Best Online Degree Programs for Working ProfessionalsContinuing education is an incredibly valuable action that you can take to advance your career continually, and it is something that is mandatory in certain industries in order to maintain licensure or certification.

There are a few functions of going back to college or continuing your education. These are to remain at the cutting edge of your current industry, to expand upon your abilities within your profession, or even to shift paths in a given sector with the skills that you acquire. Even if you want to get your graduate degree in a field that you aren’t currently working in, pursuing it will pay great dividends for your career.

All of the careers that require employees to continue their education are incredibly demanding in terms of time, and most any job that you have is going to take up a significant chunk of the hours you have in a day. That can make you feel like there are fewer possibilities out there, but there are many different degrees that provide working professionals with the flexibility that they need without sacrificing the quality of the education provided.

In light of that, we have put together this ranking of the top 25 best online degree programs for working professionals. The degrees in this list span various areas of study, and all of them are graduate level degrees or certificates that are provided in a way that makes them more accessible and better options for those of you who have already settled into your careers.

All of the degree programs in this ranking are presented to students entirely online and asynchronously, allowing you to work at your own pace and omitting in-person labs and lectures. Instead, all of the coursework is available online any time of day or night. In addition to that, the majority of the degree programs that you’ll read about below are accelerated degrees that take a year or less to complete. This is a great benefit for someone seeking to continue their education because it capitalizes on the things they have already learned and can quickly lead to increased efficacy or opportunity in their place of employment.

Methodology

We collected a list of schools offering programs that were well-suited for working professionals, the research we conducted included graduate degree programs and graduate-level certificate programs that would be fast, flexible, and fully-online. In order to be considered for this ranking, schools had to be currently accredited in the United States and either a public or private not-for-profit institution of higher learning. No for-profit schools were considered or ranked in this piece; additionally, no schools were given preferential treatment of any kind. Our clearly stated methodology below would allow someone else to draw the same conclusion.

A final score out of a possible 200 points was calculated using the following:

  • 50% Freshman Retention Rate and;
  • 50% Graduation Rate

In order to gather the necessary information, the schools’ websites were used whenever possible. The databases of both U.S. News & World Report and the National Center for Education Statistics were also used when the information we needed wasn’t readily available on a school’s individual site. After compiling the data, the sum of the rates determined the total score for each school. The entire list was then ranked according to that score, and the top 25 highest scoring schools are presented to you in this article.

If any two schools received the same score, we used the alphabetical ordering of their names as our designated means of breaking that tie. This ranking has ranked the schools that were offering the top 25 best online degree programs for working professionals. The methodology applies to the schools only, and each program is listed alphabetically beneath the school.

New England College

Best Online Degree Programs for Working Professionals

New England CollegeNew England College is a private college that was founded in 1946. It serves almost 3,000 students; roughly 53% of those students are enrolled in one of the many online programs the college offers, while the remaining students attend traditional classes on campus in Henniker, New Hampshire. NEC came to fruition after World War II in an effort to meet the needs of students attending on the G.I. Bill. The college is a Yellow Ribbon Program College and has maintained their tradition of uplifting the many members and veterans of the armed forces by fostering strong partnerships with the CCAF, CDET, MARSOC, and the JSOU. In addition to that, New England College offers unique military scholarship opportunities. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and has been since 1967. There are 37 bachelors degree programs, 12 masters degree programs, and the school also features one doctoral degree. The online courses at NEC are taught by the same faculty as the on-campus counterparts; 75% of the full-time faculty even hold terminal degrees in their fields.

NEC Website: http://www.nec.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Final Score: 98/200

25: Master of Science in Management

This Master of Science in Management degree can take as little as one year to complete and is an excellent option for those of you who want to add more depth to your communication and management skills. Courses offered include Strategic Planning and Policy, and Professional and Organizational Ethics: A Global Perspective. There are four different concentrations available (that may affect the amount of time the degree takes to complete). These are Healthcare Administration, which features courses like Legal Issues in Healthcare and Managerial Economics; Non-Profit Leadership, covering the subjects of Strategic Fundraising, Organizational Communication, Negotiations & Conflict Resolution, and more; Project Management, some topics you would cover are Quality Analysis for Technology as well as Supply Chain Management; finally, Real Estate Management, with pivotal information through its Customer Relationship Management and Principles of Finance and Insurance courses. Regardless of the concentration you select, the program consists of 36 credit hours and will culminate in a thesis.

Program Website: MS in Management
Program Length: 1 Year

Independence University

Independence University

Independence UniversityIndependence University is an online university with a motto that states “Advance your career 24/7.” IU was established in 1978 and at the time was called California College for Health Sciences. The school is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, but does not have a campus or offer any of its higher learning programs in a face-to-face format. While Independence University is the online branch of Stevens-Henager College, it remains a non-profit university and is independently accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, as well as holding programmatic accreditation in its nursing programs. This university is a good option for those of you wanting to expand your existing degrees because it is strictly focused on providing degree programs that are “focused on your career field, without electives that you don’t want or need.” There are four schools that serve the university’s 6,389 students which are the School of Healthcare; the School of Business; the School of Technology and; the School of Graphic Arts.

IU Website: http://www.independence.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 37%
Final Score: 100/200

24: Master of Science in Information Systems

Independence University is committed to offering career-centric degree options in accelerated formats that can be completed entirely online and in just 15 months. The Master of Science in Information Systems degree program will equip graduates with a broad range of skills such as marketing, leadership, managing human resources, designing and analyzing systems, and so much more. This program can add several rungs to the career ladder you’re already on, or pave the way for you to branch out into different jobs. Some of the career options with this degree include positions as a systems analyst, strategic technologist, and a variety of other options centered around the field of data science as a whole. If you’re interested in moving up to a management or director level position, this addition to your resume will make a difference without taking up a great deal of your time or your money. There are no additional fees for applying or textbooks, IU provides students with a laptop, and charges the same tuition regardless of residency.

Program Website: MS in Information Technology
Program Length: 15 Months

23: Master of Science in Healthcare Administration

For those of you who would like to see yourself move into positions like senior health service administrator, senior policy analyst, or even long-term care manager, this degree program will help you get there regardless of what specific medical setting you’re working in. The Master of Science in Healthcare Administration at Independence University can be completed in merely 15 months through this asynchronous accelerated program; it is also provided entirely online, and you can access your coursework from the laptop that Independence University provides to you without any additional fees. The faculty, Ken Wyka, is highly respected in his area of expertise which is Respiratory Care. He is a current fellow of the American Association for Respiratory Care and has written three textbooks. With his background as the director of respiratory clinical education at four different institutions, he demonstrates the passion and expertise that a great teacher should have. Throughout this degree program, students will add depth to their knowledge in healthcare across the board, including policy, planning, economics, marketing, and of course, information systems.

Program Website: MS in Healthcare Informatics
Program Length: 15 Months

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire UniversitySouthern New Hampshire University, or more commonly SNHU, is a private university in Manchester, New Hampshire. Despite the 300-acre campus that it sits on, 86% of the incredible 73,177 students are earning their degrees entirely online. SNHU offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels, as well as a range of certificate levels. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and has been since 1973; it was founded in 1932. There is a misconception that SNHU is a for-profit institution because that is how it was initially established. It began as a business school called the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. It became a nonprofit institution in the year 1968, and after cycling through different names, it would become New Hampshire College in 1969. SNHU has steadily striven towards increasing the scope of its offerings, which now exceed 300. The degree programs are offered through any one of six different academic divisions. These are the College for America; the College of Engineering, Technology, & Aeronautics; the College of Online & Continuing Education; the School of Arts & Sciences; the School of Business and; the School of Education. It was considered the Most Innovative School of 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

SNHU Website: https://www.snhu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 53%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Final Score: 111/200

22: Master of Business Administration in Accounting

An MBA or Master of Business Administration is a very versatile degree in itself and on its own can open a lot of doors for you. However, this particular program is catered to those of you who are working in or have a desire to work in accounting. Skills like Marketing and Strategy, Financial Analysis, and Operations Management and Technology round out the curriculum that can lead to promotions, or even a new job as a tax planner, financial manager, or budget analyst. In addition to the substantial foundation that the coursework lays for students, SNHU also offers great student support and networking opportunities. Students are admitted to this asynchronous program on a rolling basis five times a year, allowing students more opportunities to start when it is best for them; the asynchronous format allows students to work entirely on their own schedules, and the program is affordable. Southern New Hampshire University, founded as the New Hampshire School of Accounting in 1932, is one of the best places to pursue this type of degree, and this program is perfect for a student who has already started their career.

Program Website: MBA in Accounting
Program Length: 15 Months

21: Master of Science in Healthcare Administration

A Master of Science in Healthcare Administration can lead to many different types of higher-level positions for those medical professionals that didn’t take the clinical route. Healthcare Administration is an industry that is always evolving as society evolves, and that makes it all the more important to keep yourself informed and continue to bolster the skills and knowledge you have. The MS in Healthcare Administration offered online at SNHU can fill some gaps in your education, expand on what you know, or you can take what you learn and change direction in your professional life. This program adheres to the standards of both The Association of University Programs in Health Administration and The Healthcare Leadership Alliance and brings together an in-depth understanding of the healthcare industry with the technical skill to be an active leader. The flexibility of the program coupled with the courses that will cover every important aspect of healthcare administration including finance, law, policy, informatics, and strategic planning, make this degree a positive step on your career path in the healthcare industry.

Program Website: MS in Healthcare Administration
Program Length: 15 Months

20: Master of Science in Human Resources Management

Human Resource Management spans every industry, and that is part of what makes this Master of Science in Human Resource Management one of the best degree options for working professionals. This degree program from SNHU is affordable, flexible, and can be completed in simply 15 months; it also features a curriculum that will allow students to look at human resource management from every possible angle. SNHU’s HR management degree takes a systemic approach to human resources with courses such as Business Research and Human Resource Information Systems. These courses will give students a data-driven perspective on human resources, and courses such as Negotiation/Advocacy in the Workplace and Managing Difficult Conversations at Work will equip students with the on-the-ground tools to use that data to help the company they go on to work for keep growing. This program full adheres to the guidelines in the SHRM’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates published by The Society for Human Resource Management.

Program Website: MS in Human Resources
Program Length: 15 Months

19: Master of Science in Psychology

A career in criminal justice, health services, human resources, education, and more can be expanded on with a Master of Science in Psychology. In addition to the final capstone course at the end of this 15-month program, students will take classes titled Theories of Personality, Ethical Practice in Psychology, and Social Psychology. Southern New Hampshire University offers its MS in Psychology with three different concentration options: Child & Adolescent Development, Forensics, and Industrial Organization. This program admits students five times throughout the year and has a curriculum that will add something to any skill set without taking time away from your current job. The tuition is affordable, and students will pay less than $200 in fees throughout their course of study. Another benefit of SNHU’s offering is that the elective courses are ones that allow students to engage in things that interest them, whether that happens to be Women in Leadership or Sport and Society.

Program Website: MS in Psychology
Program Length: 15 Months

Concordia University

Concordia University

Concordia UniversityConcordia University is a private liberal arts university with a Lutheran affiliation. It is situated on a small campus in Portland, Oregon and serves a total of almost 5,500 students. Concordia offers degrees spanning from associates to doctoral level degrees today; however, when it first opened its doors in 1905, it was strictly a parochial school. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and shortly after receiving that accreditation, it finally became a four-year institution. The first baccalaureate students graduated in 1980. There are now 18 majors and 20 concentrations for students to choose from at the university, which are taught through the university’s constituent schools. These are the College of Education; the School of Management; the College of Health and Human Services and; the College of Arts and Sciences. In Boise, Idaho, Concordia also operates the Concordia University School of Law. The distance from Portland to Boise doesn’t mean too much to the graduate students, though. 81% of students enrolled in graduate level degree programs are taking their courses entirely online.

Concordia Portland Website: http://www.cu-portland.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Final Score: 116/200

18: Master of Education

Concordia University’s oldest and most popular masters degree is the Master of Education; it has been part of the school’s curriculum for more than a century. Despite its longevity, the program has remained current and continually expanded to fit the needs of a growing force of educators. There are three specific programs which are the MEd in Career & Technical Education, the MEd in Educational Leadership, and the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction which offers an expansive 14 different concentrations to choose from based on your professional goals. While this program will not lead to any state certification or licensure, it will drastically enhance the things you already know about the career you’re passionate about. The program boasts a 93% satisfaction rate and 87% of graduates reported that they received higher pay or promotions when they completed the program. Each degree track is asynchronous and online only. Students will take one course at a time for five weeks per course, and can complete their degree in just one year. Several of the programs do also require a capstone project.

Program Website: ME
Program Length: 1 Year

Benedictine University

Benedictine University

Benedictine UniversityBenedictine University is a private Catholic university in Chicago, Illinois in the suburb of Lisle. There are two additional campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. The school that would go on to become Benedictine University first received its charter in the year 1890. St. Procopius College officially opened in 1887 and moved the campus to Lisle in 1901. The university went through two name changes, to Illinois Benedictine College and finally Benedictine University in 1971 and 1996, respectively. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and also boasts four specialized accreditations from a handful of agencies. There are just under 6,000 students, and while the undergraduate degree seekers are based primarily on campus, over half of the graduate students are enrolled only in distance education. There are a total of 59 undergraduate majors available at Benedictine, and 57 graduate programs in total, including masters, doctorates, and certificates. Forbes ranked the university among the top colleges in the nation for the 7th consecutive year in 2017, and several programs have been individually recognized in the past.

School Website: http://www.ben.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 51%
Final Score: 121/200

17: Master of Business Administration

The MBA program at Benedictine University is the 4th largest of its kind in the Chicago area and is offered through The Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business. The program has two different tracks that you can choose from depending on the limitations of your schedule. The traditional format would have you taking one course at a time, designed for the convenience of the working professional. The accelerated format would have you taking two classes at a time, and takes only one year to complete. The Master of Business Administration at Benedictine University is available in seven different concentrations: Entrepreneurship and Managing Innovation, Accounting, Financial Management, Marketing, International Business, Healthcare Administration, and Internet Marketing. The varied selection of concentrations are provided to make it easier for someone to get the skills they need to flourish in their career, but if none of them suit your professional goals, Benedictine also allows students to customize their concentration by opting to pursue a dual degree. There are six start dates throughout the year, and students will not have to wait as long to get started on their coursework, which they can complete entirely according to their own schedule because the program is entirely available online already. There are no live lectures to watch, and no face-to-face meetings are required.

Program Website: MBA
Program Length: 1 Year

Trine University

Trine University

Trine UniversityTrine University is a private university in Angola, Indiana and several satellite campuses throughout Indiana and two in the state of Michigan. It is a relatively small university with just shy of 4,000 students, but it offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels in almost 40 areas of study. Trine University was founded as Tri-State Normal College in 1884, and over the years as curriculum expanded, the university underwent several name changes. Tri-State College and Tri-State University are the two former names. It took on its current title in honor of Dr. Ralph Trine, an alumnus, and trustee of the university. The Higher Learning Commission accredited Trine in 1966; the American Physical Therapy Association has also accredited the school for its Physical Therapy degree programs. Roughly 39% of the students participate in some degree of distance education, the majority of which are studying at the graduate level. Ralph Ketner, the founder of Food Lion, attended Trine University; even more interesting, one of the archaeological team members that uncovered King Tut in 1922, named J.O. Kinnaman spent some time as the Dean when the university was still known as Tri-State College before 1975.

School Website: https://www.trine.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 56%
Final Score: 132/200

16: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Continuing education for people who are currently working in law enforcement, corrections, or as part of the court system is vitally important to their continued progress in the industry, which is what makes the Master of Science in Criminal Justice, or MSCJ, available online at Trine University a great opportunity. This online MSCJ has a curriculum that was designed to prepare students that want to excel in the fields of fire safety, law enforcement, social work, and other related professions. There are 13 total courses in this program, which is available entirely at a distance. Students are responsible for completing six credits per term, and each term is eight weeks long. At a full-time pace, this degree can be completed in 12-14 months. On top of the flexibility that comes with pursuing a degree in a self-paced format, Trine University’s tuition is lower than the national average, only charging $515 per credit hour for this particular degree track. Some of the subjects the program covers include Psychopathology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice Policy Formation and Analysis. The program ends with a leadership demonstration capstone.

Program Website: MS in Criminal Justice
Program Length: 1 Year

15: Master of Science in Engineering Management

Engineering is a constantly developing industry, and expanding your skills is essential not only to grow your career horizons but also to remain current. The Master of Science in Engineering Management is a flexible and affordable program that takes just 12 months to complete, allowing students to work around their schedules and quickly get back to putting their full attention into their careers. If you are ready to move into a management role or want to expand the scope of your engineering knowledge to further your career in other ways, the curriculum of this program was created to make that a possibility. Courses that students of this program will take cover subjects such as Organizational Communication, New Product Development, and Innovation Strategies, and Advanced Plant Management. Trine University’s robust MSEM degree program strives to “give students the competitive edge they need to be successful.” Graduates will have a deeper understanding of business ethics, decision-making, and public speaking as well.

Program Website: MS in Engineering
Program Length: 1 Year

University of North Texas

University of North Texas

University of North TexasThe University of North Texas is the flagship university of the University of North Texas System, and it is located in Denton, Texas. This public research university was initially the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute, a private teachers college that opened the doors in 1890. UNT has gone by six different names throughout its history, most notably North Texas State College from 1949 to 1961 when it finally separated from its identity as a teachers college. In 1961, the institution was granted university status and spent some time operating as North Texas State University. The current name was implemented in 1988, just two years before the state formally adopted the university. It has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges since 1925, and now offers 97 degrees at the bachelors level, 81 at the masters level, and 38 doctorates. UNT is among the top 100 academic institutions for the cumulative number of doctorates awarded; it has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, with five of its graduate degree programs ranking among the top 100 of their kind throughout the country for the year 2016.

School Website: https://www.unt.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 52%
Final Score: 132/200

14: Master of Education in Educational Leadership

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of North Texas is an accelerated degree that only takes 12 months to complete when students pursue it at a full-time pace of four courses each semester and two over the summer. It is a 30 credit-hour program and is provided in eight-week terms. There are ten courses that students have to complete. This degree program also leads to a Principal Certification in the state of Texas. UNT has designed this program for those of you seeking advancement as administrators in schools or district-level positions, for teachers that want to fulfill more leadership roles at their school, and for those of you who already hold a Master’s degree and need the Principal Certification (for Texas). Each state may have different requirements when it comes to receiving certifications.

Program Website: ME in Educational Leadership
Program Length: 1 Year

13: Master of Education in Special Education

A Master of Science in Special Education opens up doors for a broad range of professionals, including teachers, diagnosticians, coordinators, and supervisors in schools, juvenile correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, regional service centers and private or governmental agencies. The highly specialized courses of this program focus mostly on equipping students with a solid background in autism intervention, educational diagnostics, and high incidence disabilities. Classes focus on the types of disabilities you’re most likely to encounter working in education and how to navigate them in order to provide your students with the best education and care that you can. Students have the option to select from the following specializations: Autism Intervention, Educational Diagnostics, High Incidence Disabilities, Instructional Model to Prepare Adept Certified Teachers in Special Education, and Transition Specialist. Each option will cover a broad range of subjects and will have some overlap, the specializations, though, will put you in in-depth courses to prepare you to meet your professional goals.

Program Website: ME in Special Education
Program Length: 1 Year

12: Master of Science in Learning Technology

Learning technology continues to evolve and develop, changing the future of how education is delivered, managed, and evaluated. Learning Technology spans academic and corporate settings, and have a great deal of upward mobility for those who are qualified. If you want to expand on what you know and take advantage of some of the promotion opportunities that are out there, this degree program is a great option. There are 12 courses, and students take just one a month, allowing them to graduate in just a year’s time. However, there are other options if that pace isn’t going to work for you; you can take two courses at a time, or take breaks between courses depending on the demands of your career and home life. UNT has a unique offering with this degree as it is one of very few in the nation that adheres to the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Educational Technology Standards.

Program Website: MS in Learning Technology
Program Length: 1 Year

11: Master of Business Administration

University of North Texas’ College of Business has an accelerated MBA program online that can be completed in as little as 14 months when students pursue it at a full-time pace. An MBA is a very good foundational degree and can advance you in several different industries. Because of that, UNT has created two concentrations for students to choose from based on what direction they are trying to go. You can specialize in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, reinforcing your human resource knowledge to advance you in your field. Graduates of this concentration can fill positions in management analysis, human resources, corporate labor relations, and more. The second option is a specialization in Strategic Management. This degree will develop students’ perspective and create more professional opportunities. All courses are online and self-paced, and take eight weeks to complete. There are five start dates throughout the year, also, to make this program even more accessible.

Program Website: MBA
Program Length: 14 Months

California Baptist University

California Baptist University

California Baptist UniversityCalifornia Baptist University is a private Christian liberal arts university that was founded in 1950. It is headquartered in Riverside, California. The university formerly operated under the name California Baptist College prior to being granted university status. There are almost 10,000 students enrolled, and they have the choice to pursue degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission has accredited CBU since 1961. CBU is comprised of the College of Health Science; the College of Architecture, Visual Art and Design; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering; the Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education; the Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business; the Online and Professional Studies Division; the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; the School of Christian Ministries; the College of Nursing and; the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music. Across those schools, a broad range of areas of study is available. Currently, only about 23% of CBU’s students are online only, but an additional 20% are enrolled in online courses.

Cal Baptist Website: https://calbaptist.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 60%
Final Score: 136/200

10: Master of Science in Accounting

This online MS in Accounting is made up of 30 units and generally takes 12 months to complete. Most states require 150 hours of study before you can become a CPA, and a bachelors degree is only 20, so continuing your education in this field can change the shape your professional future drastically. The Division of Online and Professional Studies at Cal Baptist is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Subjects this degree covers include Contemporary Issues in Auditing and Assurance, Taxation, Business Law, Financial Accounting, Business Ethics, and more. This degree will provide you with the necessary tools to become a CPA providing that you achieve licensure in your state, it can also lead to higher positions at banks, in the sphere of education, and more. This program’s curriculum was designed with the goal of advancing graduates’ career by providing the skills needed to be effective, innovative and ethical financial leaders.

Program Website: MS in Accounting
Program Length: 1 Year

Ball State University

Ball State University

Ball State UniversityBall State University is a public research university in Muncie, Indiana. It was founded in 1876 as a normal school, like many schools across America, it began as a teacher training school. Ball State, however, came to be much later when the Ball Brothers bought the campus in 1918. Students can choose from around 200 undergraduate majors and 130 minors, and over 150 different graduate degree programs at the masters and doctoral levels. All those programs are provided through one of the eight academic colleges that fall under Ball State University. The university itself is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has almost 22,000 students enrolled. Even though Intel Corporation designated Ball State as the “most unwired” campus in America back in 2005, online education still plays a vital role. 34% of undergraduate students are participating in at least some distance education; on the other hand, 67% of the graduate student population are pursuing their degree entirely online.

Ball State Website: http://bsu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Final Score: 139/200

9: Master of Arts in Educational Psychology

The only Master of Arts on the list, the MA in Educational Psychology from Ball State University offers an industry-relevant and research-based curriculum in a convenient and affordable format. The faculty of the program are nationally recognized and teach the MS counterpart to this degree on campus in Indiana. The core of the program includes interesting classes like Human Learning and Achievement Motivation and Psychology of Human Development, among others. Ball State also offers a Gifted and Talented Specialization, a Human Development Specialization, and a Statistical and Research Methods Specialization. Each different concentration can uniquely contribute to your career by expanding different areas of your knowledge based on your selection. The program takes the average student 18 months to complete, but when taken at a more aggressive pace, it can be completed in one year. There are start dates for the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.

Program Website: MA Educational Psychology
Program Length: 18 Months

University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas

University of ArkansasThe University of Arkansas is a public land- and space-grant research university that was founded in 1871. The main campus, also the flagship of the University of Arkansas System, is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the largest university by enrollment in the state, with more than 25,000 students. Arkansas Industrial University, which would go on to become UARK, was established under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862. Classes started a decade later. The university offers degrees at the bachelors level and up, and it is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. There are over 200 programs of study provided to students through the eight colleges and schools of UARK. These are the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; the College of Engineering; the College of Education & Health Professions; the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Law; the Sam M. Walton College of Business; the Graduate School and International Education and; the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Arkansas Website: https://www.uark.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Final Score: 146/200

8: Master of Science in Nursing

A Master of Science in Nursing is a key to unlocking more opportunity in the field. It will help graduates to increase professional influence, impact the future of nursing, and improve patient outcomes by adding to their knowledge base. There is a Nurse Educator Concentration available as well. Students have the choice of taking a 39 credit hour non-thesis option or a 42 credit hour thesis option. Both are 100% online and can be completed in around a year if you pursue the degree at a full-time pace. There are part-time options provided as well to accommodate the demanding schedule of someone who has entered their nursing career already. The tuition is lower than the national average at just $560 per credit hour, and there are minimal fees associated with the program. There are practicum hours required for the degree, but UARK allows students to complete them locally as long as it is a qualified location.

Program Website: Masters in Nursing
Program Length: 1 Year

Simmons College

Simmons College

Simmons CollegeSimmons College is a private college in Boston, Massachusetts. The undergraduate college is described as women-focused, with 99% of the students being female; the graduate college is coeducational and makes up the majority of the 6,111 students in attendance. There are less than 2,000 undergraduate students. Simmons was founded in 1899 by a clothing manufacturer named John Simmons, who wanted to foster independence among women. Simmons is home to the world’s first MBA program designed specifically for women. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The college is highly residential at the undergraduate level, 100% of those students take classes on campus. Conversely, 63% of the graduate students are enrolled only online. Graduate degrees are offered in several different areas of study, which are degrees in Education, Communications Management, Gender and Cultural Studies, Public Policy and Liberal Arts. Simmons has less than 300 full-time faculty but still boasts a great student to faculty ratio at just 7 to 1.

School Website: http://www.simmons.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 74%
Final Score: 157/200

7: Master of Social Work

The Master of Social work at Simmons College can be completed in 15 months; there are traditional, accelerated, and extended tracks available based on the time you have available. The program is asynchronous but presented in a cohort model, with five start dates throughout the year. This is a clinically approached curriculum, and it comes from the oldest clinical school of social work in the country, opened in 1904. This MSW is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. There are four concentrations you can choose from, which are Health and Aging, Mental Health and Addictions, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, and Child and Family. Regardless of your long-term goals in providing care and advocacy, there is an avenue for you to pursue that at Simmons College. If none of those specializations fit into your career, you can also create your own by working with an academic advisor when selecting your electives.

Program Website: MSW
Program Length: 15 Months

University of Miami

University of Miami

University of MiamiThe University of Miami is a private research university headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida. In addition to the main campus, UM also operates four other campuses and nine research centers through south Florida. The school was created in 1925 in response to the community desire for a local university with a gift of 160 acres of land and the equivalent of about $70 million in today’s money. Despite the generosity of this donation, the school struggled for over a decade. The inaugural class of students was a mere 372 people, but now UM is home to 16,744 in total. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The University of Miami is comprised of the School of Architecture; the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Business Administration; the School of Communication; the School of Education and Human Development; the College of Engineering; the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music; the School of Nursing and Health Studies; the Graduate School; the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and; the University of Miami School of Law. Through these, UM offers 116 undergraduate programs, 105 masters programs, and 63 doctorate programs.

Miami Website: https://welcome.miami.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 82%
Final Score: 173/200

6: Master of Science in Finance

This 16-month Master of Science in Finance program offers two certificate options and has accreditation from AACSB International. Students can tailor their studies to their particular goals and interests at the University of Miami, as well as choose from a Certificate in Corporate Finance or a Certificate in Financial Decision Making. Throughout the program, you will be building your portfolio while broadening your skills in finance. Graduates of this program have gone on to work at some of the top companies around the world, like JP Morgan, Boeing, and even Kellogg. You can be a full-time professional while being a full-time student thanks to the convenient and flexible delivery of the program, which is 100% online and self-paced. You won’t have to log in to stream any lectures, all of the course material is readily available online for you to complete at your own pace. The average length of the program is 16 months, but there are accelerated options that would allow you to complete it in half that time.

Program Website: MS in Finance
Program Length: 16 Months

Boston University

Boston University

Boston UniversityBoston University is a private research university that is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1839 as the Newbury Biblical Institute but has been nonsectarian since taking on the name Boston University in 1869. Boston, as the university is often called, has 32,695 students and more than a quarter million alumni worldwide. Among those alumni are Nobel Prize winners, Academy Award-winning entertainers, the first ever African-American woman to be a doctor (Rebecca Lee Crumpler), and Alexander Graham Bell was a professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution in the late 1800’s. The university is classified as an R1: Doctoral University with very high research activity, and while the research encompasses a range of fields, the primary focus lies in Data Science, Engineering Biology, Global Health, Infectious Diseases, Neuroscience, Photonics, and Urban Health. Through the 19 colleges and schools that make up the university, students can earn bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. For the year 2018, Boston University ranked among the top 50 in both the national and global rankings published by U.S. News & World Report.

Boston Website: https://www.bu.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 87%
Final Score: 180/200

5: Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

A Master of Science in Computer Information Systems can lead you to careers in Data Analytics, Database Management, Business Intelligence, Web Application Development, and more. In an industry that expands every single day, continuing your education is vital to your progress in your career. Computer science and information systems degree concentrations encompass many of the fastest growing and highest paid careers in the IT industry. The expert faculty and flexible presentation of this program make it an awesome opportunity for students who want to expand professionally. There are seven different concentrations and students can also choose to obtain 11 different certificates, from Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity to Medical Information Security & Privacy. The MS in Computer Information Systems at Boston is certified by the Committee on National Security Systems and accredited by both the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

Program Website: MS Computer Information Systems
Program Length: 21 Months

Northeastern University

Northeastern University

Northeastern UniversityNortheastern University is a private university that sits on a 73-acre urban campus in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to that location, there are satellites in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California and; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Across all locations, NU enrolls just over 20,000 students. The university was founded in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Younger Men. At that time, night classes were held at a local YMCA; however, the university began to take root that same year as the School of Law was established. Classes were only offered at night until 1909, and the university wouldn’t become coeducational until after World War II. In 1940, NU was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. There are eight major academic divisions, but they further break down to encompass nearly 50 colleges, schools, and departments. There are 65 undergraduate majors to choose from as well as an excess of 125 graduate programs. Although the university offers distance education, surprisingly, less than 20% of the students are taking advantage of that opportunity.

NU Website: http://www.northeastern.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 86%
Final Score: 183/200

4: Master of Science in Commerce and Economic Development

A Master of Science in Commerce and Economic Development degree combines economics, public policy, technology, and leadership to equip you to excel in the public or private sector. E-commerce, international trade, and economic development are all career field options that you could pursue with this degree. The curriculum has been designed to give you a firm foundation in economic theory and policy analysis. In addition to that, coursework will cover mathematical tools, data collection, and results interpretation. You can complete that coursework anywhere, entirely online and asynchronously. The degree is offered through Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and its College of Social Sciences and Humanities and was specifically designed for working professionals. Upon graduation, you will be able to advance your position across a range of jobs in government, international organizations, nonprofit organizations, universities, or the private sector.

Program Website: MS in Commerce and Economic Development
Program Length: 1 Year

3: Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication

The Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication is designed to expand the knowledge base of those who work in communication, or who would like to move into communications positions with the help of additional education and qualifications. There are career-focused concentrations available in Human Resource Management, Public and Media Relationships, Leadership, Project Management, Social Media and Online Communication, Usability/User Experience, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Leading Communication Strategy and Talent Development. In addition to the specialized courses, students will take some core courses that cover the subjects of Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication, and Managing Information. Elective options include Crisis Communication, Personal Branding, and more. This degree is highly customizable so that you can pinpoint the gaps in your skills and fill them in with relevant and rigorous education. Northeastern University also puts a high value on experiential learning, perfect for someone who is already immersed in their field.

Program Website: MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication
Program Length: 1 Year

2: Master of Science in Project Management

A survey in 2015 reported that only 61% of companies provide any project management training even though project management is the cornerstone of a broad range of jobs. For that reason, a Master of Science in Project Management is even more valuable. This degree focuses on scheduling, cost planning, quality management, evaluation, and risk management. The curriculum approaches project management from every angle, giving students a well-rounded foundation that they can build on with electives like Personal and Career Development, Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management, or Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation. Students also have the choice of nine different concentrations that will include further specified courses based on their career needs; or, the program can be tailored based on your experience in project management. The program is wholly online and can be completed on your own time.

Program Website: MS in Project Management
Program Length: 1 Year

University of Southern California

University of Southern California

University of Southern CaliforniaThe University of Southern California is a private sea- and space-grant research university located in Los Angeles, California. It was the first private research university to be established in the state, in the year 1880; it is now one of the leading research universities in America. There are nearly 44,0000 students enrolled at the university, and 14% of them participate in at least some online courses. USC boasts several unique accolades. It is one of the largest contributors to the local economy at $8 million each year; it is also the home of the world’s most powerful quantum computer. There are well over 200 different degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, offered through the 20 colleges and schools that comprise the institution. As a whole, USC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and holds an impressive 17 programmatic accreditations. Alumni of the university have gone on to found well-known companies such as Myspace, Tinder, and Intuit. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university in an abundance of their publications, but most notably as #21 in the 2018 ranking of national universities.

USC Website: https://www.usc.edu/
Freshman Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 92%
Final Score: 188/200

1: Master of Social Work

Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California is one of the first elite research universities to offer a Master of Social Work Online. This MSW program does take two years to complete, so it isn’t accelerated, but the quality of the education you would receive certainly makes up for it. In addition to that, it is online in its entirety so that you can complete it from the comfort of your own home. An advanced standing program is available for qualified students, who can finish it in just a year. There are three concentrations that you can choose from including Adults and Healthy Aging; Children, Youth, and Families and; Community, Organization, and Business Innovation. There are additional and more in-depth focuses available as well, such as Military Social Work, Global Social Work, and Juvenile Justice. The individualization of the program makes it easier to truly hone in on the things you want to learn in order to advance your professional life. Classes are held synchronously, which means that you will be required to tune in to live lectures and seminars throughout the program; however, it was designed with your convenience in mind.

Program Website: MSW
Program Length: 2 Years

25 Best Online Degree Programs for Working Professionals