Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

Updated September 22, 2022

Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

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Low Cost Online Masters Degrees

Pursuing an online master's degree gives students more control over their learning experience. Many programs run asynchronously, allowing learners to complete coursework around work and family responsibilities. Some programs offer career-aligned specializations.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Other typical admission requirements include standardized test scores, recommendation letters, a resume, and an essay. Some programs limit applicants to those with a specific BA or BS. Online enrollees complete the same courses as their on-campus peers.

An online affordable master's degree provides a specialized curriculum that prepares learners for career advancement or a new job. Learners work with academic and career advisors to plan their education and explore jobs.

This page highlights the most affordable master's degrees, including costs and program options.View Our Rankings List Here

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's Degrees

How much is an online master's degree?

Cost varies by program and school. Most public universities charge in-state students the most affordable tuition. Some private universities charge all online students the same tuition, regardless of residency.

Is an online master's the same as an in-person master's?

Yes. Students complete the same coursework and receive the same degree. Employers do not discriminate against online degrees as long as the school awarding them holds regional accreditation. Universities with online degrees should also possess national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

How can I get a master's degree for free?

Students can help fund their degree by applying for scholarships. Learners may also qualify for institutional and federal grants. Financial aid advisors work with incoming learners to research and apply for financial aid.

Featured Online Masters Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get an Online Master's Degree?

Many schools offer affordable master's degrees online. Students may pursue a master's to advance their careers. Others do so for personal fulfillment. Graduates with a master's degree earn about $200 more weekly than those with only a bachelor's. Master's graduates also enjoy one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates.

Online master's degrees allow students to enroll in the most affordable program without relocating. Learners can also save money by not living on campus or commuting for classes.

How Much Does a Master's Degree Cost?

As of October 2021, the cost of a master's degree may range from $30,000-$120,000. Most students pay a per-credit tuition rate. Some schools offer full-time enrollees flat tuition. Master's programs take 18-24 months to complete. Part-time enrollees may need an additional 12 months to graduate.

Some programs charge major-specific fees. These fees may cover lab costs or specialized equipment. On-campus learners also pay these fees. Online students can work with their school's financial aid office to budget for these and related expenses.

Additional Online Student Fees

Students pursuing a master's degree online should ensure they meet tech requirements. Online learners need a computer with an adequate processor, microphone, and camera. Students may need to upgrade their internet. Learners enrolled in a hybrid program should budget for commuting costs.

Schools may charge a graduation fee. They may also charge for official transcripts. Graduates who need professional certification to complement their master's degree should budget for registration and exam fees.

Online Master's Programs

Online master's programs feature upper-division coursework that prepares learners for the next step in their careers. Many programs run fully online. Some programs include on-campus experiences, such as seminars or internships.

Arizona State University leads the nation with more than 100 affordable master's degrees. As of November 2021, ASU offers the following five majors for prospective students with a bachelor's. Keep in mind that not every school offers these online master's programs.

  • Architecture

    This 48-credit program emphasizes design, practice, and research. Learners hone their design skills in six studio courses. The program admits applicants without a bachelor's in architecture. However, these students complete additional courses and need an extra year to graduate.
  • Biomedical Diagnostics

    This program trains students for careers in quality systems or clinical research. Graduates may use the degree to apply to medical school. Learners earn 30 credits over two years. Courses include translational bioinformatics and the regulation of medical diagnostics. Enrollees apply what they learned in a final-semester independent research project.
  • Computer Science

    This program serves aspiring computer programmers and analysts. Core coursework includes the foundations of algorithms, applied cryptography, and information assurance. The curriculum emphasizes real-world projects professionals tackle on the job. Learners must earn a minimum "B" grade in each course to remain in good academic standing.
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security

    This interdisciplinary degree offers five concentrations, including community resilience and threat management. The required core curriculum features courses in hazards governance, integrated emergency management, and applied data analysis. Professors help students develop a capstone project. Graduates may work as risk management specialists or emergency management directors.
  • International Affairs and Leadership

    This 30-credit master's program emphasizes the leadership skills students need to advise elected officials and project global trends. Learners take courses in U.S. diplomacy, the modern global economy, and the making of U.S. national security policy. Some programs feature an optional one-semester internship. Participants intern in the United States or abroad.

Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees

#1 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Florida offers 42 master's degrees online, making it a leader in online graduate education. Distance learners who prefer the flexible format can complete a degree without visits to the Gainesville campus. The online delivery method prioritizes academic quality, which offers enrollees greater flexibility in their schedule.

The master's programs build on undergraduate  training to provide an advanced understanding of the field. Enrollees explore theoretical and practical approaches in their master's coursework. Graduates apply the training they gain from a master's degree to advance their careers or apply to doctoral programs.

The overall acceptance rate at the university is 37%, with program admission rates varying. In-state master's students pay a $10,770 tuition rate, while out-of-state students pay $27,335. Degree-seekers qualify for grants, scholarships, and loans to finance their master's degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

California State University

  • Fresno, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California State University is a leader in online graduate education, offering many quality online master's programs. These programs welcome students who prefer attending class online rather than on campus. An online delivery method helps enrollees balance graduate courses with other responsibilities.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree meet the educational requirement for the master's programs. Enrollees explore major topics and themes in the field using a theoretical and practical framework. After completing a master's degree, graduates pursue advanced research and management positions or apply to doctoral programs.

The overall admission rate at the school is 58%, though the number varies by program. In-state graduate students spend around $7,176 in tuition, while out-of-state students pay $16,680. At the accredited institution, graduate learners qualify for grants, scholarships, and loans.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
24,298
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

Indiana University

  • Bloomington, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers who want to earn a master's degree online can choose from 57 programs offered by Indiana University. These programs help students who want to pursue a graduate degree but do not live near the Bloomington campus. The online delivery method provides a high educational value in a flexible, adaptable format.

Learners who already have a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field may apply. The curriculum pushes enrollees to examine the field with theoretical and practical frameworks. After completing a master's degree, graduates pursue advanced research and management positions or apply to doctoral programs.

Indiana University reports an overall admission rate of 78% for applicants, which varies by program. The school reports an annual graduate tuition rate of $9,501 for in-state students and $31,932 for out-of-state students. Degree-seekers can use grants, scholarships, and loans to help pay for their program.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,575
Out-of-state
$35,140
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
43,260
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

American University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

American University offers 16 online master's degrees, making it a stand-out institution in online graduate education. Distance learners who prefer the flexible format can complete a degree without visits to the Washington, D.C., campus. These programs are flexible and adaptable to busy schedules without sacrificing educational value.

Degree-seekers who already have a bachelor's degree in the same or a similar field may apply. Enrollees explore major topics and themes in the field using a theoretical and practical framework. Graduates gain the necessary skills for advanced management and research opportunities, as well as doctoral programs.

American University accepts 36% of applicants annually, with a different admission rate for each program. In-state and out-of-state graduate students spend around $30,351 in tuition. At the accredited institution, graduate learners qualify for grants, scholarships, and loans.

Average Tuition
In-state
$49,070
Out-of-state
$49,070
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
14,318
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Most Affordable Online Master’s Degrees 2022

University of Connecticut

  • Storrs, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Connecticut stands out among online graduate programs, with many high-quality master's degrees offered online. Distance learners can complete a graduate degree at the university without visiting the campus in Storrs. An online learning format helps enrollees balance busy schedules with school, without sacrificing educational value.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree can apply to the master's programs. Enrollees apply theoretical and practical frameworks to understand major issues in the field. Graduates leave the program prepared for research and management positions, as well as doctoral education.

The University of Connecticut admits an average of 49% of applicants each year, though the admission rate varies by program. In-state master's students pay a $16,300 tuition rate, while out-of-state students pay $38,212. Degree-seekers can use grants, scholarships, and loans to pay for their program.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,798
Out-of-state
$36,466
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
27,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

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