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Masters Degree Programs in Arizona

Overview of Master's Education in Arizona

Institutions for higher learning are scattered throughout the state of Arizona. Three main public universities -- Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University -- and two smaller, private universities award master's degrees in Arizona. 

In Arizona, online master degrees as well as campus-based graduate programs require students to complete a bachelor's degree program prior to enrollment, generally at an accredited institution. Depending on the degree being sought, students may be required to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or another standardized graduate admissions exam. Most programs also require applicants to have maintained an adequate GPA in their undergraduate work. According to 2011 data from the U.S Census Bureau, about 9 percent of Arizona residents between the ages of 25 and 64 hold a graduate or professional degree (luminafoundation.org, 2013).

Popular Master's Degrees in Arizona

Physician Assistant Master's Degree in Arizona

Physician assistants should experience especially fast employment growth, with 41.3 percent projected growth between 2010 and 2020 (azstats.gov, 2013). Students in physician assistant master's degree programs study human physiology, epidemiology, diagnostic medicine, pharmacology and other medical disciplines. Most programs contain a hands-on clinical experience component as well. A master's degree is generally necessary for physician assistants because of the important and sometimes delicate nature of medical work at their level of responsibility, and all 50 states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Occupational Therapy Master's Degree in Arizona

Occupational therapist is another fast-growing health care profession in Arizona that calls for a master's degree, with statewide job growth of 26 percent projected by the Office of Employment and Population Statistics from 2010 to 2020 (azstats.gov, 2013), 6 percent higher than the state average for all occupations. Occupational therapy master's programs aim to instruct students on human anatomy, gerontology, scientific inquiry, psychosocial and biomechanical treatment techniques and other means by which occupational therapy can be delivered. The wide range of therapeutic methods used and the diverse array of injuries, illnesses and disabilities that occupational therapists may treat make it necessary for students to earn at least a master's degree before applying for a license to practice.

Popular Schools in Arizona for Earning a Master's Degree

Arizona's three largest universities are popular options for students seeking their master's degrees. Here are their total student enrollment figures as of 2012-13:

Arizona State University:

73,373 students

University of Arizona:

40,223 students

Northern Arizona University:

26,002 students

(asu.edu, 2012; arizona.edu, 2012; nau.edu, 2012).

In addition, U.S. News & World Report has ranked multiple campus-based and online Arizona master's programs on its lists of top graduate schools (usnews.com, 2013).

  • Arizona State University - W.P. Carey School of Business: Ranked second in the nation among graduate business programs, the Carey School had an impressive graduation rate of 96 percent in 2012.
  • University of Arizona - College of Engineering: Listed in the No. 44 slot for online graduate engineering programs, lectures for this online master's are all recorded and archived online but lab work must be done on-campus.
  • Northern Arizona University - College of Education: U.S. News ranks the master's in education at Northern Arizona University No. 108 in the nation.

Note: Most current rankings as of August 2013

Employment Outlook in Arizona

Given the faster-than-average job growth expected for both careers in the near future, those studying to become one of the 1,180 occupational therapists or 1,610 physician assistants in Arizona (as of May 2012) could have various opportunities available to them upon graduation. The earnings potential for these positions is also strong, with mean annual salary figures for occupational therapists and physician assistants in Arizona listed as $76,300 and $96,040, respectively, in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).


Sources:
"Physician Assistants," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Physician-assistants.htm#tab-4
"Occupational Therapists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, June 26, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-4
"Online Physician Assistant Master's Degree," U.S. News and World Report, Education, Online Education, 2013, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/physician-assistant-masters-degree
"Flex Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Curriculum," University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, http://www.usa.edu/p68-369-Curriculum.aspx
"2010-2020 Occupation Projections," Office of Employment and Population Statistics, Arizona Department of Administration, Accessed 2013, http://azstats.gov/pubs/labor/AzOccProj10-20.pdf
"Enrollment at ASU breaks several records," Arizona State University, ASU News, September 13, 2012, https://asunews.asu.edu/20120913_enrollment
"Total University of Arizona Headcount 1976-2012," University of Arizona, Enrollment Graphs, 2012, http://oirps.arizona.edu/files/Student_Demo/Enrollment_graphs_2012.pdf
"Quick Facts," Northern Arizona University, Enrollment, 2012, http://www4.nau.edu/pair/quickfact.asp
"Arizona State University," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Colleges, 2013, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/arizona-state-university-1081
"Northern Arizona University," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Colleges, 2013, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/northern-arizona-university-1082
"University of Arizona," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Colleges, 2013, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-arizona-1083
"Northern Arizona University," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Graduate Schools, 2013, http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/northern-arizona-university-06006
"University of Arizona," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Online Education, Online Graduate Engineering Degrees, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-arizona-OENG0151/engineering
"Arizona State University (Carey)," U.S. News & World Report, Rankings and Reviews, Online Education, Online Graduate Business Degrees, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/arizona-state-university-OBUS0021/mba
"Arizona," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm
"Arizona," A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, Lumina Foundation, http://www.luminafoundation.org/stronger_nation/report/#arizona

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