Finding the Top Online Master’s Programs

Making the decision of where to obtain your online master’s degree is a big decision. After all, this institution will take you through your graduate education. And that education will have a large impact on your employment for the rest of your life. 

That is why we created this guide on the top online master’s programs. For many professions, earning a master’s degree is an important next career step. But with busy work or family schedules, a traditional brick-and-mortar school may not be an ideal solution. 

This is why we are here and will show you the top resources to begin digging into the necessary research for getting your master’s degree masters degree

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Since the largest number of people who get their online master’s degree get an online master’s degree in education, we will spend the last few sections focusing on helping you find the top online master’s in education programs specifically. These resources will help you choose which online master’s of education programs are perfect for you and your career needs.

How to Find Top Online Master’s Degree Programs

With countless options of top online master’s programs available, how will you ever begin to know which school is right for you and you educational needs? We have gathered a few online resources that will help you answer that exact question.

You will not only find helpful lists of the top online master’s programs; you will find both simplified and detailed information on why getting your master’s degree online from these institutions could be a good idea.

Many of these resources offer their lists for 2016 master’s degree online programs. Remember that these are a great jumping off point for looking into 2017.

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The Best Schools

Start off your search with The Best Schools’ list of “The 50 Best Online Colleges for 2016.” Through this list you can find comprehensive information about top online master’s programs in all fields.

According to their website, they created this list of top online master’s programs by looking at the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence
  • Scholarly strength of faculty
  • Online teaching methods
  • Tuition costs
  • Reputation
  • Awards
  • Financial aid
  • Range of degree programs offered

This list has some of the most in-depth information you will find about receiving a master’s degree online through each of these institutions. It is a great place to begin your research, so you will have a familiarity of many schools, including those that offer master’s of education online programs.

Guide to Online Schools

Another great resource to start your research on the best places to get your master’s degree online is through Guide To Online Schools. Through their website, you can see a long list of various master’s degree online programs. These include online master’s in education, psychology, human services, public administration, and any other field you could be interested in.

Under each field of study, Guide To Online Schools shows you the following:

  • How many master’s degree online programs are available
  • How many have graduated with that master’s degree in the past year
  • The annual salary you should expect post-graduation
  • Which organizations offer accreditation

Once you click on the field of study you are interested in, you will be sent to a list of some of the top online master’s programs for each. For example, if you are looking for online master’s of education programs, you click on “Education” and will be sent to the 38 schools Guide To Online Schools recommends.

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The Best Master’s Degrees

The website The Best Master’s Degrees offered their “Top Master’s Degree Online Programs 2016” for last year’s schools. They highlight their top 50 schools that offer master’s degree online programs by sharing the following information and criteria for each:

  • Expected annual tuition
  • Points (their point rating system focuses on number of online programs, student-faculty ratio, and tuition)
  • Informative overview on the school
  • List of their online master’s degree programs

According to their website, “In order to be considered for this ranking of the best online master’s degree programs, institutions needed to have at least ten online master’s degrees and be accredited.”

Many of these programs include online master’s in education, computer information systems, health systems, medicine and nutrition, engineering, criminal justice, human services, and plenty more.

Affordable Colleges Online

Affordable Colleges Online offers comprehensive information on the top online master’s programs in the country. This is a great spot to accumulate information. Through their website, you can see each school’s:

  • Affordable Colleges Online score*
  • Whether or not they offer career counseling
  • Whether or not they offer job placement services
  • Which state they are are located in
  • All master’s degree online program offerings

You can also breakdown your search by subject. This allows you to take a closer look at  master’s in education online programs, business management, healthcare, information technology, and many more top online master’s programs.

*Affordable Colleges Online has an extensive list of criteria and scoring metrics they use to come up with their “Affordable Colleges online score” for online Master’s degree programs. Some of these include the following criteria:

  • Public, not-for-profit colleges only
  • Online tuition and fees
  • Academic and career counseling services
  • Job placement for graduates

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OnlineU has their “2016 Top Online Colleges & Degrees” list available for your viewing, offering programs to receive your master’s degree online. All of the institutions they list are also accredited, so you can be confident in each of their choices.

Through OnlineU, you can learn the following information on these top online master’s programs:

  • Annual tuition
  • Acceptance rate
  • Online degrees offered
  • Accreditation
  • General school info

OnlineU does a great job of listing every single online master’s degree each of these institutions offers. If you want to research specific degree options, OnlineU is a great place to do some digging.

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Finding the Top Online Master’s Programs in Education

Now, let’s start looking at specific fields of study you may be interested in, focusing first on master’s of education online programs.

Out of the four top disciplines for an online master’s degree – education, business, health professions and related clinical sciences, and public administration and social services – an online master’s in education has the most students.

If you are looking for some master’s in education online programs, here are four fantastic and reputable resources that will help you choose the right online master’s degree in education for you and your goals.

Online Master’s in Education: U.S. News

U.S. News is an extremely reputable source offering their “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” list for your research on online master’s of education programs. Beyond the list, they also offer you some basic information for getting your master’s degree in education online from the institutions they recommend, including:

  • Faculty credentials and training
  • Student services and technology
  • Student engagement
  • Admissions selectivity

To come to their conclusions about the Master’s in Education online programs, U.S. News looked to the following factors:

  • Student engagement
  • Student services and technology
  • Admissions selectivity
  • Faculty credentials and training
  • Peer reputation

If you are interested in a master’s degree in education online, U.S. News is a wonderful place to start your research.

Online Master’s in Education: Best Colleges

Through, you can take a peek at “The 25 Best Online Master’s in Education Programs of 2016.” lists each school offering online master’s programs in education and then shares information on:

  • Cost
  • Graduation rate
  • Location
  • Institution highlights
  • List of possible areas of emphasis

Best Colleges also offers some great information on basic tips and things to think about before getting an online Master’s degree in Education.

masters degree online

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Online Master’s in Education: Best College Reviews

At, you can check out their list, The 25 Best Online Master’s in Education Degree Programs. Best College Reviews made their list by considering three topics:

Best College Reviews only offers a short synopsis for each of the master’s of education online programs, but it is a great way to get a feel for many different offerings that may interest you.

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Online Master’s in Education: Online College

If you want a master’s degree in education online, a great resource to check out is Online College. This is for the people who have particular specialties they want to focus on with their education. Online College can point you to the best online master’s of education programs depending upon the specialty you desire.

These online master’s programs in education specialties include:

  • Art education
  • Deaf education
  • Developmental studies
  • Early childhood education
  • Educational administration
  • Educational leadership
  • Education technology
  • Education
  • Elementary education
  • Higher education
  • Instructional design
  • Music education
  • Special education
  • Speech pathology
  • Teaching ESL
  • Teaching

For each of these areas of concentration, Online College points out the top online master’s in education programs for you.

Resources for Other Top Online Master’s Programs

Outside of getting your master’s degree in education online, you may be interested in looking at getting another master’s degree online in many of the other popular graduate fields of study.

Here is a list of various resources you can use to do research on some other popular master’s degree online programs. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it can be a great place to start.

Top Programs for a Business Online Master’s Degree:

Top Programs for a Nursing Online Master’s Degree:

Top Programs for an Engineering Online Master’s Degree:

Top Programs for an Information Technology Online Master’s Degree:

Top Programs for a Graduate Criminal Justice Online Master’s Degree:

Master’s Degree Online: Next Steps

Now your job is to take these resources on master’s degree online programs and start doing your own research. Make a list of everything you want and/or need for getting your master’s degree online and see which schools can do that for you.

And if getting your online master’s degree in education is the path you want to take, focus specifically on these helpful resources for getting the best education so you can then give others a great education, too.

It is ideal to compare and contrast all the information given to you on the top online master’s programs and the top online master’s in education programs. You will be left with better research and a broader picture of what your future education plans may look like.

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