Guide to Getting a 1-Year Online Master’s Degree

This guide to getting a 1-year online master’s degree explores what to do and things to consider before choosing an online degree program.

Are you thinking about getting your Master’s degree online? If you are, listen up! Maybe you’re a professional looking for a way to become an expert in your field or land that promotion you’ve been eyeing. Or maybe you are still earning your Bachelor’s degree and you already know you will continue your studies to earn that competitive edge.

Either way, we know that time is precious. You don’t have the extra time to work all day and attend classes at night. So getting a 1-year online Master’s degree? Yes, it’s totally possible. And yes, there’s plenty of options to choose from.

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What Can You Expect in a Fast Online Master’s Degree Program?

Most traditional Master’s degree programs take 2 or even 3 years to complete. But by taking accelerated classes online, you can earn your online master’s degree in one year, even if you have zero credits to start!

Credit hours:

Most master’s programs only require up to 36 credit hours. Your classes will be more focused on advanced topics within your field.

Quicker classes:

Getting an accelerated online Master’s degree in just one year will require a lot of focus and determination. Classes will most likely be quicker in nature (for example 4, 6, or 8-week courses) so the programs can fit in more courses in the allotted time.

No thesis requirement:

In order for most programs to be completed in just one year, many opt out of the thesis requirement. It may not be true for all programs, but for most. The thesis might be replaced with a culminating project, an internship, a comprehensive exam, or with nothing at all.

 1 Year Online Master's Degrees

Earning a fast online master’s degree can increase your marketability and help to jumpstart your career!

What Fields Have 1 Year Online Master’s Degrees?

While not every single field offers an accelerated 1 year online Master’s degree, you’d be surprised at how many subjects areas do.

Below is a list of potential subject areas that offer an online master’s degree in just one year! This is not an exhaustive list, but is a great place to start.

Frequently Asked Questions for Accelerated Online Master’s Degrees:

Q: Should I get my online master’s degree in one year?

A: This will certainly be a personal decision that only you and your family can answer. When it comes to money, there is clear evidence that earning your 1-year Master’s degree online will have a financial reward. An increased salary over the course of your life will have a huge payoff when you retire, so that’s a plus and a serious reason so consider it.

One point you may want to consider is: Is getting my online accelerated Master’s right for me right now? If it will hinder your family life, work life, or put you in further debt–maybe it’s not the right timing. Not that it’s not right for you; just not the right time. Consider all options and make the best choice for YOU.

Q: What are the benefits of online master’s degrees in 1 year?

A: Once you’ve surveyed your life and decided to move forward with getting your 1-year Master’s online, you can really start to think about the benefits of a higher degree. And if you’re on the edge? Maybe these benefits of a quick online Master’s degree will help:

  • competitive edge in job market: a higher degree might help you stand out when applying for a promotion or new position
  • larger network of peers: you’ll get to connect with like-minded peers in your specific field
  • more pay over time: the US News and World Report shares that professionals who hold Master’s degrees consistently make more money over time
  • expertise and knowledge: you’ll have more expertise in your field, which is alway a win/win!

Q: What are the downsides to getting a fast online master’s degree?

A: The downsides to getting a one-year Master’s degree online could vary based on your personal situation. One is that earning your online Master’s degree at an accelerated rate will mean you are packing a lot of classes and coursework into that one year. So much so, that you may not be able to also work.

But keep in mind that many programs are designed with the modern professional in mind, so it really can depend on what you feel like you are capable of handling. Another is that you could rack up some additional student debt. Come up with creative ways to save money, and look for scholarship/fellowship opportunities that will help you make it through.

Q: What kind of online support will I have for one year online master’s degree programs?

A: We know it seems like being an online student might be isolating. One point to remember is that–yes–you’ll be by yourself completing your work, but you won’t be alone in the endeavor. The online divisions of schools have made online education less overwhelming and intimidating through the online support they provide their students. You can expect similar support as on-campus students, like advisors, libraries, tutoring, technical support, emotional support, cohorts, and more. The only difference? You guessed it! It’s all online.

Q: Can I earn the whole degree online, or will I have to go to campus or participate in an internship?

A: Yes–you can totally earn your 1-year Master’s degree completely online. There are many programs that offer an online-only degree, to accommodate the busy or working non-traditional grad student. It’s important to remember, though, that not all programs will be available fully online, as some programs might require an in-person residency or internship. So if that’s not something you want, make sure you check the details of your program before committing.

Q: How do I choose the right 1-year online Master’s degree program for me?

A: Choose the program whose details line up with your life and your personality. For example, if you’re juggling a lot, you may not want to enroll in a program that has synchronous classes and specific due dates. Maybe–you’d rather take asynchronous courses or a self-paced program.

On the other hand, maybe you aren’t very self-motivated, and you won’t do well if you don’t have structure. Keep those things in mind when you make your decisions.

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