What are the Best Online Master of Science Programs?

25 Master of Science Degrees that Could Be Available Online

According to the U.S. Department of Education, a Master of Science degree is typically a two-year degree and may be earned either as part of a doctoral degree path or as a stand-alone yet non-terminal degree (ed.gov, 2008). Typically, the Master of Science degree can be separated into five focuses: engineering, information science, business, health and education. Each of these focuses may contain a number of specialty degrees including the following unranked list:


Master of Aerospace Engineering (M.A.E./M.S.A.E.)

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.B.E.)

Master of Chemical Engineering (M.C.E./M.S.Ch.E.)

Master of Civil Engineering (M.C.E./M.S.C.E.)

Master of Engineering Science (M.E.S.)

Master of Mechanical Engineering (M.M.E./M.S.M.E.)

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (M.S.N.E.)

Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (M.S.Pet.E./M.S.P.N.G.E.)

Master of Engineering Technology (M.E.T./M.S.E.T.)

Information Science:

Master of Information Resources Management (M.I.R.M.)

Master of Information Technology (M.I.T.)

Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (M.S.A.I.)

Master of Computer Engineering (M.C.E./M.S.C.E.)

Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.E.C.E.)

Master of Science in Information Science/Systems (M.S.I.S.)


Master of Library Science (M.L.S.)

Master of Science in Library Science (M.S.L.S.)

Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.)

Master of Science in Economics (M.S.E.)

Master of Science in Finance (M.S.F.)

Master of Science in Management (M.S.M./M.S.Mgt.)

Master of Science in Mass Communications (M.S.M.C.)


Master of Arts/Science in Counseling Psychology (M.A.C.P./M.S.C.P.)

Master of Science in Genetic Counseling (M.S.G.C.)

Master of Science in Medical Illustration (M.S.M.I.)

Master of Science in Medical Technology (M.S.M.T.)

Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (M.S.N.A.)

Master of Science in Orthodontics (M.S.O.)

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (M.S.P.S.)


Master of Arts/Science in Education (M.A.Ed./M.S.Ed.)

Master of Arts/Science in Teaching (M.A.T./M.S.T.)

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies (M.S.E.S.S.)

Unique criteria for each degree

Each of these degrees carries with them unique admissions criteria, graduations requirements, degree completion times and employment possibilities. For more information on potential specific employment possibilities, please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

While there are no reputable listings that provide 25 Master of Science degree programs, U.S. News & World Report does provide a top five list of schools in each of the five Master of Science degree focuses (usnews.com, 2013). Together with the above degree list, these rankings could be a resource for potential master's degree applicants.

The following schools are the best online schools for earning a Master of Science degree in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report. These rankings are based on varying factors such as the number of yearly enrollments, degree completion rates, faculty education and tuition, among others. Please remember that rankings can change over time and vary by ranking provider.


#1 University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

#2 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus

#3 Columbia University (New York)

#4 Purdue University - (West Lafayette, Ind.)

#5 University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Information Science:

#1 University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

#2 Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas)

#3 Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)

#4 University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Conn.)

#5 Pennsylvania State University- World Campus


#1 Washington State University (Pullman, Wash.)

#2 Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)

#3 Indiana University, Bloomington

#4 University of Florida (Hough) (Gainesville, Fla.)

#5 California State University- Mihaylo (Fullerton, Calif.)


#1 Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Mich.)

#2 Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas)

#3 University of Michigan, Flint

#4 Clarkson College (Omaha, Neb.)

#5 Graceland University (Independence, Mo.)


#1 St. John's University (Queens, N.Y.)

#2 Auburn University (Auburn, Ill.)

#3 South Dakota State University (Brookings, S.D.)

#4 Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, Ill.)

#5 University of South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)

U.S. News & World Report, Online Education, Rankings, Engineering Schools, 2013 - http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/engineering/rankings
U.S. News & World Report, Online Education, Rankings, Computer Information Technology Schools, 2013 - http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings
U.S. News & World Report, Online Education, Rankings, Nursing Schools, 2013 - http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/nursing/rankings
U.S. News & World Report, Online Education, Rankings, Education Schools, 2013 - http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
U.S. News & World Report, Online Education, Rankings, MBA Schools, 2013 - http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/mba/rankings
U.S. Department of Education, Structure of U.S. Education, Master's Degrees, 2008 - http://www.ed.gov/international/usnei/edlite-index.html

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