How Long Does It Take To Get a Master’s Degree: Full-Time vs. Part-Time


Nowadays, earning an undergraduate degree is not enough to be a serious contender for many positions. So, people are always looking for ways to improve themselves and their work. A great way to go about it is by continuing your academic path and pursuing a master’s degree.

But, deciding to dedicate your time, resources, and energy to an academic program is not easy as there are many things you should consider. How long does it take to complete such a program? Is it the same length for every field of study? If not, how long does it take to get a master’s degree in education? How long does it take to get a master’s degree in psychology? Is it worth it? Keep reading for answers to such questions and more.

What is a Master’s Degree?

A master’s degree is one of the main types of post-baccalaureate qualifications, which helps you dive deeper into your interest as the program focuses on a specific field or discipline and includes a final activity, project, thesis, or exam. Upon earning an undergraduate degree, a Master’s Degree is a great way to make yourself more marketable to potential employers.

There are many master’s degrees in various areas of study, with the two main ones being Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS). Generally, the MA degree is awarded to students in art, humanities, and social sciences, whereas the MS degree is awarded in technical fields such as mathematics, nursing, engineering, etc.

The Requirements to Enter a Master’s Degree


When applying to a Master’s degree program, one of the basic requirements is to have an undergraduate degree, from an accredited program, in a field relevant to the one you are thinking of pursuing in post-graduate studies. Some schools might have prerequisites related to minimum grade point averages. Although, in some cases, even if you do not fulfill this requirement, you may still be admitted to the school of your choice based on interviews, application letters, letters of motivation, etc.

Different Enrollment Options

A significant benefit of pursuing a master’s degree is the many enrollment options you have to find the one that best suits your needs. A majority of schools offer students the choice to pick between full-time and part-time master’s degree programs. But, which one would be the best for you?

Full-time master’s degree programs

If you are ready to dedicate most of your time to pursue a master’s degree, enrolling full-time might be the best option. Generally, you must earn around 12 credits per semester, and this option is considered the more-typical one. You are expected to be present on campus for a few hours during 2-3 weekdays. Such programs are aimed at professionals looking to develop their skills and knowledge more quickly since this program takes less time to complete than the part-time one.

Part-time master’s degree programs

For professionals who are primarily committed to their work but are still seeking a master’s degree on the side, part-time master’s programs are life-changing. As the name suggests, a part-time program will enable you to study subjects in as much depth as they traditionally are in full-time programs, only now you do so in a more extended period. This increase in length results in a more flexible schedule, with classes usually held during weekends.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s Degree?

Now, the part you most likely clicked for— how many years for a master’s degree? Well, the length of the master’s degree depends on various factors, the first one being the study mode you pursue. Typically, you can complete a master’s program in 1-2 years, whereas a part-time one can take up to 6 years.

Likewise, the length can increase or decrease depending on the workload you must finish within a semester. To put it simply, schools have different requirements regarding credit hours. Generally, you will need around 30 to 60 credit hours to earn your degree. The more hours required, the longer the program will last. For example, to achieve a master’s degree in education or psychology, you must attend college for around two years. Similarly, a master’s in data science or computer science takes 1-2 years, and so on.

Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree


Suppose you are interested in earning a promotion, applying for a better position, or switching career focus. A master’s degree is an excellent path to follow in such cases. You will not be wasting your time by continuing your education, as the program will present you with many opportunities to grow and succeed. Below are some of the many benefits of earning a master’s degree.

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Compete with the rest

According to recent data, more than 820.000 master’s degrees are awarded annually in the US, so, to be competitive in your field, you must be one of those degree holders. With the vast number of people that recognize the importance academic degrees have in preparing you for occupations, you mustn’t be left behind. So, it would be best to continue your learning as you go.

Higher salaries

In addition to the marketability provided by the master’s degree, you will also most likely earn more for your work. Reports show that professionals with a master’s degree have a median weekly salary of around $1,497, which is very high compared to those with a bachelor’s degree earning $1,248 and associate degree holders earning only $887.

A deeper understanding of your field

Another significant benefit to earning a master’s degree is that you will be studying the field of your choice in depth. Whether it was a decision based on pure interest or on what the market is seeking professionals in, you will be developing your knowledge and skills in areas that are very much needed for the career path you have chosen.

Finally, we can conclude that earning a master’s degree is a commitment that pays off. Not only in the monetary sense but the skills and knowledge you gain and develop will be of great importance when it comes to aiming higher in your career.

If you want to be the best person for a job, you must put in the work and show employers how dedicated and hardworking you are. What are a few more years of school when compared to the glory you can achieve with one more degree up your sleeves?

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