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10 Best Online Masters Programs

master's degree

Are you interested in furthering your studies at accredited universities? If so, here is a list of the 10 best master degree programs that can be completed 100% online.

So grab yourself a coffee and get ready for some virtual learning for your graduate education!

Check out our ranking of the 10 Best Online Master’s Programs! Our editors first reviewed the Best Online Master’s article in November 2019. This ranking was last updated in November 2023.

See Also: 40 Fastest Online Master’s Degree Programs

10 Best Online Masters Programs

Are you ready to learn about the best online master’s degrees to help you meet your goals? Here are 10 of the best online masters programs!

#1. Capital Technology University

Capital Tech

You’ll find the best master online degrees at Capitol Technology University.

This school is just eight miles northeast of Washington, D.C.. Capitol Technology University has 12 online graduate programs. These online master’s degree programs integrate scientific theory with hands-on experience.

CTU is top ranked among other online schools for its online master’s degree plans in engineering, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Here, students have the opportunity to study for Master of Science degrees in:

  • Aviation
  • Aviation Cybersecurity
  • Construction Safety
  • Cyber Analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Engineering Technology
  • Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Policy
  • Risk Management

There are also some of the best masters online in business, including in:

  • Administration
  • Administration Cybersecurity
  • Business Analytics and Data Science

All online programs have between 30 and 60 credits. Most of these best masters online requirements are on the lower end of that scale. These online master’s degree programs often include research projects.

Students can also choose to pursue internships that may count toward course credits for certain online master’s degree programs. 

These programs take as little as 18 months on a full-time schedule. Students may take up to six years on a part-time schedule.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

When it comes to online schooling in engineering and computing, there aren’t many that can top the Missouri University of Science and Technology!

Students can earn a master’s degree with ease and without having to meet any residency requirements. They can study from anywhere in the world, even in the middle of the night, if they want.

MUST has 15 reputable online masters programs. Many of these are ranked at the national level, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Some of the graduate programs MUST offers online include:

  • Engineering
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Engineering
  • Technical Communications
  • Geotechnics
  • Psychology
  • Explosives Technology
  • Computers

The faculty is flexible when it comes to coursework in these best online masters degrees. They know that most students work full-time. They are willing to arrange in advance specific times to hold live sessions or conferences with students during the semester.

Students have up to six years to complete a graduate degree once enrolled. Most students take one to two classes per semester in a master’s degree online. This gives them an average completion time of three to four years.

Transcripts and diplomas for online students are identical to those who attend classes on campus. In addition to MUST’s 17 master’s degree programs, there are more than 50 graduate certificate programs available.

A majority of MUST’s online students are adult learners over the age of 22. These are students who are looking to enhance their professional careers by taking classes at online schools. 

Applicants should also hold a bachelor’s degree from either MUST or another  institution with regional accreditation. MUST has over 8,000 students and was ranked by Newsweek as one of the country’s Best Investments among public universities.



This one of the best online schools for a master’s degree is just a few miles from downtown San Francisco.

This is a well-respected state university with a lot to offer on campus. It’s also one of the best online schools to earn a master’s.

UC Berkeley ranks in the top 10 for its best master degree programs online in:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • History
  • Law 
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Statistics
  • Public Affairs
  • Mathematics
  • Earth Sciences

In all programs, at least part, if not all, of the curriculum can be completed through the UC Berkeley Extension.

The school is home to 20 Nobel Prize winners, 30 National Medal of Science recipients, and 250 professors who are also the founders of their own companies.

It has a number of facilities on campus like:

  • multidisciplinary labs
  • research centers
  • museums
  • institutes for research and development


San Jose State

Another top state university at which to pursue a best online master’s degree is San Jose State University.

This state university wants to help students learn how to use the skills they’ve learned to make a positive difference with service to society.

SJSU ranks high on the list of Top Public Schools and Most Innovative Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

San Jose State University offers several hybrid master’s degrees that can be completed 100% online. Among them are:

  • a Master of Arts in Music Education
  • a Master of Science in Medical Product Development Management
  • a Master of Public Health
  • a Master of Science in Software Engineering
  • a Master of Social Work

Most all of the master’s degrees online can be completed in two years. They offer a fast-paced program to obtain a degree in a short amount of time.

Faculty expect students to have software that can support video and web conferencing (Zoom) as well as virtual and augmented reality education. This is part of the newest technology being used in master’s degree programs.

Professors often hold live sessions with students in addition to uploading lectures and lessons for the online programs.


Arizona State

There are 493 classrooms spread across the Arizona State University’s campuses. But by studying for a Master of Business Administration online, you can take courses in the “494th classroom.” That is, you can complete one of the best online master’s in business right in your own home.

ASU’s online MBA is one of just 80 available master’s degrees, and it’s truly one of the best in the country.

ASU ranks at the top of the list for the Master of Business Administration compared to other online schools. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report.

The 24-month Master of Business Administration program includes 17 courses and 49 semester credits. Each class in a master’s degree is 7.5 weeks long.

The award-winning faculty at ASU makes a point of conveying leadership skills. A primary goal of the Master of Business Administration, as well as other online master’s at this school, is in improving students’ knowledge of advanced business strategies.

Students also learn cutting-edge techniques and methods for strategic management and operational functions.

The Master of Business Administration program includes emphases in:

  • finance
  • international business
  • marketing
  • supply chain management

Among the faculty teaching these online courses in this master’s degree are one Nobel laureate and several National Academy of Science members.

With an MBA, students can set themselves up for a career as a:

  • chief executive
  • financial manager
  • marketing manager
  • business operations manager


NC State

Home to several of the best online master’s degrees, North Carolina State University was founded with the purpose of providing students a liberal and practical education. At the same time, these online master’s programs focus on military tactics/science, agriculture, and the mechanical arts.

To that end, NCSU is one of the best online schools to consider if you want a master’s degree that will prepare you for a rewarding career.

An online MBA from NCSU is ideal for working professionals. Students can study at their own pace and take control of their futures. In this broad university system, some online programs may even allow students to graduate in as little as one year.

NCSU’s MBA Online Program is ranked among the best online master’s in business in the nation. That’s according to The Princeton Review. The university is also ranked as one of the best online master’s in the list of Best Value Among Public Universities. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report.

The master’s degrees are taught by award-winning faculty. Students can opt to take the Accelerated Program, if they want to finish their studies in as few as 21 months. Or they can choose the Flexible Program. This delivery format is a part-time degree pathway that allows up to six years finish.

Online master’s programs in these online schools can be started in the fall or spring. Work can be completed where students are most comfortable.

For this master’s degree, there are two 3-day residencies required on campus in Raleigh. These in person classes are meant to give distance learners some hands on experience in fields like communication and networking.

But outside of those, all learning can be completed from a distance. These courses for students enrolled online are more or less self paced.

As part of the 40-credit curriculum, students complete a combination of core, elective, and practicum courses. It’s important to note these online programs charge tuition on a per credit basis.


Villanova University

Like other online schools, this university offers online master’s programs with a flexible delivery format.

Villanova University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in America. And it’s one of the most respected!

The School of Business ranks as one of the best online schools for business in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

It provides its online students the same rigorous and quality curriculum taught by the same expert faculty that serves its on-campus students. Yet the delivery format of the master’s degree online is self paced and flexible.

These online programs charge tuition on a per credit basis.

The six-semester program takes just two years to complete with a full-time schedule. It requires the completion of 48 semester credits. The program is rigorous and is taught by business professionals. Many of them work in the industry and teach part-time.

The MBA online graduate program includes the option for distance learners to choose a specialization in:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Management
  • Analytics
  • International Business

The fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long. The summer is just a bit shorter, at 14 weeks. MBA distance learners also have the opportunity to travel abroad for credit. According to Villanova’s website, 55% of MBA students travel globally with the program.

Typical Villanova students report a 25% increase in their salary after earning an online master’s in business. With this online graduate degree, students can also pursue leadership positions.


Auburn University

Auburn University is one of the best online schools in the country and is located in Alabama.

The online MBA is top ranked among the Best MBA Programs in the Country. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report.

Auburn’s online master’s program in business gives students the competitive edge they need to succeed in a competitive business environment.

This accredited online master’s relies on the online system Canvas. It offers a flexible delivery format for working professionals. From the luxury of their own home, students can:

  • navigate through modules
  • submit lessons and homework
  • communicate with their professors and classmates
  • access all course materials

The accredited online master’s in business has nine core courses and four electives. The degree takes an average of two years to finish. By studying online, students can work at their own speed and take courses on either a full- or part-time basis.  

Along with an MBA, students can pursue a dual Master of Science degree in one of the following degree programs:

  • Information Systems
  • Finance
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering

Students can also choose a concentration in Finance or Information Systems for their online master’s programs. After completing the accredited online master’s , students can join one of Auburn’s 93 alumni clubs. These are spread throughout the nation and represent more than 250,000 graduates. 


Texas A&M

Texas A&M University, in College Station, TX, is the state’s oldest higher education institution. This university system is well-known for its student organizations.

Its accredited online master’s programs offer the same level of education as their on-campus counterparts. Like the in person classes, these online master’s degree programs allow working professionals to study at their own pace.

Texas A&M is top ranked by The Wall Street Journal’s list of Top Public Universities. The university also ranks high among the Best Graduate Engineering Programs. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report

The Master of Engineering Program is the school’s most popular accredited online master’s program with 10 separate emphasis areas, including:

  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Technical Management
  • Safety Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Subsea Engineering
  • Engineering Systems Management
  • Industrial Distribution
  • Petroleum Engineering

These online learning programs provide students with all the relevant software tools they need to navigate through the coursework.

Courses in the online learning programs programs are taught by well-trained and experienced faculty. These instructors provide students with rigorous coursework to maximize their potential learning. They prepare them for the working world following graduation. Often, programs may allow students to graduate in as little as one year!

In addition to engineering, Texas A&M offers distance higher education degrees in fields like:

  • Geosciences
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Business, Education and Human Development
  • Government and Public Service
  • Nursing
  • Medicine
  • Science
  • Law


Georgia Tech

This institution of higher education is located in the heart of Atlanta. Georgia Tech has graduated notables such as:

  • former President Jimmy Carter
  • pro golfer Bobby Jones
  • entrepreneur Dean Kamen
  • astronaut William McArthur

Georgia Tech ranks in the top 10 in many categories when it comes to accolades. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is on the list of:

  • Most Innovative Schools
  • Top Public Schools
  • Most Co-Ops and Internships
  • Best Graduate Programs in Engineering
  • Best Graduate Programs in Information Systems

Almost all of its engineering concentrations rank in the top 10. The school is well-known for having one of the best, if not the best, engineering schools and faculty in the nation.

By studying at one of Georgia Tech’s online schools, students reap the benefits of its rigorous and high-quality coursework. These online master’s programs are taught by world-class faculty.

Prospective students get to learn using the latest state-of-the-art technology using media-rich and digital learning tools. These are tools that many other universities just don’t yet have.

Georgia Tech offers 10 online Master of Science degrees, all of which are 100% online with a convenient delivery format for working professionals.

They all are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The six colleges in which students can enroll and explore online degrees as graduate students include:

  • Business
  • Design
  • Computing
  • Engineering
  • Liberal Arts
  • Design

Most online students earn a degree in two years. These online master’s programs have a flexible delivery format. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis and financial aid is available. 

How to Choose the Best Online Masters Program for Your Needs

You’ve decided to pursue an online master’s degree. Congratulations! That’s the first step you need to take in order to take your career to the next level. But now you have some important questions to ask yourself to find the right school and program. Ask yourself the following as you begin searching for a school.

What Do You Want to Major In?

There are master’s programs out there for everyone. And the same is true for online master’s degrees! You just need to figure out what you are most interested. That said, here are some of the most popular online master’s programs:

  • Public Administration
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Information Systems Management
  • Public Health
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Computer Science

Do You Want to Be Fully or Partially Enrolled Online?

Do you want to be enrolled full time or part time? There’s also a hybrid program, which is a delivery format in which some classes are offered on campus.

This may be better for students who need more hands-on instruction in certain areas.

That said, 100% online programs can give students more freedom and flexibility. It all depends on what your goals are for your education and how much time you want to devote to it.

What Does Tuition Cost Per Credit and How Many Credits Will You Take?

Tuition can vary from school to school. It’s important to do your research and compare prices between different schools and online programs. Pay attention to both the cost per credit hour as well as the overall tuition rate for students enrolled online. Also ask about financial aid.

Most master’s degrees have at least 30 credits. This number can go as high as 60 credits depending on the type of degree. Knowing how many credits are required for your degree will help you determine what your total per credit tuition will be.

Is the School an Accredited Online Institution?

Make sure that any school or program you consider is an accredited online masters program.This is done by a recognized accrediting body such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Accreditation means that the school meets certain standards of quality. These are standards set forth by the HLC or other accrediting bodies. Without accreditation your degree may not be accepted by employers or other educational institutions.

How Long Will It Take to Complete the Degree?

The average master’s program requires 32 to 36 credit hours. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report. Some online programs require less. There are some more rigorous online programs that require up to 60 semester hours.

Do You Want the Same Access to Student Services?

When choosing an online degree program, one of the most important aspects is whether or not it will give you access to the same student services as on-campus programs.

That could range from academic advisors and tutors to career counseling and mental health services. Before making a final decision, make sure that your potential online program offers everything you need.

What is Required to Apply for the Online Masters Program?

The first thing on your checklist is transcripts from any college or university that you attended.

You’ll also need two recommendations, in most cases. They should also be able to provide insight into why they think you would make a good candidate for their program.

Other requirements include a resume, essay, and GRE scores. Remember, though, that all admission requirements will vary from school to school. Do your research, and pay close attention to deadlines!

Did you enjoy our list of the most reputable online masters programs? Be sure to check out the following:

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor