How much does a masters cost?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by DanielC, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    I'm currently working on my bachelors and starting to investigate grad school. I'd likely be working full-time and paying out of pocket for my tuition expenses, so I've got to try to keep my costs down. In the short term, I'd like to get a masters and eventually enter a PhD program.

    How much am I really looking at for an inexpensive distance learning M.A. or M.Sc. degree from an accredited graduate program where I can acquire the skills to do research and continue on to a PhD (if I'm capable)? What's the range on tuition costs (perhaps an average $/credit hour)?
  2. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    • Your subject matters a lot here.

    • The "Best Buy" lists from, while not exhaustive, are great for a quick look at many of the lower-cost U.S. RA distance learning options in numerous subject areas, mostly at the master's level.
  3. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    Thanks Jonathan. I haven't quite narrowed down the subject yet, but I know cost is presently a big factor, as is making sure that it can lead to further doctorate studies.
  4. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I would also want to at least mention that there are non-US universities that are substantially less expensive than even the cheapest US universities.
  6. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Don't forget the opportunity costs. Loss of time doing things you enjoy, less time at work climbing whatever ladder you have presented to you, loss of time spent with family and friends doing enjoyable activities. You could spend the time learning something truly interesting to you, or something that directly benefits whatever business you are in, etc.

    There's also that cost of regret. Now not everyone regrets earning their degree, but there will come a time when (during the course of your studies) you'll question whether it is worth it. And time will tell, look around you at others who have earned degrees in your chosen field. Are they satisfied? Did their thirst for knowledge get filled up writing yet another 25 pages paper (with at least 10 references!!!) about the periphery of a subject that they thought they were interested in until someone killed their souls with poor execution of a teaching plan? Did they get a 20% raise and a corner office.

    Lots of things to consider, obviously you can tell what I find important but most people just pay lip service to that with an occasionaly post on facebook about friends and family and keep droning on.

    Good luck to you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2013

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    It depends on major, some major you can find less than $8,000.00 from Regional Accredited/public institution.
  8. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    of course there are ifs, ands and buts.... you're looking at roughly $20k- $30k. There are MANY that cost less, and this board is a great resource to find them. There are, of course, many that cost more. In cases of the heavily marketed typical online brands, you're going to blow the roof on costs.

    I'd caution you against using cost as your primary criteria, and consider how the degree will meet your needs/career goals. I'd focus on the subject first, and then follow with a list of niche requirements you may have (accreditation, degree type,entrance requirements, pre-req requirements, region of the country, alumni perks, visits required-if any, sound of school name, sports team, etc....). Among those, you can rank by cost. There are other costs you may need to consider- especially if there is travel to the campus, cost to access journals that the school doesn't pay for, or cost for text books. Some programs require lists of books per class!

    Good luck, it's a big decision!
  9. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Look at British unis with thesis requirements. The University of Leceister's CLMS has master's degrees in human resource development on the cheap.
  11. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    I'm early in my search since I still have some semesters left of my current program. I know that there's a big range in tuition, and they can go pretty much as high as pockets are deep. Alas, my pockets are shallow, and the utility of the master's, for the most part, will be measured in personal fulfilment and [likely] will not result in higher pay in my current job/career.

    I've often regretted not continuing with college when I was younger, and as a single person approaching middle age (I'm in my mid-30s), I feel the clock ticking away for what I want in life. Is ittoo late for a quiet life as an academic? My goals are modest: get a masters while continuing my fulltime job, and if I'm able to continue in studies, to do so. If successful, perhaps find a job teaching at a community college or small liberal arts school.
  12. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    Thanks! I will need that luck! :) Total costs and delivery method (100% online preferred) are my primary criteria because there is absolutely no sense it checking out programs that I would drool over but simply cannot afford, and likewise I'm ruling out the heavily marketed high-cost degrees. The other things such as accreditation, the caliber of the faculty and access to a research library with an extensive journal subscription and access to online databases will be big factors.
  13. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Asking how much a master's degree costs is like asking how much a car costs. The question is too broad to provide a simple answer. You can buy a Tata Nano (in India) for about $2,000. A Ferrari 599 runs a little over $300,000. And of course, you can find a little bit of everything else in between.
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    One thing to consider is that many masters programs require certain prerequisite courses at the UG level for entry. If you do not have these required courses you may have to complete them before starting your masters. Thus not planning ahead may cost you money and time.

    An UG course in statistics should be of value when you pursue a graduate degree.

    What is the major in your bachelors program?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2013
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I reiterate, if you want to prepare for a Ph.D., do a master's with a thesis. The Brit unis can be pretty inexpensive (YMMV), and the preparation will be superb.
  16. DanielC

    DanielC New Member

    Yup, thanks for the heads up, Ian! This is why I'm looking at potential programs now, rather than waiting until I graduate. This will give me a chance to try to fit in any prerequisites into my undergraduate academic plan. I'm currently working on a degree in business administration, though I've completed a lot of UG math and natural sciences when I was an engineering major (calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, statistics).

    Rich Douglas, I'm not opposed to the Brit universities & I'm most definitely interested in the programs that offer a thesis option. Are there specific programs you'd recommend?

    Is the thesis taught? How much support do the programs give? I don't know anything about writing a thesis and so I know I'll need direction.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Popular, fairly low-cost US distance options, with some latitude as to subject(s):

    Western New Mexico U. MA - Interdisciplinary Studies

    Virtual Campus - Online Programs

    CSU - Dominguez Hills MA - Humanities

    HUX Master of Arts Degree

    Oops - I perceive these might not be your "bag" - just saw your undergrad list: math, business, engineering etc. Sorry if not relevant.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2013
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You'll have to explore them as you decide what to study. I'm a fan of the University of Leicester because of my interactions with them.

    There should be preparation for the thesis, and it will be supervised, but I don't know what you mean by "taught." Again, each school's materials should make that clear.

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