By GVC Staff
When it comes to post-baccalaureate education, cheap online master’s degree programs are becoming increasingly popular. And traditional accredited state universities and public liberal arts colleges are beginning to offer affordable online master’s programs, giving students more options than ever. These programs are well suited for working students who need flexible schedules that fit among busy lives. Even the cheapest masters degree online programs can be highly valuable to students.
Schools with the Most Affordable Online Master’s Programs
|#1||Fort Hays State University||$3,398|
|#2||Chadron State College||$3,600|
|#4||University of West Georgia||$3,996|
|#6||Valdosta State University||$4,274|
|#7||West Texas A&M University||$4,402|
|#8||University of Texas- El Paso||$4,497|
|#9||Kennesaw State University||$4,734|
|#10||University of Texas- Tyler||$4,896|
A cheap master’s degree online delivers quality education at an affordable price, on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. You won’t be paying on student loans twenty years later when you opt to enroll in affordable online master’s programs, instead of high-priced options.
Methodology for Ranking the Top Cheapest Master’s Degrees Online
Below are the 30 cheapest accredited master’s degree online programs, offered by accredited institutions. Tuition is based on graduate in-state tuition (as taken from NCES College Navigator), and the schools are ranked from lowest to highest in terms of tuition numbers. In order to compile this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of nearly 70 schools offering online master’s degree programs. We then filtered this pool by selecting only those schools with a graduate tuition of less than $10,000, according to College Navigator. The results are reflected in the following ranking.
#1 – Fort Hays State University
Sixteen cheap online grad programs are among the academic offerings from Fort Hays State University’s Virtual College. Subject areas include business administration, liberal studies, instructional technology, school psychology, health and human performance, and more. It is important to note that a few of FHSU’s master’s programs are hybrid offerings that require some on-campus visits. These programs include the master’s in school psychology, the master’s in school counseling, and the master’s in clinical mental health counseling programs. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Graduate Tuition: $3,398
#2 – Chadron State College
Chadron State College offers a fairly comprehensive list of cheap online masters degrees, including programs in business administration, education, and counseling. The school’s popular online master’s degree program in organizational management includes concentrations in human services and sports management. Although several of these programs are offered entirely online, some are hybrid offerings, including some on-campus requirements. Some classes are also offered in an accelerated, 8-week format, allowing students to complete their degree requirements faster.
Graduate Tuition: $3,600
#3 – Grantham University
Grantham University offers a variety of cheap online master’s degree programs including a Master of Science in Business Intelligence, a Master of Science in Health Systems Management, a Master of Science in Performance Improvement, and a RN to MSN Bridge Program just to name a few. Grantham prides itself on serving nontraditional students, including active duty military service members, veterans, first-generation college students, and working professionals looking to make a career change or advancement. Grantham is a 100% online school, and affordability and accessibility are core values.
Graduate Tuition: $3,900
#4 – University of West Georgia
The University of West Georgia offers several fully online master’s degree options. These cheap online masters degrees include a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, an MBA in Business Administration, an MEd in Early Childhood Education, an MSN in Nursing, and an MPA in Public Administration among others. UWG’s online courses are rigorous, often requiring even more time and effort than traditional classes. The school has been recognized by US News and World Report for excellence in online graduate study in the areas of business, education, nursing, and computer information technology.
Graduate Tuition: $3,996
#5 – Waldorf College
Waldorf College’s cheap online graduate programs include the following: the Master of Arts in Education: Effective Teacher, the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (Non-Concentration), and the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. The latter offering gives students the option of nine different concentrations including Fire/Rescue Executive Leadership, Healthcare Management, Teacher Leader, and Sport Management. The school boasts that 90% of its graduates are employed within six months of graduation from a Waldorf program.
Graduate Tuition: $4,320
#6 – Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University offers an impressively long list of cheap grad programs online in fields such as liberal arts and social sciences, public administration, education, and visual and performing arts. Specific offerings include a MS in Criminal Justice, a MEd in Early Childhood Education, an MBA in Healthcare Administration, and an MPA in Public Administration among several others. In addition to the school’s fully online programs, eight hybrid master’s programs are also available. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Graduate Tuition: $4,374
#7 – West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M’s graduate school offers several cheap online masters degrees that can be completed entirely online as well as others with online components. Some program offerings include a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), a MS in Finance and Economics, a MEd in Instructional Design and Technology, and a MS in Sports and Exercise Science with an emphasis in Sports Management. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available to students enrolled in the online masters program, and a plan of study must be created and approved before the end of the student’s first semester.
Graduate Tuition: $4,402
#8 – University of Texas- El Paso
The University of Texas-El Paso currently offers eight cheap online master’s degree programs through its extended university, including multiple MSN and MEd programs as well as a Master of Defense and Strategic Studies, a Master of Science in Construction Management, and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Designed for working professionals, these programs can be completed entirely online, and many of them are offered in an accelerated format. In addition to its cheap online master’s degrees, UTEP also offers online graduate certificates in technical and professional writing and systems engineering.
Graduate Tuition: $4,497
#9 – Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University’s cheap online masters degree offerings span a variety of subject areas, including education, nursing, business administration, social sciences, computing & software engineering, and engineering & engineering technology. Specific programs include a Master of Science in Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Information Systems, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). It is important to note that although many of KSU’s cheap online masters degree programs are offered entirely online, some of them require campus visits for orientation and/or exams.
Graduate Tuition: $4,734
#10 – University of Texas- Tyler
The University of Texas- Tyler offers cheap online masters degrees from its College of Education and Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and College of Business and Technology. Program offerings include an MA in English, a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, a MSN in Nursing Administration, and a MS in Human Resource Development among several others. The school also offers hybrid programs in public administration, nursing, and health care administration.
Graduate Tuition: $4,896
#11 – Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University offers twenty of the cheapest online masters degree programs available in the United States, including MS, MA, MBA, and MEd programs. Subject areas include Library Science, Communications Studies, Higher Education Administration, Information Assurance and Security, Criminal Justice, and more. Sam Houston’s online master’s degree offerings mirror its on-campus programs, and each program is offered entirely online. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and many of its programs hold special accreditation as well.
Graduate Tuition: $5,139
#12 – Georgia College and State University
Georgia College and State University offers cheap online master’s degree programs- both fully online and partially online. Some of its fully online programs include masters degrees in management information systems, educational technology, health and human performance, music therapy, and public administration among several others. Partially online options include several master of arts and educational specialist degrees in teaching. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Georgia College & State to award masters degrees, and each of its academic schools and colleges hold secondary accreditation as well.
Graduate Tuition: $5,187
#13 – Valley City State University
Valley City State University offers cheap online masters degree programs in education. Concentrations include library and information technologies, technology education, teaching and technology, elementary education, English education, and teaching English language learners. Valley City State is part of the North Dakota University System (NDUS) and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked VCSU its top 50 ranking of best online graduate education programs. No GRE is required for entrance into the school’s online masters in education programs.
Graduate Tuition: $5,270
#14 – Utah State University
Utah State University offers nearly a dozen cheap masters degree options including a MEd in Educational Technology and Learning Sciences, a Master of Management Information Systems program, a Master of Technical Communication program, and a Master of Human Resources. Most of these programs can be completed in 1-2 years, depending on whether students take classes on a full-time or part-time basis. It’s important to note that some offerings require an occasional campus visit. Utah State also offers online graduate certificates in areas such as geographic information science, national environmental policy, women and gender studies, and rehabilitation counseling.
Graduate Tuition: $5,323
#15 – Dakota State University
Dakota State University offers seven cheap online master’s degrees, including a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as Master of Science degrees in Applied Computer Science, Health Informatics and Information Management, Information Assurance and Computer Security, and Analytics. Online graduate certificates are also available in fields such as business analytics, ethical hacking, information technology, and banking security. Online classes at DSU are often held in concert with on-campus offerings, which enable collaboration between distance education and traditional students that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Graduate Tuition: $5,483
#16 – The University of the Cumberlands
Graduate Tuition: $5,670
The University of the Cumberlands is a private, faith-based university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Among the University of the Cumberland’s cheap online masters degree options are graduate programs in education, business administration, Christian studies, health and human performance, and justice administration. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s online graduate education programs in the top 100 in the country and named its online masters in criminal justice program #11.
#17 – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
The cheap online master’s degree offerings from South Dakota School of Mines include three engineering degrees: a Master’s in Construction Engineering and Management, a Master’s in Engineering Management, and a Master’s in Mining Engineering and Management. Online students are taught by the same high-quality professors who teach on-campus classes, and the degree can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid format. To be accepted into SD Mines’ engineering master’s programs, students must already hold a BS in science or engineering or have experience in a related field.
Graduate Tuition: $5,740
#18 – Emporia State University
Emporia State University offers affordable graduate programs in over 30 different subject areas and as many concentrations, many of which can be completed online. Some of the school’s cheap online masters degree offerings include programs of study in accountancy, business education, informatics, rehabilitation counseling, special education, and more. A hybrid master’s degree program in library science is also available. Distance education students at Emporia State receive many of the same support services as traditional students receive, including tech support, tutoring, financial aid, and library services.
Graduate Tuition: $5,922
#19 – University of Missouri- Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City is home to two cheap online masters degrees: the online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and the Masters of Science in Dental Hygiene Education. The programs are fully accredited and offer spring, summer, and fall start dates. Though the majority of coursework for these graduate programs can be completed online, there may be some campus residency requirements. In addition to these cheap online masters degree programs, an online post master’s nurse education certificate is also available from UMKC.
Graduate Tuition: $6,462
#20 – Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University offers a litany of cheap online master’s degrees and online graduate certificates in a variety of academic disciplines through its Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies. For example, business students can complete an online Master of Accounting or online Master of Business Administration while health care professionals can earn their masters in nursing, sports management, or kinesiology, for instance. Teachers have even more choices at GSU with online masters and educational specialists degrees in a variety of educational sub-fields such as educational leadership, instruction technology, special education, and many more.
Graduate Tuition: $6,636
#21 – Aspen University
Cheap online masters degree programs are available from Aspen University in academic areas such as business, criminal justice, education, technology, and psychology and addiction counseling. Standout programs include the Master in Education with a specialty in eLearning Pedagogy, Master of Science in Information Systems with a specialization in Enterprise and Application Development, Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Terrorism and Homeland Security, and a Master of Business with a specialization in Information Management. These cheap online masters degree offerings are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Graduate Tuition: $6,975
#22 – University of Texas- Arlington
The University of Texas-Arlington offers a robust distance learning program, offering many cheap online master’s degrees in the areas of nursing, education, and urban and business affairs. Specific program titles include the Master of Science in Nursing Administration, the Master of Science in Nursing Education, the Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, and the Master of Public Administration. The programs offered are accelerated in format, and most students can earn their degrees in two years’ time. In addition to the cheap online master’s degree programs, several online graduate certificates are also available.
Graduate Tuition: $7,141
#23 – Troy University
Troy University’s cheap online masters degrees span a variety of academic disciplines, including education, criminal justice, human resource management, sport management, strategic communication, and more. Online classes are taught by experts in the field, and students can schedule their coursework around their already busy schedules using the school’s signature Canvas Learning Management System. Students interested in a blended learning format can also choose to take classes via a hybrid option.
Graduate Tuition: $7,146
#24 – University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas has established itself as a leader in graduate distance education, offering 20 different cheap online masters degrees. Specific programs include the Master of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education, the Master of Arts in Secondary Mathematics, the Professional Master of Information Systems, and the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work. Many of the school’s master’s programs offer concentration options so that students can tailor the curriculum around their specific career goals. It is important to note that some distance education offerings from the University of Arkansas do require the occasional campus visit.
Graduate Tuition: $7,379
#25 – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers cheap online grad programs that can only be found at Embry-Riddle. Some of these unique offerings include a Master of Science in Aeronautics, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, a Master of Science in Human Factors, and a Master of Science in Occupational Safety Management. A pioneer in the field, Embry-Riddle has been offering students distance learning opportunities since 1971. Students learn in 9-week sessions, and there are multiple start dates throughout the year for added convenience.
Graduate Tuition: $7,440
#26 – Post University
Post University is home to several cheap online masters degree offerings, including a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Accounting, a Master of Science in Human Services, and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. For the most part, Post’s online classes mirror the courses offered on-campus, with many of the same instructors teaching both traditional and distance learning classes. Graduate programs are delivered in 8-week accelerated modules, allowing most students to complete their degrees within 18 months. The university holds both state and regional accreditation.
Graduate Tuition: $7,500
# 27– Kaplan University
Kaplan University offers 25 different cheap online masters degrees, making it one of the most comprehensive providers of affordable distance learning graduate programs in our ranking. Standout offerings include a Master of Science in Educational Technology, a Master of Health Information Management, a Master of Science in Legal Studies, and a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management. Kaplan’s cheap master’s degree programs are competency-based, and students can complete their coursework on their own schedules.
Graduate Tuition: $7,680
#28 – Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University offers over 20 cheap online graduate programs through its renowned Center for Distance Education. Some of its most unique offerings include the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering; the Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition & Health Promotion, the Master of Science in Forestry, and the Master of Science in Workforce Education Leadership. MSU’s distance education students receive many of the same support services as traditional students do, such as tutoring, career services, technology assistance, and more.
Graduate Tuition: $7,780
#29 – Liberty University
Liberty University provides one of the longer lists of cheap online master’s degrees. The school is a faith-based institution, and many of its offerings reflect its Christian tradition. Some of these programs include the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, the Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics, and the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry. Of course, the school offers many other non-religious degree programs as well, such as a Master of Science in Project Management, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Arts in Communication, for example. The curriculum for most programs is delivered entirely online, and there are no required login times, making Liberty a flexible choice for cheap online masters degrees.
Graduate Tuition: $8,051
#30 – University of Tennessee- Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee- Chattanooga offers the following cheap online master’s degree programs: an MBA in Business Administration: Professional MBA, the MS in Engineering Management, the MS in Engineering Management: Construction Management, the Master of Science in Criminal Justice, and the MED in Elementary Education. Courses are delivered via UTC Learn, the university’s learning management system. It is important to note that some campus attendance may be required for these programs, though 80% of the course is guaranteed to be delivered online.
Graduate Tuition: $8,100
This concludes our ranking of cheap online graduate programs.