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2023 Best Online Master's Degrees

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 3/22/2023
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Earning an online degree at the master's level can be a convenient way to gain advanced skills while balancing life's responsibilities. Many students believe master's degrees are worth it because they help them start a new career, advance in their current career, or allow them to work their way toward a doctorate. To make this decision easier, we developed the first program rankings list that uses student outcomes, such as a salary score, to help you determine if an online master's program is right for you.

The following list of the best online master's programs includes accredited programs in fields like accounting, computer science, healthcare administration, management, nursing, and nutrition, and outlines how many online programs are available in each field of study. View our methodology for more details about our list or learn more about OnlineU.

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2023 Best Online Master's Degrees

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 Georgia Institute of Technology 93 93 $104,335
# 2 #2 Norwich University 75 $67,148
# 3 #3 The University of Scranton 73 $68,775
# 4 #4 Concordia University - Chicago 71 $57,340
# 5 #5 Sam Houston State University 66 $53,838
# 6 #6 American Public University System 65 $63,691
# 7 #7 University of Maryland Global Campus 63 $76,306
# 8 #8 Texas A&M University - Commerce 61 $60,296
# 9 #9 Saint Joseph's University 60 $66,722
# 10 #10 University of Nebraska at Kearney 59 $50,773

#1 Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Salary Score: 93
  • Median Starting Salary: $104,335
  • Locations: Atlanta (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Georgia Institute of Technology has 13 online master’s degree programs. Some areas of study include analytics, computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, and operations research. The length of the graduate programs ranges from one to three years, although some students may take longer to complete their degrees.

This institution uses the Canvas learning management system (LMS). The exact structure and content of courses depend on the program. Some classes may require students to participate in synchronous or in-person activities, such as exam proctoring. Online students at the Georgia Institute of Technology can receive federal financial aid and apply for scholarships. Students can access online resources designed to help them find a job after graduation through the Workplace Learning and Professional Development department.

Applicants typically need to submit an online application, proof of citizenship, a professional resume, test scores, and references. Specific online master’s degree programs may have other requirements. Enrolled students will have access to an extensive library of digital resources.

#2 Norwich University

  • Salary Score: 75
  • Median Starting Salary: $67,148
  • Locations: Northfield (VT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Norwich University operates 25 online master’s degree programs in diplomacy, history, nursing, civil engineering, and much more. The types of master’s degrees available include a Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Accounting. The length of these programs varies, with most students completing them in around 18 months while studying full time.

Norwich University uses Moodle and a virtual campus as their online platforms to provide learning materials to students. All learning is conducted asynchronously, allowing students to log on and complete activities at their convenience. However, students still must adhere to specific deadlines. Courses typically include a combination of exams, lectures, discussions, videos, and reading. Private scholarships, Norwich scholarships, and federal loans can be used to finance online graduate education. Students can also use military or veteran education benefits.

Graduate admission requirements include a completed online application form, a letter of intent, three references, a resume, and official transcripts. Some programs may have other specific admissions requirements as well. Once a student has been admitted to an online graduate program at Norwich, continuous support is available from academic advisors, library resources, the Graduate Writing Center, and the technical support staff.

#3 The University of Scranton

  • Salary Score: 73
  • Median Starting Salary: $68,775
  • Locations: Scranton (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Scranton offers eight master's programs, ranging from accounting and business analytics to health informatics and human resources management. There are four master's of science degrees, with the remaining program titles being specialized to their degree subject, such as the Master's in Accountancy. Each degree takes between one and three years to complete.

The University of Scranton uses Engage for its remote coursework, which is 100% online. Students can participate on a flexible schedule through asynchronous learning. Professors are available via discussion posts as well as through phone or video conferencing. All online students are eligible to apply for federal financial aid and have support systems to help students apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) loans.

To apply for an online master's degree, students must fill out an online application and submit their transcripts. Specific admissions documents vary from program to program. Online resources include 24/7 technical support, a digital library, and a student laptop program.

#4 Concordia University - Chicago

  • Salary Score: 71
  • Median Starting Salary: $57,340
  • Locations: River Forest (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Concordia University - Chicago hosts 25 online master's programs in the areas of exercise science, education, health care, and business. Some examples of specific degrees include a Master of Arts in Special Education, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Applied Arts in Exercise Science. Some degrees include concentration options, while others have accelerated tracks that allow students to graduate early.

Students at Concordia University use Blackboard as their primary LMS. Their programs are 100% online and use asynchronous learning, which allows students to take courses on a flexible schedule. Enrolled students are eligible for financial aid through FAFSA. IT support is also available through a virtual help desk, and career support can be accessed by contacting their career services office.

To be admitted into a master's program, students must submit an online application along with their bachelor's degree credentials, transcripts featuring a GPA above 2.85, a letter of recommendation, and an objective statement.

#5 Sam Houston State University

  • Salary Score: 66
  • Median Starting Salary: $53,838
  • Locations: Huntsville (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Sam Houston State University has 29 master's degree programs for online students. Each degree falls under one of these categories: art and media, business, criminal justice, education, health science, humanities and social sciences, science, agriculture, and computer science. On average, these programs require 36 credit hours, which full-time students can complete in about a year.

Blackboard Learn is the main LMS for Sam Houston's online students. Each course uses a combination of discussion boards and video lectures, with other content left to the professors' discretion. Some courses are asynchronous, with others requiring in-person classroom or lab attendance. Both scholarships and financial aid may be available for enrolled students. The school offers resources for students studying online, including instructional IT lessons, as well as career services, such as resume writing guides and career assessments.

To apply for a graduate program at Sam Houston State University, students must fill out their online admissions application, submit their transcripts, and upload the relevant materials based on the specific requirements of their chosen program.

#6 American Public University System

  • Salary Score: 65
  • Median Starting Salary: $63,691
  • Locations: Charles Town (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The American Public University System has 47 online master's degree programs. There are several options in nursing, education, information technology, and business, among others. Each program is designed for full-time students to finish in around two years. Most require 36 to 48 credits, while others may require the completion of 60 credits (such as the dual Master's in Emergency and Disaster Management and Homeland Security).

APUS uses MyClassroom as its online learning platform, where students can study asynchronously. Interaction with course instructors occurs through message boards, visual presentations, and videos. Students can access their grades, test scores, and all others messages through an online portal. Eligible students may apply for federal financial aid. Financial aid advisors are available, along with career coaching and services through the school's website.

Prospective students may apply for enrollment online without a fee. They must also meet their degree's admissions requirements. An admissions representative is available for online students.

#7 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Salary Score: 63
  • Median Starting Salary: $76,306
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers 47 master's programs, which include a variety of information technology, biotechnology, management, and communication degrees. The school's options also include military-online master's specializations, such as management degrees in Air and Space Strategic Studies or Joint Military Strategy.

All online courses are offered on a flexible, asynchronous schedule through the e-platform myLeo, with several resources for online students, such as digital libraries, tutoring, and a writing center. Some hybrid courses may be available for certain programs that require in-person learning. Students may apply for military benefits, financial aid, and payment plans to finance their degrees. Further online resources include a writing center and remote tutors.

Students applying to a UMGC master's degree will need to submit an admissions application, a non-refundable fee, and proof of a bachelor's degree. Specific master's degrees may further require additional documentation.

#8 Texas A&M University - Commerce

  • Salary Score: 61
  • Median Starting Salary: $60,296
  • Locations: Commerce (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Texas A&M University - Commerce has 10 master's-level degree options. Some examples include a Master of Science in Sociology, a Master of Science in Physics, and a Master of Education in Educational Administration. Their programs are meant to be completed in one to two years while studying at a full-time pace.

Students at Texas A&M - Commerce use myLeo for their online coursework, which allows them to study flexibly through 100% online courses. Accepted students are eligible to apply for federal financial aid through FAFSA. Graduate students can request tutoring and career and services.

Admissions requirements may vary based on each program; however, students must submit an online application along with transcripts, a letter of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.

#9 Saint Joseph's University

  • Salary Score: 60
  • Median Starting Salary: $66,722
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

At Saint Joseph’s University, students can choose from 32 online master’s degree programs, including a Master of Science or Master of Business Administration. The program's length depends on the degree's requirements and whether students enroll in full- or part-time study. Some programs take students as little as one year to finish, while others require two years or even longer.

Students at Saint Joseph’s use Canvas to access course materials and submit work. Classes may include videos, audio lectures, readings, discussions, papers, tests, and projects. Learning is asynchronous so that students can complete work on their own time. Financial aid may be available to graduate students in the form of loans. Saint Joseph’s University offers a military tuition discount to qualifying students and reduced tuition rates to those involved with certain mission organizations.

To be admitted into one of the school's graduate programs, students must complete the online application packet. This packet includes a personal statement, a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Some programs may also require GRE or GMAT test scores. Distance learners can access the online Writing Center, technical support, the Office of Student Success, and the Career Development Center.

#10 University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Salary Score: 59
  • Median Starting Salary: $50,773
  • Locations: Kearney (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Nebraska at Kearney features 45 online master's programs. They have various master's degrees in education for science and the arts, along with several master's degrees in communication, history, and English. These degrees require between 36 and 60 credit hours, which full-time students can complete in under two years.

Canvas is the primary LMS for online students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Some programs are only available in a hybrid format, meaning students must attend some in-person classes. Whether a program's courses are synchronous or asynchronous depends on the instructor. The school offers a variety of scholarships that enrolled students can apply for, along with resources for financial aid and loan applications.

To be admitted into a UNK graduate program, students must submit their online application and documentation based on each department's requirements. Once enrolled, students may take advantage of resources such as technical support, digital libraries, and remote student orientation.

#11 Wilmington University

  • Salary Score: 59
  • Median Starting Salary: $62,494
  • Locations: New Castle (DE)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Wilmington University (WilmU) offers 27 online master's degree programs across diverse industries, from healthcare to education, and much more. Its online learning platform is so well-established that it even has online doctoral programs for students who want to carry on after their master's degree. Among the online master's programs are a plethora of concentrations to choose from as well, so graduate students can really narrow in on their area of expertise.

Canvas is the university's chosen learning platform, as it allows students to easily network with faculty and peers through video conferencing, online collaboration, and the school's Online Student Association. In addition, WilmU has the same level of support for its 15,000+ distance learners as it does for its in-person students — including advising, tutoring, and all library services.

To apply, specific requirements are often associated with the master's degree in question. In general, applications require creating an account, paying a $35 fee, and listing one's academic history for review. Higher education at WilmU is more accessible than some other schools because no college entrance exams are required.

#12 Texas Woman's University

  • Salary Score: 54
  • Median Starting Salary: $64,082
  • Locations: Denton (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Texas Woman's University (TWU) has almost 40 online master's programs to choose from, including a range of specializations. These programs provide students with in-depth knowledge of their chosen field — whether it's biotechnology, healthcare administration, family studies, or library science. Many more degree options are available, and specializations allow students to go even further. For example, an online Master of Business Administration at TWU has eight concentrations that make those programs unique experiences for those peer groups, including Marketing, Sports Management, Business Analytics, and Women in Leadership, to name a few options.

Admission to TWU is through the New Graduate Application Portal. The university's Office of Admissions can help walk students through the application process in greater detail, but in general, applicants should show proof of a bachelor's degree, at least a 3.0 GPA, English proficiency (for international students), and any other requirements of the specific program they are applying to.

#13 Western Governors University

  • Salary Score: 54
  • Median Starting Salary: $71,546
  • Locations: Salt Lake City (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Western Governors University (WGU) is an online university that offers around 50 online master's degrees across each of its four colleges: Information Technology, Health and Nursing, Education, and Business. These programs all have flexible pacing, allowing students to work at their own speed while juggling other responsibilities.

WGU is fairly unique in its learning approach as it doesn't provide a learning management system, which is what most colleges and universities utilize for teaching distance learners. Instead, WGU has curated its own courseware and platform.

WGU enrolls a brand new group of students every single month, which launches a 6-month term. The requirements, like most other online graduate programs, differ for each specific program. These may include GRE or GMAT scores, writing samples, and letters of recommendation. However, a bachelor's degree showing a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required across the board for all degree types.

#14 The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Salary Score: 53
  • Median Starting Salary: $64,379
  • Locations: Arlington (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) features over ten online master's degrees in nursing, education, and urban and public affairs. In the field of nursing alone, UTA has seven different options for a Master of Science in Nursing for students looking to work in the pediatric or adult gerontology departments as well as other specialty areas. UTA also has four program tracks for a Master of Education, such as Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Since UTA teaches distance learners through the Canvas platform, students can access courses 100% online and at any time that's convenient for them. This platform helps improve engagement with the material and allows students to balance their personal life responsibilities with their educational ambitions.

As with most master's programs, the application requirements are unique to the specific program prospective students are applying to. It's important to check with an advisor to see what's required before submitting an application and its associated fee. Usually, applicants must submit official transcripts from previous institutions and test scores, such as the GRE.

#15 Kennesaw State University

  • Salary Score: 52
  • Median Starting Salary: $67,740
  • Locations: Kennesaw (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Kennesaw State University (KSU) currently hosts a total of 24 online master's degree programs through KSU Online. These graduate programs are mostly either a Master of Science or Master of Education, but there are a couple of master's programs in the liberal arts as well.

KSU Online hosts courses on the traditional semester-based schedule, where semesters are 16 weeks. The learning platform distance learners use to complete their degrees online is called Desire2Learn Brightspace.

The Graduate College Admissions Office can answer your questions about the requirements for the program you're applying to. These requirements are the same for traditional and fully online students. When applying to an online Master of Education at KSU, it's important to keep in mind that all of these programs require a teaching certificate in order to be admitted. It's also helpful to know that KSU's online graduate programs may not be available in all U.S. states, so confirm this with admissions before turning in your application and paying the fee.

#16 Ball State University

  • Salary Score: 51
  • Median Starting Salary: $55,581
  • Locations: Muncie (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Ball State University (BSU) offers 25 master's degrees online in various disciplines, including — but not limited to — education, data science, interior design, journalism, nutrition and dietetics, and public relations. Some of these have in-person requirements or hybrid learning options, but the majority are 100% online.

Through Ball State Online, students communicate with each other and instructors through the learning platform Canvas, which has discussion boards and other engagement tools. Online students also collaborate through email, blogs, and video conferencing. Since these degrees are designed for the convenience of working adults, the pace of each online graduate program is entirely flexible. In other words, no login times exist, and students can complete the programs on either part- or full-time schedules.

To apply to an online graduate program at BSU, it's a $60 application fee. BSU accepts students from all 50 states. Of course, you must have a bachelor's degree to be admitted, and there are also some GPA requirements that are dependent on an applicant's specific situation. It's important to contact an admission advisor to learn about the specific requirements for the program you want to apply for.

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