Accelerated master’s programs are not for everyone. They require a significantly larger investment of time and energy than traditionally-paced courses. While the promise of earning a degree fast is enticing, fast can quickly become frantic.
There are advantages and disadvantages to taking an accelerated degree. Some of the advantages are:
- Intense focus on specific areas of your education-as opposed to longer sessions.
- Subject to large amounts of information in a shorter frame of time (could be a disadvantage)
- Advance your career quicker and/or start a new one sooner
Some disadvantages are:
- Intense focus may create more stress, particularly for the employed student
- Certain subjects are better taught over a longer time frame-for example: mathematics and computer science
- Does your selected online school offer an accelerated degree in your chosen subject?
We’ll proceed by looking at a collection of the fastest Master’s degree programs available online.
The University of Miami (U) offers an online MS in Finance for those professionals seeking to advance their career in the field of finance. The program prepares students for successful careers in corporate finance, international finance and investments, and other financial sectors. Throughout the program, students are challenged to approach real-world problems with a practical lens. When they graduate, they possess the knowledge base and sophistication to make critical financial decisions for any organization. In addition to providing students with a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of accounting and finance, the program develops critical thinking and communication skills, ensuring graduates’ success as influential and innovative leaders. The program is enriched by opportunities for students to interact with local finance professionals, as well as by discussions on ethical issues in business in finance.
This program, taught by the same world-class faculty who teach in the on-campus program, enables you to earn the MS in Finance in as few as 10 months.
Benedictine University Online located in Lisle, Illinois, offers an accelerated MBA program for those who wish to complete their graduate degree as soon as 12 months. To accomplish this, the student must take two classes during each session, assuming his/her educational background supports this faster program. Their accelerated program includes business foundation courses as well as managerial studies in critical analysis and decision making.
California Baptist University (CBU) Online offers a Masters of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree program that will prepare candidates to advance professionally as effective, innovative and ethical financial leaders. Tailored to the needs of working professionals, the MSA program can be completed in 12 months, attending courses online or in a hybrid format. Their graduate Accounting degree program provides students with the additional educational requirements beyond the undergraduate degree which are necessary to become licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of California.
Trine University, located in Angola, Indiana, is an accelerated one-year master’s program for adults with a bachelor degree that provides education for both pre- and mid-career individuals serving their communities as law enforcement, corrections, or court practitioners. The curriculum is designed to prepare these professionals to assume key leadership roles within the justice system or the private sector. This graduate program is designed for working professionals; the program consists of 13 courses (36 credit hours) offered online or on campus that may be completed in 12 months with students completing six credits per eight week term. The program prepares students to assume key leadership roles as professionals working in fire safety, law enforcement, social work, and other related fields.
Trine University offers an accelerated 12 month masters through the Ketner School of Business and the Allen School of Engineering & Technology. Designed for the engineer ready to move into a management role, graduates will gain mastery of corporate culture, leadership, finance, operations strategy and marketing.. You’ll take business ethics, public speaking, and decision-making classes that are geared towards the technical professional, as well as product development and innovation classes taught by faculty from both the business and engineering schools.
The University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton offers a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership which is accredited by the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education(NCATE). This graduate program is aimed at those seeking advancement as administrators in schools, school districts or other educational institutions. The 30-hour M.Ed. program requires 10 Educational Administration courses, all administered in a flexible online format. If you take two courses each session, the master’s degree in Educational Leadership can be completed in as little as 12 months.
Walden University in Baltimore, Maryland also offers a Masters in Education (MSEd). In their accelerated MSEd model, you can gain the skills and professional knowledge required to help diverse student populations thrive in the classroom and beyond by exploring the latest education theories and research-based strategies. Designed for self-motivated education professionals, these accelerated MS.Ed specializations enable you to complete an MSEd program online in as little as 12 to 16 months, depending on specialization.
7. Master of Science in Education (MSE): Special Education
California Baptist University (CBU) has a specialty MSE program which helps educators develop practical skills they can apply directly to their career, preparing them for the noble work of teaching autistic and disabled children. Students will also explore the specific proficiencies necessary to become an effective special education advocates and leader within a given community. The program provides a purposeful balance between theory, practice, and the latest research in autism-specific learning disabilities, mild to moderate mental retardation, attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and serious emotional disturbance.
Offering online courses, students can complete coursework around their own schedule. The MSE is an accelerated program which allows students the opportunity to graduate in just 12 months if taking fulltime.
8. Master of Science in Learning Technology
The University of North Texas (UNT) offers a masters in Learning Technologies for those pursuing or advancing career opportunities in profession such as: Instructional Designer, Manager of Learning Technologies, Instructional Systems Implementer, Course and Training Systems Designer, Support Specialist for Learning Management and Cyberinfrastructure Systems. This UNT graduate program is one of a few in the U.S. aligned with the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Courses are offered in 8-week sessions, allowing you to graduate in as little as 14 months or take breaks between courses.
9. Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Management
UNT has a MBA in Strategic Management through their accelerated MBA program which will train you to manage an organization, develop strategies for growth and better compete in the global marketplace. Their College of Business has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for more than 50 years. The 36-hour accelerated online M.B.A. program requires 12 courses, all administered in a flexible online format. If you take two courses each session, you can earn your M.B.A. in Strategic Management in as little as 14 months.
10. Master of Business Administration in Accounting
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, New Hampshire offers an online accelerated MBA in Accounting which will enhance your understanding of capital budgeting, finance and portfolio management. SNHU has a longtime and highly respected accounting program, having been founded as the New Hampshire School of Accounting in 1932. This school has the distinction of earning the “Best of Business” Awards: Best MBA Degree, Best Online Degree Programs. This online Accounting MBA may be completed in as few as 15 months, with two courses per 10-week term.
11. Master of Business Administration in Economics
Another online degree offered by the aforementioned SNHU is the captioned masters degree. This school has an 80-year history of graduating successful business professionals, with a main campus in Manchester, NH, and satellite campuses in Portsmouth, Salem and Nashua, NH, and Brunswick, Maine. Equally impressive is their fully accredited traditional university with an online presence since 1995. For those wishing to specialize in Economics, this MBA program may be completed in a few as 15 months with two courses per 10-week term. Graduates in the Economics MBA program will possess an expanded traditional business education with insight in economic theory and how it impacts corporate decision-making.
12. Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
SNHU offers the formal healthcare education necessary to advance your skills and complement your experience within the complex healthcare administration field. Your education will cover every aspect from finance and economics, law, policy, performance and process improvement to leadership, marketing, human resources, informatics and strategic planning. This school was one of the first universities to offer an online MS in Management in Healthcare Administration, a program designed for entry- to mid-level healthcare managers seeking management education.
SNHU’s master’s program is aligned to Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAMHE) and Healthcare Leadership Alliance (HLA) standards. Their accelerated curriculum is designed to be completed in as few as 15 months with two courses per 10-week term.
13. Master of Science in Human Resource Management
SNHU’s online masters in HR aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) guiding principle – that human resource professionals must be prepared to be a key part of the success of today’s agile companies. This degree focuses on the critical competencies identified by SHRM, including employee and labor relations, legal and ethical issues, recruitment and technology, and the changing workforce. For those seeking in-depth study of human resource management, the MS in Human Resource Management may be the best choice since it offers 36 credits specific to Human Resource Management and is geared to the HR professional seeking to advance in the profession. Also, you may graduate in as few as 15 months by completing two courses per 10-week term.
14. Master of Business Administration in Project Management
This project management master’s degree program online at SNHU introduces you to an increasingly popular profession as more companies move to project team-based business models. Particularly helpful for professionals in industries such as construction, IT development, manufacturing and consulting, the online MBA in Project Management provides a foundation for a successful career in this growing field. SNHU is a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). Project managers are increasingly turning to R.E.P.s for certification training and maintenance. PMI® is the world’s largest project management member association, representing more than 600,000 practitioners in more than 185 countries.
This MBA in Project Management may be earned in as short as 15 months-with two courses per 10-week term. Graduates receive the same diploma as in-class grads.
15. Master of Science in Psychology
The SNHU 36-credit online Master of Science in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Development Psychology concentration features seven core courses in psychology research, measurement and ethics. Core courses are designed to build on your existing psychology knowledge base and help you develop essential skills needed to understand psychology theories and their application through research-based measurement and analysis. Five child psychology specialty courses provide in-depth study of advanced developmental psychology, cognitive neuropsychology and intervention strategies. This degree may be completed in a few as 15 months, with two courses per 10-week term.
16. Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics
Stevens-Henager College, founded in 1891 with campuses in Utah and Idaho, also offers accredited online master’s degrees. This particular degree in Healthcare Informatics is designed for professionals employed in the healthcare delivery system in the United States. Graduates with a Master’s degree in Healthcare Informatics have the knowledge to maintain, organize and create health records in hospitals, clinics, health departments, insurance companies, and governmental settings. Classes teach students how to be accurate and organized record keepers that can be relied on to safely maintain a healthcare provider’s vast store of records.
This graduate degree, consisting of 60 total credits, may be completed in as few as 15 months online.
17. Master of Science in Information Systems
Stevens-Henager College offers the titled degree online for those seeking to advance their knowledge in how to organize information, analyze user information, design or evaluate information systems. This degree addresses the growing need for professionals who need to possess both analytical skills and business acumen with the goal of improving business through information technology and management. Graduates will increase their knowledge of the theory and practice of storing, organizing, retrieving and analyzing information in a variety of settings. Typical positions filled by one of these professionals include: positions within the office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Information Technology/Information Systems/Information Management Director, systems analyst, systems architect, and strategic technologist.
This 60 credit master’s program may also be completed within 15 months online.
18. Master Of Business Administration in Justice Studies
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) as part of their MBA program, they offer a graduate degree in Justice Studies online. The unique combination of skills that this justice studies MBA provides can qualify you for a variety of positions in both the private and public sectors. Consider pursuing a career in the legal or corrections fields, corporate security or government service. Courses are taught by experienced faculty with real-world business and justice studies experience at an accredited school with an 80-year history. Online students may complete the course in as few as 15 months by taking two courses per 10-week term.
19. Master of Business Administration in Sport Management
This online sport management master’s degree at SNHU combines a strong foundation in business as viewed from the unique perspective of the $414 billion sports industry. Students will gain a combination of skills that provides a competitive advantage: knowledge of the latest trends in sport business and enhanced marketing, analytic and financial skills. The degree will give students a solid business management and sports background, positioning them for a high-level career in any of the specialized fields in the industry:professional teams, college sports, equipment manufacturing, and sports agencies.
Students interact directly with faculty and fellow students through online discussions, group projects and case studies. Also, this graduate degree in sports management may be earned in as few as 15 months, with two courses per 10-week term.
20. Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, offers this graduate degree online for those education professionals who work in a field related to learning and human development. Their program is home to leading experts in key fields such as child and adolescent development, advanced statistical applications, motivation, high stakes testing, and academic anxiety. As a recognized leader and innovator in online education, Ball State employs best practices, in place to ensure the kind of personal attention from faculty that you’d expect to get face to face. The MA in educational psychology will help professionals in education, business, and human services advance their careers. Whatever your profession, you can complete the MA in just 18 months (less than one year if you take a full load each term, including summer).
21. Master of Business Administration in Business Intelligence
SNHU offers a variety of MBA specialty programs online. Their MBA in Business Intelligence, taught by analytics and IT experts, complements the traditional MBA education in economics, marketing and operations with data-driven tactics that can be applied to almost every business. More importantly, this graduate degree will develop you into a savvy leader with an enterprise-wide perspective on data. It will teach you to analyze patterns, put them into context and draw a direct line between information and results. In the process, you’ll look at the technology that bridges the gap between raw data and analysis and learn how to correlate the most relevant information with specific business challenges.
SNHU states that this is one of the most affordable programs available at this level, and it may be completed in a little as 21 months by taking two courses per 10-week term.
22. Master of Science in Health Communication
Developed in collaboration with Boston University’s College of Communication, the Master of Science in Health Communication (MSHC) is the first degree of its type to be offered online, providing academic and professional preparation for students who wish to work within this important and emerging field. Students who complete the master’s degree in Health Communication will be able to:
- Apply basic public relations and marketing theories and principles to the practice of health communication.
- Employ communication strategy, methods and technology to communicate information, influence audiences, or affect change on health-related topics and issues.
- Interpret and apply basic communication research fundamentals to the field of health communication.
The online MSHC consists of ten courses, and can be completed in as few as 18 to 24 months of part-time study.
23. Master of Music in Music Education
This online program offered by Boston University (BU) is designed for passionate educators who are interested in harmonizing their musical talents with advanced academic credentials. In 1872, BU pioneered music education by offering the nation’s first music degree. Their time-honored curriculum is taught by expert faculty who are in tune with twenty-first century music education, music theory, and musicology. As a student of this Master’s online program, you can access the resources of a world-class university, without disrupting your personal and professional responsibilities. The concepts you learn will challenge you academically, artistically, and professionally—and can be applied immediately in the classroom.
The BU Master of Music in Music Education online program consists of eight courses, which may be completed in 18 to 24 months of study.
24. Master of Arts in Art Education
The Boston University online Master of Arts in Art Education degree program is designed for busy educators who love making and teaching art and who want to enhance their practice, advance their careers, and change their student’s lives through the power of artistic expression. Students are guided by master teachers with years of experience in the studio and classroom. Graduates revitalize their practice by learning to devise effective unit plans and master the latest techniques based on leading edge theory and research. Their spoken and written communication is more focused and evidence-based. Students are guided by master teachers with years of experience in the studio and classroom.
The Master of Arts in Art Education online program consists of 32 credits, which can be completed in 18 to 24 months of study. Courses run in seven-week intensives where students take one course at a time.
25. Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
This is another online graduate degree (MSCIS) offered at BU. It is designed for working professionals who seek to advance their careers in the IT field. The MSCIS features concentrations in Computer Networks, Data Analytics, Database Management & Business Intelligence, Health Informatics, IT Project Management, Security, and Web Application Development. Hence, the MSCIS offers a unique opportunity to gain expertise—and career advancement—in these six areas of concentration. You’ll learn from expert faculty who are also industry leaders involved with building networks, developing applications, and fighting cyber terrorism for the world’s top companies.
The online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems consists of ten course that can be completed in less than 24 months of study. All students complete a set of six core courses in addition to four specialized courses that further develop expertise in a specific area.