10 Best 6 Month Masters Degrees Online [2023 Guide]

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For those who want to quickly earn advanced credentials, it’s worth looking into completing a 6 month masters degree online.

10 Best 6 Month Masters Degrees Online

An accelerated master’s program can be a strong addition to your resume and could help qualify you for a range of more advanced positions.

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If you’re committed to the idea of speedy studies, read on to take a look at some of the quickest masters degree online programs. You may find one that clicks just right with your interests and work experience.

6 Month Masters Degree Online

student taking a 6 Month Masters Degree Online

Normally, it takes at least 1 year to earn a master’s degree. In fact, master’s programs are often thought of as 2 year commitments.

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There may be an option for you to earn your degree in less than a year, though. It will require being strategic, but the time savings could be worth the effort. Earning a master’s degree requires completing at least 30 college credit hours at the graduate level.

There may be flexibility in how you earn those credits. Here are some options that could lead to a shorter grad program:

  • Shorter terms. A school that uses 8 week terms instead of traditional semesters can be helpful for quick degree completion. Self-paced courses may be even faster.
  • Transfer credits. Transfer credits can make a noticeable difference in the length of your program. You may be able to transfer in credits from previous graduate classes. Perhaps you started a program in the past or earned a graduate certificate from an accredited school.
  • Credit for outside knowledge. Some schools also grant credit for things you’ve learned outside of the college classroom. You might have the option to test out of certain classes. Industry certifications that you’ve earned may take the place of select courses.
  • Self-paced CBE learning. If you’re focused on earning a degree in less than a year, you can look for self-paced programs that use a competency-based education (CBE) model. You’ll have the option to move as quickly as you want through the courses. The goal will be mastery, so once you show that you understand the concepts, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of the program.

In some cases, the fastest programs are also the easiest masters degrees. That’s because quick programs don’t often focus on a large volume of highly technical material. Also, they may not require lengthy internships or thesis projects.

Master’s Degree Careers & Salaries

Master’s Degree Careers & Salaries

A masters degree could be the key to the next step in your career. People with education at the graduate level work in a wide variety of fields. Graduates with top paying masters degrees often take on leadership roles and advanced responsibilities.

Some work in education as instructional coordinators or K-12 and college administrators. Others lead businesses as chief executives. There are roles in healthcare, psychology, and urban planning.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 40 job categories that require a masters degree as the minimum level of education.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Chief Executives $189,520
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists $139,280
Computer and Information Research Scientists $136,620
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners $125,900
Economists $113,940
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals $101,320
Postsecondary Education Administrators $99,940
Urban and Regional Planners $79,540
Instructional Coordinators $66,490
Marriage and Family Therapists $56,570

A master’s degree often helps people launch careers in various research fields as well. In addition to careers that require a master’s degree for entry, there are also many jobs that would benefit from a graduate education. Business management roles often fall into that category.

While not a requirement for all management jobs, a master’s degree may give you an advantage in the hiring process.

Shortest Masters Degree Admissions Requirements

student preparing for masters degree admissions interview

Colleges often base their graduate admissions decisions on the following factors:

  • College transcripts from all programs—including proof of holding a bachelor’s degree
  • GRE or GMAT scores (often not required by online colleges)
  • Recommendation letters
  • Resume
  • Writing sample or statement of goals

For a program that grants credits for what you already know, you may be required to show proof of professional certifications or take a placement test. An admissions interview may also be necessary for discussing your prior knowledge and training.

Accelerated Online Masters Programs Accreditation

Accelerated Online Masters Programs Accreditation

In your search for the fastest online master’s degree, it’s essential to not neglect the importance of accreditation.

The best, most reputable schools hold accreditation from one of the country’s regional accrediting agencies. There are many regionally accredited US colleges that offer options for quick acquisition of a master’s degree. Even if you have to spend a bit longer in school, it’s worth it to earn an accredited degree.

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Employers and other colleges will look more favorably upon studies that were completed at a regionally accredited institution. That can be helpful for getting into a doctoral program, obtaining licensure, or securing a desirable job.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

accelerated degree programs financial aid

As with standard-length degree programs, accelerated degree programs are often eligible for financial aid. You may receive tuition support because of your financial need, your merit, or another qualification.

Government financial aid is often need-based. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get started. Grad students often receive state and federal loans. Typically, grants for graduate students are available only under special circumstances.

Scholarship money may be based on your need or another characteristic. Colleges, professional associations, and other groups hand out scholarships to deserving students. Most scholarship programs require applying and being selected. Your employer may be willing to cover part of your schooling costs as well.

This could be a standard employee benefit at your workplace. Even if not, you may want to inquire about the possibility of tuition reimbursement if your studies could enhance your job performance.

What Can You Do with a 6 Month Masters Degree?

CPA with a masters degree

What you can do with a 6 month masters depends on your experience and field of study. With a master’s degree in hand, some graduates may be able to start working as an industrial-organizational psychologist. Others may qualify for a job as a school administrator or launch a career in information research.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, having a master’s degree can be useful for becoming a certified public accountant (CPA). With a master’s degree, you may also be qualified for a variety of management roles. Often, business leaders—such as HR managers and marketing managers—hold advanced degrees. This degree may even put you on the path toward a chief executive position.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree Online?

accountant taking his Masters Degree Online

Full-time students can often complete master’s degree programs with 36 credit hours in 1 year or less. Exactly how long it takes will depend on the structure of your program, the transfer credits you receive, and the requirements of your curriculum. Degrees that include a thesis component, for example, often take longer than 1 year.

To get done with school as quickly as possible, it’s beneficial to enroll for full-time studies. Going to school part-time while working or caring for family can take longer. Additionally, you can select a program with year-round classes. One year degrees usually require taking summer courses.

What Is the Fastest Masters Degree Online Available?

In general, non-technical fields are more likely to offer accelerated master’s degree programs compared to scientific and healthcare-focused programs. Here are some examples:

  • Accounting. Graduate degrees in accounting prepare students for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.
  • Business administration. Quick MBA programs help business professionals prepare for advanced management roles.
  • Criminal justice. Those who choose criminal justice programs may be preparing for law enforcement or corrections leadership.
  • Education. Current teachers can expand their skills with programs in educational leadership or curriculum design.

If you want to complete a 6 month master’s degree online, you’d do well to avoid programs that require thesis papers or field experiences.

Is a 6 Month Masters Degree Worth It?

professional taking her MBA online

Yes, a 6 month masters degree is worth it for many students. Increasing your education may open new job opportunities for you.

In many lines of work, having a graduate degree can put you at an advantage. Some career paths even require a master’s degree. Doing an accelerated master’s program might allow you to start reaping the benefits as quickly as possible.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that your job security may increase as your education increases. Unemployment rates are lower among people with master’s degrees compared to those with bachelor’s degrees alone.

Universities Offering Online 6 Months Masters Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State College campus

Charter Oak State College offers an MS in Health Informatics. The program is fully online and requires the completion of 33 credit hours. Courses are 8 weeks long, with several start dates throughout the year. Potential courses include Clinical Database Management and Applied Statistical Research in Health Sciences. The completion of a capstone project is required to graduate.

Charter Oak is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University campus

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a variety of master’s degrees through its online adult education program. Most programs are completely online, and many are competency-based. Some courses also offer on-campus meetings. Most regular courses are 5 to 8 weeks long. Programs are offered in areas such as biology education, divinity, nursing, and social work.

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Lourdes University

Lourdes University campus

Lourdes University offers master’s degrees through traditional online and competency-based programs. Students in competency-based courses may take as many classes as desired each semester. All programs are entirely online. Some traditional online courses have synchronous components. Lourdes offers DNP, MSN, and MBA degrees.

Lourdes University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University campus

Northern Arizona University offers personalized learning degrees that may be earned quickly. NAU offers three master’s degrees in this format: a Master’s in Organizational Leadership, an MS in Computer Information Technology, and a Master’s in Nursing. These degree programs are self-paced, and all courses are fully online. Six months of courses are paid for at a time.

Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Purdue University

Purdue University campus

A master’s degree may be earned through Purdue University’s ExcelTrack program. All courses are fully online and taken in accelerated, self-paced formats. Credits may be earned for prior learning. Programs are offered in fields such as cybersecurity management, nursing information technology, and business administration.

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Maine – Presque Isle

University of Maine campus

The University of Maine – Presque Isle offers an MA in Organizational Leadership through its YourPace program. Courses are fully online and in an asynchronous format. A flat rate is paid for each 8 week session. There are six start dates offered each year. The program requires the completion of 36 credit hours.

The University of Maine – Presque Isle is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Global campus

The University of Massachusetts offers a Master’s in Organization Leadership through its MyPath program. The program is self-paced and can be started at any time. Six months of access is paid for at a time, and unlimited classes may be taken during that time. Students may be eligible for military or project management tracks.

The University of Massachusetts – Global is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix campus

The University of Phoenix offers competency-based programs for students who want to earn a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame. Three master’s degrees are offered in this format: Information Systems, Health Administration, and Business Administration. All courses are fully online. Four courses may be completed per 16 week session, and the program can potentially be finished in 1 year.

The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Walden University

University of Phoenix campus

A master’s degree may be earned in less time through Walden University’s Tempo Learning program. The program is self-paced, and competency of each topic is certified through assessments that can be taken at any time. Subscription periods are 3 months long. Master’s programs are offered in fields such as human resource management, early childhood education, criminal justice, and healthcare administration.

Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University campus

Western Governors University offers master’s degree programs designed for working students. These degree programs are fully online and competency based. These programs are paid for in 6 month terms, and unlimited classes may be taken during each term.

WGU offers a variety of programs in fields such as data analytics, nursing leadership and management, cybersecurity and information assurance, and elementary education.

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Master Degree in 6 Months Online

student Getting his Master Degree in 6 Months Online

If the thought of committing years to grad studies is unappealing to you, it’s time to look into accelerated programs. At the right school and with the right program, you might be able to earn your degree in well under a year.

The fastest programs are often designed for flexible online study. They include generous transfer credit policies and around-the-clock access to coursework. Also, these easiest masters degrees usually forgo extensive thesis research or lengthy hands-on practicums. In addition, there are some masters degrees that don’t require specific bachelors.

If you’re ready to add a graduate degree to your resume, you can start exploring your options for quick degrees such as 6 month masters programs from accredited colleges today.

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Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy at Liberty University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Amberton University, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Columbia College. With over 20 years of experience navigating online degrees and courses, Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.