Completing one of the top one-year master’s programs may help you take your current career to the next level or pursue your passions in a new line of work. The opportunities presented by a one-year master’s program can benefit students of all kinds, from those who have just completed their undergraduate programs to working professionals who want to broaden their knowledge and earn higher credentials.
Reasons to Complete a 1-Year Master’s Degree Program
Master’s degrees are advantageous for many reasons, but the time that it takes to complete them sometimes deters students who are anxious to move forward with their careers or who are balancing other obligations. Completing a one-year program makes it possible for students to maintain their professional and personal commitments while also reaping the benefits of a master’s degree, including:
- The possibility of advancing your current career
- Improved opportunities to start or change to a new career
- Expanding knowledge related to your current profession
- Learning new skills to stand out above co-workers or for personal interest
Accelerated master’s degree programs allow you to earn your degree and reach these goals in a shortened time frame. There are often additional options for flexibility, such as enrolling in an online program.
Top 5 1-Year Masters Programs
|1||University of North Texas||Denton, Texas|
|2||Lamar University||Beaumont, Texas|
|3||University of the Cumberlands||Williamsburg, Kentucky|
|4||Faulkner University||Montgomery, Alabama|
|5||University of Texas Permian Basin||Odessa, Texas|
A Look at 1-Year Master’s Programs
Many people think that traditional master’s programs are out of reach or untenable because of their two-year minimum time commitment. Fortunately, there are faster options, including a variety of accelerated one-year master’s degree programs that are available to most US students.
Students usually seek to complete master’s degrees because their chosen field dictates they have one or because of the increased earning potential they offer. This type of degree offers greater expertise in a field of study and helps students become more marketable on the road to their career development.
Master’s degrees can be highly specialized for a particular career, or they can be more general and apply to a wide range of professions. For example, an MBA program is a common master’s degree program that has a number of different applications and degree implications. Students who earn MBAs learn career-ready skills such as enhanced communication, industry networking, and time management.
Additionally, there are exciting new fields that offer innovative and evolving master’s programs. Data science, for example, is a developing area that holds a lot of practical and creative possibilities for graduate students. Many of these programs are available on accelerated schedules to help propel you toward your career goals.
Online one-year master’s programs
University of North Texas
Complete an accelerated master’s program through the University of North Texas and gain a competitive edge in your current career or when applying for a new job. Consider the Master of Science in Learning Technologies, a 14-month program, the Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, a 30-credit program or the Master of Education in Educational Leadership, also a 30-credit program. The school offers several other master’s programs that can be completed in just over a year.
Lamar University offers the Master of Science in Criminal Justice in an online format that can be completed in as little as 12 months. Graduates have the opportunity to expand on their current knowledge and skills, and advance their career opportunities.
The school offers other master’s degree programs that can be completed in just 12 months, including the Master of Business Administration program, which features several concentration options.
University of the Cumberlands
Complete a master’s program in as little as 10 months at the University of the Cumberlands, a school that offers many master’s degree and doctoral degree programs. Some students continue their education, and can complete some doctoral degrees in a short period of time.
Choose from programs such as the Master of Science in Information Security Systems, offered in an online format, or an online Master’s in Education degree with several concentration options. The school also offers graduate degrees in business, criminal justice, healthcare, nursing and other professions.
Students taking ten consecutive 5-week courses can complete Faulkner University’s 100% online Executive Master of Business Administration program in just one year. MBA students learn how to make a difference at the executive level while gaining a solid foundation in key areas of business. The program features ten annual start dates and is designed with working professionals’ busy schedules in mind. The College of Business also has a 1-year Master of Science in Management program. The MBA and MSM are accredited by SACSCOC and IACBE.
Faulkner also offers 1-year programs that lead to a Master of Education in Curriculum Instruction or Elementary Education in addition to a 14-month Master of Justice Administration program. The College of Education is accredited by CAEP.
University of Texas Permian Basin
Earn a Master of Arts in Education in as little as 12 months when you choose the online program at the University of Texas Permian Basin. The program features six start dates each year which means that students do not have to wait for months just to start working towards earning their master’s degree.
Students complete the accelerated eight-week courses in a pay-as-you-go format, which saves on the immediate cost, compared to programs that possibly requires upfront full tuition payment. Students choose their preferred option including the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Special Education, Master of Arts in Special Education – Autism, or the Master of Arts in Bilingual/ESL.
Louisiana State University Shreveport
Louisiana State University Shreveport offers several online master’s degree programs that can be completed in as little as 10 to 12 months. Consider the Master of Business Administration 10-month program with several concentration options. Choose the Master of Business Administration in Data Analytics, the Master of Business Administration in Accounting, the Master of Business Administration in Hospitality and Casino Management or several other options, which the school offers in a 10-month online program.
Other options include several education programs, and the Master of Science in Non-profit Administration in an online format. Each of these programs can be completed in as little as 12 months.
Central Washington University
Central Washington University offers a Master of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management program in an accelerated format that students can complete in just 12 months. Choose one of the four specialization areas, including Administrative Management, Cybersecurity Management, Information Technology, or the Structures of Data Analytics for IT Managers specialization. Complete the 28 credits of common core curriculum and then complete the 20 credits in your specialization.
The school explains that students in this program learn to bridge the gap between information technology and administrative management. Gain skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, supervision, communication, budget planning and other skills relative to your specialization.
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama begins its efforts to save time for students by offering a new application process. Apply to the Graduate School by using the smart, fast mobile app. Once you start looking for the ideal master’s program, consider the one-year Master of Science in Engineering program.
The College of Engineering recognizes that students want to have options in their program and offers several options, including Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, Chemical Engineering, or Environmental Engineering. The other options include Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. Some students choose to continue their education at the school because of the desire to reach the top of their chosen career, and because the school offers PhD programs in nearly all of the Master of Engineering degree options.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida one-year master’s programs include the Master of Science in Medical Science program. It has four concentrations, which includes your choice of Pre-Professional Program, Health Sciences, Anatomy, or Interdisciplinary Medical Science.
The online Master’s in Cybercrime program is a newer online program, which features a combination of criminological foundation with STEM-based skills to apply to the study of high-tech criminal procedures, practices, and investigations.
There are several other master’s programs that require just 30 credit hours of study and can potentially be completed in one-year.
Start your master’s program that requires one-year to complete when you choose from the several options available at Wilmington University. Students enjoy the online format of programs that typically take longer to complete if a student attends classes on-campus.
Consider the Master of Science in Accounting, which consists of just 10 courses that are each three credit hours. The program prepares students to gain new skills in accounting theory and practice, analyzing complex data, and demonstrating exceptional communications and collaboration skills.
The school offers other master’s programs that require only one-year completion time. The Master of Science in Administration of Justice is normally a two-year program. The school offers the program in an accelerated format for highly motivated students that want to complete the program in less time.
Trine University offers several master’s degree programs that students can complete in just one year. The Master of Science in Business Analytics helps meet the growing demand for qualified professionals in the field. The program focuses on insights and understanding of business performance based on data and other factors.
The school also offers other online master’s programs, including the Master of Science in Criminal Justice and the Master of Science in Engineering Management that students can complete in just 12 months.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley challenges prospective students to ‘lead with confidence’ as they continue to work and study at the same time while earning a master’s degree in as little as one year. Students have their choice of several master’s degree programs across several disciplines, including business, health sciences, education, social work and public affairs.
Consider earning an online Master of Business Administration degree in an accelerated format. The school is one of the few universities in the country to offer Quality Matters certified courses. Choose from several 30-credit hour Master of Education (MEd) programs that best suits your career goals, or one of the two master’s programs in social work that require just 33 credit hours of instructions.
Campbell University offers an online Master of Science in Business Administration (MBA) program, with several courses available only in an online format. Students learn about a broad range of topics, including applied economics for business leaders, finance and capital management, supply chain management and digital and contemporary marketing strategies.
Eligible students that apply to the online program can submit a GRE/GMAT waiver.
Members of the military and veterans receive a 20 percent tuition discount.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University, with a renowned reputation, offers several opportunities for students to earn a master’s degree in as little as one year. The Master of Science in Applied Economics consists of just 10 courses and is offered in evening classes or online. The Master of Science in Biotechnology, also consists of just 10 courses, and is offered both on-campus and online.
The Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Management program requires completion of just nine online courses and one on-site seminar. Consider a 30-credit hour Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate, or the 30-credit hour Master of Science in Individualized Genomics and Health. The school also offers other potential 12-month master’s program options.
Actual tuition costs vary among the different departments and degree programs.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Pursue a master’s degree at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and start your career or expand your career opportunities in as little as one year. Consider the Information Science and Technology degree, Master of Science in Technical Communication program, or the Master of Engineering in Geotechnics program. The school offers other master’s degree programs that require just 30 credit hours that can be completed in two years or in less time.
Members of the U.S. Military pay a discounted tuition rate.
California State University
California State University, East Bay offers a 12-month accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a class size limit of 40 students per cohort. Admission to the program begins October 1st of each year and continues until the class is full. The program is offered in the heart of Downtown Oakland, and focuses on helping students to build their career.
There is no GMAT requirement for students with more than five years of work experience.
Northeastern University offers a variety of master’s programs that requires just one-year completion time. The Master of Science in Corporate & Organizational Communication is a one-year full-time program. Some students may prefer to complete the program on a part-time basis, which takes longer to earn the degree.
Perhaps you prefer a career in taxation. Earn a Master of Science in Taxation to sharpen your knowledge and skills so that you stay current on current laws and trends. There are several other master’s programs at the school that can be completed in 12 to 18 months.
University of Michigan Ross
The University of Michigan Ross invites prospective students to decide, ‘Which one-year master’s program is right for me?’ The school offers three programs that students can complete in a year, including the Master of Management, which is a 10-month master’s degree program. Complete the intensive Master of Accounting program in as little as eight months. The Master of Supply Chain Management is a 10-month STEM program.
All three programs prepare students for leadership positions, and the knowledge and skills to advance their career.
University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder explains that its master’s programs that students can complete in one year or less provides students the opportunity to jump-start their career. Choose your master’s program from options that includes the Master of Science in Accounting/Taxation, the Master of Science in Business Analytics, the Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Real Estate or the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management. Each of these programs can be completed in just nine or ten months of study.
Rochester Institute of Technology
The Rochester Institute of Technology indicates that the school is ‘advancing beyond the expected,’ and that it is a school that works to shape the future. The master’s degree programs at the school include several program options in business, computing and information sciences, engineering, health sciences and other disciplines.
One example of a master’s degree program that can be completed in just one year is the Master of Science in Manufacturing Leadership, offered through the school’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. The program can be completed in just 12 months. There are several master’s degree programs at the school that can be completed in as little as 15 to 18 months of full-time study. Tuition differs among programs.
Babson College features several opportunities for students to earn a master’s degree in one year or even less time. Students have the option to extend the time that it takes to complete a degree, yet to earn a degree in as little as 16 months if they are unable to complete the rigorous requirements to complete their chosen master’s program in less time.
Consider the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, which has a one-year completion option. Do you want to complete a master’s program and expand career opportunities in even less time? Consider the Master of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Master of Science in Finance, or the Master of Science in Business Analytics, which students can complete in just nine months.
Getting Started With a 1-Year Master’s Program
The decision to begin an accelerated master’s program is a significant one. It deserves a good deal of consideration to make sure you find the best fit for your needs.
How to Determine Whether You Need a Master’s Degree
Some students know going into their undergraduate career that careers within their chosen discipline, such as those in the medical field, require a master’s degree. Others discover at some point while earning their bachelor’s degree or after starting their career that further education would be beneficial in terms of pay and career opportunities. Still, others seek out a master’s degree after reaching a stable point in their careers where they desire to expand their knowledge for personal fulfillment.
If you are questioning whether obtaining a master’s degree is the right step, be sure to talk to an advisor, admissions officer, or career professional. Likewise, if you are employed, you may also wish to discuss the specific benefits of getting a master’s degree with your boss or HR representative. You may have a mentor or trusted friend with a master’s degree who can help you research and make your decision.
A good place to start researching your master’s program is with the institution where you earned your undergraduate degree. You should have access to a career center or counselor who can give you advice. There could even be discounts associated with continuing your studies at your original university. You can also look up institutions online or find recommendations on professional forums.
When to Start a 1-Year Master’s Program
In order to begin a master’s program, you must have your undergraduate degree and take any required entrance tests, such as the GRE. If you are currently employed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad time to begin your degree program. It may be possible to continue working in your chosen field while completing your master’s.
It is important to begin a master’s program (especially an accelerated course of learning) when you know you will have time for it. While you can’t always plan for life, it probably isn’t a good idea to start your master’s degree if you have overwhelming time commitments elsewhere. Be realistic about the time you have to devote to your studies.
Master’s Degree Programs that Can Be Completed in One Year
Many traditional master’s degrees can be achieved in one year if you are willing to be flexible. Degrees range from MBA programs to specialties in the medical field, the arts, and the sciences.
There are opportunities to complete one-year master’s degrees in many fields, including:
- Art and design
- Business and management
- Counseling and psychology
- Criminal justice
- Health care and nursing
- IT and technology/computer science
- Legal fields
- Social work
Keep in mind that not every university offers these programs in an accelerated format. Conducting some research will help you locate an accredited school with a one-year master’s degree program in your chosen field.
Why Attend a 1-Year Master’s Program?
The idea of completing a graduate degree in a single year may be intimidating to many students. However, there are many benefits to opting for a one-year program rather than one that is spread across two or three years.
One-year master’s programs are especially beneficial to students who have a very clear and definitive goal. For example, if you are already working in a field that you love and know that enhancing your skills will allow you to go further in your career, an accelerated degree can help you reach that goal far more quickly.
In some cases, students have to step away from their full-time positions in order to pursue a master’s degree. In this situation, a one-year degree is valuable in two ways. First, it allows you to get back to your regular employment and your full salary more quickly. In addition, your employer may be willing to offer tuition assistance if you will be returning with greater skills and the most up-to-date knowledge in the field in the span of only a year.
Students who recently completed their undergraduate programs may be interested in accelerated master’s programs for different reasons. In some cases, students are able to take dual-enrollment courses in their senior year of undergraduate school which can then transfer directly to an accelerated graduate program at that same university. Additionally, students may be anxious to enter the workforce after spending so many years on their studies.
Choosing the Right Program
Although there are many good reasons to complete a one-year master’s degree program, it’s crucial that you choose a high-quality program from an accredited institution. Regardless of whether you attend online or in-person, accreditation helps ensure that you get the level of education that you deserve.
During the accreditation process, an outside party determines whether its programs meet regional or national standards of quality. When conducting this rigorous process, the accrediting body considers whether the faculty, curriculum, mission, and resources meet the needs of students and create an environment for academic success. If you enroll in a one-year master’s degree program at a college or university that is accredited, you are providing yourself with the opportunity to receive the best possible academic experience. Furthermore, credits in regionally accredited programs are much more likely to transfer to other schools.
Advantages and Disadvantages of 1 Year Master’s Programs
As with all other decisions regarding your education and career, there are pros and cons to accelerated programs. Ultimately, you must evaluate your needs as a student, but the benefits tend to outweigh the drawbacks. Here are just a few of them to consider.
Getting your master’s degree in one year can help you reach your career goals more quickly. It presents a shorter period of inconvenience to students who will be working or parenting while earning their master’s degrees. There may also be some cost savings associated with achieving your master’s in one year.
For students who aren’t pursuing a specialized field of study but are looking to boost their pay rate, a one-year master’s is a great option. Within a year, they can enjoy the benefits that come with higher pay and additional career opportunities with an online master’s degree.
Additionally, completing a master’s degree in one year should also help you develop some soft skills. You may become proficient in managing time, meeting tight deadlines, and planning projects. You’ll be able to say that you successfully completed a rigorous course of study in half the time it takes many other students.
Despite the many benefits, there are challenges associated with those tight timelines and getting the required work completed in a shorter amount of time. A one-year graduate program can be intense, so students may need to carve out more time to devote to their studies.
It may be harder for working adults to effectively juggle both school and work schedules. Furthermore, the accelerated pace of a one-year program may present logistical challenges for students who have children and families to care for on top of other responsibilities.
Cost is usually a concern with any degree program, but there are many options for affordable programs all over the United States. As with undergraduate degrees, institutions may be able to offer financial assistance or payment plans. If your schedule allows, you may also wish to work for a period of time before or during your studies to offset the educational costs.
Lastly, because a one-year master’s program is so condensed, it may not offer the same level of opportunities in terms of internships or practicums. If that kind of experience is an important part of your academic goals, it may be better to pursue a more traditional program instead.
In-person 1-Year Master’s Programs
Your ability to succeed in an online or in-person degree program depends on your needs and skills, so it’s important to consider which would better suit your unique situation. There are also some hybrid programs that offer the best of both worlds.
Subjects for 1-Year In-person Master’s Programs
Professional studies that require a good deal of hands-on learning may be best suited either for in-person instruction or for a blend of the two. For example, areas of study that focus on the sciences and involve physical research projects may require a student to be present for at least part of his or her learning experience. Any program that requires travel will also require at least a part-time investment in in-person learning.
To this end, many one-year programs may offer a limited residency option in which the majority of classwork is done online. In these types of programs, the student is present in person only for truly required instruction. This is a great option if you choose an in-person program that is not located near where you live.
To achieve a degree in one year, a student will also need to look for a graduate program that either waives the thesis requirement or has a modified program. Traditionally, a thesis or dissertation can take a year (or more) to complete. Thus, it is important to be familiar with all thesis requirements, or lack thereof, for any master’s program you are interested in.
The Value of In-Person Programs
In-person programs have the advantages of traditional classroom learning: a teacher who can answer questions and give immediate feedback, classmates who enhance learning with questions and discussions, and a structured learning environment. Students who find it challenging to set their own schedules with online learning may feel more comfortable in a traditional in-person classroom.
Also, it is often easier for teachers to develop relationships with students in person, which allows for more robust advising and mentoring. This is particularly valuable if a student will need professional references or guidance in the future. This can be a very important consideration in specialized fields. Make sure to consider whether it would give your career a boost to be able to make these types of connections.
Another beneficial aspect of in-person programs is the interpersonal networking that is available. Even if you do end up attending school online, look for opportunities for in-person gatherings, study groups, information sessions, or job fairs. It never hurts to begin building (or expanding) your professional network.
In-person students may also benefit from one-on-one instruction or tutoring. On-site resources like writing or math labs can be hugely beneficial if you are the type of learner who needs someone to walk you through something in depth. Keep in mind that if you are enrolled in an online or hybrid program and need additional help, many programs now offer virtual tutoring, and you may be able to hire an in-person private tutor.
Best Options for One-Year In-Person Master’s Programs
If you’re planning to attend an in-person school, you will need to choose one that is within a reasonable physical distance of where you live. Alternatively, you may choose to find a school with a limited residency option. Finally, there are a number of affordable schools that offer these programs with both in-person and hybrid options.
Is the Quality of a 1-Year Master’s Degree the Same as a Traditional Master’s Degree?
The quality of your degree is not affected by how quickly you complete it. A reputable college or university that offers an accelerated master’s program does not do so by lowering the standards for graduation. Rather, they design the curriculum so that you are able to complete courses more quickly, typically by taking on a much heavier workload for a single semester.
If you are concerned that a future employer will not regard an accelerated program in the same light as a traditional one, rest assured that it is unlikely that a hiring manager will be interested in whether you completed the program in one year or three. If anything, an employer might be impressed that you have the time management skills, willpower, and dedication to earn your degree so quickly.
What Is the Cost of a 1-Year Master’s Program?
The cost of a one-year master’s degree program will vary widely based on the school and major. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a master’s degree is $66,340. Other factors that can affect the cost include:
- Any previously earned credits that can be applied to the degree
- Whether you are completing the program online or in person
- How much financial aid you receive
Although one-year programs are completed more quickly, they do not always offer significant savings over a traditional program. This is because many colleges and universities charge by credit hour. In an accelerated program, you often complete the same or a similar number of credit hours as you would in a traditional program. However, completing your degree more quickly may help you save money in terms of housing, parking, and other fees. In addition, tuition tends to rise annually, so completing your program in a shorter time frame can help you to avoid costly increases.
Tips for Keeping Costs Low While Completing a 1-Year Master’s Degree
As a general rule, higher education is expensive, but there are ways to save money while pursuing your degree. Finding ways to save money differs based on whether you are completing the program online or in person, but there are some cost-saving strategies that apply to almost anyone who is pursuing a one-year master’s degree.
First, research and apply for scholarships, particularly focusing on those that are specifically designed for your major or life circumstances. There are scholarships available exclusively to members of groups who have not historically been supported in particular disciplines. For example, there are many scholarship programs for women pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields.
Seek out and apply for any other forms of financial aid that may be available, including state and federal loans. You may also be able to apply for a position as a graduate teaching or research assistant, which allows you to work within the department while you pursue your degree.
Finally, try to save costs on other aspects of your education, including housing and textbooks. If you are attending an in-person program, living with a family member or roommate rather than on campus can help you save considerable amounts of money. Renting rather than purchasing textbooks is another way to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of your education in a one year master’s programs USA.
Education Data Initiative, Cost of Master’s Degree