How long does it take to complete a Masters degree program

Master's degree programs typically require a bachelor's degree for entry, and take two years of full-time study to complete. Part-time study may take four to six years. Depending on the workload a student can handel, a master's degree can be completed in three different ways: the traditional degree, the part time degree, and various accelerated degree programs. All are taken either by attending full-time, some asking for full residency, some part time, online, or a combination.

Traditional Master's Degree Programs

  • Take 30 or more credits.
  • Requires a master's thesis or an alternative capstone course.
  • Takes about two years full-time.
  • Courses usually available mostly during day, some nights, and online.

Part Time Master's Programs

  • Take 30 or more credits.
  • Requires a master's thesis or an alternative capstone course.
  • May take four years or longer to complete.
  • Courses may be scheduled for evenings and weekends or online.
  • Some programs may have intensive sessions during special sessions during the school year such as intercession quarters, alternative semesters, or in the summer.
  • Special sessions may shorten the duration of the part time program.

Accelerated Master's Degree Programs

  • Credits may vary as some of the requirements may be fulfilled within the bachelor's degree as part of a bachelor's/master's combined degree program where you go one year past bachelor's to receive the master's degree. You are awarded both degrees during that five year period.
  • Courses are designed to be included as part of the bachelor's degree program after the sophomore year, but application is made prior to the sophomore year.
  • Some programs offer a straight to doctoral program from the bachelor's without a formal master's earned. This usually takes around four years to complete and often a master's is given after the first year or two of study.
  • Many business schools now offer an executive MBA or master's of business administration program. These usually require significant work experience in the field of business or a related field. The work experience requisite depends on the school, but typically five to 10 years experience is compulsory. The duration of an EMBA is usually one year. Courses run days, nights, and weekends to fit the working person's schedule.
  • Many courses for accelerated Master's degree programs are taken online with many complete master's degrees programs found online through both traditional and online universities.

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