Why This Matters

Our Research

This list features some of the best master’s degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of master’s degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 50 Master’s Degree Programs

Best Master's Degree Programs 2023 Badge
01
Intelligent Pick
Georgia Institute of Technology
01
Best Course Selection
University of Florida
01
Best in the West
Texas Tech University
01
Best Agriculture Program
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
01
Best Veterinary Medicine Program
Colorado State University
01
Best MBA Program
University of Colorado at Denver
01
Best for Online Students
West Texas A&M University
01
Best Financial Aid Resources
NC State University
01
Best Education Program
Texas A&M University at Commerce
01
Best Computer Science Program
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
01

Fort Hays State University
01

University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
01

Nova Southeastern University
01

Clemson University
01

Fitchburg State University
01

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
01

Stony Brook University
01

Maryville University
01

University of Arizona
01

Johns Hopkins University
01

National Louis University
01

University of San Diego
01

Lamar University
01

Indiana University Bloomington
01

Concordia University Chicago
01

Purdue University
01

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
01

Auburn University
01

University of Delaware
01

New Jersey Institute of Technology
01

Missouri University of Science and Technology
01

University of Alabama at Birmingham
01

Fordham University
01

Drexel University
01

The University of Oklahoma
01

University of Illinois Chicago
01

Florida International University
01

DePaul University
01

University of Louisiana Monroe
01

George Washington University
01

Texas Woman's University
01

Lehigh University
01

Harvard University
01

Michigan Technological University
01

Syracuse University
01

Augusta University

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

There are several different types of master’s degrees. For some areas of study, you can earn a general master’s degree, such as a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Business Administration. Other professions require a more specific master’s degree, such as a Master of Social Work or a Master of Education. Before selecting a program, consider your career goals to help you determine which type of master’s degree is the best choice for you.

It typically takes two to three years to earn a master’s degree, although the exact length of the program will depend on the specific program and number of credits as well as whether you attend the program full-time or part-time. Pursuing a master’s degree requires a significant investment of time and money, in addition to what you have already invested in a bachelor’s degree. Understanding why you are earning this degree and how it will benefit you will help keep you motivated.

Depending on your career aspirations, you may not need to enroll in a full master’s program to enter or advance in your field. Certificate and diploma programs offer individuals additional education and training, and they typically take less time to complete than a master’s degree.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching master’s degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? As advanced degrees, master’s programs typically have more stringent eligibility requirements than bachelor’s degree programs. This can include having an undergraduate degree or coursework in a particular area, meeting certain GPA thresholds, or having some professional experience. Before applying to a program, review their admissions requirements to confirm that you have the proper qualifications.
  • Is the program offered full-time or part-time? Since master’s programs tend to attract a more diverse group of students, scheduling for these types of degrees may be more flexible than for bachelor’s programs. Some master’s programs are designed for working professionals, with classes on evenings and weekends, while others follow a more traditional schedule, with classes during daytime hours. Be sure to find a program that works with your schedule and lifestyle.

A key thing to pay attention to as you research programs is what their admissions requirements and deadlines are. You will likely need to provide undergraduate transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation, and you may also need to take standardized tests like the GRE or GMAT as part of the admissions process.

It’s also important to consider how you will finance your master’s degree. Research financial aid opportunities, including need-based student loans, scholarships, and assistantships. If you are employed, find out if your employer offers tuition reimbursement.