Best Online Master’s Programs

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A Master’s Degree is a certification, awarded by an accredited university, recognizing that a person has mastered a well-established and generally-agreed set of knowledge within a specific area. Earning a Master’s typically requires about 40 credit hours of coursework with a minimum grade of 3.0. However, some programs enable students to earn their degrees in fewer credits without compromising the quality and integrity of the coursework.


Master’s-level coursework is generally structured into 4 groups, typically divided as follows:

  • The General Courses: This would be around 10% of the entire coursework. These courses offer the foundational underpinnings of knowledge and information.; they may be merely supportive of your major or tangentially connected to your main focus of study. 
  • The Major Core:  This would be around 50% of the coursework. Your chosen major will have multiple subjects that work together to build a powerful and relevant education for success in the working world. These are the courses that will help you hit the ground running for jobs in your chosen field.
  • The Electives: This would be around 15% of the coursework. To meet your total number of hours required for your Master’s degree, you may have some hours left to spend on “elective” coursework. This is classwork that you can choose from a list of electives available in your program. It is part of personalizing your degree and also building yourself into a well-rounded individual.
  • The Capstone: This would be around 25% of the coursework. A capstone course is the culmination of all your Master’s work. It is typically a practical, real-world application of your knowledge. Before beginning your capstone work, you may have to create a proposal that is reviewed and approved by your professor.

In this article we rank the best online master’s program according to our course defining ranking criteria.

List of the Best Online
Master’s Programs

In this section we discuss the best online master’s programs per our ranking and discuss them in detail.

1. Business Administration (MBA)

MBA is the common abbreviation for a Master of Business Administration degree. It is the best online masters program. A full-time MBA program typically lasts two years, though there are many accelerated full-time MBA programs that last a single year. Part-time and executive MBA programs vary in length, depending on how many credits a student enrolls in each academic semester or quarter. Both executive and part-time MBA programs are designed for working professionals who are attending school while maintaining a full-time job. MBA applications typically include standardized test scores, resumes, academic transcripts, essays and recommendation letters.

2. Computer Science

An online masters program is a close second in our oval rankings of best online masters programs. A masters in Computer science is relevant now more than ever. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for careers like software development will grow much faster than other fields, making computer science degree programs a 21st-century necessity. Whether you’re interested in deep learning, machine learning, advanced operating systems, Android programming, virtualization, quantum information science, or robotics, a computer science masters degree will help students gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed.

3. Psychology

Suitable whether you have a personal or professional interest in the field of psychology, the MSc Psychology course will explore a range of theoretical ideas and practical applications across the discipline. Masters in Psychology degrees can take the form of either a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc). An MSc degree is likely to be more focused on research and the sciences, while an MA may be more focused on the arts and humanities aspects of psychology. In either case, you will typically complete a variety of course modules, building up your knowledge and skills before concluding with a research project or dissertation to bring together what you have learned.

4. Marketing

Master of Marketing programs cover marketing theories and principles as well as best practices, strategies, and marketing technologies. A marketing degree can also set you up for jobs across industries. Masters of Marketing graduates land jobs in finance, insurance, analytics consulting and nonprofits as well as more typical sectors for marketing grads; ecommerce, retail, and luxury goods. The Master of Marketing is a one- or two-year course, combining a focus on marketing with general management training. Graduates from a Master of Marketing will gain skills in strategy and leadership, as well as an understanding of analytics, data, and business models.

5. Nursing

The Masters in Nursing program prepares graduates to be leaders. Program completion opens new horizons for nurses in education, advanced practice, policy implementation, health care management, and nursing knowledge development. Applicants must be registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree, normally in nursing. Program graduates develop skills in leadership in professional nursing practice. The program offers opportunities to move directly into doctoral studies.

6. Education

An online masters program in education prepares students to create, support, and lead learning experiences for adult audiences in higher education or workplace settings or in a K-12 setup. In the program, students will study models of professional ethics and leadership, strategies for engaging with learners, creativity in the workplace, and various principles and theories of learner development. Typically prerequisites are a bachelor’s degree and a state license to practice the craft.

7. Social Work

Social work represents a deeply personal calling to serve others. From seemingly small local efforts to global change initiatives, social workers honor an innate conviction to care for the vulnerable and to facilitate social justice and equality. A masters degree in social work emphasizes tolerance, ethics and cultural sensitivity, the masters program helps prepare students to support the spiritual and emotional needs of clients and helps equip them for various professional roles.

8. Cyber Security

A Master of Science in Cyber Security (MSCS) program prepares professionals to assume cybersecurity and information assurance leadership roles in corporations, agencies, and organizations. The curriculum revolves around computer security management, IT security threat assessment, incident response, organizational management and behavior, and challenges students to become creators of knowledge and inventors of processes.

9. Finance

Master in Finance programs emphasize a foundation in how markets work and a rigorous curriculum engineered around the most advanced financial and quantitative theories and practices. Unlike an MBA, which covers a broad range of business functions from marketing to management, Master of Finance programs focus more specifically on finance. Students study everything finance from financial reporting and analysis to quantitative finance and fintech.

10. Criminal Justice

A master’s in criminal justice is intended to strengthen the professional qualifications of those currently holding a bachelor’s degree or are employed in the criminal justice field. It develops skills in research and criminology and criminal justice program planning and evaluation. It helps in developing skills in the organization and administration of public criminal justice systems. It also prepares students for doctoral study in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

List of Universities that offer Best
Online Master’s Programs

Here is a list of the universities that offer the Best Online Masters Programs.*

Columbia University in the City of New York: Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King’s College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York.

Here are the available Best Online Master’s Programs at Columbia University

Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Columbia University West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027 $49,024 96%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

FAQs about the Best Online
Master’s Programs

Which is the best online masters program?

There is no generic answer to this, but would be a case to case answer depending on the choice of the individual. Firstly, look at the top universities and then see what are the best departments of those top universities. If your bachelors is among those departments then choose the masters for that department. That would be the best masters for you. Second, if you are in love with a subject then that would be the best masters for you.

Which is the best university for an online masters program?

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Are online masters accepted in the industry?

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Additional Resources for Students looking
for Best Online Master’s Programs

This article tried giving an insight into the best online masters programs or top-rated online programs available in the country. We have done an exhaustive analysis to arrive at our rankings. If you are a student contemplating taking up an online masters program, then you might as well be interested in looking into the below resources which would help you make an informed decision.