How To Get a Master's Degree Fast

How To Get a Master’s Degree Fast

how to get a master's degree fast

To get a master’s degree fast, individuals need to find an accelerated program that fits their personal schedule and prior education.

Maybe you want a job promotion that requires a master’s degree. Or perhaps you just want to get a graduate degree. Whatever your motivation, finishing college is worth investigating. Research shows that those with advanced degrees earn more money over time. That’s awesome, right?

Well, yes. But we get it. Life is busy, and you don’t have much time to give. With all the family, work, and life obligations, you need to get in and out in a jiffy. You don’t have time to waste. But, you can get a high-quality master’s degree quickly. We’ve got you covered, friends. Because, yes, there is a way to earn an accelerated degree. Before we break it down, let’s look at a few things.

Where Do You Start?

Here are some factors to consider for the quickest master’s degree online:

  • Do you already have existing graduate credits or courses?
  • Are you flexible on the kind of master’s degree you are willing to earn?
  • Do you need to find a good deal or financial assistance?
  • What family or life obligations might prevent you from enrolling in an accelerated program?

These factors could impact how long it takes to complete accelerated programs quickly or what degree you can earn.

Why are People Getting a Fast Master’s Degree Online?

US Census Bureau advanced degrees how to get a master's degree fast

Well, the answer is quite simple. With an advanced degree and better credentials, individuals increase their job opportunities and earning potential. So, it’s no surprise this is the fastest growing area of higher education.

In 2011, only 10.9% of Americans over 25 held a master’s degree or higher. By 2021, the number had increased to 14.3%. According to the US Census Bureau, the category of advanced degrees showed growth of over 50% from 2011 to 2021.

The pressure to compete for American workers can be extreme. And the growth in individuals with a bachelor’s degree has been substantial over the past 20 years, which makes it even harder for professionals to differentiate themselves and advance their careers. But, earning a graduate degree is a path that still provides tremendous upward mobility. And a fast master’s degree online is one of the most direct routes to meet this goal.

Who is Earning a Fast Master’s Degree Online?

Working adults are the primary audience for the fastest Master’s degree online. People with existing bachelor’s degrees who want to excel at their jobs or grab that promotion that’s just out of reach. Or, some are pursuing the quickest master’s degree online to change careers more seamlessly.

These professionals often have years of experience and specialized knowledge but not a degree to match. They may be technical workers or blue-collar workers who want to move into leadership positions. A master’s degree can offer more advancement opportunities, higher pay, and a career change.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Master’s Degree?

Traditional master’s programs typically take two years to complete. Most are 30 credit hours to 36 credit hours. A program with more credits may require students to complete a few extra courses and a capstone project. Some graduate students choose an on-campus program for a support network and community. For some students, this is the best life choice.

But, it is more common for adult students to choose a fast online master’s degree program. Online programs allow students to work faster and earn a degree more quickly. Full time students can complete some programs in 1 year or less.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Master’s Degree?

The cost of any degree depends on the school, program, and residency status. Students who attend a public institute of higher learning will generally pay less than students at a private college. Additionally, students at a public university pay less if they reside in the state versus those with an out-of-state status. Students taking advantage of the financial aid schools offer will also pay less.

Similar to undergraduate tuition fees, graduate courses are charged at a per-credit rate. However, many online courses in a master’s program are at a lower cost than traditional programs. Did you know online programs can save you money? So, adult students who attend school full-time in a distance learning accelerated program can expect to pay less than an on-campus master’s program.

What is the Easiest Way to Earn a Master’s Degree?

The easiest way to earn a master’s degree is to go on immediately after your bachelor’s, at the same school, and in the same academic discipline. 

However, that’s not the reality for many working adults and nontraditional adult students. Luckily, the evolution of higher education has made a master’s degree a reality for everyone, from blue collar workers to technical workers. Adult students taking advantage of master’s degree programs online can earn a less expensive degree and acquire it faster. In addition, a fast master’s degree can qualify you for career advancement and a higher salary.

What is the Fastest Way to Earn a Master’s Degree Online?

Accelerated master’s degree programs are what people mean when they say fast master’s degree. An online accelerated program is the fastest way to earn a master’s. These programs have the same requirements, but the terms are shorter, so students finish faster.

First, you’ll want to search for schools with online accelerated master’s degree programs. We know it sounds crazy, but you can find 6-month Master’s degree programs. There’s also a 9-month degree. But, keep in mind, those are few and far between and require existing credits and credits for work experience, which might leave these programs only for a select few who meet the exact criteria.

The more common accelerated programs are 12 months long. They still require a significant commitment and might even require existing credits. Your classes will be highly accelerated, 4, 6, or 8-week accelerated courses. You will move through the material quickly and maybe juggle several accelerated courses at once. It’s possible you could also be managing a thesis or culminating project. That will just depend on your school’s requirements.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Fastest Online Master’s Degree Programs:

Step 1: Decide What Master’s Degree You Want to Earn

So, you want to get a master’s degree. Beyond earning a quick master’s degree online, you need to consider the possible careers associated with that degree. This is very important if you’re pursuing a graduate degree in an unrelated area to your bachelor’s degree.

Ask yourself these career choice questions: Do I love this subject matter? Will I enjoy the time spent in these classes? Will I enjoy the jobs associated with this degree?

Step 2: Look for a School that Offers What You Need

A quick browse through our site or even a general google search can help you find programs with an accelerated format. Make a list of your options and schools with your major. Now, let’s make a pros and cons list. See below!

Step 3: Look at the Programs Requirements: Do they match your lifestyle?

Most online programs are similar, so look for a school with program details that match what you want. Remember that accelerated courses and online courses require students to be self-motivated, independent learners.

Options to consider for online master’s degrees are asynchronous vs synchronous classes, self-paced or guided, thesis or non-thesis options, and the length of the program. Start crafting your list!

Step 4: Apply to the School

Do you have all the credentials to apply to the given school? Look for details like whether or not the school requires standardized tests or a Bachelor’s degree in a related area to the program you’re applying for. Cross off any school that won’t work for your credentials.

Step 5: Earn Your Degree

Now it’s time to work. You’ve done all the research. You’ve found the right school and the right degree. Put your head down, get it done, and get ready to shine.

Step 6: Conquer the World

Take your degree (and your higher paycheck) and improve the world!

Sample Accelerated Online Master’s Degree Programs

Check out a few of the fastest master’s degrees online:

3-month Master’s degree programs online options:

We know you searched for the quickest degree. But let’s be honest. There are no 3-month master’s degree programs. Even with a bachelor’s degree in the area and accelerated courses, it is just not an option. Maybe in the future, there will be 3 month master’s degrees. But for now, the fastest master’s degree will typically take you at least six months to a few years to complete a masters degree.

6 month Master’s degree online options:

You can earn a highly accelerated Master’s from Capella University with a few strict guidelines. Capella University offers combined Bachelor’s and Master’s programs much faster than other traditional schools. Combine select Bachelor’s programs in psychology, IT, and business with Master’s degrees in Healthcare Management and Human Resource Management.

9 month Master’s degree online options:

When searching for programs that allow you to earn your accelerated master’s online in just 9-months, search for programs that give you credit for work experience, professional accomplishments, previous certifications, military service, and more. Furthermore, some schools offer a self-paced method, like Capella University’s Flex Path, which provides a good deal of flexibility. Students can move as quickly as they want through the material without waiting for anything or anyone. Check out Arizona State University’s 9-month online MBA here.

10-month Master’s degree online options:

Students can complete a master’s degree online in just under one year. For the time spent, this is a good deal! Bryant University has a 10 month online Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc).

12 month Master’s degree online options:

If you’ve got 1 year to spare, your options will be endless, friends. While many Master’s degree programs will last about 2 years, many schools offer a 1 year master’s option. This could mean you’re doubling up on accelerated courses, taking a full load in the summer, and even stacking your internship or thesis writing on top of your coursework.

But it won’t be as hectic with harsh requirements like the 9-month master’s options. Typical 12-month master’s include options in Education, IT, Public Administration, Social Work, Healthcare Administration, Nursing, Kinesiology, Public Relations, and more.

Check out 1 year master’s programs at Auburn University, Northern Kentucky University, Boise State, University of Southern Mississippi, and California Baptist University. Benedictine University Online, Ball State, and Fontbonne University also offer 12-month programs.

14 month Master’s degree online options:

In just over 1 year, you can earn an online Master of Science (MS) in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas. Students can also complete a masters program at Trine University. The school offers two 14 month programs. There is an online MS in Engineering Management and also an online MS in Criminal Justice.

15 month Master’s degree online options:

With just one month more than the previous options, you can earn one of 17 master’s degrees from SNHU. Southern New Hampshire University has multiple master’s programs students complete at their own pace. Northcentral University also offers 15-month degrees.

18 month Master’s degree online options:

You can earn a master’s degree in 18 months or a year and a half. The University of Florida offers multiple 18-month master’s programs. Students can choose from a Master in Educational Leadership, an MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, or an MS in Biostatistics. The University of Houston has an online MS in Finance for working professionals interested in investment banking and wealth management.

Colleges That Offer Fast Online Master’s Degrees?

  • University of Alabama
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or UT Permian Basin
  • Arkansas State
  • Anderson University
  • Baker University
  • Colorado State
  • Frostburg State
  • Auburn University
  • California State East Bay
  • Boston University
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Northeastern University
  • Benedictine University
  • Central Washington University
  • Stetson University
  • Saint Leo University
  • Lincoln Christian University
  • University of New England
  • University of Findlay
  • Capella University
  • Lamar University
  • Castleton University
  • Walden University
  • Wheeling Jesuit University
  • Cumberland University
  • Greenville University
  • University of Miami
  • Concordia University, Portland
  • Clarkson University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Campbellsville University
  • University of Charleston
  • Independence University
  • Southwestern College

Admission Requirements

Degree programs online have requirements similar to traditional programs to gain admission. Bachelor’s degrees are required for applicants. Additionally, they should have a good GPA, a resume and work experience, and letters of recommendation.

What is the Quickest Master’s Degree Online?

An online accelerated program is the fastest path to earning a master’s degree. These programs have the same content as other programs, but the terms are shorter, sometimes half the time. So the same content is covered in less time with accelerated courses.

Beyond the type or delivery of the programs, some subjects are better for online learning and an accelerated format. The primary schools that offer online programs are Business, Liberal Arts, Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences. Graduate school for working professionals with experience in specific professions has been around for a while. Many online programs exist in Nursing, Education, Finance, Accounting, and Sports Management.

Additionally, degrees with few science courses, labs, or practicums are often fast. Computer Science, Information Technology, Communication, and Organizational Leadership are some of these. These programs let students study at their own pace.

Why Do People Earn Multiple Master’s Degrees?

Some people get multiple master’s degrees. Some of the reasons individuals do this are they love being a student and in school. Another reason is they need a more specific degree than the one they already have to miss experience and knowledge in their field. 

One thing to remember about a second master’s degree is it can take less time to complete than the first. This is because the core classes may be similar if the degrees are in a similar discipline. So students can receive credit from the first degree toward the second degree. Because they don’t have to take the extra courses, they can complete the second degree in less time and spend less on tuition!

Is Getting a Master’s Degree Worth it?

If the fastest master’s degree helps you get somewhere you can’t go without, then it’s probably worth it! But, if it doesn’t get you a promotion, new job, or pay raise, it’s probably not worth your time and money. 

Your Career Path

Earning a master’s degree is not easy, no matter what program you choose. Furthermore, accelerated courses are demanding. So make sure you have a plan and support network before you start your journey.

There are many programs online for working adults to get a master’s degree. But, the quickest master’s degree online is one with the fewest prerequisites. An accelerated program can help you jumpstart your career with some hard work. Graduates interested in these master’s degree programs can finish in 18 months or less!