If earning a master’s degree seems impossible with the added burdens of a job and family, you have the option of completing a master’s degree online rather than spending your time traveling to classes. And, if you worry about your educational accreditation or pedigree, the following list might brighten your day. The 15 most prestigious online master’s degree programs listed below include institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Boston University and Stanford University. You can study courses as diverse as nursing to mechanical engineering and complete your master’s degree at your convenience in most situations.
The links below are listed in alphabetical order and take you directly to the pages where you can learn more about how to register and requirements for starting and completing your degree.
- Auburn University: Electronically Delivered Graduate Education (EDGE) courses are offered online at the student’s convenience. Engineering programs include: Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Business programs include Accounting, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems. A combination MBA/MISE degree also is available.
- Boston University: Boston University Distance Education offers master’s degrees in art education, criminal justice, music, computer information systems, health communication, management, manufacturing engineering, and social work. These programs provide students with an in-depth theoretical foundation as well as practical strategies for meeting demands of the marketplace. Many students have gone on to shape the future of their professions through their knowledge and leadership.
- Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College offers distance learning programs for Master of Science in Computer Science & IT (ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report), Master of Medical Management (some onsite sessions required), and Master of Public Management (part-time and full-time tracks; work experience is required rather than GRE and GMAT).
- DePaul University: Developing and providing degree programs for working adults for over 100 years, DePaul has been able to expand its reach by offering fully online master’s degree programs in various disciplines within the College of Computing and Digital Media, College of Education, and School of Public Service.
- Duke University: By utilizing Duke’s resources in environmental science, engineering, policy, and business, the Nicholas School of the Environment’s Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management program gives students insight into the many aspects of environmental issues. The faculty includes recognized experts in the field whose research and publications affect important environmental and natural resource challenges.
- Georgia Institute of Technology: Online master’s degrees are offered in aerospace engineering, computational science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, information security, mechanical engineering, medical physics, and operations research, in addition to a Professional Master in Applied Systems Engineering. Students study at their convenience, accessing a wealth of technological and industry knowledge while building a network of Georgia Tech faculty and industry professionals.
- Indiana University: Kelley School of Business, through Kelly Direct, offers fully online MBA program, along with Master of Science degrees in finance, global supply chain management, and strategic management. There are also MBA dual-degree programs (mostly, but not fully, online) with Thunderbird (Master’s in Global Management) and Purdue (MSE and MS in Food and Agribusiness Management).
- Johns Hopkins University: Here you’ll find master’s degree programs in bioinformatics, computer science, environmental engineering and science, environmental planning and management, and systems engineering — all can be completed fully online.
- Michigan State University: In the online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, students may choose to follow the general requirements for the Master’s in Criminal Justice, specialize in security management, or follow an international focus. Courses are offered entirely online, and are taught by the same faculty members that are involved in the on-campus program.
- Pennsylvania State University: Over 100 years ago, Penn State founded one of the nation’s first correspondence courses. Now through their World Campus, they offer online master’s degrees in a wide range of areas including (to name a few) education, business administration, homeland security, nuclear engineering, and supply chain management. The online courses are flexible, yet the same academically challenging courses as on campus.
- Stanford University: Students whose employers are members of the Stanford Center for Professional Development can earn Master of Science degrees while attending classes online on a part-time basis. Courses of study include aeronautics and astronautics, biomedical informatics, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and mathematical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, management science and engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and statistics.
- University of Florida: Most distance degrees may be taken on a part-time basis through this university. However, all degree programs require formal admission to the school. Master’s degrees are offered in various disciplines within the Colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Business Administration; Design, Construction, and Planning; Education; Engineering; Fine Arts; Liberal Arts & Sciences; Nursing; Pharmacy; Public Health and Health Professions; and Veterinary Medicine.
- University of Illinois: The Department of Computer Science offers a fully online Master’s in Computer Science program, which is restricted to off-campus professionals and is not intended for those who have access to on-campus courses and programs; although, all students receive the same lectures, class assignments, exams, and projects as on-campus students. The degree can be completed in as little as three years (at one course per semester), but must be completed within five years.
- University of Southern California: USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Distance Education Network (DEN) students view online the same lecture as on-campus students either live or at their convenience. Students interact by calling a toll-free phone number to ask the professor questions. Lectures are archived for the entire semester and can be downloaded.
- Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing Health System Management. A Health Systems Manager is a registered nurse whose focus is on the management of health care delivery in various organizations. Graduates have the breadth of management knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively and assume leadership positions in health care delivery organizations.