Summary of work: More than 110 hours of research. Every online Master program in the US analyzed. 53 industry experts, hiring managers, current students, and alumni consulted. 50 of the best programs identified.
As the cost of education rises, it can be difficult to find affordable master’s programs. That said, there are many affordable programs that are still rewarding. While students should always look for schools with programs that best suit their needs first, considering price is still an important part of finding a beneficial program. The key is to find a program that will offer a return on investment within an acceptable time frame.
Students don’t need to worry that a less expensive school will offer a worse educational experience. Just because a particular program has high costs does not mean that the school is the best choice. In fact, many of the nation’s best programs in subjects such as business, English, and more are actually located at more affordable universities the myth that ivy leagues schools are the best option for every subject has since been debunked.
Most employers and schools accept online degrees. The rise in technology means the stigma of online degrees no longer exists.
When choosing a master’s program it is important to make a decision based on the field you hope to join. These programs are designed to offer focused training for career success.
Most master’s programs take around 2 years to complete. That said, some schools require less or more time.
An advanced degree can lead to higher salaries and chances of employment. In addition, it offers the opportunity to refine your knowledge of the subject and fields that interest you.
All of this is to say that prospective master’s students shouldn’t rule out their ability to attend a rewarding graduate degree program. Financial constraints are definitely worth considering, but tuition assistance is often available in graduate programs and the investment often provides an excellent opportunity to learn with others in the field.
We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and list of the 50 most affordable online masters programs.
Read about our methodology here.
NCSU provides affordable costs per credit for its more than 50 master's degree programs and includes financial assistance to help distance learners earn their degrees without breaking the bank. Whether it's aerospace engineering or statistics, graduate students receive an affordable and quality education on their schedule.
UN Lincoln has close to 30 master's programs and 18 graduate certificates, providing students with affordable paths to earning their degrees while continuing their full-time employment. Students can complete many of the programs fully online and receive financial support such as scholarships, federal aid, grants and loans.
OSU has more than 20 affordable graduate programs for online students, such as the Master of Science in Agricultural Education and the Master of Science in Health Care Administration. Distance learners are able to attend online classes at their convenience and also benefit from competitive tuition rates compared to students who attend classes on campus.
With 35 affordable graduate degree programs, UI Urbana-Champaign is a clear choice for professionals who want to earn their degrees online. Every program, including the sought-after engineering programs, features reasonable prices per credit hour for students who would rather complete the work online than attend in-person classes.
Texas A&M offers nine colleges of higher education for students who want to earn their master's degrees in agriculture, medicine, law and more. The university not only offers affordable rates to online students but also abundant discounted services to military members, veterans and their families.
Purdue University has 21 master's degree programs available in either online or hybrid formats and with affordable rates to assist the needs of every graduate student. Financial aid through Stafford and Graduate Plus is also available to help degree-seeking students if necessary.
ISU has nearly 30 master's degree programs for online students to choose from, including 27 graduate certificate programs. The distance education courses are offered at affordable tuition rates, and the semester cost per credit is highly competitive with universities around the nation.
The University of Alabama has a combined 50 graduate degree and certificate programs offered through Bama By Distance. Alabama prides itself on the low tuition for the online graduate programs and offers financial assistance for every student, including military students and their families.
UC Denver has around 15 graduate degree programs and more than 20 certificate programs for online learners. These programs are offered at competitive tuition rates and provide an affordable way for online students to earn their degrees and certifications at a distance.
With close to 80 graduate degree programs available, the University of Florida caters to every student from every professional background. Each online program is highly affordable and flexible for students who are currently in full-time jobs and want to complete their degrees at their own pace.
CUNY has nine fully online master's degree programs and six graduate certificate programs at affordable rates for distance learners. In fact, the graduate tuition rates are among the lowest in the Northeast when compared to other schools in the area.
Liberty University's 60 online master's degree programs rank highly every year for their quality, affordability and accessibility. Graduate students pay some of the lowest tuition in the country and have access to financial assistance and online support services throughout their time in school.
The University of Missouri provides scholarships, financial aid, military benefits and more to graduate students in any of its online master's degree programs. As an added bonus, online graduate students pay the school's in-state tuition costs no matter their residency.
Enrolling in Auburn University's distance and continuing education courses is an affordable way to earn a master's degree without attending classes on campus. Each of its six colleges of education provides competitively priced tuition and the convenience of completing the courses in a fully online learning environment.
Graduate students in CSU's online master's degree programs pay affordable tuition to attend virtual classes and enjoy the freedom to complete the courses at their own pace. With 38 online graduate degree programs, CSU has a course for most any student regardless of their profession.
Angelo State University provides numerous financial aid and scholarship options to help graduate students attend any of the 15 online master's degree or seven graduate certificate programs. ASU provides low tuition costs as well as veterans assistance for active and former military members who want to earn their degrees online.
West Virginia University offers more than 20 graduate degree programs in an online format, all of which rank highly for affordability and flexibility. Many of the programs feature live online sessions with only a few requiring some type of residency; however, the residencies usually only last three to four days.
Cal State Fresno gives graduate students a way to earn their MBA, public administration and other degrees in a convenient online learning format. These cohort programs are ranked highly for their affordability and academic excellence, providing thorough instruction to give students the skills to excel in their careers after college.
The University of North Dakota offers more than 60 graduate degree and certificate programs to students from all walks of life, giving them affordable options for earning their degrees from a distance. UND keeps its graduate tuition low and provides financial assistance for anyone attending an of the highly ranked master's programs.
UAF designs its online programs for busy professionals who want to earn their graduate degrees or certificates without interrupting their careers. Whether it's justice administration, special education or any of UAF's online programs, students pay affordable tuition rates and have the flexibility to complete the courses around their schedules.
The University of South Carolina's 25 online master's degree programs are an affordable option for professionals who want to earn their degrees without attending on-campus classes. USC also has many different graduate certificate programs available at low costs for professionals in most any field.
With more than 20 combined online and hybrid graduate degree programs available, FHSU provides a quality education at affordable tuition rates for distance learners. From an MBA in international business to a master's in school psychology, graduate students receive low costs per credit to further their education for career advancement.
Mississippi State University caters to online students, providing them with affordable rates and in-state tuition regardless of residency. Graduate students can complete any of the dozens of master's degree programs at their own pace and on their own schedule.
ESU provides more than 30 different graduate programs with 33 concentrations for students who prefer to take classes entirely online. The university offers these programs at affordable and competitively priced tuition rates and provides full faculty support, financial assistance and other services throughout the students' time in school.
Drury University offers outstanding learning experiences for graduate students who enroll in the online master's degree and certificate programs. Students benefit from small class sizes, affordable tuition rates, an innovative curriculum and full faculty support to assist with their college education and to help them succeed academically and professionally.
The University of the Cumberlands offers more than 20 master's degree programs for professionals who are ready to take their careers to the next level. These programs are designed to be flexible and affordable thanks to competitive tuition and the school's commitment to the students' educational success.
West Texas A&M offers 13 completely online master's degree programs for distance learners as well as a few programs that are available online with some on-campus requirements. Regardless of the program, each one is designed with affordability in mind and provides low costs per credit for graduate students in most any profession.
Graduate students looking for low costs per credit hour will find them at UA Little Rock. The university takes pride in offering affordable tuition for its graduate students and provides other benefits such as low military and veteran rates, financial aid assistance, scholarships and tuition waiver programs.
Wilmington University provides more than 20 online master's degree programs and certificate options for graduate students seeking greater education and career advancement. These online programs are available at low costs per credit and include innovative courses to challenge the students and to help them gain the skills to launch their careers.
Georgia Southern University offers dozens of graduate degree and certificate programs for online students who are looking for affordable options as they pursue career advancement. All the programs featured at GSU include competitive tuition, an innovative curriculum and expert instruction from industry professionals.
Georgia College offers numerous master's degree programs in an online format, including hybrid options for students who prefer to take a combination of online and on-campus classes. Whether it's criminal justice, public administration or another nationally accredited program, online students benefit from affordable tuition, graduate assistantships, scholarships and more.
Portland State University's eight online master's degree programs are designed to be affordable and flexible for graduate students who are also busy professionals. Graduate students seeking the credentials to advance their careers in education, health care, supply chain management and more will receive high-quality, affordable instruction at PSU.
Many of Northwestern College's graduate programs are offered 100 percent online; this includes the master's of education degrees. Graduate students in any of the programs benefit from flexible class schedules and nationally recognized affordability, giving them the means to complete their degrees online while continuing their full-time employment.
SD Mines Online offers three outstanding engineering master's degree programs for distance learners: construction engineering, engineering management and mining engineering and management. These programs are designed to be highly affordable and include scholarship options to provide further financial assistance to online students.
Graduate students who want to earn their degrees online without breaking the bank should consider Morningside College. With 100 percent online courses in education as well as online offerings for nursing, graduate students are able to continue working while attending online classes at their own pace.
Georgia Southwestern State University takes an innovative approach to education, providing online courses for graduate students who can't participate in on-campus classes but want to pursue their graduate degrees. The university's master's programs, such as business administration and computer science, are affordable and designed to be flexible for working students.
SOSU's graduate students benefit from quality master's degree programs with personalized attention, affordable tuition and a student-first environment even in an online classroom. Many of the school's programs, such as the master's in sports administration, provide unique options and low tuition to rival other universities around the nation.
North Greenville University provides several graduate degree programs for on-campus and online students, such as master's in music education, business administration and medical science. These programs are highly affordable and include personalized instruction thanks to smaller class sizes.
Delta State University offers 10 fully online master's degree programs for graduate students who are looking for affordable, quality education from a distance. Online students in any of the school's programs, such as the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Science in Nursing, receive expert instruction and low tuition rates.
LSUS offers as many as 15 fully online master's degree programs in such areas as nonprofit administration, educational leadership and curriculum and instruction. Many of the programs can be completed in as little as 10 months, and all of them offer competitively priced tuition to make earning a master's degree less of a financial burden.
Frostburg State University offers great value and an affordable education to graduate students who are furthering their education through online means. Combined with affordable tuition, FSU offers financial assistance through scholarship opportunities, graduate assistantships and other services.
Graduate students have around 20 master's degree programs to choose from when deciding to further their education in an online learning environment. These programs are known for their affordability and provide full faculty support, mentorships and other services to help students succeed academically.
Chadron State College has a dozen master's degree programs with several concentrations offered fully or partially online. Whether it's the educational administration program or the fully online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, graduate students benefit from in-depth training, flexible scheduling and affordable tuition.
Minot State University is committed to providing a quality, affordable education to students regardless of their time zone. Students have a variety of graduate programs to choose from, such as the Master of Science in Information Systems, and benefit from low tuition rates and personalized attention from qualified instructors.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers more than 20 master's degree programs through the eNSU Global Campus. These programs are convenient, flexible and highly affordable, and online-only students never have to pay any out-of-state fees.
Texas A&M Kingsville offers the highest quality teaching and courses to bring out the best in graduate students regardless of their profession. Students in any of the six online master's programs enjoy affordable costs per credit and full academic and technical support throughout their time in school.
CSU Dominguez Hills is nationally recognized for distance learning and offers five master's degree programs, including numerous graduate certificate programs, for online students across the nation. These programs are designed with affordability in mind and provide the necessary courses to help students advance their careers upon graduation.
Martin Luther College offers three primary master's degree programs in an online format: theological studies, education and educational administration. These programs also include different areas of interest to hone the students' skills and are known for their affordability for distance learners who want to save money and complete the courses at home.
Campbellsville University offers more than 25 master's degree programs for distance learners who want to receive a quality education at their own pace. These programs, such as the MBA in marketing and the master's in educational administration, offer affordable tuition rates and provide in-depth training to help students gain the skills and the credentials to succeed in their careers.
Clarks Summit University offers four distinct master's degree programs in an online learning format and can be completed in as little as two years. The master's in arts, literature, education and counseling programs are customizable and affordable, appealing to graduate students who are currently working in their respective fields.