One Year Masters Programs – Finish Fast (in 1 Year or less)
With one year masters programs, you can finish your entire masters degree – from zero credit hours to 36 credit hours – in just one year or less!
Sound too good to be true? Well, in this case, it’s actually totally legit.
So, if you’re looking for a fast track to success – a promotion, a higher salary, or even a complete career change – you don’t have to invest years of time or put your life on hold to get ahead.
It is possible (and actually not too difficult) to earn your master’s degree in just one year!
One Year Masters Programs – Blueprint for Finishing Your Master’s Degree Fast
One of the most common questions we see is, “How can I finish my masters program in 1 year at a reputable college?”.
Traditionally, master’s programs require two or more years of full-time study. A few universities now offer one-year master’s degree programs, but for those that don’t, you can design your own! By taking accelerated online courses, you can breeze through the courses at a much faster pace and finish in just a year.
Here’s an example of how you can finish a normal (non-accelerated) 36 credit master’s program at a college that offers 8 week online classes:
- Fall Semester 1: Take two 8-week online courses (credits earned: 6 credit hours)
- Fall Semester 2: Take two 8-week online courses (cumulative credits earned: 12 credit hours)
- Spring Semester 1: Take two 8-week online courses (cumulative credits earned: 18 credit hours)
- Spring Semester 2: Take two 8-week online courses (cumulative credits earned: 24 credit hours)
- Summer Semester 1: Take two 8-week online courses (cumulative credits earned: 30 credit hours)
- Summer Semester 2: Take two 8-week online courses (cumulative credits earned: 36 credit hours)
This could, of course, be adjusted to fit 6 week online classes, moving you through at an even faster pace. For example, Purdue University – Global now offers online 6-week classes for their masters programs.
As you can see, by taking just 2 classes at a time you can complete 12 classes, which is 36 hours, earning your master’s degree in just one full year.
To save even more time, select a 1 year masters program that does not require a thesis. Non-thesis programs are becoming more and more popular among online master’s programs. These programs generally offer a capstone class in lieu of the conventional thesis, providing a valuable hands-on learning experience that can be completed in a fraction of the time.
Accelerated, non-thesis masters programs are still very demanding. You will need to devote a lot of time to your studies, from start to finish. But it will be well worth your efforts. Earning your 1 year master’s degree can open many new doors for you professionally!
1 Year Masters Programs Benefits
In order to earn your master’s degree online in one year, you will have a busy and challenging year! But the hard work will be worth it.
Here are some of the benefits of earning your master’s degree online in one year:
- Flexibility – Online learning will allow you to fit your education around family, work and other existing commitments.
- Faster than campus masters programs – Most traditional master’s programs will take two or more years to complete, but with accelerated online classes you can finish in just one year.
- Cheaper – It depends on the program you choose, but oftentimes online programs are cheaper than on-campus programs.
- Professional advantages – You can apply for jobs that require applicants to have master’s degrees, or get promoted into higher-ranking positions within your current company.
- Increased earning potential – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that full-time working adults with master’s degrees earn $228 per week more than workers who hold a bachelor’s degree!
Types of One Year Masters Programs
In many professions, a master’s degree is necessary in order to secure a job and advance in the field. Traditionally, the process to earn this advanced degree is arduous and only the top students complete the programs to earn their degrees. But now there are alternatives!
By enrolling in an accelerated online program without a thesis requirement, you can earn your master’s degree in just one year. These programs are fast-paced and rigorous, so you will still need to work hard, but you can earn the same prestigious master’s degree in much less time.
Here are some fields in which you can earn your master’s degree quickly:
MBA Program (Master of Business Administration)
A 1 year MBA program will provide an in-depth knowledge of all facets of business, and allow you to dig deeper into an area of specialization.
Some popular MBA concentrations include:
- Management Information Systems
Look for an accelerated online program that will allow you to complete a capstone project or internship experience in lieu of a thesis. You will get hands-on experience and earn your MBA in just 1 year!
Master’s in Accounting
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, an accelerated online program can help you earn your Master’s in Accounting in just 1 year, helping you move into mid- to senior-level career opportunities quickly.
You may be able to choose from concentrations such as:
- Finance or Insurance
- Government Accounting
- Tax Preparation
- Accounting or Bookkeeping
A Master’s in Accounting will provide a deeper understanding of accounting than if you chose an MBA with a concentration in Accounting. You will be prepared to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam and move into a specialized accounting career.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
For teachers and administrators who have their bachelor’s degrees and certifications, earning a Master of Education is often the next step to help enhance teaching skills and/or move into a new area of specialization. This degree is also an option for those who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields, who wish to get into teaching.
Different schools and programs offer their own selection of concentrations. Here are some common choices:
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Special Education
- Early Childhood Education
- Higher Education
- Secondary Education
- Educational Leadership / Administration
- Educational Technology
By earning your Master of Education online through an accelerated program, you can continue to teach and maintain other obligations while earning your advanced degree in just 1 year.
Master’s in Medical Sciences (Biomedical Sciences)
If you hold a bachelor’s degree in a science field and want to take it further – perhaps prepare for veterinary, dental or medical school, or to move into a career in biomedical research or pharmaceuticals – a master’s in Medical Sciences (Biomedical Sciences) may be the perfect stepping stone.
Your degree program may focus on:
Look for accelerated online courses to move through this program at the fastest pace!
MPH (Master of Public Health)
With a Master of Public Health (MPH), you may work for a non-profit or government organization, a hospital group, or in another capacity, helping to improve health for the general population.
MPH degree programs may offer concentrations in:
- Environmental Health
- Health Policy and Administration
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
Accelerated online courses may help you move through the MPH program more quickly and land your dream job sooner.
Master’s in Psychology
A Master’s in Psychology comes in two forms: a Master of Arts, with more of a liberal arts focus, and a Master of Science, with more of a focus on research and the sciences. Both will focus on understanding the nature and behaviors of humans.
You may opt for a general program, or consider specialties such as:
- Forensic Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Child Psychology
To earn your Master’s in Psychology in just 1 year, look for accelerated online programs without thesis requirements.
Masters in Finance
No matter what the economic climate is, there is always a demand for experts in finance. With a Master’s in Finance, you will qualify for higher level positions with significantly higher salaries and more advancement opportunities than employees who hold only bachelor’s degrees.
Degree programs may offer specializations such as:
- Corporate Finance
- International Business
- Real Estate
If you need to juggle your current job, childcare and other commitments, an accelerated online program can help you earn your Master’s in Finance in just 1 year.
Master’s in Computer Science
A Master of Computer Science degree provides advanced knowledge of design, programming and application of computing systems. Because technology is prevalent in nearly every industry, this degree is extremely versatile and can land you a very lucrative and successful career.
You may be able to choose from a general degree or specializations such as:
- Data Science
- Game Development
- Computer Security
- Computer Networking
- Software Engineering
By taking accelerated online courses, you can earn your Master of Computer Science degree in just 1 year and then be eligible to apply for higher level jobs or pursue a Ph.D.
Master of Science in Nursing (Nursing)
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced degree for a registered nurse, but an entry-level degree for nurse educators and managers. With it, you may pursue a position as a nurse administrator, health policy expert or clinical nurse leader, or you could go on to pursue a doctorate degree.
To compete for the most competitive jobs, choose an area of specialization such as:
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Accelerated MSN programs are available online, providing flexibility and moving you through the program quickly.
Master’s in Criminal Justice
A Master’s in Criminal Justice will prepare you to apply research and leadership strategies in order to make decisions in the justice system. Whether you want to advance your career with the local police department, work for the federal government, or pursue further education in the field, this degree can open many doors.
There are many areas of concentration to help focus your education, such as:
- Forensic Psychology
- Justice Administration
- Criminal Behavior
- Homeland Security
- Public Safety
Look for 1 year master’s programs or design your own by choosing accelerated online courses in criminal justice.
Master’s in Healthcare Administration
A Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) is a good choice if you’re interested in managing hospitals or other health organizations, or want to get into public health infrastructure or consulting. This degree will help move you into a leadership role with excellent earning potential.
Some common areas of concentration include:
- Operations and Leadership
- Health Policy
- Health Information Technology
- Business Administration
- Public Health Administration
A number of universities offer accelerated online MHA programs that can be completed in just 1 year!
One Year Masters Programs for Medical School
It is increasingly difficult to get into medical school in the U.S., so you will need an impressive application! If you currently have a bachelor’s degree and need to either improve your GPA or earn the necessary pre-requisites to gain admission to medical school, there are two options for you to consider.
- Post Baccalaureate Programs (Postbac) –Continuation of undergraduate education rather than a degree track; Influences your existing college GPA (A good option if you had a less-than-stellar GPA previously )
- Special Masters Programs (SMP) –1-2 year graduate degree programs specially designed for pre-med students; Result in a separate GPA on your application
Both options can prepare you to apply to medical school in about a year. Which program is best for you will depend on your existing GPA and the pre-requisite courses you already have under your belt.
Advantages of 1 Year Masters Programs
In order to earn a master’s degree in just one year, you will need to take difficult courses at a fast pace, but if you’re up for the challenge there are many advantages to this type of program.
- Faster than on-campus programs – A one year program is obviously much shorter than traditional programs, which require two or more years.
- Flexibility – You can fit your education around your existing commitments.
- Cheaper – One year is generally cheaper than two or more.
- Advance your career / Earn promotion – You can apply for higher level positions and move up the corporate ladder at a faster pace.
- Increased salary – Employees with master’s degrees earn considerably more than those with bachelor’s degrees.
- Change career fields – Move into an exciting new field.
As you can see, there are numerous advantages to earning your master’s in one year. But be sure you are aware of the few drawbacks that exist.
Disadvantages of 1 Year Masters Programs
In some instances, a one year master’s program may not be the right fit for you. There are a few disadvantages you should keep in mind.
- May not provide the depth of knowledge required for certain advanced positions
- May be too demanding to maintain full-time employment
- May offer fewer networking opportunities
Weigh these disadvantages against the advantages to determine whether a one year master’s program is the best choice for you.
FAQs about One Year Master’s Programs
Still have questions about earning an accelerated master’s degree? Here are some of the more common questions we’ve been seeing, but if you still have questions, just drop us a comment below!
What one year masters programs are there?
You can find one year masters programs in Business, Education, Accounting, Biomedical Sciences, Public Health, Psychology, Finance, Computer Science, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Healthcare Administration, and more!
If your master’s program isn’t already offered in a one-year format, look for accelerated online courses that will allow you to complete the program quickly. You may be able to design your own one year master’s degree program.
What is the easiest masters degree program?
Easy is a relative term; which master’s degree program is the easiest depends on your aptitude, experience and interests.
For many people, programs that do not require a thesis are the easiest, because they don’t require such intense research and writing. More and more online master’s degree programs are doing away with thesis requirements, opting instead for hands-on capstone or internship experiences.
Depending on your background and interests, you might find that a Master’s in Psychology, Master’s in Accounting, Master’s in Finance or a Master’s in Education is the easiest master’s degree program offered.
How much time is required for masters program completion?
The amount of time required to complete a master’s degree is typically two years. However, if you follow the one-year plan outlined in this article, you can easily earn your master’s degree in just one year.
What are special masters programs?
Special Master’s Programs (SMPs) are graduate degree programs designed for pre-med students. They typically take 1-2 years to complete, and can significantly strengthen your medical school application.
What are the fastest online masters programs?
The fastest online master’s program is one that does not require a thesis.
Some of the fastest online master’s programs include:
- Business Administration (MBA)
- Public Health (MPH)
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
By taking accelerated online courses and not having to complete a thesis, you can complete the master’s program in as little as one year.
Can you get a masters degree in 1 year?
Yes, you can earn your master’s degree in one year by choosing an accelerated online program with no thesis requirement.
As an example, many online programs operate in 8-week terms. By taking two classes at a time during each term, you will earn 36 credit hours in one full year – enough to earn your master’s degree in many programs!
How do I get started in a 1 Year Masters Program?
Traditional master’s programs can be intimidating – two or more years of study and a lengthy research-laden thesis. But that’s not the only way!
It’s possible to earn your master’s degree in just one year by choosing an accelerated online program with no thesis requirement. In just a year, you could be ready to enter a new career with a better salary or pursue your next advanced degree.
Ready to make it happen? Narrow down your college search with our master’s program search tool and get matched to a reputable university that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.
List of One Year Masters Programs (finish in 1 year or less)
|University Name||Location |
|Program||Accreditation||Tuition Per Credit Hour|
|Alvernia University||Reading, PA|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$785|
|Anderson University||Anderson, SC|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$365|
|Arkansas State University||Jonesboro, AR|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$306|
|Arkansas State University – Queretaro||Jonesboro, AR|| ||Higher Learning Commission||In-State: $344 |
|Auburn University||Auburn, AL|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$875|
|Babson College||Wellesley, MA|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||$1,990|
|Benedictine University||Lisle, IL|| ||Higher Learning Commission||Business Degree: $472 |
Education Degree: $458
Health Science Degree: $444
Nursing Degree $444
Public Affairs: $444
|California Baptist University||Riverside, CA|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission||Tuition varies by program|
|California State University||Hayward, CA|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission||$4,209|
|Campbellsville University||Campbellsville, KY|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$479|
|Capella University||Minneapolis, MN|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$796|
|Castleton University||Castleton, VT|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||$643|
|Central Washington University||Ellensburg, WA|| ||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities||$680|
|Clarkson University||Potsdam, NY|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$940|
|Colorado State University – Global Campus||Greenwood Village, CO|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$500|
|Concordia University||Portland, OR|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$710|
|Cumberland University||Lebanon, TN|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$515|
|Emory University Goizueta Business School||Atlanta, GA|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||Program Cost: $93,000|
|Fontbonne University||St. Louis, MO|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$754|
|Frostburg State University||Frostburg, MD|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||In-State: $433 |
|Greenville University||Greenville, IL|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$449|
|Hult International Business School||Cambridge, MA|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||Program Cost: $76,000|
|Cornell University||New York, NY|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||Program Cost: $102,652|
|Lamar University||Beaumont, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$275|
|Lasell College||Newton, MA|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||$600|
|Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge, LA|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$350|
|Mercy College||Dobbs Ferry, NY|| ||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||$891|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||San Antonio, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||Master’s (full/part time) $907 |
Master’s in Nonprofit Management $454
|Point Loma Nazarene University||San Diego, CA|| ||WASC Senior College and University Commission||$845|
|Saint Leo University||St. Leo, FL|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$495|
|Schiller International University||Largo, FL|| ||Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools||$775|
|Southeastern Oklahoma State University||Durant, OK|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$330|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||$700|
|Stetson University||DeLand, FL|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$900|
|Stevens – Henager College||Ogden, UT|| ||Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges||Tuition varies by program|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$410|
|Thomas University||Thomasville, GA|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$833|
|Trine University||Angola, IN|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$550|
|University of Central Missouri||Warrensburg, MO|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$464|
|University of Findlay||Findlay, OH|| ||Higher Learning Commission||$930|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$2,030|
|University of North Alabama||Florence, AL|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$425|
|University of North Carolina – Pembroke||Pembroke, NC|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$510|
|University of North Texas||Denton, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$1,200|
|University of Texas||Austin, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||Program Cost: $54,000|
|University of Texas – Permian Basin||Odessa, TX|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||$327|
|University of Vermont||Burlington, VT|| ||New England Commission of Higher Education||In-State: $664 |
|Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, NC|| ||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||In-State: $247 |
|Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|| ||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities||$3,835 per term|
|Wright State University||Dayton, OH|| ||Higher Learning Commission||In-State: $640 |