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Quickest Master’s Degree Online Programs 2020

Earning a master’s degree fast has never been more convenient with these quickest masters degree online programs. It used to be that to earn a master’s, students would have to consider relocating, sometimes leaving their job to go to school full time, resulting in significant financial hardship during the period in which they were earning their degree. No more. Even top universities have started offering accelerated online masters programs online! Whether you’re an educator, community organizer, or business person, if you’re considering a graduate degree, an accelerated online master’s program may be exactly what you need. The beautiful thing about fast online degrees is their flexibility. But the key to understanding the power of an accelerated degree is that these actually tend to be among the most flexible programs you can find. At the bottom of the article, after our ranking of the top fast-track online master’s programs 2020, you can read more about our ranking methodology. You will also find some answers to frequently asked questions regarding such programs.

Ranking One Year Master’s Programs Online and the Quickest Master’s Degree Online Programs

9-11 Months: Best One Year Master’s Programs Online

#1. Colorado State University

Colorado State-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 4

Colorado State University offers a great selection of accelerated programs and is the fastest program featured in this ranking of best 1 year masters programs online. The tourism management degree at CSU is a 9 month master’s degree online. The online master’s programs in education sciences, and the one in applied statistics, can be completed in one year. The master’s in computer information systems can be completed in 18 months.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $25,040
  • Fastest Program: 9 Months

#2. Louisiana State University-Shreveport

LSU Shreveport-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 5

Of the five accelerated online master’s degrees offered by LSU Shreveport, the MBA is a one year masters program online and can be completed in just 10 months. The others can be completed in 12 months and are master’s degrees in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, health administration, and nonprofit administration. The MBA offers several specializations including hospitality and casino management, human resources management, marketing, and project management. If you are searching for the quickest masters degree online programs, LSU Shreveport is worth a look.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $6,196
  • Fastest Program: 10 Months

#3. St. Thomas University

STU-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 4

St. Thomas is offering a one year online masters program: the online master of business administration can actually be completed in just 10 months. The school also offers an MS in educational leadership that can be completed in 12 months, and a 10-month MS in instructional design and technology. The online master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration can be completed in 18 months. The nursing degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $10,418
  • Fastest Program: 10 Months

#4. Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 1

Gardner-Webb offers many degrees online, but the only one it offers in an accelerated format is the master of business administration. The MBA can be completed fully online in just 10 months. Courses offered in this program include production research and operations management, business law and ethics, strategic management, organizational behavior, and international business. As you look for top one year masters programs online in the business space, Gardner-Webb is affordable and fast.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $9,000
  • Fastest Program: 10 Months

12-14 Months: More of the Quickest Master’s Degree Online Programs

#5. Western Governors University

WGU-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 32

Western Governors University offers 32 master’s degrees online, and because of the unique format, all of them can be finished at an accelerated pace as one year online masters programs. Students have full control over the pacing of their degree at WGU, which means pretty much any degree can be completed in 12 months, or 18 months if that’s more comfortable. Students can adjust the pacing as they go. WGU also charges tuition on a per-semester basis instead of per-credit. So the faster you finish the degree, the less you pay. The school offers multiple degrees in categories like nursing, business, information technology, and education.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $7,500
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#6. Regis University

Regis University-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 20

Most of Regis’ accelerated online master’s degrees can be completed in around one year by completing two 8-week courses at a time. Some of the degrees available at an accelerated pace are information and cybersecurity, information technology management, marketing, nonprofit management, business administration (MBA), organizational leadership, project leadership and management, and thirteen more programs.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $13,177
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#7. Wilmington University

WilmU-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 15

Wilmington University offers several online master’s degrees that can be completed in one year. These include programs in cybersecurity, homeland security, information systems technology, management, nursing leadership, accounting, and administration of human services. There are other degrees offered that take between 14 and 18 months including education programs.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $8,586
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#8. California Baptist University

California Baptist-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 15

Almost every single master’s degree offered at California Baptist University can be completed in 12 months. A couple of them take six more months to complete because they require more credits. This is the average completion time, implying that it’s actually possible to complete some of these degrees in less than one year. The fastest master’s degrees available online include master’s in public health, public administration, organizational leadership, business administration, kinesiology, information technology, and education.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $13,420
  • Fastest Program: Under 12 months

#9. University of North Texas

UNT-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 13

The University of North Texas offers an incredible variety of master’s programs that can be completed in just 12-14 months. These programs include master’s degrees in advanced data analytics, early childhood education, educational leadership, business administration, supply chain analytics MBA, and supply chain management MBA, marketing, marketing analytics, and organizational behavior and resource management.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $12,920
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#10. University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley

UTRGV-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 13

The online master’s degrees in education at UTRGV can be completed in just ten months. The other master’s degrees can be completed in 12 months. This includes master’s degrees in nursing administration, nursing education, public affairs, social work, health sciences, education (curriculum and instruction), and education (educational leadership). Another important note is that the MBA program has a Spanish language version that can be completed in 12 months.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $13,190
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#11. Lamar University

Lamar University-Fastest Online Master's Degrees 2020

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 9

Lamar University basically charges the same price whether or not the student lives in Texas, resulting in the full cost of most master’s programs coming in between $8,000 and $10,000. The accelerated degrees are in areas like education, business, and criminal justice and most can be completed between 12 and 18 months. Most are in the 15, 16, and 18 month range. The one 12-month program is the master of science in criminal justice.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $6,234
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#12. Northeastern University

Northeastern University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 7

Northeastern University is one of the top universities in the United States. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school in the top 40. The school offers many online degrees but seven of them can be completed in as little as 18 months. The master’s in criminology and criminal justice can be completed in 12 months. 18-month degrees include commerce and economic development, corporate and organizational communication, eLearning and instructional design, energy systems, and engineering management.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $24,027
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#13. Trine University

Trine University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 6

Trine University offers all six of their online master’s degrees at an accelerated rate; each can be earned in just 12 months. The master’s degrees are in business administration (MBA), business analytics, organizational leadership, engineering management, information studies, and criminal justice. The degrees can be earned so fast because online courses are available two at a time in eight-week terms offered year round.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $9,900
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#14. Albertus Magnus College

Albertus Magnus-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 5

Albertus Magnus offers five online master’s degrees that can be completed in about 12 months. Each degree allows you to take courses in an 8-week format. Students can choose whether to take one or two classes per 8-week session. This flexibility allows you to control how much you want to take on at any given time. The degrees offered are online master’s programs in business administration (MBA), leadership, management and organizational leadership, accounting, and criminal justice.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $20,112
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#15. Concordia University

CU-Portland-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 5

Concordia University offers a one-year master’s in education degree. The degree is offered in the areas of administration, career and technical education, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and educational technology and learning design: K-12. Each program has its own concentrations, and falls between 30 and 36 credits and can be completed in just one year.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $20,910
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#16. University of Florida

University of Florida-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 5

The University of Florida offers four accelerated online degrees. The AACSB-accredited master of science in management, master of entrepreneurship and master of international business degrees can be completed in 12 months. The online MBA, also AACSB-accredited is a 16 month program. There is also a 16-month master’s in mass communications. Many of these programs feature quite a number of concentrations.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $27,335
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#17. University of Southern Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 4

The University of Southern Mississippi offers accelerated master’s degrees in human capital development, public health, music education, and logistics, trade, and transport. The logistics degree and human capital degree can be completed in 12 months. The public health master’s degree can be completed in 15 months. The music education degree can be completed in 18 months. One of the most attractive elements of online degrees at the University of Southern Mississippi is that online students take courses at the in-state tuition price regardless of their residency status.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $8,514
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#18. Mercy College

Mercy College-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 4

Mercy College offers accelerated programs at a few different paces. The MBA can be completed in just one year through the TURBO program. Nursing education and nursing administration online master’s degrees can be completed in just 15 months. And the cybersecurity degree can be completed in 18 months. The GMAT is optional for the MBA program and the GRE is optional for students applying to the cybersecurity program.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $15,696
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#19. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 3

The three fast online master’s degrees offered by Azusa Pacific University are an MA in educational technology, an MBA accredited by the IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education), and a master of business management. All of these programs can be completed in as few as 12 months. The two business degrees have six start times per year. The educational technology degree starts three times per year.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $17,112
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#20. University of Massachusetts

UMASS-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 3

The UMASS university system offers three online master’s degrees at an accelerated pace, coordinated through UMASS Online. The business and analytics degree is offered at UMASS Amherst, the MBA is offered through UMASS Boston, and the criminal justice degree is offered through UMASS Lowell. Both of the business degrees are AACSB accredited and UMASS Lowell is highly ranked by U.S. News for the criminal justice master’s program, which can be completed in 18 months.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $26,370
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#21. Stetson University

Stetson University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 1

Stetson University offers one accelerated online master’s degree in accounting. It’s offered 100% online and can be completed in one year. Courses are taught in an accelerated five-week format. The master of accountancy program at Stetson had the highest CPA exam pass rate in the state of Florida. The program offers an optional study track focused on taxation. The program is accredited by the AACSB.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $17,396
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

#22. Benedictine University

Benedictine-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 1

Benedictine University offers several online master’s degrees, but only one with an accelerated option. The fastest degree offered is the master of business administration. The accelerated MBA takes just 12 months to complete. The traditional MBA can still be completed in just under two years, taking only one course at a time. Benedictine’s MBA offers elective concentrations in marketing management, international business, finance, entrepreneurship, accounting, and healthcare administration.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $17,883
  • Fastest Program: 12 Months

15-17 Months: More Accelerated Online Masters Programs

#23. Park University

Park University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 1

The online MBA at Park University can be completed in just 15 months with a concentration. There are 14 concentrations including programs in management information systems, disaster and emergency management, human resource management, management accounting, quality and innovation management, project management, public accounting, and homeland security.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $5,917
  • Fastest Program: 15 Months

#24. Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 25

Southern New Hampshire University offers 25 master’s programs online that can be completed in just 15 months. All that is required is for students to take two 10-week courses at once, year-round, in order to complete these incredibly fast online master’s degree programs. Degrees include master’s programs in human resources management, accounting, economics, communication, criminal justice, education (curriculum and instruction), cyber security, and business administration (MBA). The MBA program also features 15+ concentrations.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $18,810
  • Fastest Program: 15 Months

#25. Boston University

Boston University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 15

Boston University’s fastest online master’s degrees aren’t as fast as many on this list, but they all allow students to finish as fast as 16 to 18 months. Boston University is one of the top universities in the United States, ranked #40 by U.S. News and World Report. Online master’s degrees available include business analytics, education, computer information systems, criminal justice, enterprise risk management, financial management, and global marketing management.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $52,816
  • Fastest Program: 16 Months

#26. University of Miami

University of Miami-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 5

The University of Miami offers five online master’s degrees that can be completed in under two years. The master’s in health informatics is a 22-month program. The master of education in applied learning sciences and the master of education in sport administration are both 20-month programs. And the master of science in finance, and master of professional accounting programs can both be completed in as few as 16 months. The business degrees are AACSB accredited.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $36,540
  • Fastest Program: 16 Months

#27. University of Texas-Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 4

University of Texas at Arlington offers four fast online master’s degrees. There is a master of education in educational leadership and policy, and another in curriculum and instruction both of which can be completed between 16 and 18 months. The curriculum and instruction program has concentrations in mathematics, science, and literacy studies. There is a master of science in nursing administration that can be completed in 18 months. Finally, there is an MBA, with concentrations in finance, health care, and management, all of which can be completed in 16 months.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $18,996
  • Fastest Program: 16 Months

18 Months: More Accelerated Online Masters Programs

#28. Ball State University

Ball State University-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 3

Ball State University offers 25 master’s degrees online, 3 of which are offered at an accelerated pace. The MA in education, MA in educational psychology, and master’s in foundational mathematics teaching in the community college (MA) can all be completed in just 18 months. U.S. News rates Ball State’s online graduate education programs 38th in the nation, which is relevant because all three accelerated degrees featured from Ball State are education degrees.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $21,666
  • Fastest Program: 18 Months

#29. Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 2

At Indiana Wesleyan there are two fast master’s degrees online that can be earned in as few as 18 months. The master of science in management, and the master of business administration degree. Both are accredited by the ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs). The MBA offers concentrations in healthcare administration, personal financial planning, project management, and school administration.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $13,194
  • Fastest Program: 18 Months

#30. Texas A&M University-College Station

TAMU-College Station-2020's Fastest Online Master's Degrees

Website
Number of Accelerated Programs: 1

The one online accelerated master’s at Texas A&M is pretty unique among the programs featured in our ranking. It’s a master of geoscience degree. It’s offered online, and 36 credits in total. The program focuses on the areas of geographic information science and technology, petroleum data management, and ocean data science. Courses are offered in an 8-week online format, with a 16-week capstone course.

  • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $37,495
  • Fastest Program: 18 Months

FAQs

What makes accelerated online masters programs so flexible?

Accelerated online master’s degrees are incredibly flexible by nature. The same traits that allow the degree to be completed quickly are the traits that allow you to shape the schedule of the degree to your life. These programs generally feature short, five- to ten-week terms, instead of the traditional sixteen-week semester. During each term you can take up to two courses. This means if you work in a job where some seasons are busier than others (like the holidays for retail, tax season for accountants, or the end of the school semester for teachers) you can take fewer, or even no classes during that period of time. True, you won’t be able to complete the degree as quickly, but it still allows you to complete the degree faster than a semester-based system would, because you aren’t forced into completing the program part-time due to the busyness of a few months.

Are the quickest masters degree online programs really cheaper than traditional programs?

They can be cheaper, especially if you look at the cost in broader terms than just tuition. Some universities offer unique pricing structures, like Western Governors University, where the faster you complete the degree, the less it costs. State universities often offer out-of-state students discounted tuition, sometimes even going as far as to offer them the same tuition as in-state students. But the overall affordability of the degree you choose will depend on the university you select, not the degree type. Take the universities in our ranking as an example. You have schools where you can earn an entire degree for under $10,000. Others will cost you $50,000-$75,000, depending on your financial aid.

The real elements of these degrees that make them more affordable is the time savings. They save you time in your career, save you from expensive moves, and save you the time of commuting to and from classes. All of these time-saving benefits add up to very real monetary savings.

Are accelerated master’s programs online really the same quality as traditional programs?

Most universities, especially the non-profit universities, live and die by their reputation. The only way to protect their reputation is to make sure their degrees turn out quality graduates, whether classes are delivered online or traditionally. This is one reason why so many schools have taken a while to offer a wide range of graduate degrees online. Each degree presents a unique set of problems that need to be solved when transitioning to a remote delivery method. Some degrees, especially those that use labs heavily for learning and research, may never be offered online. You don’t see a lot of graduate degrees in chemistry or physics offered online, for instance.

Other programs involving the social sciences, liberal arts, business, technology, engineering, mathematics, education, and a host of other subjects, however, are quite amenable to the online delivery method. The quality of the programs can be preserved, even with all the convenience offered by an online accelerated delivery method.

How do I pay for my one year masters program online?

The usual methods are all on the table. A mixture of scholarships, federal student loans, and federal grants. Visit the FAFSA website to get a good rundown of your options. Try to max out your federal aid options before resorting to private student loans. There are many quality programs available from affordable universities, so if one of the more expensive programs is out of reach, consider an affordable state university. There are quite a few high-quality state universities with great prices on their online graduate programs. Check with your company or organization about tuition assistance programs. Some will pay for your entire degree, while others will cover at least part of it. If you make enough money and federal loans, grants, scholarships, and tuition assistance programs don’t get you there, consider financing the remainder out of pocket rather than resorting to higher-interest private loans or credit cards.

Will current/future employers respect accelerated online masters programs?

In order to be sure about your current company you could inquire about the overall attitude toward accelerated online graduate degrees. It varies from workplace to workplace. But online degrees are certainly much more common and accepted now than they were even five to ten years ago. The current trend seems to be toward online graduate degrees in many fields. Your current company would obviously know if you earn a degree online, if it’s from a school far away. But future employers wouldn’t know unless you told them specifically because your diploma and transcripts won’t specify the degree was earned online. Schools don’t distinguish between online and traditional degrees on transcripts or diplomas because they are confident that there is no difference in quality.

Quickest Masters Degree Online Methodology

The methodology was simple: Organize the universities by the fastest online master’s degree they offer, then break the ties with how many degrees are offered by the schools. Ties were also broken by who had the lowest tuition.

CVO staff

Related:

This concludes our ranking of the fastest online masters degree programs for 2020.

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