What Are the Most Popular Masters Degrees Offered Online?

Learn about the most popular online master's degree programs. Get an overview of the program types, requirements, specializations and course descriptions available for these programs

Essential Information

As online technology becomes more advanced and accessible, online learning is now more popular than ever. As such, several colleges and universities now provide online master's degree programs in a number of fields. There are many accredited universities, both public and private, that offer distance learning master's degree programs that are nearly identical to the schools' traditional on-campus programs.

The most popular online master's degree fields of study include business administration, healthcare administration, education and public health. Most of these programs require only a bachelor's degree often in a directly related field. Most programs can be completed in two years. Students who opt to study part-time can expect a program to last longer. Some programs may require clinical experience on-site.

Master of Business Administration

This degree is one of the most popular degrees available online. Many employers look for applicants who have earned MBAs, especially for management positions. There are a variety of online MBA programs available, including executive MBA programs for students with extensive work experience or MBA programs that offer specializations in various fields of study, such as human resources management, finance or project management.

Common Courses

MBA programs generally offer a core series of courses covering:

  • Key business principles
  • Strategic and financial management
  • Operations
  • Accounting

These programs can culminate in a research or capstone project and might require occasional immersion weekends on campus.

Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare is a growing field, and students can find online master's degree programs that prepare them for administrative roles in healthcare facilities. Students acquire foundational business management training in addition to the skills needed to work in the healthcare industry.

Common Courses

Training can include courses in:

  • Healthcare financial
  • Human resources management
  • Health policy
  • Health law

Capstone courses are usually required in these online programs.

Master's Degree in Education

Students who want to increase their professional skills as classroom teachers or who want to move into school administration will likely need to earn master's degrees in education. The opportunity to study online means students can pursue these degrees without interruption to their teaching careers.

Common Courses

At the master's level, students can choose from degrees in:

  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Instructional design
  • Educational leadership

Students may also specialize in a specific education level, like secondary or elementary education. Some online master's degrees in education have endorsement concentrations for students who haven't yet acquired teaching licenses.

Master of Public Health

This popular online degree program can help students learn to assess health issues within the community or address pressing health concerns. Fieldwork experiences or practicums are included in these programs, but students can usually find sites located near their residences.

Common Courses

An online master's degree in public health generally features concentrations in:

  • Nutrition
  • Health leadership
  • Health education
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology

Master's Degree in Psychology

Students considering careers in counseling or business psychology can earn online master's degrees in psychology. These programs are research focused, and specialization options are available in areas including health psychology or industrial organizational psychology.

Common Courses

Online master's programs in psychology offer training in:

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Research methods
  • Learning theories
  • General psychology principles

Many people are choosing to study one of the most popular online master's degrees that focus on business administration, healthcare administration, education or public health. Students who pursue these popular degrees will be prepared to work in a variety of job environments, and they can explore many career options that are in-demand.


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