ll take classes with a cohort of students and have access to innovative technology like discussion boards to help you develop a strong network of support. 

You’ll begin your studies here with a 16-semester credit hour foundation that takes place over two semesters and has a fieldwork component. An intensive curriculum, it will allow you to take classes in things like political justice, critical thinking, and more. 

As you might expect, fieldwork is a critical component of this degree, with all students required to complete at least 900 hours of fieldwork under the supervision of a Master Social Worker. Because you’ll complete all program requirements remotely, you will be able to connect with the Field Education Staff at the University of Houston to find a field experience placement in your area.

The Graduate College of Social Work has all kinds of unique opportunities known as GCSW Focused Learning Opportunities for you to get experience outside of the classroom. You might be able to work in political social work, mental health advanced practice, trauma education, and more. In addition to focused field placements, you’ll also be able to tap into financial support to help you offset the cost of tuition. 

That said, this affordable degree has low tuition rates. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available as well. 

#3.  University of Central Florida

Master of Social Work (MSW)

UCFA public research university, the University of Central Florida is located just east of downtown Orlando. There is lots to love about living in the Sunshine State, but if joining in the hustle and bustle of Orange County doesn’t sound appealing to you (or if you just can’t stand the heat!), don’t worry. The University of Central Florida also has many campuses available online.

Since its founding in 1963, this school has awarded more than 346,000 degrees to more than 300,000 alumni all over the world. You can take classes at the main campus in Orlando or, again, you can choose to study online. This public school also has campuses in 10 other locations around central Florida.

As you can see, your location won’t get in your way when you’re deciding where and how you want to earn your degree. You have plenty of options to choose from! And trust us—the Master of Social Work here is worth the effort. 

The program will prepare you for life beyond the classroom and makes it easy for you to gain firsthand experience in internships in your area. It will prepare you for all kinds of rewarding careers including:

  • Child Abuse Worker
  • Drug Abuse Social Worker
  • Pediatric Social Worker
  • Juvenile Probation Officer

It is ranked as one of the most innovative programs by U.S. News & World Report and is known for its affordability. Tuition starts at just $369.65 per credit hour for in-state students.

#4.  The University of Alabama 

University of Alabama TMaster of Social Work

The University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, AL, is known for many things. It’s the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System and is home to more than 38,000 students. It was one of the first public universities established in this region of the country and it is home to the only publicly supported school of law in the state. 

There are all kinds of unique programs here that you’ll rarely find anywhere else, too, such as those in metallurgical engineering, Romance languages, and, of course, social work.

The University of Alabama offers one of the best master’s in social work programs in the country. It has been around since 1965, making it one of the oldest programs of its kind. It consists of 42 to 60 credit hours, with the number of credits varying depending on your educational background. 

An innovative, hands-on program, it will allow you to earn your degree while maintaining your other commitments. It includes lots of practicums and skills labs so that you can gain hands-on experience along with theoretical training in social work. It offers two concentrations—Children, Adolescents and Their Families or Adults and Their Families. 

You can even pursue a joint MSW/JD Dual Degree Program or an MSW/MPH Dual Degree Program if you choose. Regardless of the option you choose, studying social work at the University of Alabama will prepare you for leadership roles in all areas of social work, from family services to child welfare, substance abuse treatment to geriatric services, and more.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to be a student in this program, either. Tuition starts at just $440 per credit hour for in-state students. 

#5. The University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee KnoxvilleMaster of Social Work

A public land-grant research university, the University of Tennessee is located in Knoxville, TN. This school was founded years before Tennessee was even added as a state and it is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System.

Here, you’ll find one of the best master’s of social work degrees. Available fully online, it is also available face-to-face on the Knoxville campus as well as in Nashville. You don’t have to live anywhere near these two campuses to earn your degree.

All courses are taught online through both synchronous and asynchronous methods. You can pursue an additional certificate or a concentration (contractions in Organizational Leadership and Evidenced-Based INterpersonal Practice are both available). The entire curriculum is identical to the one you might take on campus—the only difference is in how you take your classes!

You’ll take core classes such as:

  • Introduction to Interpersonal Social Work Practice
  • Foundations of Social Work Research
  • Human Development in Context: Young Adulthood Through Older Adulthood

The curriculum here combines a comprehensive understanding of how social work and neuroscience intersect while also making it possible for students to concentrate their studies in integrated health care. 

#6.  Ohio State University-Main Campus

Ohio State University-Main CampusMaster of Social Work

Another of the best MSW programs can be found at Ohio State University. This school is the flagship campus of the University System of Ohio. It offers quality programs at an affordable price, and because of this, is considered a Public Ivy. This means that its caliber of education is comparable to what you might find at a more expensive private Ivy League institution!

With an extensive student life program (encompassing more than 100 student organizations, plenty of club and recreational sports programs, and much more), this school is one of the best places to attend if you want to get involved. Many of these opportunities are available to on-campus as well as online learners. 

The Master of Social Work has been offered in some form by Ohio State University for many years, with the first social work course offered in 1875. In fact, with a master’s in social work that was accredited in 1919, it is the oldest continuously accredited social work program among public universities.

You’ll be able to tap into a large support network as a student here. The program has more than 9,000 alumni who are working to inspire change all over the country. The degree will help you master the professional values, core competencies, and theoretical knowledge you need to work in any practice of social work. At the same time, you’ll be able to participate in extensive field practicum experiences for mentoring opportunities. 

An affordable program, tuition for this degree costs just $12,128 for Ohio residents. Financial aid is available for qualifying students as well. 

#7.  Rutgers University

Rutgers University at New BrunswickMaster of Social Work

Located In New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University was first chartered in 1766, making it one of the oldest schools in the United States. It is one of the nine original U.S> colonial colleges that was chartered before the American Revolution.

Despite its storied, historic past, Rutgers University has nonetheless managed to keep up with the times. It is home to some of the best and most hands-on programs for distance learners in the world. A member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Universities Research Association, and the Association of American Universities, it is also considered a Public Ivy. 

Due to these designations and many others, Rutgers University is one of the best places to earn an online master’s in social work. A 100% online program, it will allow you to interact closely with faculty while enjoying the flexibility of online learning.

You’ll complete your studies over the course of three years, with all classes held asynchronously so there aren’t set meeting times. You’ll be able to start a yield placement at a social service agency in your area in the third semester of your first year.

You can also choose to apply to certificate programs such as LISTA (Latina/o/x Initiatives for Service, Training, and Assessment) or the Violence Against Women And Children certificate. Both offer more specialized courses to complement your field experiences. 

A 60-credit hour program, it requires only 39 credits if you have a bachelor’s of social work degree. You’ll take classes such as:

  • Methods of Social Work
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis

This program is also affordable, with applications accepted in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. You’ll pay just $923 per credit hour regardless of the semester and regardless of where you live. 

#8.  University of Southern California

University of Southern CaliforniaMaster of Social Work

A private research university, the University of Southern California was founded in 1880 and is located in Los Angeles, CA. With more than two dozen different schools and colleges to choose from, it’s easy to discover the perfect program for your career goals. 

Here, you’ll find one of the best online social work master’s in the world if you want to become an agent of change and make a difference in the local and global community. 

A 42-credit hour program, it includes 1000 hours of hands-on field experiences to help you apply the skills you have learned in class. Most students take just two years to complete their degrees while studying on a full-time basis but there is also an accelerated option that will let you graduate faster after just a year of study.

The program has excellent career outcomes, with 91% of alumni employed in a relevant field within six months of graduation. You’ll be able to participate in field education placements both in the vibrant urban classroom of Los Angeles as well as in your community. Many of these internship placements lead to full-time job offers after graduation.

Your core courses will be categorized into three basic areas

  • Adult Mental Health and Wellness
  • Children, Youth, and Families
  • Social Change and Innovation

You will also be able to engage in cutting-edge research. From human tracking to trauma-informed care and the social response to climate change, you’ll be able to pursue just about any area of interest to complement your studies.

You can even earn a dual-degree if you’d like. With four other prestigious professional schools in addition to Hebrew Union College, the University of Southern California has eight options for earning a concurrent degree. Some other options to add to your MSW include an MBA, law degree, master’s in public health, a Ph.D., or a master’s degree in planning, gerontology, Jewish nonprofit management, or public administration.

Not only that, but this program is also extremely affordable. 96% of students receive scholarships within this program, which repeatedly ranks among the nation’s top accredited social work graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report.

#9.  The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Master of Science in Social Work

University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyA public research university, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has multiple campuses in Texas. It is the southernmost member of the University of Texas System and the fourth-largest college in that system. 

It isn’t all size without quality, though. This school is ranked as one of the best in the country, receiving top marks for its affordability and excellence in academics.  It is top-ranked by publications like Social Work Licensure and Surf. The curriculum will prepare you for entry-level generalist work and advanced professional social work to help meet the needs of multicultural and binational communities.

It comes with two concentration options – Direct Practice with Latino Individuals, Families, and Groups and administration and Community Practice. Regardless of the concentration you choose, you’ll find that this program places a special emphasis on ethical practice, multicultural awareness, and other social services and methods that encourage social and economic justice.

You’ll take around two years to complete your degree in this program, which requires 63 credit hours of study. Most courses last just seven weeks each, so it should be easy for you to breeze through the required courses.

You will take classes such as:

  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Individuals
  • Families and Small Groups
  • Social Work with Diverse Populations
  • Social Welfare policy

A highly affordable program, it futures low tuition rates that start at just $444.44 per credit hour. There are plenty of scholarships available in addition to other forms of financial aid.

#10.  University of Arkansas

Master of Social Work

 A public land-grant research university, the University of Arkansas is known for its strong programs in fields like agriculture, creative writing, communication disorders, history, and of course, social work.

With a main campus that sprawls out over 512 acres in Fayetteville, AR, this school has an impressive reach. It also has a fantastic online presence with dozens of majors offered exclusively online. The online master of social work requires the completion of a BSW and is available on a full-time basis. 

Most students earn their degrees in just one year, completing a total of 39 credit hours of study. No GRE is required for admission. 

As you take classes, you’ll work with a cohort of fellow students for peer support and networking opportunities. The curriculum is identical to the one offered on-campus but all of the courses are offered entirely online. 

Just as you would in the on-campus program, you’ll be required to complete internships. The internships can be arranged within close vicinity of where you live and may even be able to conquer at your workplace. 

This program serves as an excellent pathway for students who are interested in Ph.D. studies later on and is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

FAQ

What are the admissions requirements for accredited online MSW programs?

Of all of the colleges with master’s in social work, each of them has different admissions requirements. However, they share several commonalities. 

The average online Master of Social Work program requires around 30 to 40 credit hours of study. When you study full-time, you can earn your degree in just two years, on average, though there are plenty of programs out there that will let you take your time and complete requirements on a part-time basis instead. There are also accelerated programs that will let you earn your credentials in less than a year. 

You will usually need to have a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field. You should plan on submitting transcripts and may be asked to meet a certain GPA requirement (usually a 2.5 or higher on a  4.0 scale). 

In addition, you may have to have some related professional or volunteer experience. You will demonstrate this with letters of recommendation and a resume, the latter of which should detail all professional experience in addition to internship and volunteer experience.

There are a few other materials that might be needed. GRE test scores are often required, usually with a combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 or higher. A personal statement and interview might also be required. 

What will I learn in an online social work degree?

No two online social work degrees are the same, but for the most part, the curriculum of these programs is similar to what you might find in an on-campus program,

You’ll take classes in things like social policy and human behavior while also completing a set number of clinical practice hours. As a master’s candidate, you should expect to complete at least 900 hours of field experience so that you can integrate the skills you studied in the classroom into the real world.

You’ll also take classes that focus on subjects like the social dimensions of human behavior, social work history and welfare policy, and diversity and social justice in urban and rural communities. You might be able to pursue an additional concentration to add depth to your degree, too, such as one in clinical practice or policy and administration. 

Depending on where you live and what kind of career you’d like to pursue, you may also have to pass a licensure exam. You can find more information by visiting the Association of Social Work Boards website. These licensing requirements typically include the passing of an exam and the completion of a certain number of clinical hours. 

What can I do with a master’s in social work?

There are countless job opportunities for people who earn master’s degrees in social work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 12% job growth before 2030, which is more than double the national average. Demand for certain professions within this field, such as mental health and substance abuse social workers and healthcare social workers, is even higher.

Working as a social worker is the most obvious choice for graduates after completing a master’s in social work. In this role, you will work with individuals and groups to help them overcome various life events and to address mental health concerns. You might work in a clinic, school, correctional facility, hospital, or similar setting.

You could also work as a substance abuse social worker. You’ll help patients who are struggling with substance abuse issues as well as related mental health concerns and behavioral problems.

There are other specialized pathways you can follow as a social worker, too. You might become a child, family, or school social worker, working with children in particular to develop and implement treatment plans or you could become a medical social worker and advise families on their medical options. 

Is an online master’s in social work respected?

As a social worker, you will be highly respected. This kind of work isn’t easy, but it’s highly rewarding.

Not to mention, the pay isn’t too shabby either. Although social workers aren’t the highest-paid professionals out there, you’ll earn enough to make a living—and then some.

As a social worker, you can expect to earn around $51,760 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10% of earners brought in more than $85,820, with professionals employed in government and healthcare settings receiving the highest average salaries.

If you choose to work specifically in substance abuse, you’ll earn a decent salary, too—around $47,660 per year. Again, choosing to work in a hospital or government setting will increase your salary potential (as compared to working in an outpatient or residential mental health and substance abuse facility or center). 

What is the cheapest online master’s in social work?

In addition to the programs we covered that are offered by award-winning schools like Rutgers University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of South Florida, you’ll find top-rated programs (at a fraction of the cost!) elsewhere, too. Consider schools like Western New Mexico University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Humboldt State University, all of which cater to online learners and offer affordable tuition rates. 

The average master’s in social work costs between $11,000 and $39,000 in tuition, according to U.S. News & World Report, with costs varying between private and public schools. The good news is that earning an online master’s tends to be much more affordable than getting a degree on campus, due in part to the fact that you’ll only have to pay tuition and not other fees, such as those for housing or meal plans. 

Many online programs charge flat tuition rates and don’t discriminate price-wise based on state residency. You could pay an in-state rate at a public college regardless of where you live. Of course, it’s always important to pursue financial aid even if you choose to attend a public university. Opportunities like grants and scholarships can help lower the cost of attendance at both public and private schools alike. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 45 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN PUBLIC RELATIONS & 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Affordable Master’s in Accounting 2022

35 Best Affordable Master’s in AccountingDeciding what you’ll major in and where you’ll get your degree is something that you’ll need to consider as you’re getting ready for college—but unfortunately, this decision often comes down to simple dollars and cents.

Choosing a major shouldn’t have to be about income potential. You should also be able to choose a degree with courses that you will enjoy. 

Fortunately, when you choose a major in accounting, you can have both. There’s never been a better time to pursue a master’s degree in accounting. It is not only an exciting major with plenty of opportunities for career growth, but it offers the potential for a high salary, too.

When most people think of accounting, they envision stiff, straight-laced professionals who sit in stuffy offices and complete tax returns. To be fair, many accountants do travel down that road, working to balance the books and prepare tax returns for individuals and businesses alike.

However, the field of accounting is one that is constantly changing. You could work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a consultant to help solve white collar crime or you could serve as the Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company, providing advice on international mergers and acquisitions.

There are all kinds of unique and unexpected jobs you can pursue, especially if you have interests that delve into other fields in addition to accounting. You can work as a fashion purchasing manager, using your skills in cost analysis to determine the best purchases, or you could find a job as a nonprofit development manager, working with top executives to help their companies meet development plan milestones. 

As you can see, the opportunities are endless. The only thing that stands between you and landing the career of a lifetime is the right level of education.

Of course, you can apply for most accounting jobs with just a bachelor’s degree. That said, a master’s degree will provide you with many advantages, including better access to higher-paying, competitive jobs and the ability to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam.

When you’re looking at a master’s in accounting, you’ll have a few different types of degrees to choose from. For the most part, all of them will help you meet your career goals, but there are a few distinctions to be aware of. A Master of Science in Accounting is perfect for the candidate who wants to work in public accounting, while a Master of Accounting is ideal for someone who is interested in pursuing an accounting degree but has a bachelor’s in a different field.

There are even MBA programs that feature accounting as a concentration, allowing you to earn an MBA and an accounting degree at the same time. 

Don’t compromise on your goals when you’re looking for the right program. You can receive a quality education even if you’re on a budget—there are plenty of affordable master’s degrees in this field to choose from.

Not sure where to start? In this post, we’ll give you a guide to everything you need to know to achieve your dreams—including a list of the 10 best affordable master’s in accounting you can consider. 

What Are the Best Accounting Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. University of Florida

Master of Accounting

UFThe University of Florida, located in Gainesville, FL, offers one of the best affordable master’s in accounting. However, that isn’t the only thing that this school is known for. This prestigious institution first opened its doors in 1853 and has provided quality education to students from all over the country ever since.

It is ranked as the fifth-best public university in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is also one of the largest. It is the fifth-largest single-campus university in the nation with nearly 58,000 students enrolled within 16 academic colleges. Its programs are incredibly hands-on, providing learners with access to more than 150 research centers and institutes. 

If you’re looking for an affordable education that doesn’t skimp on quality, it’s clear to see that the University of Florida is where you need to go. This cheapest program for accounting is designed for students who completed their undergraduate studies elsewhere and are looking for a high-quality master’s degree. It features concentrations in taxation and auditing as well as a plain zero-concentration track.

And if you’re already a student at the University of Florida, you can graduate more quickly by considering the 3/2 track, which will allow you to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting in just five years of study. 

This program is not offered online, with all classes offered in a face-to-face setting in Gainesville. You will take classes four days a week, studying topics like:

  • Advanced Accounting
  • Accounting Regulation
  • Accounting Theory
  • Issues in Audit Practice
  • State And Local Taxation

You can even choose to take business electives or participate in hands-on learning experiences like internships. This will allow you to put what you have learned in your courses to the test in a real-world setting. With excellent career outcomes and affordable tuition rates, the University of Florida offers students an excellent return on their investment. 

#2.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

U of I Urbana- ChampaignMaster of Science in Accountancy

Innovation is at the heart of every great university—and if you’re looking for a school that allows its students to take a front seat in that innovation, you should look no further than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The school is home to more than 250 different programs of study with 651 buildings sitting on 6,370 acres. Here you will also find a renowned Research Park, which houses innovation centers for nearly 100 start-up companies and multinational corporations. You’ve likely heard of many of them—do names like State Farm, Yahoo, and Capital One ring a bell? 

Students have the opportunity to work in these research facilities and centers, partnering with faculty who are known for their real-world experience and academic laurels. In the Master of Science in Accountancy, you will have the opportunity to put your learning to the test each and every day in these sorts of hands-on experiences. 

This degree is a STEM-designated program that is suitable for learners of all backgrounds. You don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting in order to apply. While enrolled in this program, you’ll gain the skills you need to succeed in a competitive job market while learning from a top-ranked faculty. 

The program has a 100% job placement rate, with all 2020 graduates landing a job within just three months of graduation. The school partners with more Big Four CPA firms than any other university, allowing students to gain experience while they’re still completing their degrees. As a student in this program, you could have the opportunity to work with major corporations like Huawei Technologies, Deloitte, PwC, and more. 

You will work closely with faculty and fellow peers as you complete courses in subjects like:

  • Auditing
  • Federal Taxation
  • Managerial Accounting

There are additional concentrations available in:

  • Data Analytics in Accountancy
  • Taxation
  • Finance
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Information Technology and Control
  • Business and Public Policy
  • Corporate Governance
  • International Business

Plus, you’ll build nontechnical business soft skills to help you in your job search. This affordable program has low tuition rates and generous financial aid. It is ranked as the second-best graduate accounting program in the country by U.S. News & World Report as a result.

#3.  University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at CharlotteMaster of Accounting

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers another one of the best-value accounting master’s for you to consider. It’s one of more than 150 different degree programs that are offered within nine colleges. 

The largest institution of higher education in CHarlotte, it is the fastest-growing school in the University of North Carolina System. It actually has three main campuses—the Center City Campus, the Charlotte Research Institute Campus, and the main campus in University City. 

Regardless of where your studies take you, the Master of Accounting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a good one to consider. You’ll be able to make an impact by studying either on-campus or online. The department has a top-ranked alumni network, according to LinkedIn, with a powerful reputation that will follow you for the rest of your life.

You don’t have to have a background in accounting in order to apply. You’ll take courses in core technical accounting concepts as well as in essential business skills like:

  • problem-solving
  • communication
  • analysis
  • negotiation
  • teamwork

An affordable program with plenty of financial aid opportunities, it will allow you to graduate in just one year. The program has a 98% employment rate with graduates making an average of more than $100,000 just five years after graduation. Talk about a solid investment! 

#4.  California State University, Long Beach 

California State University-Long BeachMS in Accountancy

A public university located in Long Beach, CA, California State University, Long Beach is the second-largest of the 23-campus California State University system. It is one of the most affordable programs of its kind, boasting one of the lowest student tuition rates in the country. As of 2021, full-time and in-state undergraduate students paid just $3,425 per semester!

Even for out-of-state graduate students, the Master of Science in Accountancy at California State is a smart program to consider if you’re looking for both quality and affordability. It can be completed in as little as 11 months and costs just $19,000—not per semester, not per year, but for the entire program. 

A 30-credit hour program, it leads to CPA licensure in the state of California. The coursework will provide you with advanced knowledge in corporate governance, tax, ethics, and other topics you need to know if you plan on working in industry or government. You’ll be able to work closely with accounting firms, audit and tax groups, and financial firms as you complete your studies.

As you work your way through your courses, you will do so with a cohort of fellow students. You’ll take classes five days a week each semester and be able to tap into resources like CPA test prep, career advising, professional workshops, and more. Of course, you’ll also have access to an extensive network of CSULB alumni. 

#5. California State University, Los Angeles 

Cal StateMaster of Science in Accounting

California State University, Los Angeles is another school to consider if you’re searching for a cheap master’s in accounting that still offers the quality education you need to help you meet your academic and professional goals.

A competitive school, the university has a number of programs that are truly one of a kind. Here, you’ll find the oldest forensic science program in the country as well as a unique Early Entrance Program that makes it possible for gifted honors students as young as 12 to start transitioning into college!

Of course, the Master of Science in Accounting is a revolutionary program for you to consider here, too. This degree will help you accelerate your career in accounting with its many customizable options and flexible scheduling. You can sit for the CPA examination upon graduation and work toward all kinds of professional certifications, such as those in Internal Auditing and Fraud Examination.

You’ll take core classes in topics like:

  • Professional Accounting Ethics
  • Leadership and Professional Skills for Accountants
  • Case Studies and Research in Accounting

A total of 33 units of study are required for the completion of the degree. 

In addition to your coursework, you’ll be able to participate in industry-focused events along with student events and guest lecturers to help you build your professional network—and, of course, to help you enjoy your time at California State University, Los Angeles even more! 

Not only that, but this school is committed to helping both current and prospective students find an affordable education. There are all kinds of financial aid available, including scholarships, grants, and other resources. 

#6. University of South Florida 

Best Affordable MBA in International BusinessMaster of Accountancy

The University of South Florida is a public research university with a main campus in Tampa, FL. It has other locations in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, too, making it possible for learners from all over the state (and all over the country, for that matter!) to earn their degrees in the location that makes the most sense to them.

It is the 11th largest public university in the United States and is highly ranked by the U.S. News & World Report. According to the National Science Foundation, the school spends an average of $568 million per year on research and development, meaning you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage in hands-on research as a graduate student here.

The Master of Accountancy at the University of South Florida has four concentrations for students to choose from, including:

  • forensic accounting
  • taxation
  • corporate accounting
  • assurance

You will be able to take classes on any of the university’s campuses, including those in Tampa and St. Petersburg. 

Core courses for this program include:

  • Financial Reporting and Professional Issues
  • Innovation and Analytics in Accounting
  • Contemporary Issues in Auditing
  • Internal and Operational Auditing

As yet another affordable option for you to consider, it features low tuition rates starting at just $8355 per year for in-state students. Generous financial aid is available for students who qualify.

#7.  Ohio State University

Ohio State University-Main CampusMaster of Accounting

Referred to as Ohio State, OSU, and the Ohio State University, Ohio State University is a member of the University System of Ohio and considered a Public Ivy. This means that its quality of education is comparable to what you might find at one of the country’s more expensive private Ivy League institutions.

At Ohio State University, you’ll find programs that blend quality with affordability. You’ll also find plenty of real-world learning opportunities here, from research in one of the campus’ many labs and centers to having a bit of fun in one of more than 1000 student organizations.

The Master of Accounting is offered by the prestigious Fisher School of Business. It is a STEM-designated program that offers students personalized, immersive learning experiences that prepare them for real-world work. 

Ranked as the sixth-best accounting program in the country among public universities and ninth overall by Public Accounting Report in 2019, this program will allow you to complete the 150 credit hour requirement for CPA eligibility within less than one year (just nine months!) of study. 

You will take core classes such as:

  • Fundamentals of Accounting Data and Analytics
  • Accounting Policy and Research
  • Management and Control
  • Corporate Financial Reporting

You can pursue concentrations in auditing, taxation, finance, operations management, logistics, managerial decision making, financial reporting, and more.

With low tuition rates, Ohio State University is an affordable university for in-state and out-of-state students alike. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available as well, including the Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholarship Program. This program awards full tuition to students who are pursuing the one-year master’s program in accounting. 

#8.  Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook UniversityMaster of Science in Accounting

Located in Stony Brook, Long Island, Stony Brook University is a public university that is known for its academic prestige despite having a low price tag. It manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is affiliated with the United States Department of Energy, along with its own Research and Development Park.

As a graduate student in the Master of Science in Accounting, you will take core business courses including 33 credit hours in accounting. You’ll complete required classes like:

  • Advanced Auditing and Assurance, Leadership
  • Team Effectiveness
  • Communications, Government and Nonprofit Accounting
  • Ethics in Management
  • Forensic Accounting

You will also complete a culminating accounting capstone before you leave campus. The program is an excellent pathway for students who are seeking CPA eligibility. There is also an accounting minor for other business majors to consider.

As a student in this program, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take your learning outside of the classroom. You can participate in the Accounting Society, a group that meets every week and hosts career readiness programs, networking events, and accounting firm talks. There are also internships available. 

As a result of all of these excellent hands-on experiences, the program has a high career placement rate. Pair that with the low tuition rates and ample financial aid that are offered by this affordable university, and it’s easy to see that this program has a phenomenal return on investment.

#9.  University of Georgia

University of GeorgiaMaster of Accountancy

A public land-grant research university, the University of Georgia has a main campus in Athens, GA. First founded in 1785, this school is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. It is another school that is classified as a Public Ivy, offering an academic experience comparable to that of an Ivy League university with tuition prices that are some of the lowest in the nation.

A highly selective school, the University of Georgia offers graduate programs with rigorous curricula. You’ll be able to truly challenge yourself in the Master of Accountancy here. This 30-semester hour program is designed for candidates with an undergraduate degree in accounting, with optional concentrations including tracks in tax advisory, and audit. 

You can enroll in this program by itself or pursue the Five-Year early enrollment program. This will allow you to earn a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in just five years by completing all degree requirements simultaneously. 

This university has had the #1 first-time CPA exam pass rate among large programs for two of the last three years. Although the instructors here don’t teach specifically to the test, the curriculum is designed to help all students succeed on the test. 

In addition to an award-winning curriculum (this school consistently ranks among the top 10 public institutions nationally by The Public Accounting Report), the University of Georgia offers all kinds of opportunities to nurture their professional development while they are enrolled. You’ll be able to attend accounting-specific career fairs and on-campus recruiting opportunities along with ongoing networking opportunities with the active Tull School alumni network.

There are multiple pathways you can choose from in this program, including a traditional one-year MAcc, a five-year combined BBA/MAcc program, and a JD/MAcc program. Whichever you choose, you’ll find that you gain the skills and network you need to be successful in your career.

#10. CUNY Queens College

Master of Science in Accounting

Last (but certainly not least) on this list of the most affordable master’s in accounting is the Master of Science in Accounting at CUNY Queens College. You might be surprised to see a CUNY school on this list, since it isn’t the largest program or the most well-known. However, once you see everything that this program has to offer, it will be clear why it made our final cut.

CUNY Queens is a member of the City University of New York System. The school has an 80-acre campus in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens and has a student body that is incredibly diverse—more than 170 countries are represented!

Here, you can choose from more than 170 different majors, many of which exist as accelerated master’s degrees. You’ll be able to choose from majors in seven different schools, including the School of Math and Natural Sciences where the Master of Science in Accounting is found.

This degree is a 30 to 71 credit hour program that will provide you with the advanced education in accounting you need to take the Uniform CPA examination in New York State (and to meet other career goals as well). 

The number of credits you will need to take ranges because this program is open to students who do not have a background in accounting. If you majored in an unrelated field during your undergraduate studies, you will need to take additional prerequisite courses (hence the higher number of credits) before diving into the core curriculum.

This program includes core classes in subjects like:

  • Advanced Financial Accounting Theory
  • Advanced Studies in Business Law
  • Taxation of Business Entities

As a student in this affordable program, you’ll pay an average of $3,067 per year for in-state tuition after all scholarships and grants have been applied. 

FAQ

What will I learn in an accounting MS program?

Most master’s degrees in accounting take students around one to two years to complete. There are both accelerated programs and those that can be completed more slowly, over the course of five or six years, to accommodate students with all different kinds of schedules and learning needs.

You’ll typically complete around 30 credit hours, with programs including a combination of core courses, electives, internships, study abroad, and other hands-on learning experiences. Some may require the completion of a thesis or capstone while others let students substitute work experience, research, or other culminating projects for this requirement instead. 

Course requirements vary, but usually, you’ll take classes in subjects like:

  • accounting information systems
  • auditing theory
  • accounting ethics
  • advanced financial accounting

You might be able to make your degree more specialized by pursuing a concentration, too. 

In a concentration, you’ll take classes outside of your core courses to add more depth and breadth to your studies. You might pursue specializations like forensic accounting, financial accounting, or international accounting. 

What are the admissions requirements for a master’s in accounting online?

Admissions requirements vary for master’s degrees in accounting, but generally, online and in-person programs have the same requirements. Regardless of the format of your program, it is always a good idea to check in with the admissions department at your college or colleges of choice to make sure that you have everything you need to apply. 

You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an accredited institution. More often than not, this should be a degree in accounting or a related field (such as business, economics, or finance). However, there are many graduate programs that will accept students who do not have a background in accounting provided that they complete a few prerequisite courses before beginning their core studies.

You may have to meet certain GPA requirements, too. When admissions officials look at the transcripts you submit (another requirement), they might look for a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher, placing special emphasis on the courses you’ve taken that are related to accounting. 

Other admissions requirements include GRE or GMAT scores (though these are often waived, especially for individuals with relevant work experience or high GPAs), a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and a resume. You may have to have several years’ worth of work experience or other credentials in order to apply, too. 

How much does a master’s in accounting cost?

Most master’s degrees are expensive. It’s no secret that advancing your education isn’t cheap, especially at the graduate level. The average master’s program costs more than $19,000 per year!

There tends to be more financial aid available for undergraduate students than graduate students, but the good news is that there are still plenty of ways to make your degree more affordable.

Online students tend to save the most enjoying in-state rates for distance programs even if they don’t live in that state. On-campus, you can benefit from teaching assistant positions, employer reimbursement, work-study, and other programs to help offset the cost of tuition.

Of course, even though financial aid tends to be more limited for graduate students, there is still plenty of “free money” you can apply for, including scholarships and grants. Loans can be used as a last resort as well.

What are the best master’s degrees for accountants?

When you’re trying to find the right master’s degree to help you meet your personal and professional goals, there’s no single best program out there for everyone. You will have plenty of options to choose from, both online and on-campus.

Any of the programs at the universities covered in this article, from the University of Florida to the University of Georgia, will serve as great choices. No program will serve as the single best choice for everyone but these are a great place to start.

Of course, there are many other master’s degrees that aren’t on this list that are excellent choices, too. Consider programs offered by other top-ranking universities such as:

  • Northeastern University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Western Carolina University
  • DePaul University
  • the University of Washington

What can I do with a master’s degree in accounting?

After you earn an affordable master’s in accounting, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities to choose from. Many graduates go on to earn their certification as CPAs while others seek employment as tax examiners, advisors, or financial managers. 

As an accountant, your job will be to prepare financial records like federal taxes for a business or an individual. The role of an auditor is to examine these taxes and other records. 

A personal financial advisor is someone who provides advice on personal financial matters like investments, retirement, and estate planning. You could work as an insurance broker or a tax advisor, with many graduates pursuing additional certifications to enhance their job prospects.

As a tax examiner, you will compile and audit both individual and corporate taxes for the government. Although many tax examiners go to work with just a bachelor’s degree and some work experience, it is best to pursue more specialized field experience and coursework, which you can get by earning a master’s degree. 

Is getting a cost-effective master’s in accounting worth it?

Getting a master’s degree in accounting is absolutely worth it. Although it takes time to finish the courses, you will open the door to a plethora of rewarding job opportunities and experiences. Not to mention—the salary will be much higher, too! 

Once you earn a master’s degree in accounting, your wages will be significantly higher. Individuals who continue their education earn an average wage of $13,000 more per year than those who have just a bachelor’s degree. Add those earnings up over the years and it’s easy to see that this is quite the return on your investment! 

As an accountant or auditor, you could earn an average salary of $73,560 per year, or $35.37 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Personal financial advisors earn around $89,330 per year, while tax examiners bring in about $55,640 each year. The job prospects should be exceptional, too, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics Projecting a 7% growth for accounting professionals within the next decade. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MBA DEGREE PROGRAMS & 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEGREE PROGRAMS!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Statistics 2022

Does analyzing data get your heart beating faster? Do you love the way that digits line up in perfect sequences? Do you interpret meaning from analytics, numbers, and calculations that nobody else appears to notice?

If so, then earning an online master’s in statistics might be a smart choice for you.

Statistics is a highly interdisciplinary field, and while it’s certainly not for everyone, it is a field that is in high demand. It’s a great fit for someone with an analytical mindset who enjoys crunching numbers, deriving meaning from mathematical equations, and analyzing complex data sets.

Plus, earning a master’s degree in statistics will open the door to a myriad of career opportunities—and unparalleled job growth and wage potential.

What is a Master’s in Statistics?

Best Online Master's in Statistics

A master’s degree institutes will provide you with advanced training in applied and mathematical statistics. Most often offered as a Master of Science degree, it is one step further than a basic bachelor’s degree and can prepare you with the expertise you need for a variety of careers. You might work as a practicing statistician or a researcher in another field. 

The best program in statistics will allow you to engage in consulting or collaborative research, along with specialized coursework in emphasis areas of your choosing. This will help you form the solid foundation you need for a highly rewarding career.

Ultimately, your coursework will train you in the development and research surrounding the many methods to collect, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and present sets of data. If you have a passion and aptitude for mathematics and statistics, then a master’s in statistics is a smart choice for you. 

If you’re already working and considering going back to school, you might find yourself feeling a bit discouraged about your prospects. How are you going to be able to earn your master’s degree when your schedule is already jam-packed with other commitments, such as those imposed by your job or family obligations?

An online degree can be your saving grace. When you choose to study online, you’ll benefit from flexible course schedules that often allow you to take classes when it’s most convenient for you (whether that’s 3 am or 3 pm, the choice is yours!). Typically, online degrees tend to be much more affordable than their on-campus counterparts, too.

When you decide to enroll in an online degree, you won’t have to worry about paying for things like housing, transportation, or parking. You can take your classes from the comfort of your own home. Although you’re probably pretty good with numbers if you are interested in a degree in statistics, it doesn’t take a statistician to realize that an online degree can be an excellent value. 

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Statistics Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. Texas A & M University-College Station

Master of Science in Statistics

Texas A&M University is a public land-grant research university located in College Station, TX. founded in 1876, this school is the flagship institution of the state university system. It has a student body that is the second largest in the country and holds simultaneous designations as a land, space, and sea-grant institution. 

Texas A&M

It’s received generous funding from major organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and more. Because of this, it’s one of the best places to pursue a research-oriented degree like a master’s in statistics. 

Texas A&M University offers a best value online master’s in statistics that is one of the most comprehensive in the country. This program is flexible enough to allow you to develop your own interests while also going in-depth into fields like computational statistics, statistical methods, and the theory of statistics.

You will be able to choose from either a thesis –  or non-thesis option when you enroll. If you choose the non-thesis option, you will complete a final oral presentation and written report. Alternatively, you can complete extra courses in an emphasis area such as applied statistics, biostatistics, computational statistics, theoretical statistics, or applied analytics and data science.

If a Ph.D. is what the future holds for you, then there’s a pathway that will enable you to do that, too. In fact, you can substitute some of your required master’s-level courses for doctoral classes to help you get ahead. 

In addition to the top online Master of Science in Statistics, Texas A&M also offers an applied statistics certificate and a traditional on-campus program. However, the online degree is largely regarded as one of the country’s best and most flexible. GRE scores are optional and all courses can be completed 100% online. You’ll benefit from a wide range of electives, online office hours, and the ability to start taking classes during any semester. You don’t have to wait until the fall to join a cohort!

All courses are recorded live in the classroom so you’ll feel as though you’re part of a community when you log in to complete your coursework. You’ll get the same degree and diploma as local students and receive the same diploma. Not only that, but this affordable program boasts low tuition and offers online students the ability to apply for generous financial aid opportunities. 

#2.  Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Statistics

Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology is so ubiquitous that it’s often referred to simply as “Georgia Tech” or even just “Tech.” This public research university is known for its programs in things like computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Once a trade school, Georgia Tech is now a large technical institute and research university with an enrollment of more than 36,000 students.

The Master of Science in Statistics is offered as a joint venture between the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Math. It can be used to help students progress toward an eventual doctoral degree in Applied Statistics, Bioinformatics, or Mathematics, or it can lead to a professional career in statistics.

In total, you will complete around 30 hours of coursework, with most of your classes taken in statistics and mathematics. Core courses include things like:

  • Design and Analysis of Experiments
  • Mathematical Statics
  • Real Analysis
  • Statistical Estimation
  • Computational Statistics

You can also take classes that allow you to focus your studies on a specific area of application like psychology, mechanical engineering, or operations research. 

Whichever you choose, you’ll find that this program does an excellent job of preparing you to meet your personal and career goals. It’s an affordable program with tuition and fees starting at just $16,258 for in-state students. There is generous financial aid available for students who qualify, too, including scholarships, grants, and loans. 

Finally, know that there are plenty of ways to get involved on campus at Georgia Tech—even if you choose not to ever set foot on campus! You can join organizations like the American Mathematical Society’s Graduate Student Chapter, attend the Research Horizons seminar, or participate in the Association for Women in Math Chapter. The opportunities are endless!

#3.  Texas Tech University

Texas Tech

Master of Science in Statistics

Texas Tech University was known as Texas Technological College until 1969 and is highly regarded for its research-oriented degrees in things like atmospheric sciences, grid computing epidemiology, and more. Of course, statistics is one of the most popular majors here, but the school has more than 150 other majors to choose from, too. 

With an enrollment of more than 40,322 students, it’s easy to see that there is something at Texas Tech for just about anyone. The school serves students from more than 50 states and 100 different countries, with alumni going on to rewarding careers in just about every industry. 

This program consists of 36 credit hours of graduate work, including six credit hours for the master’s thesis. You’ll need to take classes like:

  • Intermediate Mathematical Statistics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Design of Experiments
  • Theory of Linear Statistical Models
  • Time Series Analysis 

This affordable program features tuition that’s charged based on the minimum full-time course load of 18 hours per academic year. You can take more classes per semester if you’d like to graduate more quickly and will pay, on average, right around $25,688 per year as an in-state student. There’s plenty of financial aid you can apply for, too, including grants and loans. Employee tuition assistance waivers are also available. 

#4.  North Carolina State University

NC State University

Master of Science in Statistics

Another high-value master’s in statistics can be found at North Carolina State University. This school is located in Raleigh, NC, and is part of the famed Research Triangle with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here, you’ll be able to choose from more than 100 different degrees in dozens of fields of study. 

The urban school offers a 2,110-acre campus to its students, but if you’d rather learn from home, don’t worry—there’s no need to ever set foot on campus. You can complete all courses in the Master of Science in Statistics entirely online. 

There are multiple concentrations available. You can pursue a traditional pathway with no concentration, allowing you to pursue core areas of statistics like the design of experiments, or you can dive headfirst into specializations like:

  • environmental statistics
  • biostatics
  • statistical genetics
  • financial statistics

You can even pursue a minor or a co-major if you want to challenge yourself! 

Yet another affordable program, the Master of Science in Statistics at NC State has low tuition rates starting at just $11,702 per year. The school offers scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment opportunities to help lower the cost of attendance even further. 

#5.  Iowa State University

Iowa State

Masters in Statistics 

Not to be confused with the University of Iowa, Iowa State University is a large public land-grant research university located in Ames, IA. The largest university in this state, it was uniquely coeducational from the start. It was also the country’s first designated land-grant institution. Clearly, it’s a groundbreaking school that’s known for its many “firsts!”

This school also offers one of the country’s oldest and most acclaimed programs in statistics—a degree that is now available online to make learning more convenient for students from all backgrounds and in all locations. 

This top Master of Science in Statistics allows students to work closely with the Statistical Laboratory. The first statistics unit created in the country, it is involved in extensive research and is regularly ranked highly by publications like U.s. News & World Report. The department is home to 140 graduate students and receives funding from the National Science Foundation and other sources so that generous fellowships can be offered to the strongest applicants. 

The degree requires 34 credit hours of study and includes classes in subjects like:

  • Statistical Methods
  • Theory of Probability and Statistics
  • Introduction to Statistical Computing

At Iowa State University, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg in order to get a degree in statistics. As a graduate student, you’ll pay an average of $11,404 in tuition per semester. ALthough non-resident students pay slightly more, all students are eligible to apply for financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and fellowships.

#6. University of Colorado Denver

CU Denver

MS in Statistics

The University of Colorado Denver is located in scenic downtown Denver, sharing a variety of facilities with the nearby Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Community College of Denver. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs of study, with more than a third of the school’s population consisting of graduate students. 

In addition to on-campus students in this bustling metropolis, the University of Colorado Denver also has an impressive 11,000 additional online students. There are plenty of good reasons to study online with this institution. Not only will you have access to all of the same facilities as you would on campus (including the many libraries, academic support services, and extracurriculars) but you’ll also learn from the same outstanding faculty.

This degree requires 30 hours of coursework and culminates in a written project and final oral exam. Your final project is a student-centered independent research assignment that will enable you to pursue a topic of personal interest.

In addition, you’ll take core classes such as:

  • Probability
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Workshop on Statistical Consulting
  • Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

You will also be able to take around nine credit hours of statistics electives. The available electives vary between semesters but include things like Bayesian Statistics and Statistical and Machine Learning. 

To attend UC Denver, you’ll pay just $10,695 per year for tuition and fees. That’s the cost of taking 12 credit hours each term. Plus, nearly three-quarters of all full-time students receive some form of financial aid through grants, scholarships, work-study, loans, and more. The university also makes a  strong effort to connect graduates with networking connections and career prospects to help them improve their earning potential and increase their return on investment after graduation. 

#7.  California State University-East Bay

Master of Science in Applied Statistics

California State University-East Bay is a public university located in Hayward, CA. Part of the massive 23-campus California State University system, this school has a student body of nearly 15,000 students, many of whom choose to study exclusively online. It has multiple campuses around the East Bay region, including those in Oakland and Concord, if studying online is not the right choice for you.

You’ll find another one of the best online masters in statistics at California State University-East Bay. This program is flexible enough to serve the needs of students who have backgrounds in all kinds of disciplines, including those in mathematics and statistics along with computer science, business, engineering, economics, and more. You’ll be able to choose from concentrations in:

  • Actuarial Science
  • Mathematical Statistics
  • Data Science
  • Applied Statistics

Regardless of whether you choose to pursue a concentration, you’ll take core classes like:

  • Analysis of Variance Models
  • Probability and Statistical Theory
  • Bootstrapping Methods
  • Advanced Stochastic Processes and Simulation
  • Linear and Logistic Regression

You will also complete a final capstone project that will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge of all that you have learned in your program of study.

This affordable program features tuition and fees starting at just $2,708 per semester for graduate students. Plus, you can apply for generous financial aid opportunities like grants, scholarships, and fellowships, too. 

#8.  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Master of Science in Statistics

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

As the flagship university of the University of Illinois System, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is also one of the largest. It enrolls more than 56000 undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom study online. This is a designation that makes this school one of the largest public universities in the nation!

Despite its large size, you won’t feel as though you’re just another face in the crowd here. In fact, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has an average student-to-faculty ratio of just 20:1. You’ll love the close-knit feel you get in your classes here, and that’s something that’s true in all programs—including the online Master of Science in Statistics.

This degree provides learners with advanced training in applied statistics and mathematics while also enabling them to pursue specialized coursework in a variety of emphasis areas. It’s meant to prepare learners for careers as practicing statisticians as well as for Ph.D. studies in statistics or related fields.

You will complete around 32 to 36 credit hours of study, including those in:

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Advanced Regression Analysis
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Stochastic Processes

Here, you’ll pay low tuition rates of just $16,866 for in-state students. The school offers generous, all-encompassing financial aid packages that can help cover the cost of tuition and campus fees, too. It is an affordable option for just about any student. 

#9.  San Diego State University

San Diego State University 

MS Statistics & Biostatistics

A public research university located in San Diego, CA, San Diego State University was first founded in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School. Originally dedicated to educating aspiring teachers, the university now offers dozens of majors spread out among multiple liberal arts colleges and nearly a dozen focused schools (such as those for art and design, social work, public affairs, and more). 

San Diego State University has also been repeatedly recognized for its ethnic and racial diversity. It’s one of the top ten schools in the country when it comes to conferring degrees upon minority students, many of whom choose to study online.

The online master’s degree in statistics and biostatistics at San Diego State University is just one of many offered by the award-winning Department of Mathematics and Statistics. This degree includes required courses like:

  • Advanced Mathematical Statistics
  • Applied Regression Analysis
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Data Mining Statistical Methods

In all, you will take around 31 or more credit hours. 

The degree has a thesis and non-thesis option and even an optional concentration in biostatistics. You’ll be able to work with a graduate advisor for every step of the process, who will help you make key decisions regarding the courses you take and the progression of your degree.

Not only that, but this program is incredibly affordable. The average student pays just $9,570 per year as a state resident living off-campus. Many fees are waived for online students, too, and as is the case with most of the universities on this list, there are ample financial aid opportunities available here, too. 

Plus, you’ll be able to pursue opportunities as a teaching assistant or “homework grader” in the Mathematics and Statistic Learning Center. It helps you earn money to cover the cost of tuition while also gaining valuable work experience. 

#10.  California State University-Long Beach

Master of Science in Statistics

California State University-Long Beach is located, as you might gather, in the scenic and ever-sunny beachside town of Long Beach, CA. However, you don’t have to study on campus in order to soak up all the benefits of this university (you just need to be there for the rays). Many programs are offered 100% online, too. 

Cal State offers a dynamic Master of Science in Statistics that includes a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours of study. You’ll take classes like:

  • Directed Studies in Applied Statistics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Experimental Design
  • Statistical Inference

Your courses will train you to use statistical methods to draw meaningful and valid inferences from data. You’ll learn how to use a variety of statistical software, including SPSS and Minitab, to analyze real-world data. 

Most students can graduate in just four semesters, gaining an in-depth knowledge of the discipline while learning from eight full-time faculty members in a close-knit environment. You can choose from a thesis, comprehensive exam, or project option in order to graduate, allowing you to demonstrate what you’ve learned in the format that makes the most sense to you.

Cal State Long Beach offers an affordable tuition rate that starts at just $3,588 per semester for in-state students. There are lots of statistics-specific scholarships available, too, including the Mentored Excellence Toward Research and Industry Careers Scholarship and the Barbara Turner and Kenneth K. Warner Endowed Award in Mathematics. 

FAQ

What will I learn in a master’s in statistics online? 

Each online master’s in statistics will vary in terms of the curriculum and course options that are available to you However, most emphasize applied statistics and mathematics. Often, you can apply with a bachelor’s degree in any major, although you’ll likely need to take some prerequisite coursework to help catch you up and to prepare you for more rigorous coursework.

The beauty of a master’s in statistics is that the curriculum is typically meant to be interdisciplinary. You will likely be able to take courses in other areas, like nutrition, business, biology, economics, psychology, and more, so that you can customize your studies to whichever career path entices you most. 

You’ll usually complete at least three semesters of full-time study, around four to five courses per semester, to earn your degree. Depending on the program structure, though, you may be able to finish in as little as one year! 

You will take a blend of required courses and electives, with required courses including subjects like:

  • Theoretical Statistics
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Applied Statistics
  • Applied Regression and Design
  • Analysis of Variance

How much does a Masters in Statistics cost?

The cost of any degree, including an online master’s in statistics, is an important consideration for any prospective graduate student to make. Look at the overall tuition price but don’t limit yourself to just applying to schools that only fall within a specific range. You also need to consider factors like books and supplies along with the cost of tuition.

Online degrees do tend to be cheaper than their on-campus counterparts, in part because many common expenses related to attending college are no longer present (such as transportation expenses). Plus, the overall tuition costs are often lower, too, since colleges don’t have to invest as much money in offering online courses as they do those that are offered in the traditional, brick-and-mortar sense. 

Financial aid can often help fill in any gaps that may be left when it comes time to pay for your degree. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so that you can qualify for need-based financial aid like grants and loans, and of course, ask the financial aid office at your college about any special scholarships, fellowships, or other funding opportunities that might be available to incoming students. 

Of course, there are often outside scholarships you can apply for, too, such as the Lingzi Lu Memorial Award from the American Statistical Association and the Pride Foundation Scholarship. 

Here’s a general idea of how much an online master’s in statistics might cost. The typical graduate tuition and fees at public institutions cost an average of $12,171 for the 2018-2019 academic year. Private schools charged around $27,776 for the same types of fees and programs. Of course, tuition varies depending on the school and major, but those are some estimates you can use to start planning out your budget. 

Is a master’s in statistics worth it?

A master’s in statistics is worth it for so many reasons. There are the tangible benefits—you will likely notice an immediate or near-immediate boost to your salary and heightened availability of various high-ranking job prospects—as well as those that are a bit more difficult to notice.

Earning a degree in statistics will provide you with the education you need to boost your self-confidence and leadership skills. While a bachelor’s degree will often provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge you need to get most entry-level jobs, only a master’s will provide you with the research and management skills you need for a top-level managerial position.

So what sorts of jobs can you get with a master’s in statistics? As a STEM field, statistics is a discipline that offers career opportunities spanning many fields, including those in product development, marketing, government, finance, healthcare, and more. 

Some of the most common jobs pursued by statistics majors include data scientist, mathematician, applied statistician, sports analyst, economist, and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth in the availability of mathematician and statistician jobs by a whopping 33% by 2030. That’s nearly six times the national average!

How much does a master’s degree increase your salary? 

Earning a master’s degree will help you earn a significantly higher salary. The average wage for full-time workers ages 25 and over whose highest level of education with a master’s degree was $68,000 in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Candidates with bachelor’s degrees as the highest level of educational attainment only earned about $56,000 on average.

As a mathematician or statistician, you can expect to earn a salary of around $93,290 per year on average. Most of these jobs can be found in the federal government as well as in scientific research and development companies. 

If you choose to work as a data scientist, you could earn up to $126,830 per year, or $60.97 per hour. These jobs are expected to grow rapidly, with a 22% growth in new positions expected by 2030.

Getting an additional certification in addition to your master’s degree can help give your salary a nice little boost, too. Consider pursuing certification as a Chartered Statistician, an Accredited Professional Statistician, or even as a math teacher.

What is the best online master’s in statistics—no GRE required?

Finding the right online master’s in statistics can be challenging. However, you’ll want to choose one that offers online learning in an asynchronous fashion so that you can take your classes when it’s most convenient for you. Consider both private and public schools in your search. 

Although private schools have a reputation for being more expensive, they generally offer financial aid to help offset the higher cost of attendance. 

When you’re searching for an online master’s in statistics, be sure to choose one that is accredited. This adds to a program’s credibility and may offer you some insight into which programs best meet national standards for excellence. 

It will also be helpful for you to look at admission requirements for your school or schools of choice. In the past, just about every graduate program required applicants to complete the GRE, or Graduate Records Examination. This standardized test is still required by many programs, but not all. Instead, schools are choosing to look at other aspects of a candidate’s application.

Some of the best online master’s in statistics with no GRE required include:

  • Maryville University
  • Elmhurst College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • DePaul University

In addition to the GRE (in certain cases only, of course!) Other admissions requirements include the submission of transcripts and letters of recommendation. You may be asked to have a minimum GPA (typically a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale) or to submit supplemental documents like a personal essay, resume, or to schedule an interview. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF FINANCE DEGREE PROGRAMS & 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF ACCOUNTING DEGREE PROGRAMS!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

online masters computer science

Are you interested in pursuing a computer science master’s program online? If so, we have great news for you—the time has never been better to earn your degree. 

It’s no secret that technology is now impacting just about every corner of our lives. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, the products we consume are made and shipped with the most advanced technologies. 

As far as recession-proof degrees go, computer science is one of the best to consider. Our world is only going to become more technologically advanced, and a degree in computer science will provide you with the skills you need to keep up with the rapid pace of change.

Continuing education is a must for anybody who is considering working in computer science (or is already employed within the industry). Whether you want to earn a master’s degree so that you can obtain a leadership role, a promotion, or a pay raise or simply because you want to keep up with what’s going on in the industry, getting a master’s degree is a smart choice. 

Earning a master’s degree will allow you to explore the most riveting changes to the computer science field today as you learn how to anticipate the challenges of tomorrow. Of course, you’ll gain the theoretical knowledge and hands-on research experience you need to be successful in just about any role, too.

It might seem obvious that getting a master’s degree in computer science is necessary—you know how important it is. However, it can be tough to figure out how you’re going to balance the demands of going back to school with an already jam-packed schedule.

Perhaps you’re already working full-time at a job you love (and don’t particularly want to leave). Maybe you have a family that you need to care for. Whatever the case may be, it is possible to earn a master’s degree in computer science while continuing to balance the other personal and professional commitments you already have. 

The solution? An online degree. Earning your degree online, instead of on-campus, will allow you to tap into all the benefits of earning a master’s degree—but with none of the hassle. You can take classes in your spare time, as your schedule permits it.

Because most online classes are offered asynchronously, meaning they have no set meeting times, you can attend whenever it’s most convenient for you. Have a few minutes between work and your son’s soccer practice? Perfect—you can work on your homework assignment then. Need to log on at 3 am to finish a last-minute paper? That works, too. 

There’s a misconception out there that an online degree isn’t as credible as one that you earn in person. However, that’s far from the case. Online degrees offer the same quality and reputation as degrees earned on campus. In fact, most diplomas won’t even specify the format of the degree—just that a master’s degree in computer science was earned. 

So what are you waiting for? The time has never been better to earn a master’s degree in computer science—and the clock is ticking. 

Hopefully, this list of online master’s in computer science degrees will serve as the best starting place for you in your search. 

What Are the Best Computer Science Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. Georgia Institute of Technology 

Georgia TechMaster of Science in Computer Science 

Call it Georgia Tech, Tech, or by its full name, Georgia Institute of Technology—whichever you choose, it doesn’t matter. This school is one of the best to consider when you’re on the hunt for a top online master’s degree in computer science. 

As part of the university system of Georgia, this school has satellite campuses all over the state as well as in France, Ireland, Singapore, and China. It was first founded in 1885 under Reconstruction plans to build a stronger industrial economy following the Civil War. Because of this, the school’s first programs concentrated on disciplines like:

  • mechanical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • electrical engineering

Now, the school is no longer just a trade school but is instead a massive, highly renowned technical institute and research university with nearly three dozen different departments. It is widely regarded for its programs in computer science. 

The Georgia Tech College of Computing offers a best master’s in computer science that will let you earn the job of your dreams without having to quit your job. It was one of the first programs of its kind in the country and lets you earn a degree while paying a total cost of around only $7,000 total.

It is affordable and accessible with multiple specializations for you to choose from. You’ll complete 30 credit hours of courses, with specialization options including:

  • computing systems
  • machine learning
  • interactive intelligence
  • computational perception
  • robotics

It’s ranked as the ninth-best graduate computer science department in the country by U.S. News & World Report and will provide you with plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning. 

#2.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Computer Science

NC StateThe largest university in the Carolinas, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is one of the best online universities to consider when you’re looking for a quality online master’s in computer science. It has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, many of whom choose to take classes virtually. 

This school is well-renowned for its academic majors in fields like life sciences, agriculture, statistics, design, and textiles, but its tech programs are true stand-outs as well. From engineering to, of course, computer science, you’re sure to find the degree of your dreams here

This top master of computer science at NC State is one of just many that emphasizes the importance of research and hands-on learning. In fact, this school forms one of the corners of the famed Research Triangle in North Carolina, joining Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to achieve that designation. 

The Master of Computer Science is a unique distance-education program that employs roughly 50 tenure-track professors. You will learn from the very best, with the instructors here boasting credentials such as National Science Foundation award recipients, Association of Computing Machinery members, and more. 

This terminal degree program is perfect for working professionals. It contains just coursework with no thesis or comprehensive examination. You can take just one or two classes each semester, completing the same courses (which are streamed) as students who are taking classes on-campus. If you choose, you can pop into campus every now and then for an in-person class, too—but of course, it’s not required. 

A 31-credit hour degree program, it will teach you how to design, code, and implement software. You’ll learn how to solve and anticipate key computing problems and even how to innovate new, groundbreaking ways to use computers in modern life. 

#3.  East Carolina University 

Master of Science in Computer Science

East Carolina UniversityEast Carolina University is another large university in North Carolina to consider if you’re thinking about an online degree. The fourth-largest university in the state, it was originally founded as a teacher training school but now offers degrees in nine undergraduate colleges, four professional schools, and a large graduate college.

The College of Engineering and TEchnology has four departments with degrees in areas like:

  • engineering
  • construction management
  • information and computer technology
  • distribution and logistics, design
  • industrial technology
  • computer science

The Master of Science in Computer Science is perfect for the student who enjoys being challenged and wants to build a better understanding of design methodology. Offered both on-campus as well as online, this program will train you in the methods, algorithms, and tools you need for software development. 

You will also learn how to analyze and verify programs and test software so that you have a better understanding of what computing can do—and of its limitations. It is a small program, so you will receive unparalleled attention throughout your studies. 

Before graduation, you will complete 30 to 38 credit hours of study. Core classes include studies in:

  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Machine Learning
  • Big Data Analytics and Management

There are thesis, project-based, and coursework-only pathways available to help you meet your goals. 

#4.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Computer Science

U of I Urbana- ChampaignA public land-grant research university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is home to nearly 60,000 graduate and undergraduate students. By enrollment, it is one of the largest public universities in the country.

However, there’s more to love about this school than just the opportunities that its large campus affords. It has very high research activity, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions, and it is listed as a Public Ivy. The quality of education here is comparable with what you would receive at a more expensive, prestigious private Ivy League institution.

The Master of Computer Science degree here is excellent (and competitive, too). You can complete your classes on your own time using the massive open online course provider Coursera to take your classes. You can graduate in as little as one year or take up to five years to complete your studies.

It includes 32 credit hours of graduate coursework. You’ll complete four classes in unique “core” areas of computer science, with others consisting of electives at the advanced graduate level. Your courses will cover all areas of computer science, from artificial intelligence to software engineering, scientific computing to high-performance computing, and much more. 

Some classes you might take for this master of computer science will include:

  • Introduction to Data Mining
  • Interactive Computer Graphics
  • Parallel Programming
  • Cloud Networking

Tuition is highly affordable, with rates starting at just $670 per credit hour. Although you won’t be eligible for research or teaching assistantships, you can apply for other types of financial aid to lower the cost of attendance. 

#5.  New Jersey Institute of Technology 

Master of Science in Computer Science

New Jersey Institute of TechnologyFirst established as the Newark Technical School, the New Jersey Institute of Technology has morphed over the years into a classic engineering college to a polytechnic university and now is known as one of the best schools in the state. It enrolls more than 11,000 students, only a small fraction of whom actually live on campus.

A member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, it is a sea-grant college and a space-grant college. The school is known for its prowess in technological sciences, which is just one reason among many why it makes the list of the best online master’s degrees in computer science.

The average starting salary for graduates of this program is $82,232. The department is the largest among all research universities in the NY metropolitan area and with a total cost of $1082 per credit hour, you can’t beat this school’s return on investment.

You can select among five different specializations as you take classes in this program. Options include:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Database and Data Mining
  • Software Engineering
  • Image Processing and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networking and Security

Regardless of the options you choose, you’ll take classes that expose you to the theory and applications of computer science. You’ll gain the skills you need to be competitive in any industry. 

#6.  Stevens Institute of Technology 

Master of Science in Computer Science

Stevens-Institute-of-TechnologyAnother tech school to consider as you’re looking for the best online master’s in computer science is Stevens Institute of Technology. This private research university in Hoboken, NJ was incorporated in 1870 and is one of the oldest technological universities in the country.

Although Stevens was first dedicated primarily to offering education in mechanical engineering, it now has dozens of m majors and more than 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. It’s home to two national Centers of Excellence as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense, too—something to consider if you are planning on pursuing a career in government.

This highly recognized degree is customizable and offers advanced training for academic and professional career tracks alike. It’s ranked as one of the best online programs in the country by the U.S. News & World Report and can provide you with the competitive advantage you need to get ahead in your career.

A flexible degree, it comes with 10 possible focus areas, including those in in-demand areas like:

  • mobile systems
  • gaming and simulation
  • web application development
  • network and systems administration

You’ll work with recognized leaders in the field, taking classes when it works best for your schedule.

You’ll gain a solid foundation in theoretical instruction along with practical applications that will set you up for industry success. Just 15 minutes from downtown Manhattan, Stevens offers the ideal location for aspiring professionals. However, you don’t have to live anywhere near campus to tap into these benefits. You’ll have access to networking opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else in the country—even if you’re studying online.

#7.  DePaul University 

MS in Computer Science 

DePaul UniversityA private Catholic research university, DePaul University is located in Chicago, IL. It has campuses in Lincoln Park and the Loop, but you can also choose to take classes entirely online. In fact, about 90% of all DePaul students live off-campus, either taking classes remotely or commuting to campus for classes. 

DePaul has ten colleges and schools, with programs within the College of Computing and Digital Media highly regarded for their quality. These programs, too, are offered at a facility that is a designated National Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is an excellent choice both for students who have aspirations to work in government as well as those who’d rather work in private industry (or for themselves).

You will be able to customize your degree to suit your interests. Whichever classes you choose, you’ll benefit from the “DePaul difference” with small class sizes and a distinguished, you-focused faculty that truly cares about the success of its students. 

Each course has a real-world focus that is practical and provides opportunities for students to participate in research. Core courses for this top master’s in computer science include studies in topics such as:

  • Applied Algorithms and Structures
  • Object-Oriented Software Development
  • Database Technologies
  • Discrete Structures for Computer Science

Not only that, but DePaul has close connections to industry leaders and top employers. With an accessible and expansive alumni network, the School of Computing at DePaul has a 93% job placement rate within six months of graduation—and an average starting salary of $78,000 per year.

#8.  University of Southern California

Master of Science in Computer Science

University of Southern CaliforniaThe University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, CA, but it’s not just any private research university. This school is the oldest private university in the state and one of the best in the country, especially when it comes to computer science degrees.

There are all kinds of technologies that have their birthplace at the University of Southern California. It was one of the earliest nodes on the ARPANET and is home to the Domain Name System. It is also the birthplace of image compression, dynamic programming, antivirus software, and even DNA computing.

As you can see, if you want to get in on the ground floor when it comes to research and innovation in computer science and technology, USC is the place to do it.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is an innovative, hands-on degree. It is available both on-campus as well as online. Both programs are identical in their curriculum as well as in the preparation they provide in the programming, design, and application of computing systems. 

In addition to core courses in computer science, you’ll also be able to pursue courses in other departments such as software engineering, data science, and computer security. There’s even an optional graduate certificate in software architecture you can pursue, if you choose. 

All online master’s in computer science students must complete the same requirements as those who choose to study on-campus, so you can guarantee that you’re getting a quality education. You will complete at least 28 credit hours of study, including 12 units of required courses such as:

  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Directed Research
  • Computer Science Research Colloquium

#9.  Purdue University-Main Campus

PurdueMaster of Science in Engineering With a Concentration in Computational Engineering

A public land-grant research university, Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, IN. It is the flagship campus of the Purdue University system and has repeatedly been ranked among the best public universities in the United States by major institutional rankings.

While its engineering programs are most often acclaimed, its emphasis on computers and other areas of technology are also highly regarded. Because of this, the Master of Science in Engineering degree has a specialized concentration in computational engineering for aspiring computer engineers.

A 30-credit hour program, it is available entirely online and is highly interdisciplinary. It was created for individuals who want to build a competitive edge in a variety of industries. You’ll be able to take classes in computational engineering as well as other technical areas. Thesis and non-thesis options are both available.

A highly-ranked program by the U.S. News & World Report, this degree features numerous concentrations in topic areas like computational optimization, scientific visualization, intelligent computing, high-performance computing, and computational math. 

Upon enrolling in this program, you will be assigned to a personal academic advisor who will help you create a customized plan of study that meets your educational needs and career plans. To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program.

#10.  Missouri University of Science and Technology 

Master of Science in Computer Science

Missouri University of Science and TechnologyLocated in Rolla, MO, the Missouri University of Science and Technology is a school that focuses primarily on programs in business, engineering, mathematics, and science. Its engineering programs are perhaps the most famous, but you can’t overlook the computer science degree here, either. 

This program is offered by the only school in the state that is accredited as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Research. Because of this, you can rest assured that you will be learning from only the best instructors out there. 

You’ll complete a total of 31 credit hours of coursework, including a one-hour seminar course. There is a thesis- option available as well as one without so you can tailor your curriculum to your unique needs. 

There are also additional graduate certificate programs you can pursue including those in:

  • cyber security
  • computational intelligence
  • wireless networks and mobile systems
  • information systems and cloud computing
  • big data management and analytics
  • big data management and security

Can’t decide whether a full-fledged master’s degree is the right path for you? Don’t worry! The Missouri University of Science and Technology even has a certificate to master’s program so you can complete a graduate certificate program with credits that can eventually be applied to your master’s degree, if you choose. 

This school is ranked within the top four of all public universities for its return on investment, internship opportunities, and career opportunities by The Princeton Review. It is also a “best value college,” according to SmartAsset, with high average starting salaries and low overall tuition (plus generous financial aid). A top STEM school, according to Forbes, should be at the top of your list as you’re looking for the ideal online master’s in computer science for your needs. 

FAQ: 

What will I learn in one of the best computer science master’s programs? 

You’re in! Once you’ve submitted your applications to a program in computer science, you might be wondering what, exactly, your course will cover. The short answer is that it varies quite a bit between universities, but all share some common themes.

A master’s degree in computer science will teach youtube the advanced theory and applications of computer technology, including both software and hardware systems. You might take classes in things like:

  • programming languages
  • artificial intelligence
  • algorithm design
  • software engineering

Many programs require an internship or cooperative learning experiences as well. These can help you develop valuable skills in problem-solving, reasoning, and communication, while also allowing you to tap into a network of professionals who will be helpful when it comes time for you to search for a full-time job. 

If you can, choose a master’s degree in computer science that will enable you to concentrate your studies in a specific area of specialization. Some of the most popular concentrations out there are in fields like:

  • data science
  • cybersecurity
  • machine learning
  • game and computational media
  • robotics

What can I do with a master of computer science?

When you earn a master’s degree in computer science, you will be able to pursue a vast array of career opportunities. These graduates work in just about every industry, including healthcare, education, and transportation. You could work for a private employer, for the government, or even yourself, as a freelancer or subcontractor.

Some of the most popular jobs for computer science majors include:

  • computer and information research scientist
  • computer network architect
  • software development engineer
  • computer scientist

As a computer and information research scientist, your job will be to design new uses for computing technology. A master’s degree is a core requirement for this job, which has a 22% job placement growth according to eh Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

You could also work as a computer network architect. In this career, you will build and design data communication networks such as wide area networks, local area networks, and intranets. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience—an experience you’ll likely be able to get by earning a graduate degree. 

Will earning a top master’s of computer science help me make more money?

Absolutely. Although there are plenty of jobs you can get with just a bachelor’s degree in computer science, your odds of landing a high-paying job are much higher if you earn a master’s. 

For example, if you work as a computer and information research scientist, you could bring in up to $126,830 per year on average. Workers who are involved in software publishing or directly in research within the physical, engineering, and life sciences bring in the highest wages, as do those in leadership roles (all of which require advanced training in the form of a master’s degree).

Become a computer network architect and you won’t be hurting financially, either. These professionals bring in around $116, 780 per year and can work just about anywhere in the country.

Finally, consider your salary in other fields that fall beneath the larger umbrella of computer science. As a software development engineer, you will enjoy an average annual salary of $110,140 per year or higher, and as a computer scientist or developer, more than $77,000. That’s an excellent return on investment, especially if you choose a low-cost online master’s in computers license to earn your credentials! 

Which master’s degree is best for computer science?

Can’t decide which program to choose? All of the masters in computer science that we described in this post are excellent choices to help you advance your career. You might also consider programs offering nationally-ranked schools like:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • Cornell University

Something else to look for when you are searching for the best online master’s in computer science? A degree that is affordable. Although there are plenty of student loan programs you can apply for to help fund your education, you probably don’t want to have to turn to these resources unless necessary. 

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to offset the cost of education, even without relying on student loans. The average online master’s in computer science is right around $12,170 per year according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Online degrees tend to be more affordable in addition to being more convenient than on-campus programs. You might not even need textbooks and, of course, the cost of attendance will automatically be lower because you won’t have to worry about housing costs or a meal plan.

Distance learners are often charged in-state rates for online attendance, even if they’re studying from out-of-state. This can be hugely helpful in lowering the cost of attendance. Of course, all students should make sure that they complete the FAFSA—the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—to see what kinds of grants and work-study programs they might qualify for, too. 

Can I do a master’s in computer science online?

The only thing standing between you and earning a master’s in computer science is your hesitation—this kind of degree is challenging, but if you’re willing to work hard and put the time in, you can do it.

That said, each master’s in computer science does have some prerequisites that you will need to meet. When you are looking for programs, search for one that is accredited. This will not only guarantee that you are enrolled in a quality program of study but also that you are choosing a degree that’s eligible for financial aid and other resources.

To apply for most programs, you will need a solid background in computer science. Some schools specifically require a bachelor’s degree in computer science while others accept students whose backgrounds are in other STEM fields (provided that you complete some prerequisite courses, of course).

You’ll need to submit transcripts from every school you attend. You might be asked to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and to submit other qualifying documents, too. Acceptable GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and an interview are all examples of materials that might be requested as part of your application package. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN CYBERSECURITY & 50 BEST NO-GRE ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Secondary Education 2022

Most Affordable Online Master's in Secondary Education

Would you like to make a difference in the lives of young people? If so, then choosing a secondary education degree as your major is a great decision.

However, it can be difficult to find the right one, especially if you’re on a budget. 

There are all kinds of questions you will need to answer in order to find the best and most affordable program for your needs. Should you choose a concentration area? Do you need a license or are you just looking for an advanced degree?

Earning a degree online, regardless of your answers to these questions, is a smart choice. It will enable you to pursue your courses on your own schedule and at your own pace. Plus, it can often save you a ton of money. Not only are online tuition rates generally much lower than tuition rates for on-campus programs, but you won’t have to worry about paying for things like room and board, either. 

High school teachers in just about every state must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but in many states, the master’s degree has become the base requirement. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Get ahead of the eight ball and complete your master’s in secondary education today—that way, you can get back in the classroom to continue making a world of difference for your students.

What Are the Best Secondary Education Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. Liberty University

Liberty University

Master’s of Arts in Teaching — Secondary Education

Liberty University is a private Evangelical university that is located in Lynchburg VA. Founded by Jerry Falwell Sr and Elmer L. Towns, this school is one of the largest Chrisitan institutions not just in the country, but in the world. It is known for its many online offerings and its large population of online students—it is home to more than 95,000 students in total when these learners are counted! 

Despite the wide availability of its programs, Liberty University has serious academic prestige. It offers more than 550 programs in total, with about 144 graduate degrees offered exclusively online. 

Requiring 36 credit hours of study, the master of arts in teaching at Liberty University takes most students just a year and a half to complete. It consists of 100% online courses that last around eight weeks each, and with multiple start dates per year, this is one of the most convenient programs you can pursue. 

At Liberty, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience, either. The online teaching degree is based on a foundation of biblical principles that will help you stand out in the job market—without requiring you to abandon your personal goals in the process. It is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). 

You’ll learn how to work with students in grades 6-12, addressing things like curriculum development, behavior management, and the philosophical foundations of education. You’ll take featured courses like:

  • Curriculum Fundamentals
  • Principles of Behavior Management
  • Current Issues in Content Areas

Despite being an online degree, you’ll have the opportunity to interact and network with educators and other professionals from all over the country. You will complete a semester of student teaching and internship and be able to pursue certification through the Association of Christian Schools International, too. 

This best affordable degree is offered at tuition rates starting at just $415 per credit hour billed at a full-time rate of nine credit hours per semester. This is one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Plus, when you pursue the licensure track, you can be eligible for the Federal TEACH Grant as well as a myriad of scholarships to further lower your cost of attendance. 

#2. The University of Alabama

University of Alabama T

MA Degrees in Secondary Education

Often referred to simply as Bama, the University of Alabama is a public research university in Tuscaloosa, AL with a reputation for quality academics and outstanding career outcomes. It has a variety of academic programs that you won’t find anywhere else in the state, including doctoral degrees in fields like:

  • romance languages
  • communication and information science
  • anthropology
  • metallurgical engineering

Of course, you can’t beat the master’s degrees in education that this school offers, either. This top Master of Arts in Secondary Education at the University of Alabama will allow you to hone your skills in an area of your choosing so that you can become a more effective educator—all while studying completely online or in a hybrid fashion. The program is ranked as one of the best online programs at the graduate level as well as for veterans by the U.S. News & World Report

You can pursue licensure as a secondary education teacher in a variety of areas, including:

  • English Language Arts
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • General Social Science
  • Reading Specialist, Science
  • Special Education

The curriculum of each of these programs is developed based on standards from the National Educational Technology Standards for Students and Teachers and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. You’ll be able to cultivate your skills as a teacher by participating in research-based opportunities to plan, implement, and evaluate your curriculum and assessment.

In addition to up to six credit hours of electives, you will also be able to take required courses like:

  • Introduction to Educational Research
  • Modern Secondary School Programs
  • Computer-Based Instruction

A teaching field experience is another core component of this program. You must have a valid teaching certificate and some teaching experience in order to apply for admission to the degree. 

With tuition starting at just $440 per credit hour, this degree is also one of the most affordable. There are plenty of scholarships available, including the Back to Bama Grant and the College of Continuing Studies Scholarship.

Applications are accepted year-round and GRE scores are not required for this degree. You will take 30 credit hours of study and be able to graduate in as little as a year or two, making it the perfect fit for busy working professionals who want a bargain in their education without having to sacrifice quality or convenience. 

#3. University of North Texas 

UNT

Online Master of Education in Teaching – Secondary Education

The University of North Texas is a public research university located in Denton, TX. Consisting of more than a dozen colleges and schools, this university is regarded as one of the top institutions in the nation and classified among R1: Doctoral Universities—Very High Research Activity. 

Its traditions date back to 1890 when it was first founded as a coeducational teacher’s college. Although the university now offers dozens of programs, each with an average student-to-faculty ratio of 23:1, it is best known for the classic programs in secondary education upon which its legacy was created.

The best-value online Master of Education in Teaching-Secondary Education is a graduate program offered in a 100% distance learning format by the graduate school at the University of North Texas. You can pursue several secondary education certification tracks such as mathematics and science. 

Regardless of the track you pursue, you will have to take common core requirements such as:

  • Literacy Development for English Learner
  • Literacy for All
  • Maintaining Classroom Discipline Curriculum Development for Culturally Diverse Learners
  • Everyone Can Learn: Applying Theory to Teaching Practice

You will also complete an internship or a student teaching experience in a secondary school. 

All in all, you will take 12 hours of common core courses, 12 hours in a specialization, and six hours of practical experience classes. Courses are offered in convenient eight-week chunks. 

This affordable program features low tuition rates starting at just $227 per credit hour. The University of North Texas has been named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for more than 25 consecutive years and offers all the quality of a private university but at a more affordable cost. The school is ranked as one of the best and most affordable in the nation by publications like Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report, too.

#4. California State University-Fullerton

California State- Fullerton

Online Master of Science in Education with a Secondary Education Concentration

California State University-Fullerton is home to the famed and funny mascot Tuffy the Titan. Despite its silly reputation in this area, this university is actually one of the most prestigious in the state. It has one of the largest student bodies out of the entire 23-campus California State University system. 

At California State University-Fullerton, you can graduate with a Master of Science in Secondary Education in as little as 21 months. In those 21 months, you’ll work with other professionals in collaborative groups to explore issues related to educational equity, culturally and linguistically sustaining curriculum, and new ways to explore and use educational technology.

You will benefit from small class sizes, the opportunity to learn synchronously and/or asynchronously, and a curriculum that is designed based on feedback from some of the country’s leading professionals. In fact, U.S. News & World Report has ranked this program among the top graduate education degrees in the country. 

You’ll be able to exercise complete control over your courses as part of this degree. You can choose from a variety of exit options, for example, choosing among writing for publication, a comprehensive examination, an action research project, National Board certification, or a curriculum development experience. 

As is the case with many of the secondary education degrees in this ranking, you’ll be able to choose from multiple concentrations to round out your degree. These include a unique Teaching Foundational Mathematics emphasis. 

Regardless of your area of specialty, you will take hands-on courses such as:

  • Advanced Proficiency in Educational Technologies
  • Survey of Educational Research
  • Curriculum Theory and Development
  • Graduate Studies in Secondary School Writing

A total of 31 credit hours is required for graduation. 

You can begin your studies at several points throughout the year. It is available as a fully online program or as a hybrid degree, allowing you to build relationships with K-12 teachers, students, and communities from all over the country. This year-round program will allow you to join a cohort of other teachers while continuing to work or teach full-time.

Best yet, this degree is incredibly affordable. The total cost of the program is around $13,000 with various sources of graduate funding available. 

#5. San Diego State University 

San Diego State University 

Online Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education and Secondary Education

A public research university, San Diego State University was founded in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School. As the third-oldest university in the California State University system, it was first founded to provide quality education to aspiring teachers in southern California—and it holds strong to that commitment today with its many elementary and secondary education programs. 

The high-value Master of Arts in Teaching at San Diego State University comes with concentrations in both elementary and secondary education. This program has multiple start dates per year and is a degree that is perfect for students who already have teaching certificates or credentials and aren’t pursuing initial licensure. 

This one-year program requires the completion of just 24 units of study. It’s ranked one of the top programs in the nation and offers the same quality as the face-to-face instructional program but with added flexibility for busy working professionals.

The curriculum is rooted in social justice and equity in education and provides program credit for teachers who have earned their certificates or comparable credentials within the last six years. You will take four courses in the first summer followed by two courses in the fall and two in the spring. You’ll take courses that cover topics like:

  • innovative curriculum development
  • inclusion in the classroom
  • measuring student achievement
  • research-based pedagogy

Before you graduate, you’ll complete a final research and capstone project that will enhance your professional skills in working with students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. As you work, you’ll learn among a diverse group of peers along with nationally-known professors who have published in journals like:

  • Harvard Educational Review
  • The Social Studies
  • Curriculum Studies, Science and Children

The degree is geared toward full-time teachers so it offers the maximum amount of flexibility. It’s also offered at a significant discount compared to other secondary education programs, with most students paying an average of $3,330 for a full-time semester’s worth of courses. In most cases, you’ll be eligible for graduate education scholarships as well. 

#6. University of Maine

Online Master of Education program in Secondary Education

A public land-grant research university, the University of Maine is located in Orono, ME. It was first established in 1865 as the flagship institution of the state university system.

The University of Maine offers a variety of online master’s in secondary education with licensure options and without. Offerings include a Master of Arts in Teaching along with numerous education specialist degrees. You’ll gain the strong foundation in leadership skills you need to meet the needs of all students, communities, and schools, with certain programs leading to additional certifications or endorsements. 

The teaching degree is an accelerated program that requires up to 36 credit hours of study. You can pursue specialized study in content areas like:

  • physical science
  • social studies
  • world languages
  • English
  • math
  • life sciences

Ideal for the teacher who already holds an undergraduate degree and wants to obtain the licensure necessary to become a secondary school teacher, the courses in this program are taught by dedicated faculty who have expertise in a variety of educational disciplines from STEM education to rural and urban settings.

You’ll take courses like:

  • Social Context of Education
  • Adapting instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • Classroom-Based Prevention and Intervention
  • Teaching and Assessing for Student Learning

Most classes can be completed fully online, with the entire degree taking just 15 months to complete. 

You will also have the opportunity to complete an educational internship and a separate practicum, both of which can be undertaken at a school near where you live.  When all is said and done you’ll complete six credit hours of student teaching and 24 hours of education requirements plus an additional six credit hours of content-specific coursework, depending on your specialization. 

An affordable program, this degree has tuition rates starting at just $550 per credit hour. This is a much lower rate than what you would pay as a full-time student studying on campus at UMaine and there are additional tuition discounts available via financial aid and scholarships.

#7. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Online Master of Arts in Teaching Middle and Secondary Education

A public research university, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is located, as you might expect, in Charlotte, NC. It offers nearly 80 undergraduate degree programs as well as dozens of online master’s degrees.

This top Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is geared specifically toward aspiring middle and high school teachers, with optional concentrations in:

  • English
  • social studies
  • math
  • science

These online degrees are ranked within the top 10% in the country by U.S. News & World Report

A 21-credit hour program, it’s designed for individuals who already have their certificates in teaching in middle grades education. After completing this program, you will be eligible to apply for a level “M” professional educator’s license.

A streamlined, cost-effective program, it features courses that are offered 100% online and can be completed on a part-time basis in as little as three semesters. You’ll be required to complete a culminating 15-week student teaching experience, but if you’re already a practicing teacher, you can use your own classroom as the practicum location!

You’ll work with a strong network of other residency teachers and faculty, allowing you to tap into the University of North Carolina’s long tradition of academic excellence. You’ll develop and sharpen your research skills by completing hands-on research and creating an electronic portfolio. You will even learn how to write grants and complete a teacher leadership project that enables you to create a professional development plan for the teachers in your school!

As you learn in your courses, you’ll be supported by a variety of student resources such as the:

  • Office of School and Community Partnerships
  • Center for Graduate Life
  • University Career Center (which hosts an Education Career Fair each spring)
  • Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure

It is an affordable program with tuition rates starting at just $240.94 for state residents. In addition to low tuition rates, this school also offers generous financial aid. You can apply for one of a limited number of graduate assistantships or other forms of financial aid like the Federal TEACH Grant to lower your cost of attendance even more. 

#8. North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

NC State University

Online Master of Arts in Teaching – Secondary Education

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University at Raleigh has one of the largest enrollments in the country. Home to more than 35,000 students, it offers master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study.

You’ll find another cheap master’s online at this esteemed institution. This program will prepare you to teach in K-12 schools (and in the content area of your choosing) without requiring you to spend tons of time with your nose in the books. In fact, this accelerated program makes it possible for you to graduate in as little as 14 to 20 months when studying full-time!

You’ll learn from nationally recognized faculty who have extensive K-12 teaching experience, gaining hands-on teaching experience in technology-enhanced and culturally diverse classrooms. You can choose from ten different content areas in which to specialize including:

  • English
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Special Education
  • Social Studies Education
  • Language Arts Education
  • Technology, Engineering, and Design Education
  • Science Education
  • Mathematics Education

All of these concentrations and focus areas are offered 100% online so you don’t have to leave home to access one of the most prestigious programs in the nation. It is ranked as the best teacher preparation program in North Carolina by College Magazine and offered by a school that is considered the Best College for Your Money in N.C. by Money Magazine

You will learn how to teach in any kind of learning environment, including remotely, in-person, or a combination of the two. It is a state-approved Educator Preparation Program that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. 

Best yet? The affordability. You can earn both a master’s degree and an initial teacher license for less than $14,000 in this program, which features some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation. There are even scholarship opportunities (some up to $2,000!) available to help lower costs even further.

#9. University of Central Missouri 

University of Central Missouri

Online Master’s of Arts Degree in Teaching – which includes Concentrations in Secondary Education 

The University of Central Missouri is a public university located in Warrensburg, MO. Home to more than 11,000 students, it offers 150 programs of study, including 27 separate areas of teacher certification and 37 graduate programs. It was first founded with the goal of educating aspiring teachers, so it only makes sense that this is where you’ll find one of the best master’s degrees in secondary education, too. 

At the University of Central Missouri Online, you will learn from the same talented faculty members who teach on campus. You’ll have access to all the same campus resources, too, but from a distance. You can tap into everything you need from afar, including the library and writing lab, financial aid advising, academic support, careers services, and more.  

This high-value online Master of Arts in Teaching features multiple concentrations including those in middle, elementary, and secondary education along with a unique accelerated science education program. 

You can further hone your studies into certification areas like:

  • art
  • English
  • earth science
  • physics
  • speech communication and theater
  • special education
  • music education

There are more than 20 concentrations available, in fact! The degree is offered 100% online and has an impressive 86%placement rate. 

The degree is a comprehensive program with plenty of field experiences built in to prepare you for the classroom—and for a rewind career after graduation. You will learn how to think systematically about teaching principles and practices and how to create and perfect your own unique teaching style and philosophy. 

As an online graduate student, you will pay just $379.50 per credit hour. That’s a serious bargain, especially when you consider that there are additional scholarships and other forms of financial aid you can apply on top of that! 

#10. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska Lincoln

Online Master of Secondary Education

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was founded in 1869 as a land-grant university under the 1862 Morrill Act. It opened its doors only two years after Nebraska first became a state, offering a variety of professional programs and conducting groundbreaking research in everything from agricultural sciences to—you guessed it—education.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers another best value master’s in secondary education. You’ll gain a valuable understanding of professional development and teacher education in a variety of areas, including social studies, English, mathematics, science, and more. You will learn from faculty members who combine their deep research knowledge with K-16 classroom experiences, challenging aspiring educators to be as innovative as possible in their teaching and research. 

You can complete this degree on its own or with additional initial certification as a K-12 teacher. Either way, you will work with faculty who will engage you in meaningful teaching, research, and service opportunities on a  daily basis. You can take classes fully online or in a synchronous hybrid fashion. 

The program consists of 30 to 36 credit hours. You’ll work loosely with a personally selected faculty advisor to choose the courses that will best help you meet your professional goals. All students will take classes like:

  • Masters Seminar
  • Curriculum Inquiry
  • Inquiry: Teaching and Learning

You can pursue additional optional specializations in things like world language education, elementary teaching, and innovative learning technologies, too. 

This is an affordable program that features low tuition rates and plenty of opportunities to receive financial aid. You can apply for the Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program from the Nebraska Department of Education or for graduate assistantships, which are available on a competitive basis. 

FAQ

What is the cheapest online master’s in education?

Any of the online master’s in education degrees listed above are affordable options to help you meet your goals as an aspiring educator. The average tuition cost for a public school is around $15,000 per year, but many of the schools listed above feature tuition rates that are much lower than that.

Other affordable programs in education can be found at institutions such as:

  • Eastern New Mexico University
  • Valdosta State University
  • Northeastern State University

When you’re looking for the most affordable online master’s in education, don’t forget the role that financial aid will play in your overall expenses, either. You may qualify for financial support like grants (including the TEACH grant), scholarships, assistantships, and more. 

How much does it cost to get a masters in education online?

The average cost of getting a master’s in education online will vary depending on the school you choose to attend. The National Center for Education Statistics estimated that, in 2019, the average cost of master’s degree tuition was around $12,171 for public institutions and more than twice that at private institutions, with the cost only increased since then.

That said, earning a master’s in education is a smart investment. Not only can it help you earn a high salary over the life of your career (master’s graduates earn an average of $240 per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) but in many states, a masters’ degree is required in order to start or remain teaching.

What do I need to apply to one of the best online masters in secondary education?

Admissions requirements for secondary education master’s degrees vary. In most cases, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field. However, some programs are meant for students who already have undergraduate training in a specific content area (like English or mathematics). 

You may have to have a certain GPA in order to qualify—3.0 on a 4.0 scale is the most common cut-off. GRE scores are sometimes required for admission, as are supplemental documents like letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume. 

What will I learn in a high-value master’s in secondary education?

In a high-value master’s in secondary education, you will take classes that will teach you how to present information to students of all abilities, backgrounds, and ages. You’ll complete a student-teaching program, in which you will work with a mentor teacher and gain experience instructing students in a classroom.

Some master’s degrees will prepare you for state licensure, though others are designed simply to fulfill the credit requirements needed to meet state and local guidelines. 

What are some master’s in secondary education jobs? 

The most common job pursued by graduates of master’s programs in secondary education is a high school teacher. These educators work with students from the 9th through 12th grades, though some of the best online masters in secondary education also prepare teachers to work with students in grades 6-8 as well.

In addition to working as a teacher, you can also pursue roles as a coach, curriculum developer, or school administrator, in many cases. 

Is a masters in secondary education worth it?

If you’re questioning whether a master’s in secondary education is worth the money, just consider the simple fact that earning such a credential will increase your earning potential by as much as 29%, depending on where you live. 

The average salary for a high school teacher was $62,870 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These positions are expected to grow by about 8% by 2030, with the highest 10% of earners bringing in more than $102,000. The best way to make your way toward the top of that wage scale is by gaining more experience, something that earning a master’s degree can help with.

Not only that, but earning your degree will enhance your knowledge of teaching and learning, making you a stronger, more confident professional in the classroom.  

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE 50 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF SPECIAL EDUCATION DEGREE PROGRAMS & BEST MASTER’S IN EDUCATION!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Software Engineering 2022

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Software Engineering

From creating software applications for online shopping websites to video games and everything in between, the work of a software engineer has become some of the most in-demand. 

The unique skills possessed by software engineers are required in just about every industry, so it only makes sense that the demand for skilled professionals is at an all-time high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be about 189,200 new openings for these professionals each year, on average, before 2030. 

That’s a growth of about 22%— a rate that’s nearly three times the national average! The demand for new applications for tablets and smartphones alike has contributed to this rapid increase in jobs, as has the need for industries like healthcare and insurance to be able to administer policies and care digitally. 

The pandemic that impacted us in 2020 and beyond only underscored the importance of being able to do things digitally and from your device, so it only makes sense that there’s a massive demand for skilled software developers who have the skills necessary to program and test these new programs. 

To become a software engineer or software developer, you will need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or a related field, like computer and information technology. However, a master’s degree will help you gain top-notch skills in communication, problem-solving, analysis, and of course, more technical areas like coding that you need to rise to a leadership position. 

That’s not to say that the road to completing your degree is always a smooth one, though. In fact, the courses involved in a software engineering degree, though enjoyable, can be somewhat challenging. 

There’s also the expense to be considered. Many would-be students find themselves hesitant about the high cost of earning a graduate degree. That’s a valid fear—U.S. News & World Report states that total tuition for some two-year graduate programs can cost more than $100,000. 

However, that doesn’t have to be the case—especially not when you consider that there are plenty of affordable online masters in software engineering out there. Earning a software engineering degree is more attainable than ever if you have the drive and motivation to study hard. 

An online degree makes learning more convenient than ever. You can study from the comfort of your own home without having to relocate to a new city to attend class on campus. That way, you can continue to care for your family members or attend to other life commitments, like a full-time job.

So what are you waiting for? There are programs to create and apps to test. Consider one of these top most affordable online master’s in software engineering today! 

What Are the Best Software Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. East Carolina University

ECU

Online Master of Science in Software Engineering

A public university founded in 1907, East Carolina University is located in Greenville, NC. It offers more than 175 different programs of study, many of which are found online. The school is ranked as one of the Top Public Schools and National Universities by U.S. News & World Report

This publication has also ranked East Carolina University as one of the Top Performers on Social Mobility. This means that it has enrolled and graduated larger proportions of disadvantaged students. One of the ways that the school makes education more accessible for everyone is through its online programs. 

This best online master’s degree in software engineering is just one example of such a program. Offered both on-campus as well as digitally, this program combines traditional areas of computers and the more rapidly evolving field of software engineering. You’ll graduate with the skills you need to develop, design, maintain, and test reliable software systems.

A program that is rooted in both theory and practice, it covers a broad range of topics, including software systems architecture object-oriented design, programming languages (including Java), and software project management techniques and tools. 

You can pursue specializations both as a new software engineer or for one who has been working in the field for quite some time. Class sizes are extremely small, with all students required to complete a final project or thesis before graduation. 

You’ll take core classes like:

  • Software Engineering Foundations
  • Foundations of Software Testing
  • Software Project Management

You may also be able to complete a degree-specific internship as part of your studies here!

It first debuted in 2008 and provides students with the hands-on skills they need in the modern job market. It is recognized as one of the best degrees in terms of its quality and value alike. 

Tuition rates are low for this program, starting at just around $7,536 per year for residents of the state of North Carolina. In addition to affordable tuition rates, this program also offers financial aid to those who qualify. 

#2.  Texas Tech University

Texas Tech

Online Master of Science in Software Engineering

A large research institution with a reputation for academic and industry excellence, Texas Tech University is located in Lubbock, TX. In addition to dozens of undergraduate majors, graduate students will have plenty of top master’s degree options to choose from, too, including those administered by the award-winning Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration and the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. 

Texas Tech is ranked the Top Public Schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report—and for good reason. In addition to quality academics, the school has a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1. 

Another high-value master’s software engineering can be found at Texas Tech University. This program will provide you with a solid foundation in the design, creation, and maintenance of complicated software systems. You’ll learn how to use traditional engineering process methods along with newer and more advanced software engineering concepts and practices in software design and quality assurance.

The program is offered by Whitacre College of Engineering, a globally recognized college composed of a community of scholars. The school is ranked among the best in the nation, with intimate classes and award-winning faculty. You’ll be able to participate in hands-on internships and study abroad experiences like the International Experience Initiative to give you the experience you need to be successful in your career.

You’ll have access to a variety of international research facilities, including the Center of Excellence in HIgh-Reliability Organizations and Processes and the National Institute for Engineering Ethics. In fact, this school is one of only 81 public institutions listed in the top tier by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

The master’s in software engineering is one of several different programs offered by this department, with other programs including:

  • Master of Science In Systems and Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Computer Science

There are numerous graduate certificates you can choose from, too. 

While the academics are certainly impressive on their own, you can’t beat the affordability of this program, either. At Texas Tech University, nearly half of all students receive some form of need-based financial aid. There is also merit-based aid available to students who qualify. Many graduate students are supported by fellowships and assistantships, which pay at least $29,000 per year!

#3.  West Virginia University

West Virginia University

Online Masters Degree in Software Engineering 

West Virginia University has an idyllic location in Morgantown, WV, resting along the shores of the Monongahela River. However, you don’t have to step foot on campus (ever!) if you don’t have the time or desire to do so. This school is home to a myriad of online degrees. It offers nearly 200 different bachelor’s and graduate programs spread out among 15 colleges, and many of these are available partially or wholly online.

This university is just one of many in the large WVU System. With an enrollment of more than 29,000 students, the school has a record $195 million in research funding, with researchers working hard to develop new theories and solutions in software engineering and related fields. In fact, the school is ranked in the top 3% of more than 19,000 universities around the world in recent Center for World University Rankings.

This top online master’s degree in software engineering is offered by the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. It will provide you with the skills you need to better understand the development design and management processes of various software systems and applications. From how to identify and analyze client needs to gaining the skills you need to implement software-based solutions, this program is one of the fastest-growing in the nation.

You will take a set of core courses including:

  • Software Project Management
  • Software Verification and Validation
  • Software Analysis and Design
  • Software Evolution
  • Object-Oriented Design

After completing the core classes, you’ll be able to move on to advanced electives like Software Engineering of Mobile Applications and Data Analytics with Applications in Software Engineering. 

Of course, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in things like research and independent study/experiential learning projects, too!

At just $682 per credit hour, this program is one of the most affordable in software engineering that you will find. It consists of 33 total credit hours and 11 courses. Generous financial aid is available. In fact, the school is one of the best in terms of financial aid for out-of-state students, awarding many out-of-state scholarships each year. 

In addition to extensive financial aid and low tuition rates, you’ll also have access to resources that will help you land a job. The Career Services Center will walk you through every aspect of the job search, including resume preparation to interview training. The school also hosts multiple virtual and in-person career fairs that bring hundreds of employers directly to you. Some of the most impressive? Apple, NASA, and the U.S. Department of State, just to name a few. 

#4.  California State University-Fullerton

Online MS program in Software Engineering 

Despite only being founded in 1957, this relatively young state university in Fullerton, CA is one of the best and most prestigious in the state. Located just 30 miles from Los Angeles, the school’s location in the heart of Orange County makes it a premier spot for everything “tech.”

You’ll find another best value master’s software engineering at California State University-Fullerton. This degree is designed for professionals who are already working in the field of computer science who want to further their skills and pursue graduate-level training in software engineering.

You’ll learn all the industry-standard skills you need including:

  • software process
  • software requirements
  • software process assessment and improvement
  • software architectural design
  • software engineering ethics

Core classes include:

  • Software Verification and Validation
  • Systems and Software Standards and Requirements
  • Software Maintenance

You will have the opportunity to network extensively with other like-minded software engineering professionals. This degree is a high-value option for learners who want the same quality of education they would get on-campus without having to physically step foot on campus.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. This school is top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Intelligent.com, and more. 

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the affordability of this program, too. Like all of the schools on this list, California State University has affordable tuition that starts at a total program cost of just $14,076 for California state residents. 

Online students not only can apply for the same types of financial aid as on-campus students, but are also able to access all the same facilities including:

  • Free Student Software
  • Health Center
  • Pollak Library
  • Student Technology Services

#5.  Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University

Online Masters program in Software Engineering

A public university founded in 1963, Kennesaw State University is ranked one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. Despite being a major public university the school has a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 21:1. You’ll get to know your fellow students and expert instructors closely—even when you’re studying online.

The online Master of Science in Software Engineering offers a comprehensive education in the discipline. It is one of the many programs administered by Kennesaw State’s Digital Learning Innovations Team, with other options including a graduate certificate in Software Engineering Foundations and much more. 

The degree consists of seven required core courses, three to four electives, and a final capstone experience. 

For this capstone experience, students have the option of choosing either a thesis or a project. Courses you take may include:

  • Requirements Engineering
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Testing and Verification
  • Software Project Planning and Management

This affordable degree has plenty of financial aid opportunities you can apply for including federal work-study, graduate research assistantships, and much more. Internships and cooperative learning experiences are a core element of this degree too, with many students choosing to work with an industry partner during their time in school.

Plus, the KSU Career Service is actively involved in helping students find jobs both during their time in school as well as after. It’s a great resource for any student who wants to be able to land a rewarding job after graduation (or perhaps even before)!

#6.  North Dakota State University-Main Campus

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

Online Master’s Degrees in Software Engineering

North Dakota State University is a public school that was founded in 1890. Located in the city of Fargo, the school offers more than 100 different academic majors to choose from along with more than 300 campus clubs and organizations.

While the university is perhaps best known for its programs in things like agriculture, business, and education, you’ll also find one of the nation’s best software engineering master’s online here, too. The software engineering program is just one of many transformations online degrees you can pursue as a distance learner at North Dakota State.

This top master’s degree in software engineering is just one of the many programs offered by the Department of Computer Science at North Dakota State. Here, you’ll learn all the tools, techniques, and methodologies you need to know to manage the entire software life cycle. 

It has a curriculum that is meant to appeal to full-time and part-time students alike. There are two graduate degrees in software engineering here—a Master of Software Engineering and a  Master of Science in Software Engineering. The latter is ideal for students who are interested in research. There’s also a graduate certificate if you’re only seeking foundational knowledge in software engineering.

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to be successful in software engineering after completing this program. You’ll take core courses such as:

  • Software Testing and Debugging
  • Introduction to Database Systems
  • Software Complexity Metrics
  • Knowledge-Based Systems

In all, you’ll complete around 33 credit hours of study.

This affordable degree features low tuition rates that start at around $8,951 per semester. Generous amounts of financial aid are available for students who qualify, too. 

#7.  The University of West Florida

University of West Florida

Online Master of Computer Science degree in Software Engineering

A public university founded in 1963, the University of West Florida is a suburban university located about 10 miles from downtown Pensacola. If gorgeous scenery is what you’re after, you’ll find it at this school, which has its own wilderness preserve and beachfront property in Pensacola.

However, you don’t have to study on-campus in order to benefit from this university’s quality academics. It has a variety of programs that are available entirely online to make earning a degree easier and more convenient for distance learners. 

Ranked as a Best Value School, a Best College for Veterans, and a top Regional University in the South by U.S. News & World Report,  the University of West Florida should be at the top of your list as you search for the ideal master of computer science in software engineering.

This program has small class sizes and allows you to interact and receive individualized attention with research faculty just as you would on campus. You’ll have the flexibility you need to study at your own pace and be able to take courses in topics like:

  • algorithmic programming
  • parallel programming
  • machine learning
  • data processing

It’s the perfect degree for the learner seeking a greater understanding of the field as well as for computer science professionals. It includes a total of 30 credit hours of study including 15 credit hours of core computer science topics. You can choose to customize your degree in software engineering or data analytics with nine credit hours of elective courses in either area.

An affordable program, it charges fees on a per-semester basis (meaning you can save money by taking more courses at once). It requires six semesters to complete, depending on transfer credits. As part of the Yellow Ribbon Program, the university makes it easy for active duty and veteran military members to afford their education, too. 

#8.  University of Maryland-College Park

University of Maryland

Online Master of Science in Information Technology with a Specialization in Software Engineering 

The University of Maryland-College Park is a public institution that was founded in 1856. It is located right in the middle of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. with an urban campus that’s easy to access by most. The school even has its own subway stop on the D.C.-area Metro system!

However, if you have no interest in ever taking classes on campus, that’s okay, too. There are still options! The university offers many programs entirely online, including the Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in software engineering. 

This program will teach you how to develop and maintain reliable software systems. There is both a master’s degree and a graduate certificate in engineering for you to choose from. Your courses will focus primarily on three technical areas—systems engineering, computer engineering, and cybersecurity.

You’ll take around 30 credit hours (or 10 courses) of study, choosing electives in areas like cybersecurity and systems engineering to customize your degree. You will also complete a set of core courses that include:

  • Software Engineering
  • Software Design and Implementation
  • Software Testing and Maintenance
  • System and Software Requirements

This program has low tuition rates that start at around $768 per credit hour. You can apply for financial aid, too, including grants, scholarships, and assistantships.

#9.  DePaul University

DePaul University

Online Masters Degree in Software Engineering 

With five campuses in and around Chicago, DePaul University is another top school to consider if you value convenience over anything else. This school is home to all kinds of services and facilities that cater to nontraditional students, including the School for New Learning, a facility that is designed specifically for adult learners.

That’s just one of the reasons why we have included DePaul University on our list of the best master’s in software engineering. Here, you’ll gain skills that are widely applicable in many kinds of industries. 

It features multiple optional concentrations so that you can further customize your degree. Choices include:

  • Entrepreneurship and Technology Leadership
  • Real-Time Game Systems
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Development

You’ll learn all the technical aspects of software engineering including:

  • software construction
  • quality assurance
  • software project management

The degree can be completed either online or on-campus, but you’ll find that either way, you’ll likely have wonderful career outcomes.

In fact, the School of Computing reports that 95% of its master’s graduates were employed, continuing their education, or not seeking employment within six months of graduation. The average salary of these graduates was around $80,000! 

#10.  Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University

Online Master of Science in Software Engineering

Nova Southeastern University is a private university that was founded in 1964. It’s ranked as one of the country’s top National Universities by U.S. News & Report and is known for its programs in healthcare, education, and of course, computer and information sciences. 

You’ll find another one of the best online master’s in software engineering at Nova Southeastern University. This school will prepare you to become a leader in computer science, either as a programmer, analyst, developer, or something else. 

You can choose from six different concentrations in real-world computing, artificial intelligence data science software engineering, or computer systems. There’s even a concentration in information assurance and cybersecurity that’s recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency and its affiliated federal agencies!

This accelerated program is one of the best options to consider if you want to advance your future in as little time as possible. Courses last eight weeks each and can be completed in just one year of study. 

30 total credits, or 10 courses, are required. There are three start dates per year, with courses offered online as well as on-campus at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus. Tuition starts at just $905 per credit hour with significantly discounted rates available through the employer tuition program. It’s a bargain for its overall value, to say the very least!

FAQ

What is the cheapest online software engineering degree?

The schools listed in our ranking, including East Carolina University, Texas Tech University, and West Virginia University, represent the least expensive software engineering degrees. However, that list is by no means exclusive.

Other schools with affordable online software engineering degrees include:

  • University of the Potomac
  • University of Maine at Augusta
  • Southern New Hampshire University

Keep in mind that the posted tuition of a university might not be what you actually end up paying, either. There are all sorts of financial aid options available to students in software engineering programs, including grants, scholarships, and student loans. Many students participate in fellowships that make the cost of attendance more affordable–or sometimes make it so that a degree in software engineering costs nothing at all! 

Not only that but it may make sense for you to check in with your employer to see what sorts of tuition reimbursement programs they offer. These programs make earning a degree low cost or sometimes even free since employers like to see that you have the skills necessary to be successful in your job. 

What is the top online master’s software engineering—no GRE required?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, has long been considered the standard requirement for graduate schools around the country. However, more and more universities are turning to a no-GRE or GRE-optional policy for admissions, choosing instead to rely on other areas of your application to evaluate your readiness for graduate work.

Some of the best universities that do not require the GRE for admission include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Iowa State University
  • North Carolina University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • George Mason University

Is a master’s degree in software engineering worth it?

Graduate student loans account for 40% of all federal student loans issued, a scary thought when you acknowledge that there are no caps on how much graduate borrowers can take out. 

However, there are all kinds of ways to make earning your master’s degree more affordable. Starting with the list of affordable programs is one such way, but it’s also a good idea to consider how you’ll pay back your student loans after you graduate.

Fortunately, a master’s degree in software engineering has an excellent return on investment. With a master’s degree, according to U.S. Census Bureau data you can expect to earn around $15,000 more per year (or higher) with a master’s degree than you would with just a bachelor’s. That’s true of graduates in all fields, but especially in-demand tech fields such as software engineering.

Plus, the demand for software engineers is extremely high. You won’t have trouble finding a job in any industry (or in any city) with this kind of degree.

So is a master’s degree in software engineering worth it, both in terms of the time and money you must invest to earn your degree? Only you can be the judge of that—but most people would say, “absolutely!”

How many years is a master’s degree in software engineering?

Most master’s degrees in software engineering take around two years to complete when you study full-time. If you decide to take classes on a part-time basis to accommodate other commitments, it will take you around three years to finish when you are taking two classes per semester. 

You may also be able to pursue an accelerated software engineering degree. In many cases, earning an accelerated degree will allow you to graduate in a year or sometimes even less!

Once you’re enrolled in a program, you will take classes that teach you how to design each piece of an application or system as well as how to create a variety of models, diagrams, and other demonstrations to show programmers the appropriate software code for an application. You’ll also learn strategies that will help you identify project risks, document various aspects of applications or systems, and recommend software upgrades to companies and individuals. 

You may be able to specialize your studies in things like:

  • applications software development
  • systems software development

Of course, an internship or cooperative learning experience is often at the core of these degrees, too, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in the industry before you graduate. 

What is a software engineering salary?

With a software engineering degree, it’s most likely that you will go on to a career as a software developer, tester, or quality assurance analyst. In this kind of job, you will design computer programs and applications or test programs for problems and defects.

As you might expect, these jobs are not only in exceptionally high demand but they pay remarkably well too. The average salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2020, is around $110,150 per year, or a whopping $52.95 per hour. 

Although that’s simply an average, the lowest 10% of earners still managed to bring in around $65,210 while the highest 10% of earners received more than $170,100. Not too shabby!

The wages do vary slightly across industries, with workers in the software publishing niche and manufacturing bringing in significantly more money than those working in insurance, computer system design, and related services. Nevertheless, you can expect to earn quite a high salary when you decide to work as a software engineer! 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST AFFORDABLE ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE & BEST AFFORDABLE ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 2022

Do you have outstanding attention to detail? Do you love investigating bugs, glitches, and tiny parts in computer software and hardware systems?

If so, a master’s degree in computer engineering might be the right choice for you. As a computer engineer, you need to have a knack for finding tiny details along with patience and persistence when it comes to solving challenging problems.

For many students, the biggest problem in earning a master’s degree has nothing to do with the technical issues they might investigate as a computer engineer. The biggest problem is one of convenience. 

Getting an online degree can solve that problem since it will allow you to pursue your education from the comfort of your own home. 

How do you know if an online master’s in computer engineering is right for you—and if it’s a quality program?

An online program is a perfect choice for just about anyone. If you crave the convenience and flexibility of an online program, whether that’s because you’re a single parent trying to navigate childcare options for your kids, a busy working professional, or just someone who would prefer to study at home, then an online degree is right for you.

Now, how to find the perfect fit?

In the past, online degrees had a reputation for being somehow “less than.” Critics argued that the quality of education wasn’t as high as if you were receiving your training on-campus. They said that online education providers were shoddy and didn’t provide students with the proper caliber of career training.

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. As they rise in popularity across all disciplines, online degrees are not only just as good but are often better than their on-campus counterparts. They offer convenience and often are more affordable, too. After all, even if tuition rates are the same for online and on-campus learners, you won’t have to pay for “hidden” expenses like transportation, room and board, and student activity fees.

While online programs are no different (in terms of their quality) than on-campus degrees, that’s not to say that they are all made alike. There are a few tips you should follow to make sure you get the best possible education for your time and money. 

When applying to college degrees of any level, major, or type, always look for a degree that is accredited. Accreditation is essential because it means you can receive federal and state financial aid, transfer credits in and out, and will be getting a quality education. Regional accreditation is something to keep an eye out for. If you can’t find information about this on a school’s website, call to confirm. 

 For computer engineering, you need to get even more specific in your search. Look for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and TEchnology. If you can, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to campus or do a virtual tour (even though you know you’ll never set foot there as an actual student).

Taking some time to investigate and research everything you can about the school and the program, from the instructors to the student organizations to the financial aid that is available, will help you make an informed decision. That way, you can find the best possible online masters in computer engineering to help you meet your goals!  

What Are the Best Computer Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

UF

#1. University of Florida

Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Located in Gainesville, FL, the University of Florida was founded in 1853. Just a couple of miles from the downtown area, the physical campus has a lot to offer prospective students. However, the online campus is just as vibrant.

The University of Florida offers the best online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering through the unique EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) portal. Here, you will be taught by the same talented instructors who work on-campus, but all of your courses will be delivered exclusively online.

You’ll take 30 credit hours (or ten three-credit courses) but you can choose your own path. You can take up to three classes per semester, take just one class at a time, or even take a full semester off with no penalties. You can take additional online courses to supplement your degree, choosing from pathways in fields like computer science, innovation, entrepreneurship, and other engineering departments.

And if you decide that studying on-campus is right for you, you can “hybridize” your degree and take classes in a traditional format, too. Whichever avenue you choose to pursue, you will take core classes in topics like:

  • Foundations of Digital Signal Processing
  • Stochastic Methods for Engineering
  • VLSI Circuits and Technology
  • Principles of Computer System Design

You can also choose to tack on an additional certificate to your degree. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida offers such certificate programs as:

  • Hardware and Systems Security
  • Microsystem Technology
  • Machine Learning

For all of this, you might expect tuition rates to be astronomical. That’s not the case. In fact, Florida residents pay just $448.73 per credit hour, while non-residents pay just a couple hundred dollars more. You’ll be charged a distance learning fee but don’t have to worry about things like activity and service fees, transportation, and health fees, as you might on-campus. Plus, there’s plenty of financial aid to go around!

#2.  Texas A&M University 

Texas A&M

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Are you ready to become an Aggie? When you enroll at Texas A&M University, even if you are studying online, that is what you’ll be! 

The school spirit and pride are strong at Texas A&M University, located in College Station, TX. Here, you can join more than 1000 different student organizations or stick to your coursework in the Dwight Look College of Engineering, the Mays Business School, or the College of Education and Human Development.

A major research institution, Texas A&M University offers a variety of programs online as well as abroad, including in places like Qatar. 

You will take 30 semester credit hours of approved courses in this non-thesis degree. You’ll be able to choose from one of seven focus areas as you complete your degree requirements and final project. Options include:

  • analog and mixed signal
  • device science and nanotechnology
  • information science and systems
  • electromagnetics and microwaves
  • computer engineering systems
  • biomedical imaging, sensing, and genomic signal processing

As you complete your courses, you will be able to conduct cutting-edge research in your area of interest. Your courses will prepare you both for research and development careers in industry or to pursue a doctoral degree. 

While you study, even in a distance learning format, you’ll be able to tap into all kinds of resources offered by this department. You can receive free tutoring or join student organizations. There are countless options to choose from, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Eta Kappa Nu—the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society, and the IEEE PELS/IAS/PES Joint Student Chapter. These activities will help you network with other majors and alumni and gain valuable real-world experience. 

#3.  Florida International University 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 

Florida International University

A public university founded in 1972, Florida International University isn’t the oldest university on this list by far—but it’s one of the best. This school in Miami, FL has a reputation as one of the Best Value Schools, top National Universities, and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report

Offered by the College of Engineering and Computing, the online Master’s in Computer Engineering at Florida International University is one of the best in the country. The curriculum focuses heavily on leadership development and will enable you to earn a degree in as little as 10 months. That means less time in the classroom and more time doing what you love!

Although the Master’s in Computer Engineering here is available with multiple concentrations, it is only the specialty in Network Security that is available exclusively online. It will teach you how to protect and defend networks from attacks and cybercrime while also giving you the leadership skills you need to take on a managerial role.

You’ll be taught by faculty members who are leaders in the field and possess years of experience as computer engineers themselves. You’ll benefit from feedback and personal guidance every step of the way. Plus, you can acquire the most in-demand certifications, with options including:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker
  • Network+
  • Security+ 

Even if you decide not to pursue these certifications, this degree is one to watch. It contains a highly relevant and constantly evolving curriculum that includes courses in key topics like ethical hacking, network security, malware analysis, and forensics. You’ll have all the skills you need to work alongside some of the most highly-regarded professionals in the industry.

All courses are offered within six eight-week terms. You’ll take 12 credits each semester, with core classes including:

  • Random Signal Principles
  • Advanced Malware Reverse Engineering
  • Computer Communication Networks

A total of 30 credit hours are required. 

This school is one of the few in the United States that has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Because of the specialization, you will be equipped to work not only as a computer engineer (and in ancillary fields) but also as a network security specialist. 

Let’s not forget how affordable this program is, either. With a total tuition cost of $25,000, it offers an excellent return on investment. Plus, you can access Career Engage and associated scholarships to help you get ahead without having to take on student loans.

#4.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

NC State University

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University, often referred to simply as NC State, is the largest four-year college in the state. As a result, you’ll have plenty of academic offerings to choose from.

This top Master of Science in Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University at Raleigh is one of the best online computer engineering master’s in the world. It is designed for individuals who already have undergraduate degrees in engineering disciplines and want to pursue graduate work specifically in computer engineering.

This is a program that does require the GRE, so give yourself plenty of time to take the test. That said, know that this degree is worth the extra effort. IT will prepare you in in-demand topics such as very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) systems, computer architecture and systems, networking, and more. It does not require a thesis. 

It’s offered by Engineering Online, a department at NC State that is ranked sixth in the country among online engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report. The school has offered distance education in engineering since 1978 (more than 40 years!) and now has sixteen online graduate and certificate programs. 

You will complete 30 credit hours of study, or up to nine credit hours per semester. Most students complete their degrees in less than two years, but you have up to six to finish your degree if you’d rather progress your degree requirements more slowly. When you enroll, you will be assigned a personal academic advisor to help guide you in these sorts of decisions. 

In addition to the work you do in the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to work with partnering organizations to get hands-on experience in the field. Not only that, but you’ll enjoy affordable tuition. You’ll be billed at the on-campus rates and can apply for generous financial aid. 

#5.  Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology was founded in 1885. Referred to as Georgia Tech, this school is dedicated to research and career-oriented majors in things like the physical sciences, engineering, and business. 

With a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1, it’s easy to see that you’ll get unparalleled attention from faculty and staff as a student here. However, it’s not just the quality of instruction that’s outstanding—it’s the quality of the courses you’ll take, too. The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech has a phenomenal Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering that can be completed entirely online. 

You’ll be able to choose from two start dates each year and enjoy low tuition rates of just $1,100 per credit hour. In addition to education loans, you can also benefit from veterans and employers’ tuition reimbursement benefits to help lower the cost of attendance. 

You will take core classes such as:

  • Digital Image Processing
  • Numerical Linear Algebra
  • Computational Data Analysis
  • Unsteady Aerodynamics

You’ll be able to choose from dozens of different electives to help you specialize and customize your degree. 

While you study, you will have access to all kinds of essential resources. You can tap into all the resources of the Georgia Tech library and download tools for collaboration like WebEx and Skype, often for free. Of course, the hands-on Student Services Team is always there to help with any questions or problems you might have, too. 

#6.  Iowa State University 

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Iowa State

Iowa State University is a public university located in the small midwest town of Ames, IA. Despite the town’s pint-sized population, this school is one of the largest in the state. 

If you have a bachelor’s in computer engineering, you may want to consider the online computer engineering degree at Iowa State University. This master’s program is offered 100% online and is perfectly suited to working professionals who want to advance their careers. You only need to take one class per semester, letting you finish your degree in just five years.


Although the program is designed for students who already have a background in computer engineering, you can apply if you have skills and experience in other areas, too. You may have to take some prerequisite courses to catch up.

All in all, you’ll take at least 30 credit hours of coursework, 18 of which must be in electrical engineering or computer engineering. 

You can also complete up to three credit hours of independent study. Core classes include:

  • Network Protocols and Security
  • Real-Time Systems
  • Information System Security
  • Computer and Network Forensics
  • Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling

In addition to your core courses, you can pursue a graduate certificate in topics like computer networking, cybersecurity, energy systems engineering, human-computer interaction, or embedded systems. These courses make it possible for you to earn graduate credits that can be applied toward the parallel master’s degree program. 

#7.  The University of Texas at Austin 

University of Texas Austin

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

The University of Texas at Austin offers multiple pathways for students to earn their degrees in electrical and computer engineering. There is an integrated Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering that can be completed at the same time (helping you save both time and money) or you can pursue a stand-alone Master of Science in Engineering.

The Master of Science in Engineering at Texas ECE offers eight different academic tracks. These include:

  • architecture computer systems, and embedded systems
  • bioECE, decision, information, and communications engineering
  • electromagnetics and acoustics
  • electronics, photonics, and quantum systems
  • integrated circuits and systems
  • power electronics and power systems
  • software engineering and systems

Of course, you can always design your own track, too, benefiting from the immense variety of resources there are for interdisciplinary work at this university. You will be able to participate in state-of-the-art research institutions and projects with faculty researchers. You’ll be able to complete your studies in just four semesters of study, after which most graduates go on directly to work in the field or to apply to the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas.

While you work, you’ll be able to participate in all kinds of opportunities and organizations. The Cockrell School of Engineering has a well-established honors program along with a variety of major-specific student organizations. Some examples include the Electrical Longhorn Ladies in Engineering, Eta Kappa Nu, Graduate ECE, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

No matter which of these opportunities you choose to pursue, know that you will be supported in your endeavors by talented, engaged faculty. You won’t have to break the bank for that kind of service, either. Tuition rates are low and you can supplement your financial aid with things like graduate research assistantships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships. There are additional departmental scholarships you can apply for, too. 

#8.  Florida Atlantic University 

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, located in Boca Raton, FL, has an outstanding Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. This program can be completed by itself or in conjunction with the Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology if you want to graduate more quickly.

The Master of Science will prepare you for leadership roles in hardware engineering, network engineering, embedded systems engineering, and more. You can complete your studies entirely on campus, completely online, or in a combination of the two. 

Whichever you choose, you’ll take core classes like:

  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Multiprocessor Architecture
  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Structured VLSI Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Multimedia programming

You’ll take at least three core courses and seven electives for the non-thesis option, or three core courses, five electives, and six thesis credits if you select the thesis pathway. In total, you’ll complete about 30 credit hours of study. 

You can join as many student organizations and societies as you’d like. These groups plan special exhibits and activities, arrange social activities, tour companies, network with professional speakers and industry experts, and participate in national competitions. Some of the most popular include:

  • Data Science and Machine Learning Club
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Engineering Student Council

Not only that, but you can choose to tack on additional certificates if you’d like to make your degree even more marketable. Available graduate certificate options include:

  • cybersecurity
  • energy resilience
  • biomedical engineering
  • big data analytics
  • artificial intelligence

When you become a student here, you will enjoy low tuition rates and access to all kinds of financial aid. Each year, the department also provides generous graduate assistantships to new students. These cover a significant portion of tuition and offer a stipend along with teaching and research experience.

#9.  University of South Carolina-Columbia

Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering 

University of South Carolina-Columbia

If you want to take your understanding of computer engineering outside of the box, you’ve got to consider the online Master of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of South Carolina-Columbia.

The fully online MS Computer Engineering here will prepare you to work in the application, development, design, and testing of new computer hardware (and its integration with software). You’ll be able to advance the field of computing through our studies as well as through the research projects and initiatives you carry out on campus, many of which are supported by collaborative efforts with local industries and government agencies. 

Your studies will allow you to take an in-depth look at the core topics of computer software algorithms, and compilers. There are both thesis- and non-thesis options available, allowing you to complete around 30 credit hours of study.

You can choose from multiple areas of specialization, including:

  • the internet of things
  • neuromorphic computing
  • robotics and autonomous systems
  • nanoscale electronics
  • computer vision
  • computer architecture and microarchitecture

The opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of South Carolina-Columbia are extensive. You will be able to network with alumni and other industry professionals and pursue hands-on research opportunities, a dedicated career center, and plenty of student organizations. 

Tuition is affordable, with the primary academic costs consisting of university tuition and fees. You can apply for a graduate fellowship to offset the cost of attendance. In fact, fellowships often provide all or part of a student’s funding, making it possible for some students to earn their degrees for practically free! 

#10.  University of Michigan-Dearborn

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Engineering 

University of Michigan Dearborn

The University of Michigan-Dearborn, located in Dearborn, MI, offers another one of the best online master’s programs in computer engineering. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes required core courses along with technical electives meant to expose you to hands-on experience with computers, microprocessor-based systems, high-[performance workstations, and more.

It can be completed entirely on campus, entirely online, or through a combination of the two. If you choose to study on campus as an alternative (or complement) to your online study, you’ll likely appreciate the fact that on-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening hours.

However, you will get everything you need from studying online, too. It will provide you with a strong foundation in the theoretical techniques and principles of science, engineering, and mathematics that you need for advanced engineering development and design. You’ll also learn how to use all the tools that might be necessary in the modern computer engineering workforce. 

You will take core courses such as:

  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Architecture
  • Embedded Systems
  • Advanced Operating Systems

In addition, you can choose a concentration area to further customize your degree. Options include networks and communications, multimedia engineering, intelligent systems, and computer architecture and design.

As a student in this program, you’ll benefit from access to quality instructors, extensive opportunities for hands-on learning, and low tuition rates. There are dozens of scholarship opportunities available for new and returning students, along with fellowships, grants, and student loans. 

FAQs

How do you apply to a computer engineering degree?

Now that you’ve determined that a computer engineering degree might be right for you, it’s time to apply! 

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, ideally one in computer engineering. While you can sometimes apply for a master’s in computer engineering with a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you may be asked to complete additional prerequisite courses to help you “catch up” to your classmates. 

You will need to complete an online application and often, submit an application fee. You’ll typically be asked to submit transcripts from your undergraduate degree showing a minimum GPA of around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. GRE scores are often required, as are essays that might detail your goals, background, or challenges you’ve overcome.

Finally, you may be asked to submit supplemental documents like letters of recommendation or a resume, too. 

What sorts of jobs are available to graduates of master’s programs in computer engineering? 

You can pursue just about any kind of computer engineering job with just a bachelor’s degree in this field. However, if you go the extra mile and earn a master’s degree, your opportunities will be much more plentiful. 

One of the most common jobs pursued by master’s in computer engineering graduates is that of a hardware engineer. As a hardware engineer, you’ll be able to design, research, develop, and test computer systems and their components. You will typically work in a research laboratory and specialize in manufacturing. 

Another common job is as a software developer. In this kind of job, you’ll work to design computer programs and applications. One position that is similar to this is as a software quality analyst and tester. In this role, you’ll identify problems with programs and applications, report defects, and recommend solutions. 

Is a master’s in computer engineering worth it?

Absolutely. Prospective computer engineers might wonder if the investment in an online degree—even an online degree—is worth the cost, both in terms of the time and money involved. The average salaries for computer engineers tend to be quite high. Here are some examples, but know that nine times out of ten, the average pay is well into the six figures range!

As a computer hardware engineer, the average salary is more than $119,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for 2020. That’s more than $57 per hour. You Can increase this salary even more by pursuing additional certifications as part of your master’s degree or by working in more specialized fields like computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.

Your pay won’t be too shabby as a software developer, either. You could earn an average salary of $110,140 per year (or nearly $53 per hour), according to the 2020 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, these jobs are expected to grow rapidly with an anticipated growth of 22% by 2030! 

Can you do computer engineering online?

You can! In fact, if you earn an online degree, you’ll not only be able to save some money, but you can complete your courses in an asynchronous fashion most of the time, too. This means you can study wherever and whenever it’s most convenient for you. 

You’ll take classes in topics like:

  • Solid State Devices
  • Systems Engineering
  • Modern COmputer Architecture
  • Electronic Design

What is the best online master’s engineering—no GRE required?

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a common admissions requirement for many master’s in engineering. This requirement serves as a way for admissions officials to weigh individuals against each other, particularly individuals from different universities. 


Fortunately, there are several schools that do not have GRE requirements. These include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Penn State

What is the cheapest online computer engineering degree?

It’s difficult to say which online computer engineering degree is the cheapest since it doesn’t always come down to basic dollars and cents. The cheapest school for one student may not be the cheapest for the next, since you might receive a different financial aid package depending on where you choose to attend.

However, all of the schools in this ranking are affordable options for you to consider, including NC State, Florida International, and Georgia Tech. A few other schools to consider in your search include Mississippi State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of New Mexico. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS & BEST MASTER’S IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Affordable Online Master’s in Material Science & Engineering 2022

From the cars we drive to the makeup we put on our faces, everything we consume and use, large or small, has been impacted by the work of a material science engineer.

These professionals not only study the properties and potential uses of materials we already have but also research ways to create new materials with amazing properties. You will figure out which ingredients can be used to build a product and figure out how to make that product even better by using those ingredients. 

As a materials scientist or engineer, you can work in just about any industry. This is a field that has a major impact on everyday life—but it’s one that very few people give a second thought to. 

In short, your work will allow you to solve grand challenges that enable the technologies of tomorrow. Pretty cool, right?

When you’re considering a career in materials science and engineering, there are logistical challenges you might encounter that can be even more daunting than the coursework itself. If you’re working full-time or have other commitments to attend to (such as a family), then one of those challenges might be finding the time to earn a degree.

The good news is that a growing number of schools have begun to offer their programs exclusively or entirely online. In the past, online programs were often seen as offering a lower quality of education than their on-campus counterparts. But as technology has expanded the ability for schools to offer resources like live chat, Zoom course delivery, and 1:1 video advising with faculty members, that reputation is no longer accurate. 

It is entirely possible to find an online degree that’s affordable, is convenient, and provides you with the proper preparation you need for your dream job. You just need to know what to look for!

Ready to dive in? Keep reading to learn about the ten most affordable online master’s in materials science and engineering—and about everything you need to know about earning one of these awesome degrees.

What Are the Best Material Science Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. University of Florida

UF

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

A public land-grant research university, the University of Florida is located in sunny Gainesville, FL. Although the location of the campus is a major draw for many students, the good news is that you don’t even have to step foot on campus if your lifestyle doesn’t permit it. You can earn a degree online! With more than 150 research centers and institutes, 16 academic colleges, and more than 200 different majors, it’s safe to say that this school will have exactly what you’re looking for.

Looking for the best affordable online master’s in material science? You will find a top contender in the online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. 

This program is a great choice for individuals who’ve already completed an undergraduate degree in engineering and are looking for an option that will allow them to study while working full-time. You can complete your studies in as little as 18 months or take longer in order to accommodate your work schedule.

All courses are offered via streaming video that you can download for offline viewing. They are delivered via the revolutionary EDGE system at UF with both thesis and non-thesis options available. In most cases, you’ll complete around 30 credit hours of study, including multiple research experiences. 

You’ll work closely with more than 40 graduate faculty members across multiple colleges, departments, and research institutes. This will give you the opportunity to conduct in-depth research in state-of-the-art facilities and in other interdisciplinary areas. You’ll take core courses such as:

  • Functional Properties of Materials
  • Materials Structure and Mechanical Properties
  • Materials Thermodynamics, and Diffusion
  • Kinetics
  • Transport

The University of Florida ranks regularly as one of the most affordable schools in the nation, and the online programs are no exception. You’ll pay just $552.62 per credit hour with generous financial aid available. 

#2.  University of California-Los Angeles

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

UCLA

Originally founded as the California State Normal School’s southern branch, the University of California-Los Angeles is now a major public land-grant research university that serves more than 45,000 students. Though it originally focused primarily on education programs, the school now has six undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools. 

It’s not just about the number of offerings here, either—this school is all about the quality. Considered one of the country’s Public Ivies, it is frequently ranked among the best universities in the world. 

Let’s get even more specific. The online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It’s offered by the award-winning Samueli School of Engineering and will allow you to dive deep into the study of advanced structural materials. 

You’ll gain a strong and broad understanding of the major concepts of materials science and engineering in various types of materials. In the program, you’ll take at least nine courses, five of which should be graduate courses at the 200 level. Sample courses include:

  • Nondestructive Evaluations
  • Advanced Composite Materials
  • Dislocations and Strengthening Mechanisms in Solids
  • Material Processing in Manufacturing

This program is unique in that, in addition to taking core courses in materials science and engineering, you can also take electives from other engineering departments without having to get approval from an advisor. You can choose to specialize in areas like structural materials, electronics materials, and regular materials science, too. 

Samueli offers multiple certificate options as well, something that will enable you to add more to your degree without having to spend too much additional time in school. Some options include power systems, cybersecurity, and engineering entrepreneurship.

You’ll pay just under $38,000 to complete your entire degree (or about $4,200 per course, on average). This affordable program offers multiple payment methods for students along with generous financial aid.

#3.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

NC State

The largest university in the Carolinas, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity.” With an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, it has historical strengths in fields like the life sciences, statistics, agriculture, and of course, engineering.

A non-thesis, coursework-only master’s degree, the online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering at NC State is a great choice for busy professionals who are already working full-time. You’ll be asked to meet the same requirements as if you were studying on-campus but you’ll enjoy the convenience and flexibility of online video lectures and exams that can be administered by local proctors.

In this program, you’ll learn ways to investigate and understand the properties, structure, and modification of materials, as well as how to develop new or improved ways to process those materials. A multidisciplinary program, it welcomes students from all undergraduate backgrounds, including those who specialize in chemistry, physics, and other fields of engineering.

You’ll take courses in things like:

  • Nuclear Materials
  • Ceramic Processing
  • Thermodynamics of Materials
  • Composite Materials

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for an assortment of careers, including those as a functional materials engineer, ceramics engineer, materials development engineer, and much more.

This 30-credit hour program can be completed in less than two years. Most students will take between three and nine credit hours of coursework per semester, making it perfect for individuals who are employed full-time. You will be assigned an academic advisor when you enroll who will help you understand the best plan of study based on your schedule and needs.

As an online and distance education student, you’ll pay a standard rate that depends on your residency. You’ll pay the same tuition as on-campus students with credit hour charges capped at one credit hour per semester. The average tuition rate is about $505.28 per credit hour, making this one of the most affordable online master’s in materials science and engineering that you’ll find.

#4.  University of California-Riverside

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

University of California-Riverside

Founded in 2007, the M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California-Riverside can be completed in one of two ways. In Plan I, you’ll complete a thesis and 36 credit hours of graduate or upper-division undergraduate coursework. In Plan II, you will also complete 36 credit hours of coursework, but you’ll take a comprehensive examination that is conducted jointly with the preliminary examination for the Ph.D. program. 

The average student will take about two years to complete this degree, but you can take longer if you need the additional time to accommodate a busy work schedule. Nevertheless, this program will help you understand the processes involved in creating materials along with how they can be used in a variety of fields. From high-efficiency solar cells to beauty products, this program will help you uncover the ways in which modern innovations are dependent on materials at all scales and levels. 

This GRE-optional program will allow you to conduct research in key areas of materials science, including material processing, biomaterials, computational materials, structural materials, energy and green technology, and electronic, optical, and magnetic materials. Faculty-directed research is sponsored by notable federal and state agencies along with industrial sponsors such as:

  • Department of Energy
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • National Institute of Health
  • Raytheon
  • Lockheed Martin

As a student in this program, you can specialize in a specific class of materials, like polymers or magnetic materials, or in a specific area of materials science, like mechanical properties of materials processing. Regardless, the program will give you solid training in the foundational skills of mechanical science and engineering. 

You will learn from some of the best teaching faculty in the country and enjoy an interdisciplinary education that cuts across collegiate and departmental lines. You’ll work in unique research facilities such as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis. 

For all this, you might expect to pay an arm and a leg. Fortunately, that’s not the case. On average, you will pay an average of $875 per credit unit in tuition. Generous financial aid is available for most students as well.

#5.  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

U of I Urbana- Champaign

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

The graduate program in material science and engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the best in the country. You’ll complete at least 32 credit hours of study for the thesis option and 36 for the non-thesis program. As a student in this program, you’ll benefit from fundamental training in the practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and fundamental understandings you need to be successful in a career involving advanced materials. 

Whether your goal is to work or conduct research in an industrial setting or national laboratory, to become an academic, or something else, the master of science in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois is the right choice for you. You will learn alongside about 200 students and faculty members, the latter of whom conduct research in many different areas.


You’ll be alert to conduct interdisciplinary research and collaborate with professionals across engineering departments. You can choose to specialize in many different aspects of materials science and engineering such as:

  • metals
  • ceramics
  • polymers
  • biomaterials
  • composites
  • electronic materials

Your courses will vary depending on your selected specialty, but generally, you’ll take classes in things like:

  • Ceramic Materials & Properties
  • Polymer Physics
  • Macromolecular Solids
  • Laboratory Studies in Materials Science and Engineering

As a graduate student, you can work in cutting-edge facilities like the Illinois Materials Research Laboratory, receiving unparalleled training and access to the world-class instrumentation you need for quality research. These are just a few of the many reasons why U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the graduate program in materials at this school as one of the top programs in the nation. 

Again, this program is one of the most affordable you will find. In addition to low tuition rates, you can apply for a variety of fellowships and awards here. The Grainger College of Engineering sponsors many of its own, but you can also apply for outside funding. From conference travel awards to research fellowships like the Lam Research Corporation Outstanding Graduate Student Award, this department offers plenty of ways for students to gain hands-on experience and lower the cost of attendance at the same time. 

#6.  University of Central Florida

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering 

UCF

A public research university located in Orlando, FL, the University of Central Florida is a public research university that was originally founded as a technological university. Now, this space-grant institution is home to a number of research- and technically-oriented fields. Since its inception, it has awarded more than 346,000 degrees and impacted communities and learners all over the world. 

The online master’s degree in materials science and engineering at the University of Central Florida is designed for people who want to become true innovators, figuring out how they can leverage their knowledge to create new machinery, develop processes, and produce a large variety of products for any industry. 

In this program, you will learn new uses for existing materials as well as how to develop new ones, extending your research and studies to areas such as:

  • biomaterials
  • nanomaterials
  • material stability
  • degradation

You can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option, as both will enable you to pursue electives that will be relevant for your career. When you graduate, you will be able to bring your new ideas to fruition as you advance your career. 

The degree is highly ranked by multiple publications. In fact, U.S. News & World Report has designated it as one of the most innovative as well as one of the top overall engineering programs in the country. 

This 30-credit hour program is also one of the most affordable. For in-state students, tuition is just $327 per credit hour (out-of-state students pay slightly more). There is a myriad of financial aid opportunities available to most students, too. 

#7.  University of Arizona

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

University of Arizona

Also known as the U of A or simply UA, the University of Arizona is located in Tucson, AZ. A research university, this school is home to a whopping 19 different colleges and schools. Its motto, “Sursum,” translates from Latin to the English “Upwards.” When you pursue an education here, that is exactly where you can expect to take your career!

At the University of Arizona, you’ll find another top master of science in materials science. This 30-credit hour program is highly customizable, allowing you to design your own curriculum as you learn from experts in fields like:

  • ceramics and polymers
  • microelectronic processing
  • computational materials

This program is unique because it allows you to pursue a “signature course” elective format. In this, you’ll be able to choose classes that enhance the skills you already have and allow you to narrow in on your focus area. You’ll be able to meet any professional objective that your heart desires.

The program is incredibly flexible, allowing you to complete your courses at the pace that makes the most sense to you. You can choose from six different start dates and will take courses that last only seven and a half weeks for maximum convenience.  

You will have access to a robust network of support. In addition to a community of alumni mentors who will connect you with networking and career opportunities, you will also benefit from student services like tutoring, career services, and more. 

An affordable degree, this program is offered by a university that is ranked as the best in Arizona by the U.S. News & World Report and among the top 1% of all higher education institutions by the Center for World University Rankings in 2020. Tuition starts at just $925 per credit hour with significant financial aid available as well.

#8.  Johns Hopkins University 

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university located in Baltimore, MD. This school is often considered the first research university in the country and it continues to be one of the best. In fact, it has led all American universities in research expenditures since 1900.

True to that reputation, the MS in Material Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University is taught by expert scientists and engineers with extensive experience in the industry as well as in the lab.

The program will equip you with the relevant skills you need to address the most pressing issues in the industry. Whether your specialty is in electrochemistry or nanotechnology, this degree will broaden your capabilities to design materials that can be used in better ways throughout countless industries. 

As a student at Johns Hopkins, even one studying online, you’ll benefit from a wealth of research resources. Some cutting-edge facilities you might work with include the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and the Johns Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute.

A collaborative and hands-on program, it is leadership-focused and will provide you with the flexibility you need to earn a degree while you are still working. You can choose from focus areas or concentrations such as:

  • nanotechnology
  • nanomaterials
  • biotechnology

You will learn from expert faculty in online classrooms that serve as incubators for real-time, solutions-based knowledge. You’ll get one-on-one mentoring and be able to apply what you learn in class to your job almost immediately. You don’t have to take our word for it, either—this program is ranked among the top online graduate engineering schools by the U.S. News & World Report.

A highly affordable program, it offers a variety of ways for students to finance their degrees. Believe it or not, about 78% of enrolled students’ tuition costs are covered by employer contribution programs! 

#9.  Ohio State University-Main Campus

Ohio State University-Main Campus

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

Ohio State University is a public land-grant research institution located in Columbus, OH. Often considered a Public Ivy, the school has been ranked highly by major publications as one of the best in the United States. 

When you get a master’s degree from Ohio State University, you’ll benefit from a variety of features and resources. You’ll work right at the cutting edge of technology, studying within a close-knit department that offers a small-school feel. 

At the same time, you will be able to tap into resources that you would only get at a massive state institution. This highly innovative school receives more than $17 million in research funding each year, something that will help you explore any area of interest within the field of materials science.

You will be able to tap into extensive world-class research facilities as you learn from internationally recognized faculty. The program, like many of those offered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Ohio State, is ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report

You will be able to work in department research facilities like:

  • Center for Accelerated Maturation of Materials
  • Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis
  • Fontana Corrosion Center

Almost 85% of all students participate in a research experience, internship, co-op, or part-time related work experience before they even graduate, and there are even global study abroad opportunities you can pursue!

An affordable program, it offers an excellent return on investment. More than 90% of graduate students receive full payment of their tuition and research costs along with a monthly stipend, health insurance premiums, and more. Because the program has close ties to industry, it has a nearly 100% job placement rate within six months of graduation and MS graduates have starting salaries that average more than $70,000. 

#10.  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Online Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research university located in Worcester, MA. Though it focuses primarily on instruction and research in technical arts and applied sciences, it is home to more than 14 academic departments with dozens of majors to choose from.

The master’s in material science online at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one that is closely connected to the industrial sector. You’ll take classes that prepare you to work in materials processing and manufacturing in a variety of areas, including:

  • chemicals and energy generation
  • aerospace
  • biotech
  • electronics
  • automotive

You can earn your degree in just two years, working closely with faculty advisors to develop a customized and relevant program of study that will help you meet your goals. You will take around 30 credit hours of study 12 of which can be electives and three of which will comprise your final capstone project. 

You can study in state-of-the-art labs as you complete courses such as:

  • Advanced Thermodynamics
  • Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials
  • Design and Analysis of Manufacturing

You’ll work alongside expert faculty as you conduct experiments in facilities like the Materials Processing Facility. 

An affordable degree, there are a variety of financial aid opportunities for which you can apply. The WPI Career Development Center is an excellent resource for finding information about finding career opportunities as well as funding for graduate study. There are all kinds of scholarships for graduate students, too, including the famed Gateway Scholarship. In many cases, you may be eligible for Employer Tuition Assistance, too. 

FAQs

What is the most affordable online master’s in material science?

Because there are so many different financial aid opportunities available, there is no single most affordable online master’s in material science. The program that is most affordable for you might not be the most cost-effective for someone else.

Do your research on what sorts of financial aid opportunities might be available to you. Complete the FAFSA the October before you plan to start school and apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and student loans.

Don’t be afraid to apply to both public and private schools. While the sticker price for tuition is an important feature to pay attention to, know that financial aid at private schools can often help make up the difference.

Some of the most affordable online master’s in material science and engineering include those offered by Arizona State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and North Carolina State University. 

What are some masters in material science jobs?

The technical, interpersonal, and IT skills you develop in a materials science and engineering degree will prepare you for a career in a wide variety of sectors. 

The most obvious position is one as a materials engineer. As a materials engineer, you will develop, test, and process materials used to create a wide range of products. 

You could also work as a CAD technician or design engineer. As a CAD technician or designer, you will use computer-aided design software to plan projects, do design work, and research codes and standards. 

Some other positions you might want to consider include those as a metallurgist, product or process development scientist, research scientist, technical sales engineer, or even a project or quality manager.  

What is a master’s in material science and engineering salary?

As is the case with most engineering degrees, your salary with a master’s in materials science and engineering will be impressive, to say the least. Let’s look at some of the most popular jobs and their associated salaries to give you an idea.

If you choose to work as a materials engineer, you can expect to earn an average salary of around $95,640 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs are in high demand, too, expected to grow by about 8% before 2030. 

As a CAD designer, you can expect to earn an average salary of around $59,120 also with an expected growth rate of about 8%. And as a research scientist, you could earn up to $126,830 per year! That’s an excellent return on investment. 

What will you learn in a materials science degree?

If you’re intrigued by multiple disciplines such as mechanical engineering, chemistry, and mathematics, then a materials science degree will likely appeal to you. That’s because this is a highly interdisciplinary field that will allow you to explore numerous concepts and ideas. 

You’ll take classes that cover all the materials used in modern industry, from metals to polymers to ceramics, and the techniques that are necessary to process and work with them. You’ll also learn strategies for solving challenges that will enable the technologies of tomorrow. 

How do you apply for an online master’s in material science? 

To be eligible for an online master’s in material science, you’ll need to meet a few basic prerequisites. 

To start, you will usually need to have a bachelor’s degree in materials science or a similar field. If your degree is not in materials science, you will need to have a strong background in engineering, mathematics, and physics.

To prove your abilities in this area, you’ll be asked to submit transcripts from your undergraduate study, generally with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. If you’re a bit below that threshold, that’s okay—you can still get into a program, but you may be asked to meet other requirements.

In addition to transcripts, you will also need to supply GRE test scores. Not all programs require the GRE, but it’s a good idea to take it just in case. It’s a challenging test, but with the proper preparation, you can get the score you want to earn. 

Of course, you’ll also need to provide documents such as letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume. In some cases, you may have to complete an interview, too. In any event, it’s a good idea to start working on your application with plenty of extra time to spare. That way, you’ll have time to ask questions and do further research about whether the online school you’ve chosen is right for you!

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST MASTER’S IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING & BEST MASTER’S IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Affordable Online Master’s in Mechanical Engineering 2022

The field of mechanical engineering is a diverse and exciting one. Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, testing, and maintaining machines that can be found in most industries. 

In our fast-paced modern world, there’s never been more of a demand for STEM graduates to stay on top of the latest technology. The best way to do that is to pursue higher education. 

From automobiles to airplanes to medical devices, it’s easy to see that the work of a mechanical engineer touches just about every area of our lives. You’ll deal with everything from the basic nuts and bolts to large-scale projects like buildings and bridges.

In short, your work as a mechanical engineer will be life-changing.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your lifestyle in order to go back to school. In the past, getting a master’s degree meant quitting your full-time job, moving to a new city, and perhaps foregoing other commitments in order to earn your credentials.

That is no longer the case. Now, you can earn a degree in mechanical engineering right from your own couch.

An online degree offers the same quality and affordability as a traditional, on-campus program. However, since you won’t need to relocate or pay for expenses like transportation and housing, you may find that an online program is even more affordable—and of course, more convenient, too. 

Most courses are offered asynchronously, allowing you to complete your studies whenever you choose (even if it’s early in the morning or late at night!). No more schedule shuffling!

Needless to say, there are countless benefits to earning an online degree. 

Intrigued? You should be. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the 10 most affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering. 

What Are the Best Mechanical Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Georgia Tech

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is a public research university that was founded in 1885. The mechanical engineering degree here is the oldest and most historic at the university—when this university first opened its doors, the mechanical engineering program was the only one it offered!

Today, there are more than 30 different departments focusing on science and technology at this school. However, it is the computer science and engineering programs for which Georgia Tech is the most well-known.

If you’re ready to take a deep dive into the innovative problem-solving techniques you can use to solve complex mechanical engineering challenges, you will want to consider the online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Offered by the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, this program has multiple start dates per year and is offered exclusively online.

You will take core courses such as:

  • Robotics
  • Wind Engineering
  • Experimental Methods
  • Advanced Digital Signal Processing

You’ll be able to choose from a medley of electives to further customize your degree, helping you to stay engaged in your studies and tailor your work to allow you to meet your career goals.

As a student in this program, you will benefit from a variety of resources that will help make online learning easy, convenient, and accessible. From peer tutoring to an extensive library system, this degree truly offers it all.

An affordable program, it features tuition that starts at just $1,100 per credit hour. All classes are three credit hours each, making it easy for you to progress quickly through the curriculum (and without having to spend a ton of money!). You can apply for many types of financial aid, including student loans, employer tuition reimbursement, and much more. 

#2.  Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas A&M

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Texas A&M University-College Station is a public research university located in College Station, TX. Founded in 1876, this school is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. It is also one of the largest, home to a student body of more than 69,000 students that is the second largest in the United States.

It is the only school in the state of Texas to possess designations as a space, sea, and land grant institution. It regularly receives funding from organizations like:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Office of Naval Research

When you enroll at Texas A&M University, you’ll become an “Aggie”—and that’s something that you can definitely be proud of!

The online degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University is ideal for the student who recognizes that distance learning is the most convenient option. It will help you develop strong independent research and learning skills as you discover new ways to solve difficult problems in engineering. A two-year degree, the program is research-intensive and includes lots of advanced coursework.

You’ll take at least 32 semester credit hours as you study topics such as:

  • Advanced Product Design
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Robot Manipulators
  • Engineering Dynamics

You can pursue research with esteemed faculty at the school, examining topics such as energy conversion and combustion, dynamics, vibrations, and acoustics, and rotating machinery as you work in labs like the Center of Innovation in Mechanics for Design.

There’s plenty of time to play in this program, too—it’s not just about the work! You can join a variety of student organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and much more. These organizations offer learners (including those studying from afar!) the opportunity to go on trips, interact with monthly speakers, and network with alumni.

The department, home to about 567 graduate students, is offered at a school that is ranked among the top public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. You’ll be able to connect with leading industry and government employers as a student here, benefitting from vast career resources. Of course, tuition is affordable, too, making it easy for you to earn a degree without taking on tons of student loan debt. 

#3.  Texas Tech University

Texas Tech

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Texas Tech University is a public research institution located in Lubbock, TX. Originally founded as Texas Technological College, it is now one of the largest universities in the state of Texas. It is also one of the most diverse, recognized as a designated Hispanic-serving institution.

It offers more than 150 different programs of study within 13 colleges, along with 60 research institutes and centers. Here, you’ll have outstanding opportunities to explore your potential as an engineer in the lab and beyond. 

The online master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Texas Tech will provide you with a core education in traditional areas like solids and mechanics, dynamics and controls, and thermal sciences and fluid dynamics while also pursuing multidisciplinary research with other departments, too. 

Far from being a cookie-cutter program, this degree comes with multiple options for concentrations, specializations, and customizations. You can choose from a thesis option, a report option, or a coursework option. Depending on the pathway you select, you will complete between 30 and 36 credit hours of study. 

There’s even a combined BS/MS program you can pursue if you’ve yet to complete your undergraduate opportunity. This will let you earn both degrees in just five short years of study! No matter which pathway you select, you’ll take core classes in engineering mathematics, a chosen concentration area, and six credit hours of courses that exist outside of your concentration area. 

Sample classes cover topics in categories such as:

  • Dynamics and Controls
  • Solid Mechanics and Materials
  • Design
  • Thermal Sciences and Fluid Mechanics

Many students choose to pursue internships or cooperative learning in addition to their required courses, too, allowing them to connect with industry partners and gain valuable hands-on experience. 

This affordable program features tuition that starts at just $19,098 for the entire program. In Addition to these low rates, the university offers multiple financial aid opportunities that make it easier than ever to finance your degree. 

#4.  University of Houston

University of Houston

Online Master of Mechanical Engineering

A public research university, the University of Houston is located, as you might expect, in Houston, TX. It is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System and the third-largest school in the state of Texas. It offers more than 282 degree programs within over a dozen academic colleges. 

Of all of the schools on this list, the University of Houston has one of the best and proudest alumni networks. You’ll join a group of more than 260,000 past graduates who are proud of where they came from—and are willing to share their experiences and career connections with future students.

Not only that, but the University of Houston is another cheap university for mechanical engineering. This program will prepare you for roles in government, industry, academia, and more, providing you with the skills you need to solve real-world problems in a practical way. 

Although the traditional version of this program is taught on-campus in the Energy Capital of the World, you’ll gain a lot as an online student, too. You will be able to interact face-to-face via synchronous and asynchronous instruction that exposes you to core courses and research in topics such as:

  • materials science
  • control of dynamical systems
  • applied mechanics
  • biomedical engineering

You can choose from thesis and non-thesis tracks. Either way, you’ll find that the degree is incredibly affordable, with low tuition rates and generous financial aid available.

A 30-credit hour program, it is ranked as one of the best of its kind by U.S. News & World Report. You will be able to take advantage of multiple opportunities for professional development and can even attend on-campus events such as “Weekend U” so you still have the opportunity to connect in real life with your classmates and instructors. 

#5.  University of Florida

UF

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

A public land-grant research university, the University of Florida is located in Gainesville, FL. It was founded in 1853 and offers a variety of programs on-campus as well as online. It is ranked as the sixth-best public university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report

A 30-credit hour program, the online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida is just one of the many engineering degrees available online here. Other majors include industrial and systems engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and engineering, and more. 

There are even certificates available that can help you advance your degree by making it just a little bit more specialized. Certificate options include:

  • hardware and systems security
  • engineering innovation
  • engineering leadership
  • engineering project management
  • transportation operations and planning

You can choose from a thesis- or non-thesis option taking special individualized courses that allow you to better meet your goals. You can choose from interdisciplinary courses that cover topics like Dynamics, Systems, and Control, Solid Mechanics, Design, and Manufacturing, or basic skills that will prepare you for Ph.D. study.

Courses are delivered through UF Edge, a revolutionary system that makes it easy for you to tackle distance learning regardless of whether it’s your first or fifth time as an online student. The classes are exactly the same as the ones taught on campus, except all materials are delivered through the hands-on Canvas e-learning platform.

Best yet, this degree is incredibly affordable. As a Florida resident, you’ll pay just $48.73 per credit hour, with non-residents paying just a little bit more. There are extensive opportunities for financial aid available, including scholarships, grants, loans, and more.

#6.  University of California-Riverside

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The University of California-Riverside is one of ten campuses in the University of California system. It is known for its commitment to research, pioneering groundbreaking discoveries in things like biological pest control, entomology, and more. 

The accelerated online master’s in mechanical engineering at the University of California-Riverside is another one of the best in the country. This program will allow you to explore high-level areas of mechanical engineering like sustainable design, control systems, thermofluid systems, and the practical use of gaseous plasmas. 

This quick program makes it possible for you to graduate in as little as 13 months. The entire curriculum is delivered online with no residency requirement, making it one of the most convenient options for distance learners with other commitments to attend to. You will enjoy flexible admissions with three start dates and be able to choose from six different specializations.

You will take 16 credits of core engineering courses along with 16 specialization credits. You can tailor your program to your area of expertise and participate in four one-credit capstone courses. These capstone courses are meant to serve as a substitute for the residency, allowing you to gain practical, hands-on experience from afar.

Core courses include things like:

  • Engineering in the Global Environment
  • Principles of Engineering Management
  • Technology Innovation and Strategy for Engineers

You can choose from specializations like Plasma-Aided Manufacturing and Materials Processing, Secure and Reliable Control Systems, and Sustainable Product Design. 

This university is one of the best in the country, having been recognized by a number of publications. The engineering school has been regarded within the top 33% of engineering schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, recognized both for its quality academics as well as for its commitment to diversity. 

It is also unique in that it has been selected as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media. It’s one of the best institutions in the country when it comes to providing educational opportunities for veterans and is among the top 20% of all schools that are doing all they can to help military members and veterans. 

An affordable program, it offers an excellent return on investment. The degree boasts an average salary of $80,000 upon graduation, with some graduates earning as much as $130,000. With the experience that you gain by working with faculty experts and industry partners in this program, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job, either!

#7.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh

NC State

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a public land-grant research institution that is the largest in the Carolinas. It forms one of the corners of the Research Triangle with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill producing the other two, making it one of the best in the country when it comes to its commitment to research. 

Not only that, but NC State has quite the reputation to live up to when it comes to distance learning. In fact, this award-winning school has been offering distance education since 1978! Originally a land grant school, the university has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students studying both on-campus and online. 

The online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University at Raleigh is perfect for off-campus students whose schedule, budget, or location does not allow for on-campus enrollment. The courses are identical to those that you might take on campus, requiring 30 credit hours for completion.

You won’t need to complete a thesis, instead completing all of your courses in a more hands-on fashion. You’ll be able to enhance your career opportunities while taking just two courses per semester. Sample courses include:

  • Mechanics of Composite Structures
  • Compressible Fluid Flow
  • Foundations of Fluid Dynamics
  • Metrology for Precision Manufacturing

Ranked sixth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, this online engineering school offers more than a dozen other degrees and certificate programs for you to choose from. Popular graduate certificates that can help you expand the reach of your graduate degree include:

  • materials informatics
  • nuclear nonproliferation science and policy
  • computer science

As a graduate student, you will benefit from low tuition rates (made even lower if you happen to be a North Carolina resident). Of course, there’s plenty of financial aid to apply for, too, including scholarships and monthly payment plans. 

Colorado State

#8.  Colorado State University-Fort Collins 

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Colorado State University-Fort Collins is a public land-grant university located in Fort Collins, CO. The flagship university of the state university system, it is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity.”

In fact, on average, this school spends more than $375 million per year on research and development, with graduates including astronauts, CEOs, politicians, and even Pulitzer Prize winners.

Despite the academic caliber, affordability is key. You will find yet another cheap online master’s at Colorado State University-Fort Collins. This degree will help you take your training to a new level. A practitioner-oriented degree, this Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering will help you develop strong skills in advanced analysis along with detailed knowledge of material properties. 

You’ll be able to hone your skills in manufacturing, advanced composite materials, mechanical design, metals and alloys, and more. 

The skills you build in this program can be applied directly to mechanical engineering as well as to work in a variety of other fields, such as healthcare aerospace, automotive design, renewable energy, and manufacturing materials. A flexible program, it will allow you to watch recorded campus-based lectures, engage in course content, and interact with peers online. All courses are asynchronous, meaning you can study at the time that best fits your schedule. 

You will be required to take specific core courses but you can also choose electives that align with specific career goals—12 credit hours’ worth, in fact! Core classes include:

  • Metals and Alloys
  • Reliability Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Simulation Modeling and Experimentation

You will learn from expert faculty who incorporate their own innovative research into the curriculum. 

An affordable program, it features tuition that starts at just $964 per credit hour. Financial aid is available for this fully online program, which can be completed in less than two years.

#9.  The University of Alabama

University of Alabama T

Online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The University of Alabama, also known simply as Bama, is a public research university located in Tuscaloosa, AL. Established in 1820, it is one of the oldest and largest public universities in the state of Alabama.

It offers hundreds of programs of study in more than a dozen different divisions and is home to the only publicly supported law school in the state. Of course, its engineering programs are quite remarkable as well.

The online Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama is another one that is offered exclusively online for distance learners. It is identical to the on-campus degree program with applications accepted year-round.

You will work closely with faculty as you conduct research and study topics such as:

  • CAD design energy
  • combustion
  • conservation and management
  • HVA
  • precision engineering turbomachinery

It does not require the completion of a thesis, instead requiring the completion of a comprehensive exam. 

The degree is ranked as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is also highly regarded for its services for veterans. You’ll complete 30-credit hours of study and tailor your courses to meet your interests and career goals. Concentration areas include things like:

  • vibrations
  • robotics
  • structural mechanics
  • renewable and sustainable energy
  • mechatronics

Best yet, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to enroll in this program, either. Tuition starts at just $440 per credit hour with generous financial aid available for qualifying students. There are several scholarships specifically for distance learners, such as Build on Bama, the Bama Link Grant, and the College of Continuing Studies Scholarship. 

Iowa State

#10.  Iowa State University 

Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree Online

Iowa State University, officially known as Iowa State University of Science and Technology, is the largest school in the state. It is a public land-grant research institution that was uniquely coeducational from the start. Founded in 1858, the school has nearly 300 different degrees for students to choose from.

Of these, many are offered entirely online. The school is classified as one of the “R1: Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification and is highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its engineering specialties. 

You will find another best-value online master’s in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University. This 30-credit hour program is a coursework-only professional degree that is perfectly suited for working professionals and individuals who are looking for a bit more flexibility in their degrees.

You’ll take core courses such as:

  • Material and Manufacturing Considerations in Design
  • Mechanical Behavior and Manufacturing of Polymers and Composites
  • Creativity and Imagination for Engineering and Design

If you choose, you can even pursue an additional graduate certificate, such as one in Advanced Manufacturing. Double-majoring in another field of interest or participating in independent study is another option. 

As a full-time student, you will be able to complete your studies in as little as one year. Although students in this program are not considered for graduate assistantships, you will be able to access affordable tuition that starts at just $5,070 per semester for graduate students. 

FAQs

What is the most affordable online master’s in mechanical engineering?

When it comes to financing a degree, the reality is that no two students will pay exactly the same price at every single school. There are lots of factors that go into determining the cost of attendance, including the “sticker price” tuition rate, additional fees, a student’s financial background, and what sorts of scholarships they apply for. 

However, the schools listed above offer affordable tuition and generous financial aid, two characteristics that contributed to their inclusion in this ranking. You’ll also find affordable master’s in mechanical engineering at schools like the University of New Mexico, Kennesaw State University, Mississippi State University, and Old Dominion University, to name a few.

While public schools generally offer programs with lower overall tuition rates, that’s certainly not always the case. In fact, many students at private universities will find that they end up paying less than they would at a public school because of the extra financial aid.

Look into all financial aid opportunities that might be available to you. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) early, as early as the October of the year before you plan to start school. Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for any need-based financial aid, it’s important to leave no stone unturned in your search! 

How do I get into the best online mechanical engineering master’s program?

If you’re planning on applying to a master of science in engineering program, it’s a good idea to touch base with the schools to which you plan to apply. Each university has different requirements and while they are usually similar, it pays to do your research. 

Typically, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (or a closely related field) from an ABET-accredited program. If you don’t have a background in mechanical engineering, don’t panic. Many schools will still admit you, but you may need to complete prerequisite coursework in things like material science, engineering mechanics, or thermodynamics before beginning your core courses. 

Often, a minimum GPA is cited as a requirement—typically a 3.0 or higher. You may be required to take the GRE or other diagnostic tests. Plan to submit documents such as official transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and a personal statement.

What will I learn in a best-value online master’s in mechanical engineering?

Just as the admissions requirements differ between schools, so, too, does the curriculum. Each mechanical engineering program is a bit different. 

Most programs require between 30 and 36 credit hours of study. You may have to complete a thesis, final exam, or capstone. You might take classes in things like:

  • mechanical engineering analysis fluid dynamics
  • dynamic systems and controls
  • materials processing and mechanics

The beauty of most online master’s in mechanical engineering degrees is that they allow you to customize your studies to an area of interest. This is something you may not have been able to do as an undergraduates student, instead having to follow a prescribed set of courses. As a grad student, though, you’ll be able to explore the topics that interest you most, allowing you to take your career to the next level.

Is an online master’s in mechanical engineering worth it? 

Absolutely. There are so many reasons to consider getting an online master’s in mechanical engineering. With just a couple of years of study, you can advance your career prospects and expand your professional network. You’ll open the door to countless new job opportunities and build your confidence as a professional in this industry, too.

The pay alone is worth the effort it takes to get a master’s—something we’ll discuss in more detail below—but also consider the intrinsic benefits of doing so. You’ll be able to participate in research and invent new things to advance existing technologies. You’ll develop real-world expertise and enjoy a wonderful job outlook. 

Plus, the field of mechanical engineering is a broad one, enabling you to pursue work in a variety of career paths such as aerospace engineering, petroleum engineering, surveying, and much more.   

How much do mechanical engineers with a master’s make?

The time has never been better to become a mechanical engineer! Job prospects are best for candidates who stay apprised of the latest technology. So while you can get a job with just a bachelor’s degree, you’re going to have much better odds of landing a high-paying position with that master’s degree.

Mechanical engineering is a broad field, meaning you can work as a mechanical engineer or pursue work in fields like:

  • communications
  • bioengineering
  • automotives
  • aerospace engineering

Because of this, the pay tends to be varied.

As a mechanical engineer, you can expect to earn an average annual salary of $90,160 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook is excellent for these jobs, too, expected to see a growth of about 7% by 2030. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST AFFORDABLE ONLINE MASTER’S IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING & BEST MASTER’S IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor

10 Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 2022

Want to become the best possible computer engineer you can possibly be? If so, you might want to consider earning an online master’s in computer engineering.

Sure, you can get a great job by earning just a bachelor’s degree. But why stop there? A master’s will provide you with the skills you need to work on more advanced projects, earn a higher salary, lead others, and become a true innovator. If you want to get ahead in your career, advancing your education is the best way to do so.

There’s never been a better time to pursue a graduate degree in computer engineering. From smart cities to autonomous vehicles and everything in between, a degree in computer engineering will enable you to make a major impact both behind your computer screen and beyond. 

You’ll learn the skills you need to innovate micro-technologies as well as those that will make a global impact. As our devices and systems become “smarter” and more complex, there’s a huge demand for professionals who know how to advance technologies to change the world. 

No matter where your interests lie in hardware and software applications, a degree in computer engineering is the right choice. A bachelor’s degree in this discipline is a great starting point—it will make it possible for you to study up-to-date industry trends and technologies in things like robotics, machine learning, data science management, and artificial intelligence. 

However, only a master’s degree will truly enable you to hone in on these unique areas and focus on the aspects of computer engineering that interest you most. You’ll conduct hands-on research in state-of-the-art laboratories and work alongside some of the brightest minds in the field.

Many graduate students participate in experiences like study abroad, research, fellowships and teaching assistantships, and much more. Where will you let your studies take you?

When you earn a master’s degree in computer engineering, the sky’s the limit. Plus, since so many programs are now available online, there’s never been a better time to pursue your studies. 

Without a doubt, there’s likely one major question that’s lingering in the back of your mind. Is an online degree right for me?

For the vast majority of learners, an online degree is not only as good as a traditional, on-campus program, but it’s better. Far better, in fact, when you consider the flexibility and affordability afforded to you by such a program of study.

When you choose to study online, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience. Most graduate schools offer online programs that are identical to their on-campus counterparts. You don’t have to settle for a cut-rate degree to gain the flexibility of living and learning from home. Instead, you’ll be able to work with the same world-class faculty and study the same topics that you would on campus.

Many online programs even allow similar options for hands-on activities like study abroad and research!

So what are you waiting for? With all these reasons to consider an online master’s in computer engineering, there should be nothing holding you back—besides finding the perfect program, that is. Don’t worry. For that, we’ve got you covered.

What Are the Best Computer Engineering Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. University of Florida

Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

UF

A public university founded in 1853, the University of Florida is just a couple of miles from downtown Gainesville. Its unique location has made it a hotbed of student activity. Here, you can participate in NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference athletics (you’ll be cheered on by the quirky Albert and Alberta the Alligators mascots) or partake in the infamous Gator Nights. 

However, you don’t have to study on-campus to benefit from all this activity, innovation, and academia. The university also has many well-regarded graduate programs through the Warrington College of Business, the Levin College of Law, and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, among others, available entirely online.

This best Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering is referred to simply as ECE EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) at the University of Florida. It’s an innovative program that features the same quality, hands-on instruction from preeminent educators that you would get in a traditional program on-campus. 

You’ll take 30 credits, or ten 3-credit courses, entirely online. You can specialize in outside fields such as computer science, innovation, entrepreneurship, or other areas of engineering, too. Even if you aren’t fully committed to the decision to study online, this one is an excellent choice. There are on-campus and hybrid options you can turn to if you change your mind. 

The curriculum includes in-demand courses such as:

  • Image Processing and Computer Vision
  • Stochastic Methods for Engineering
  • Hands-on Hardware Security
  • Foundations of Digital Signal Processing

You can even pursue an additional certificate in things like hardware and systems security, microsystem technology, or machine learning. This is an affordable, highly customizable Electrical and Computer Engineering program that’s right for just about anyone. 

#2.  Texas A&M University 

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Texas A&M

You’ll find one of the best master’s for computer engineers at Texas A&M University. This school is a public institution that was founded in 1876. Enroll here and you’ll become an Aggie, a proud distinction that’s held by thousands of alumni all around the world. As an Aggie, you’ll have access to more than 1000 clubs and organizations, including more than four dozen different fraternities and sororities. 

You will also be able to study in some of the most highly ranked graduate offerings in the nation. Texas A&M is well known as a research institution and has a variety of unique programs, including the only school of veterinary medicine in this state. Of course, this is also where you will find one of the top computer engineering programs, too.

This top Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering is available both on-campus as well as online. It is ranked as one of the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report and all classes are small and taught by Ph.D.-level instructors. The faculty here have won dozens of government awards, including NSF Career recognitions. 

In addition to core courses, you’ll be able to pursue areas of focus in your coursework and research. These in-demand areas include robotics and human-robot interaction, graphics, visualization and computational fabrication, parallel and distributed computing, and much more. 

#3.  Florida International University 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering 

Florida International University

Located in Miami, FL, Florida International University is a school that truly surpasses its borders. Although most students will take classes in North Miami, the university also has a campus in West Miami-Dade County as well as one that’s accessible fully online. 

This school has a reputation for breaking down barriers that are both tangible and invisible. IT is one of the most diverse schools in the nation, with a student body that is more than 60% Hispanic students. As a result of this diversity (and a myriad of other factors, including its affordability and quality academics), Florida International is ranked as a Best Value School, a Best College for Veterans, and a top National University by U.S. News & World Report

The online master’s in computer engineering here will give you the skills you need to become an industry leader—and you can do it all within just ten months. You’ll take core classes in topics like ethical hacking, network security, malware analysts, forensics, and more, while also earning a specialization in network security.

The curriculum of this program is under constant revision, with industry professionals weighing in regularly so that the skills and knowledge you acquire will always be in demand. You’ll learn from engineering faculty members who are leaders in the field and be able to pursue the most in-demand professional certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker, Network+, and Security+.

Florida International is one of the few schools in the country that has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. You will complete 30 credit hours of study and pay tuition and fees that are among the lowest in the country—an average of just $25,000 for the entire program. 

#4.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh 

Online Master’s in Computer Engineering

NC State

Sometimes referred to simply as NC State, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is the largest four-year college in the state. You’ll be able to choose from more than 100 majors here, but some of the best are found within the highly-ranked engineering school.

The university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top national university as well as a best value school and a best college for veterans. These rankings serve as testaments to the school’s quality, affordability, and academic prestige. This inexpensive computer engineering degree is available both online as well as on-campus and is designed for candidates who already possess backgrounds in engineering. 

You’ll take classes in everything from networking to very-large-scale integration (VLSI) systems. It’s a 30 credit hour program that does not require the completion of a thesis. You can take classes on a full- or part-time basis and will be paired with an academic advisor when you apply. 

The best part? This program is highly affordable. You’ll pay the same tuition as on-campus students, with credit hour charges capped at a full-time courseload. There are plenty of financial aid opportunities available for this cheapest Online Master’s in Computer Engineering, too, including grants and loans.

#5.  Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Georgia Tech

A public institution founded in 1885, Georgia Institute of Technology is home to the Yellow Jackets, an NCAA Division I team that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But that’s not all there is to “buzz” about! This school also has some of the best and most research-oriented programs in the United States.

Home to six colleges, Georgia Tech has a number of highly ranked graduate schools, including the Scheller College of Business and the College of Engineering. This program will allow you to pursue advanced technical interest areas like:

  • digital signal processing
  • electromagnetics
  • microsystems
  • systems and controls

It includes 30 credit hours of study with courses offered in all three terms (spring, fall, and summer). You can complete your degree in as little as one year if you choose to take classes during all terms. As a student here, you’ll have access to all kinds of academic and financial support services, including advising, career services, fellowships, health services, tutoring, a women’s resource center, and more. 

This top online Master’s in Computer Engineering program includes both thesis- and non-thesis pathways, making it a good option for the student interested in academia as well as the one who wishes to enter directly into the workforce. There is even a joint degree that makes it easy to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s in just five years of study. 

#6.  Iowa State University 

Online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering 

Iowa State

Iowa State University is located in the small town of Ames, IA. Just half an hour from Des Moines, this tiny city is the perfect location for students who are interested in a quiet, more laidback campus vibe. However, if you’d rather study from your own city, you can do that, too, since Iowa State offers many of its quality graduate programs exclusively and fully online.

The online master of engineering in computer engineering is just one example of all that this school has to offer. Designed for the student who already has a background in computer engineering, this computer engineering master’s degree is available 100% online and is perfect for working professionals who want to get ahead in their careers without having to sacrifice their day jobs (or their sanity). 

You’ll need to have a 3.0 GPA to apply, but once you get in, you’ll find that this top online Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering program is the perfect fit. You will complete a total of 30 credit hours of coursework with the option to complete a variety of independent study courses. Both thesis and non-thesis pathways are available. 

The classes you take will vary depending on which electives and specializations you pursue. However, most students will take courses such as:

  • Optical Communication Networks
  • Fault-Tolerant Systems
  • Wireless and Sensor Networks

You have the option of pursuing a practicum in cybersecurity or participating in an engineering internship.

Of course, you can’t overlook this best computer engineering school’s reputation for research, either. As a student in this program, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to conduct hands-on research of your own.

#7.  The University of Texas at Austin

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

University of Texas Austin

With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 18:1, you can’t beat the kind of hands-on attention you’ll get at the University of Texas at Austin. This top electrical and computer engineering school, located in Austin, TX and founded in 1883, is one of the largest schools in the nation yet has a small-town charm and uniqueness all its own. Here, you’ll learn from prestigious faculty with impressive industry backgrounds—yet you’ll always feel as though your instructors are personally invested in your success.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to succeed and grow, both as a professional and as an individual. In addition to your classroom experiences, you’ll be able to participate in more than 1000 clubs and organizations and hundreds of different research and study abroad programs.

The University of Texas at Austin is home to one of the best computer engineering schools, with many of its courses offered entirely online. The program is highly interdisciplinary, allowing you to pursue one of nine different academic tracks. If none of the tracks interest you, you can complete your electives by taking courses in other departments at the university, too.

You’re sure to find the courses that will help you meet your goals at the University of Texas at Austin such as:

  • architecture
  • computer systems
  • embedded systems
  • electromagnetics and acoustics
  • power electronics and power systems
  • software engineering and systems

The department has many other integrated, hands-on programs in computer engineering you can pursue, too. Alternatives include a Ph.D. in computer engineering, a professional master’s in software engineering, and an integrated BSEE/MS for students who have yet to earn their undergraduate degrees but are interested in earning both a bachelor’s and master’s in as little time as possible. 

#8.  Florida Atlantic University 

Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Florida Atlantic University

Founded in 1961, Florida Atlantic University is a public institution that’s ranked as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It has received accolades and recognition for being one of the top public schools and national universities while also being one of the top performers on social mobility, according to this ranking publication.

Class sizes are small, with an average student-to-faculty ratio of just 21:1. As an engineering graduate student, you’ll be able to interact closely with your instructors as you pursue opportunities for research, travel, internships, and more. 

Although the Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Florida Atlantic is an excellent precursor to the Master of Science in Computer Engineering here, you don’t have to have attended FAU as an undergrad in order to apply. You’ll just need a 3.0 GPA and a background in computer science.  However, there is a 4+1 program available if that’s what you’re looking for.

The Master of Science on its own is enough to prepare you for the career of your dreams. You’ll gain the skills you need to work as a computer systems architect, or cryptographic engineer, network engineer, or even a robotics engineer (among many other career opportunities). You’ll build a solid background in software development, computer architecture, embedded systems, machine learning, and more. 

In total, you will complete 30 credit hours of study. You can choose from both thesis and non-thesis options, depending on your career goals and background.

#9.  University of South Carolina-Columbia

Online Master of Science in Computer Engineering 

U of SC

The University of South Carolina-Columbia, located in Columbia, SC, has a reputation for its quality academics and vibrant student life. Just a few hours from the cities of Charlotte and Charleston, this school also has an exceptional online campus where you can take enough classes to complete your entire degree.

The online Master of Science In Computer Engineering is just one of the many research-focused programs here. In fact, the university operates a number of research centers including:

  • Center for Digital Humanities
  • Center for Colon Cancer Research
  • Center for GIS and Remote Sensing

It’s one of the best institutions to consider if your professional aspirations lie in academia.

Available on campus as well as online, the master of science in computer engineering is designed for the student who wants to gain a competitive advantage in the job market. There are thesis- and non-thesis options available. All students will take courses in things like:

  • advances in computing
  • analysis of algorithms
  • computer architecture
  • advanced digital design

You’ll also be able to take electives in topics such as robotics, computer networks, and parallel computing.

You can easily tailor your electives and research to your specific interests, making it possible for you to strengthen your computer engineering skills and to apply those skills to various areas of industry. Multiple areas of specialization are available, including those in neuromorphic computing, nanoscale electronics, mobile computing, and wireless networking, and the internet of things. 

An affordable engineering program, this degree is offered with low tuition rates and plenty of generous financial aid opportunities. You’ll be supported throughout every step of your journey by professionals such as career coaches, peer mentors, and advisors. You can join an engineering or computing club like the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Women in Computing, or Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the Honor Society for Computing and Information Disciplines. 

#10.  University of Michigan-Dearborn

Online Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Engineering 

University of Michigan Dearborn

The University of Michigan-Dearborn was founded in 1956 on land that was donated by Ford Motor Company. In fact, the Henry Ford Estate is located on the campus and is considered a national historic landmark. 

The school’s enterprising and inspiring origins carry through to all of its programs both on-campus and off. This school offers innovative programs of study in more than 60 different fields (including master’s in about thirty). Among them is one of the top computer engineering online master’s programs in the nation. 

A 30-credit hour program, the computer engineering program consists of technical electives and required core courses. All of these courses will provide you with hands-on experience in high-performance workstations, computers, and microprocessor-based systems.

You’ll have plenty of flexibility in how you choose to complete your studies. You can complete your courses on campus, entirely online, or through a blended format. Core classes include:

  • computer networks
  • operating systems
  • reconfigurable computing computer architecture

Not only that, but you can customize your degree by adding a specialization. Available options include intelligent systems, multimedia engineering, networks and communications, computer architecture and design, and multimedia engineering.

FAQ

What will I learn in a computer engineering online master’s program?

The course requirements for a master’s in computer engineering online master’s program will vary. However, most require anywhere between 30 and 50 reidt hours of coursework (if you don’t have a background in computer engineering, most schools will require that you take additional credits to provide you with the foundational training you need first). 

You’ll take courses covering topics such as:

  • network and computer security
  • real world computing
  • machine learning
  • robotics
  • natural language processing
  • information management
  • cybersecurity
  • software systems

Often, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of specializations as well. Available specializations vary depending on the institution but may include things like:

  • software engineering
  • cybersecurity
  • data analytics
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer networks

Through your courses, both required and elective, you’ll gain a solid foundation in programming and computing skills so that you can pursue an advanced computing or research-based profession. If you want to pursue a Ph.D. after earning your master’s, it’s a good idea to select a master’s degree that will require you to complete a thesis track. This will help you gain more academic writing and research experience. 

Is a Master’s in computer engineering worth it?

Without a doubt, earning a master’s in computer engineering is worth the time, money, and effort The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates an estimated growth of more than 10% for most professions in the computer and information technology sector within the next ten years.

A bachelor’s degree is a great place to start, but a master’s degree will serve as a valuable stepping stone that will help you move into a management position or higher-level (and higher-paying) career. 

Not only will a master’s degree take your studies to the next level, allowing you to hone in on an area of interest in greater detail, but it will also enable you to gain more hands-on experience. You’ll be able to work with real-world technologies and techniques (often with actual companies in the tech industry) to build your skills and practice what you’ve learned in the classroom in a more realistic setting. 

You’ll also be able to tap into a professional network that will serve you well as you are looking for a job and building your career. You will be learning among some of the best and brightest minds in the world, after all!

What can I do with a master’s in computer engineering?

The field of computer engineering is one that is rapidly growing. Within the next decade, hundreds of thousands of jobs are expected to be created, all of which are high-paying and incredibly lucrative.

One job you might pursue is as a computer network architect. In this kind of career, you will build networks that a company can use to transmit and relay information. Another option is to work as a computer systems analyst, which will let you work to improve the ways that a company uses technology.

Working as a database administrator is another option. In this role, you’ll be responsible for managing an organization’s computer systems for storing and managing data. You might also work to protect the data from security threats, particularly if you have a background in cybersecurity. 

Other jobs you might pursue are information systems manager, information research scientist, network administrator, software developer, and more. These jobs are flexible and diverse and can be found just about anywhere. Many graduates work on a freelance basis and remember, you don’t have to work for a tech company. There are lots of industries (just about all of them, in fact) that need computer professionals to function, including healthcare, manufacturing, and education. 

What are the various master’s in computer engineering specializations?

If you’re interested in a specific field of computer engineering, it’s a smart idea to choose a master’s degree that will allow you to pursue a specialization. Some common choices include:

  • cybersecurity
  • artificial intelligence
  • software engineering
  • systems creation
  • data analytics

Each school varies in terms of what it offers.

Besides pursuing a specialization, something that’s required for most master’s degrees in computer engineering, there are other ways you can boost your potential career earnings, too. You might want to pursue an industry certification.

Industry certifications will demonstrate that you are committed to the field and to becoming better at whatever it is you choose to specialize in. You can earn certifications in things like:

  • Risk And Information Control
  • Information Systems Security Professional
  • Information Security Manager

Many of the programs profiled in this ranking include pathways for you to earn these certifications prior to graduation. 

What is a master’s in computer engineering salary?

Pursue a master’s degree in computer engineering and trust us—you won’t have to worry about paying back your student loans. Professionals in this industry make salaries that rank significantly higher than the averages across all other occupations.

As an information systems manager, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you could earn more than $146,360 per year. Become an information research scientist, and you’ll earn around $122,840 per year. Even as a network administrator, one of the lowest-paid positions, you’ll earn a hefty salary of $83,510 per year.

Keep in mind that these are averages for professionals who only possess a basic, entry-level education, too. Earn a master’s degree and your potential earnings could be even higher. Plus, these jobs are in high demand, with career paths among the fastest-growing in the country. Positions for information security analysts are expected to grow at a rate of 31%. You won’t have a hard time finding a job once you graduate, that’s for sure!

What is the best online master’s in computer engineering—no GRE required?

Admissions requirements for an online master’s in computer engineering vary based on the university, but most tend to be similar to those held by on-campus institutions. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. Some universities will accept students with unrelated baccalaureate degrees provided that they complete foundational courses prior to diving into the core curriculum.

Often, you’ll be expected to have a minimum GPA of around 2.5 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You’ll submit transcripts along with supplemental admissions materials such as letters of recommendation, personal essays, and perhaps interviews.

Of course, one of the other requirements (and one that tends to incite the most fear in potential applicants) is a set of scores from the GRE exam. The GRE, or Graduate Records Examination, is required by many graduate schools as a way of comparing applicants to each other and showing that each is well-prepared for the rigors of graduate-level study.

However, more and more schools are now making the completion of this test optional, preferring to gauge candidates based on other factors and criteria instead. Some of the best online master’s in computer engineering no longer require the GRE, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Denver, Villanova University, and more. 

IF YOU ENJOYED THAT THEN CHECK OUT OUR ARTICLES ON THE BEST AFFORDABLE ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE & BEST MASTER’S PROGRAMS IN HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION!

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor