Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs

Looking to take the next step in your career? If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, and you want to dive deeper into your field of choice or enhance your job prospects, you might be interested in pursuing an online master’s degree. Typically offered in one or two year increments, a master’s degree is a valuable credential in many industries. A master’s is also practical for anyone considering a doctoral degree.

Over the last two decades, graduate study has become increasingly common. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the number of 25- to 29-year-olds with a master’s degree or higher nearly doubled between 1995 and 2015. The increase likely stems from students looking to enhance their job prospects or earn a higher salary. Master’s-holders typically have access to greater job opportunities than they would otherwise, and they often earn higher salaries than their less educated peers. The average starting salary for graduates with a master’s in nurse anesthesia, for example, is around $140,000, which is far higher than the initial salaries earned by nurses in positions that do not require a graduate degree.

The increased demand for graduate degrees has led schools to offer many of their master’s programs online. Distance programs give you the flexibility to earn an affordable master’s degree online without disrupting your current professional responsibilities.

To help students navigate the dynamic online education landscape, we’ve ranked the top master’s programs in the country. The schools on our list represent some of the best and most cost-efficient programs in the country, ranked according to various factors, including return on investment (you can see our ranking methodology page for a full breakdown here). As you look through these top programs, be sure to research a variety of programs that align well with your academic strengths and professional interests.


50 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Fort Hays State University

Value Score 8.86
Average Tuition $3,205
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $214

A co-educational university located in Hays, Kansas, FHSU opened in 1902 with a mission based on values of growth, lifelong learning, entrepreneurship, intellectual fusion, social relevance, global engagement, and learner outcomes, all intended to increase higher education among Kansans and improve the state economy. The fourth-largest state university in the state, FHSU serves a body of over 13,000 students. The school places significant emphasis on its online programs, with more than half of all students enrolled in some form of distance education. FHSU is a leader in affordable online learning, winning accolades for both its bachelor’s and master’s programs, and the school allows students to earn an online master’s degree in 15 distinct subjects, including education, history, instructional technology, nursing administration, and special education. The school also offers degrees in counseling and school psychology that require students to attend brief courses on campus.


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2

Texas A & M University - Commerce

Value Score 8.62
Average Tuition $3,630
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 78%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $202

Located about 60 miles from Dallas in the town of Commerce, Texas, A&M-Commerce is the second-largest school in the Texas A&M University system, serving around 12,000 students annually. The university offers a wide variety of entirely online master’s degree programs, with 78% of graduate students enrolled in distance education programs. Students can earn degrees through the school’s four colleges: Business; Education and Human Services; Humanities, Social Sciences and Art; and Science and Engineering. A&M-Commerce also offers several degrees in an exclusively online format, including educational administration, applied criminology and educational technology leadership. Other available programs include marketing, applied linguistics, technology management, and business administration. Graduate students looking for additional academic experience can apply for various graduate assistant opportunities in teaching, research, and non-teaching. These positions allow students to earn extra income while simultaneously building their professional skills.


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3

East Carolina University

Value Score 8.58
Average Tuition $4,434
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59%
Number of Online Programs 30
Part-time cost per credit hour $277

Home to more than 28,000 students, ECU is a major education center in Greenville, North Carolina and the third-largest university in the state. Founded in 1907 as a teacher’s college, ECU now offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through nine colleges and two schools. The university is a top educator of ethnic minority students, with 26% of undergraduates and 18% of graduate students classified as people of color. ECU offers a range of affordable online master’s degree programs in a variety of popular fields, including business administration, nursing, education, network technology and computer science. Distance education programs and ECU are available to residents of most other states, though not Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, or the District of Columbia.


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4

Angelo State University

Value Score 8.53
Average Tuition $3,726
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $207

The second-largest university in Texas Tech University System, ASU serves a student body of nearly 10,000 from its campus in San Angelo, Texas and through a host of online programs. A major proponent of online education, ASU offer online master’s degrees in a range of popular subjects, including psychology, criminal justice, education, nursing, and counseling. Online students at ASU can receive academic assistance in any subject through the school’s virtual tutoring system, which allows students to schedule appointments online and meet with campus tutors remotely. Students can also make use of the full range of library services, including an online chat and reference service that allows them to get answers to research questions 24 hours a day.


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5

Emporia State University

Value Score 8.48
Average Tuition $5,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83%
Number of Online Programs 19
Part-time cost per credit hour $235

Founded in 1863, ESU is the third-oldest public school in the state of Kansas, serving students through four distinct colleges and schools: the Teachers College, the School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Library and Information Management. Located between Wichita and Topeka in the town of Emporia, ESU boasts an annual enrollment of over 6,000 students. The school is a top online educator in the state of Kansas, ranking as one of the top online programs for graduate education according to U.S. News & World Report. ESU also ranks highly for affordability and its services for veteran students. The school is a top institution for affordable online master’s degree programs, offering more than 30 unique degrees with 33 concentrations. Students can earn popular degrees including business administration and psychology along with more eclectic choices, such as art therapy, music performance, and forensic science.


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6

Chadron State College

Value Score 8.48
Average Tuition $3,443
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 98%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $191

Situated in the northern region of the Nebraska Panhandle, CSC is part of the Nebraska State College System, serving the town of Chadron and surrounding regions through campus and online programs. Founded in 1911 to offer teacher education, CSC is the only college in western Nebraska that grants both four-year and graduate degrees. The school’s mission is rooted in community vitality and diversity, achieved through educational opportunities, research and service. CSC is also dedicated to a philosophy of accessible education, offering some of the most affordable tuition in the state. Unlike many schools, online courses at CSC are offered at the same flat rate to both in-state and out-of-state students. Students at CSC have many options for earning their master’s degree online, in fields including business, counseling, education, and organizational management. Many of these cheap online courses are available in an eight-week format to give students greater academic flexibility.


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7

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Value Score 8.39
Average Tuition $5,286
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 90%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $220

Enrolling around 7,000 students annually, UNK is part of the University of Nebraska system, serving students in the city of Kearney and other parts of western Nebraska. Ranked as one of the top public regional universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, the school’s online education program has also ranked as one of the top 10 in the country. Some of the cheap online graduate degrees available at UNK include biology, business administration, history, and special education, along with more unique programs like art education, music education, Spanish education and student affairs. Online students at UNK gain access to many of the same resources as campus students, including tutoring, career services, and disabilities services. Students can also access the full range of library services, including research tutorials, academic databases, and electronic books. The school also offers convenient education applications to help students keep track of courses using their mobiles devices.


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8

University of the Cumberlands

Value Score 8.38
Average Tuition $5,670
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 99%
Number of Online Programs 18
Part-time cost per credit hour $315

A private college affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, UC is based in Williamsburg, Kentucky, serving a student body of around 6,000. The school was founded in 1889 to offer students a liberal arts education infused with Christian values. Throughout its more than 125-year history, UC has served students from a range of backgrounds, maintaining a relatively small size that offers both academic and professional development opportunities. The college primarily serves students from the Appalachian region, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina, but students from around the country enroll in UC’s campus and online programs. UC has no residency requirements, meaning that out-of-state students receive the same tuition rate as state residents, and the school’s financial planning department helps students ensure their education stays affordable. The school’s robust distance education program offers a range of cheap online masters degree programs, from professional counseling and justice administration to teaching and Christian studies.


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9

University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center

Value Score 8.30
Average Tuition $4,577
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $191

Located in Oklahoma City, OUHSC is a major center of education for health sciences in the state, enrolling about 4,000 students annually. A leader in education, research, and patient care, OUHSC is one of only four academic health centers in the country that features seven distinct professional colleges, including dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and graduate studies. The center was officially established in 1971, though many programs, including medicine, biomedical science, and nursing, date back far earlier. Online students at OUHSC can earn some of the best online master’s degrees in medicine available, in subjects such as occupational therapy, nutritional sciences, and nursing. OUHSC strives to provide students the most affordable education possible, and the school offers a range of financial aid opportunities, including many scholarships for students in specific health programs or from specific parts of the state. Online students can also access a range of other scholarships resources through the school’s financial aid department.


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10

Western Governors University

Value Score 8.29
Average Tuition $6,500
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 24
Part-time cost per credit hour $361

WGU is a unique university that operates almost entirely online, primarily serving the needs of working adult students. Founded in 1995 by a coalition of 19 U.S. governors, the school’s emphasis on education technology has made it one of the country’s most innovative institutions throughout its 20-year history. TWGU maintains offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the school operates several state-affiliated campuses around the country, but most of its 74,000 students take courses entirely online. Four distinct colleges comprise the school’s online offerings: the Teachers College, the College of Business, the College of Information Technology, and the College of Health Professions. The school maintains a competency-based approach to education that emphasizes skills and experience rather than credit hours, allowing students to translate prior knowledge into course credit. Online students at WGU can pursue a variety of accredited online masters degree programs, from data analytics and healthcare management to educational leadership and accounting.


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11

Texas Woman's University

Value Score 8.23
Average Tuition $4,380
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 63%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $243

Contrary to its name, TWU is actually a co-educational school, though it’s better known for its status as the largest women’s college in the country, with an enrollment of nearly 15,000 students. Based out of Denton, Texas, the school also maintains health centers in Dallas and Houston, along with a host of distance education programs. The school was founded in 1901 as the Girls Industrial College, becoming TWU in 1957. The college first began admitting male students in 1972. TWU’s mission is to prepare both women and men for leadership and service positions through quality education in both campus and online courses. TWU is also a major provider of advanced education in Texas, with a graduate enrollment of nearly 5,700 students. Online students can earn degrees in family studies, health care administration and library Science, along with more specialized degree programs including sports medicine, education for the deaf, and child life.


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12

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Value Score 8.21
Average Tuition $4,500
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $250

Associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, SEBTS was founded in 1950 to serve students on the East Coast. The school is based in the town of Wake Forest, North Carolina, just north of Raleigh. Serving more than 3,400 students, SEBTS focuses on liberal arts education rooted in values of Christian faith. The school offers five cheap online master’s degree programs: master of divinity (MDiv), master of theological studies, and master of arts (MA) degrees in Christian studies, intercultural studies, or church planting. All of the school’s master’s programs are intended to prepare pastors, church leaders, missionaries, and other workers for lives of Christian service. The MDiv is considered the school’s flagship degree, focusing on Christian history, theology, scripture, and ministry skills. The degree offers a number of optional focuses, with most online students encouraged to pursue the Christian ministry track due to its flexible range of elective courses.


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13

The University of Texas at Tyler

Value Score 8.19
Average Tuition $4,662
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83%
Number of Online Programs 14
Part-time cost per credit hour $327

One of 14 schools in the respected University of Texas System, UT Tyler boasts an enrollment of over 8,500 students served through seven distinct colleges. Located in the town of Tyler, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas, the school was founded in 1971 near Harvey Lake, a local landmark. A top academic center in Texas, the school ranks number 3 among UT institutions for graduating students on time, and UT Tyler grads rank among the most prepared in Texas according to employers. The school also boasts a diverse student body, comprised of students from all 50 states and 52 different countries. UT Tyler offers online masters degrees through four of its colleges: Education and Psychology; Arts and Sciences; Nursing and Health Sciences; and Business and Technology. Students can earn a wide range of degrees available through distance education, including English, school counseling, nursing education, and human resources development.


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14

Oklahoma State University

Value Score 8.16
Average Tuition $4,704
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 30%
Number of Online Programs 16
Part-time cost per credit hour $196

Located in the town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, OSU is the flagship school in the Oklahoma State University System, offering comprehensive education to nearly 24,000 students. A respected regional and national institution, OSU has ranked as a top Western college and a top public university according to U.S. News & World Report. OSU’s graduate programs are globally recognized, and the school offers a range of distance education programs through its College of Science and Natural Resources; College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology; College of Human Sciences; and the Spears School of Business. Some of the many cheap online masters degree programs available from OSU include agriculture, electrical & computer engineering, nutritional sciences, and business administration. The school’s agricultural sciences, engineering, and entrepreneurship programs are particularly prestigious, ranking among the best in the country.


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15

Arkansas State University

Value Score 8.11
Average Tuition $4,572
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 70%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $254

The flagship institution of the Arkansas State University System, A-State is the second-largest university in Arkansas, serving a body of more than 13,500 students. The school was founded in 1909 in the town of Jonesboro, and its campus is situated on Crowley’s Ridge, a unique geological rise that runs throughout the region. A prestigious regional university, A-State ranks as one of the top schools in the South according to U.S. News & World Report. The college offers a range of options for students looking to earn an online master’s degree, from engineering management and sports administration to early childhood services. The school also offers a number of education programs, including curriculum & instruction, educational leadership, and educational theory. In 2013, A-State ranked as the top public university for number of master of education (MEd) degrees conferred.


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16

Adams State University

Value Score 8.10
Average Tuition $4,428
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 95%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $246

A small liberal arts college Located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, Adams State serves a student body of around 3,700, offering an intimate educational experience with extensive attention from faculty. The school was founded as a teacher’s college in 1921 and has since evolved into a prominent regional education provider with an emphasized commitment to underserved populations, including minorities and first-generation college students. Students at Adams State can earn an affordable online master’s degree in education, enhancing their professional skills in teaching, curriculum development, administration, and organizational training. The program is intended to help teachers and other educators develop skills to ensure students’ academic success. The flexibility of Adams State’s online education program allows students to begin courses during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The college stresses experiential education, and students at Adams State can also earn credit for prior knowledge and professional experience, such as certifications, employment, and volunteer work.


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17

Western New Mexico University

Value Score 8.09
Average Tuition $3,026
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $168

A comprehensive regional university in Silver Springs, New Mexico, WNMU has served the area since 1893, offering accessible education to a diverse student body. The school’s annual enrollment sits at around 3,500 students, with about half identifying as Hispanic. A smaller college focused on individual student attention, WNMU offers graduate programs in five areas: business administration, education, educational leadership, interdisciplinary studies, and social work. Striving to keep tuition affordable for students, the school also offers some of the cheapest online masters degree programs in the state. Graduate students receive a guaranteed tuition rate that will not rise as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA and take at least 18 credit hours per year. The school also offers a range of scholarship programs to help students finance their education, and out-of-state students from Arizona, Colorado, and El Paso, Texas can receive a waiver that allows them to pay in-state tuition.


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18

Missouri State University - Springfield

Value Score 8.02
Average Tuition $4,590
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38%
Number of Online Programs 15
Part-time cost per credit hour $255

Rooted in a mission of ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement, MSU is a public university in Springfield, Missouri with an enrollment of over 22,000 students. MSU was founded in 1905 as a teacher’s college, and the school has since grown into the second-largest university in the state. It’s also one of the top rated, ranking as one of the best Midwestern regional universities according to U.S. News & World Report. MSU offers some of the best online masters degree programs in the state, allowing students to study a range of subjects, including communication, cybersecurity, elementary education, criminology, and business administration. The school serves a wide range of students through its online programs, with distance education available to residents of most U.S. states. Only students in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York are barred from participating in programs that require clinical experience, while students in Kentucky are not allowed to participate in any online courses.


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19

Southern Arkansas University

Value Score 8.02
Average Tuition $4,878
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $271

Located in Magnolia, Arkansas, just 20 minutes from the Louisiana state line, SAU is the fastest growing university in the state. Established in 1909 as an agricultural high school, SAU has since grown into a comprehensive regional university with an enrollment of around 4,700. Despite its rapid growth, the school is still able to maintain a 17:1 student-teacher ratio, allowing students to receive individual support from faculty. The U.S. Department of Education ranks SAU as the most affordable university in Arkansas, as well as the school offering the best return on investment to students. It’s no surprise then that SAU offers some of the cheapest online masters degree programs in the state. Students can earn a variety of degrees entirely online, including those in business administration, computer science, and mental health counseling. The school also offers a range of education degrees in different focuses, including educational administration, school counseling, and curriculum instruction.


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20

Sam Houston State University

Value Score 7.96
Average Tuition $5,139
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $266

SHSU is the third-oldest public university in Texas, serving students from across the state since 1879. Located about 50 miles north of Houston in the town of Huntsville, SHSU enrolls around 20,000 students annually. The college heavily emphasizes professional preparation, ranking first among Texas universities for placing students in the state workforce within 12 months of graduation. SHSU is also recognized both regionally and nationally for the quality of its education programs, with U.S. News & World Report lauding the school for offering some of the best online masters degree programs in the state. Students can choose from over 25 unique graduate programs, ranging from conventional subjects such as sociology, teaching, and business administration to more specialized topics, including band conducting, digital forensics, homeland security studies, and victim services management. The school’s programs in criminal justice, education, and information technology are all particularly strong.


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21

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Value Score 7.93
Average Tuition $4,029
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 68%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $168

Part of the University of Texas System, UTPB is a rapidly growing public school located in Odessa, Texas. Home to over 6,000 students, UTPB is a top Texas college, winning praise from U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 100 regional universities in the West as well as one of the top 50 public schools in the region. The college is dedicated to innovation in education, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has lauded UTPB as the first public university in the state to implement AVID, an initiative program designed to increase student success and teacher preparation. Many online master’s degree courses at UTPB are offered in collaboration with other state schools through the University of Texas Online Consortium, allowing students to earn a wider range of degrees. Some of the school’s online graduate programs include bilingual/ESL education, English, public administration, and kinesiology.


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22

Valdosta State University

Value Score 7.93
Average Tuition $4,374
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 68%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $243

One of three regional schools in the University of Georgia System, VSU is located in the town of Valdosta, just 15 minutes from the Georgia-Florida border. The school is a major center of education in Georgia, serving over 11,000 students from all over the state as well as the rest of the country. Founded in 1906, VSU spent decades as a women’s college before transitioning to a co-educational institution in 1950. A frequent innovator in education programs, VSU wins praise for its distance learning programs. The school offers a range of fully online graduate programs, including criminal justice, nursing, English, and business administration. In addition to boasting some of the cheapest online master’s degree programs in Georgia, VSU also offers in-state tuition rates to residents of neighboring states Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina.


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23

Texas A&M University

Value Score 7.91
Average Tuition $5,598
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 14%
Number of Online Programs 31
Part-time cost per credit hour $241

A major public research university in College Station, Texas, A&M is the largest university in the state and the fourth-largest in the country, with an enrollment of over 64,000. Founded in 1876, A&M is the oldest public university in Texas and also one of the most prestigious. The school consistently ranks among the top public universities in the country, and A&M also maintains satellite locations in countries around the world, including Mexico, Costa Rica, and Qatar. Despite its status, A&M is still highly affordable, with U.S. News & World Report ranking the school second in the category of "Best Value Schools" With online programs available through nine distinct colleges and schools, A&M offers some of the best online master’s degrees in the country. Students can earn a range of graduate degrees in various fields, including agriculture & life science, dentistry, education, engineering, government & public service, medicine, nursing, public health, and science.


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24

Georgia Southern University

Value Score 7.87
Average Tuition $6,636
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60%
Number of Online Programs 15
Part-time cost per credit hour $277

The largest higher education institution in the southern half of Georgia, GSU has operated since 1906 and currently serves over 20,000 students. The school sits on a 900-acre campus in the town of Statesboro, about an hour away from both Savannah and the Atlantic coast. U.S. News & World Report ranks GSU as one of the Top 20 Most Popular Universities in the United States, but that reputation doesn’t equate to inflated tuition, with the college also ranking as one of the most affordable in the country for online education. GSU also ranks as one of the top online colleges in the state, and the school’s graduate programs in education, business administration, and information technology are lauded as some of the best in the country. Online courses are also available in health and human sciences, engineering, allowing students to earn degrees in fields as diverse as sports management, reading education, applied economics, and nursing practice.


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25

Midwestern State University

Value Score 7.86
Average Tuition $3,805
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 56%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $211

Located in the town of Wichita Falls, Texas, MWSU is situated about halfway between Oklahoma City and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The school is unique in that it’s one of just four independent public universities in the state unaffiliated with any of the major university systems, and MWSU distinguishes itself even further as the only public liberal arts college in Texas. Founded in 1922 as Wichita Falls Junior College, the school became a state college in 1961 and currently serves around 6,000 students. Students looking for an affordable masters degree online can choose from nine distinct programs at MWSU, including criminal justice, business administration, sports administration, and radiologic science. Though it’s a state college, MWSU offers a special tuition rate to out-of-state students, and the school is lauded by U.S News & World Report on its list of "10 Public Schools with the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition."


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26

Texas Tech University

Value Score 7.85
Average Tuition $4,858
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 14
Part-time cost per credit hour $270

A public research university in Lubbock, Texas, TTU is the flagship school of the Texas Tech University System, with a student body of over 36,000. The university is one of the largest in Texas, as well as one of the most academically active, designated as having “highest research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation. Comprised of 10 distinct colleges along with a graduate school and a law school, TTU is a nationally respected institution, ranked as one of the best colleges in the West by The Princeton Review and as one of the 100 best public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. TTU’s cheap online programs also win high praise for their academic quality and high student retention rate. The school offers more than a dozen graduate degrees available fully online, from agricultural education and horticulture to software engineering and English.


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27

Texas A&M University - Central Texas

Value Score 7.85
Average Tuition $3,476
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $193

Part of the prestigious Texas A&M System, TAMU-CT is one of the newer universities in Texas, first opening its doors in 1999. A regional university intended to serve the city of Killeen and surrounding areas, the school has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, most of them non-traditional. TAMU-CT is a upper division college, offering classes at the junior, senior, and graduate levels. Nearly half of its students are U.S. military members, and the majority of students are enrolled part time. In keeping with its mission of accessible education for adult students, TAMU-CT offers a variety of distance education programs, ranking as one of top online schools in Texas. The college’s small size allows TAMU-CT to offer personalized student attention, boasting a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. Students can choose from a variety of accredited online master’s degree programs, including business administration, accounting, and history.


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28

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Value Score 7.80
Average Tuition $4,139
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $230

A small regional university, SE is located in the town of Durant, Oklahoma, about 150 miles south of Oklahoma City and 80 miles north of Dallas, Texas. The school was founded in 1909 to serve a 12-county area, originally offering teacher training before evolving into a community college and finally an accredited four-year university. SE offers only a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree online, but the degree allows students to specialize in one of 12 areas, including healthcare information systems, Native American leadership, entrepreneurship, hospitality marketing, and human resources. Business students looking for a cheap master's degree online are likely to find SE’s program a perfect fit for its blend of flexibility and reasonable tuition. For students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s in business, the school offers affordable online leveling courses to help students get caught up and prepared for the program.


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29

University of West Georgia

Value Score 7.78
Average Tuition $3,996
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 70%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $222

UWG is a comprehensive university located in Carrollton, Georgia, about 45 miles west of Atlanta. Founded in 1906 as an agricultural college, the school has grown into a major education center in the state, with a current student body of over 11,000. Comprised of six academic colleges and one school, UWG serves students from 44 different states and more than 70 countries. The school has gotten praise for its online degrees, with its online MBA program in particular winning accolades from U.S. News & World Report. Students at UWG can earn a range of online master’s degrees, including applied computer science, early childhood education, media instructional technology, music education, nursing, and more. Out-of-state students receive the same tuition rate at UWG as in-state students, making for an affordable degree that can be earned from anywhere.


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30

The University of Texas at El Paso

Value Score 7.77
Average Tuition $4,336
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $241

Founded in 1914 as a school of mines and metallurgy, UTEP has grown over the last century into a major public research university with an enrollment of over 23,000. Situated on the Rio Grande River in the city of El Paso, UTEP is a major educator of Hispanic students, and the second-largest university in the country to have a majority Hispanic student body (about 80% of students). UTEP offers five distinct master’s programs: defense and strategic studies, curriculum and instruction, construction management, systems engineering, and nursing. The curriculum and instruction degree allows students to specialize in bilingual education or early childhood education, while the Nursing degree allows students to specialize in education, practitioner, or systems management.


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31

University of North Dakota

Value Score 7.75
Average Tuition $7,044
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $293

UND was established in 1883, when the Dakotas were still just a territory. The oldest university in the state, it’s also the largest, with an enrollment of around 15,000 students. As the flagship university in the state system, UND is the center of education in North Dakota, ranking as one of the top academic intuitions in the northern Midwest. Students seeking a cheap online master’s degree through UND can focus on a wide range of academic areas, including arts/humanities, business, engineering, nursing, technology, and more. For added convenience and flexibility, many online courses at UND allow students to enroll at any time during the school year.


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32

University of Houston - Victoria

Value Score 7.75
Average Tuition $5,574
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 91%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $389

One of the four schools in the University of Houston System, UHV is located in the town of Victoria, about two hours southwest of Houston and just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Operating out of a suburban campus, UHV enrolls around 4,300 students annually. The school began its life as an upper division institution, serving upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, and UHV maintains a tradition of strong graduate education. The school offers online master’s programs through three colleges: the School of Arts and Science; the School of Business Administration; and the School of Education, Health Professions, & Human Development. Students at UHV can earn a range of online degrees, including computer science, business administration, entrepreneurship, and adult education. The school also offers a number of less conventional online programs, including creative writing, publishing, and literacy studies.


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33

University of Oklahoma - Norman

Value Score 7.75
Average Tuition $4,577
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 19%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $191

A major public research university in Norman, Oklahoma, UO is a major educational institution in the state, enrolling over 30,000 students in total. The school was established in 1890 along with three other universities, intended to serve the population of Oklahoma. UO has since grown into one of the most prestigious institutions in the state, and the school admits more National Merit Scholars and graduates more Rhodes Scholars than most other universities in the country. The school also emphasizes diversity, with 27% of students identifying as ethnic minorities. UO has also won praise for its use of education technology, and the school’s online degree programs are widely renowned. Students at the university can earn a variety of graduate degrees online, including communications, education, social work, administrative leadership, and museum studies.


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34

New Mexico State University

Value Score 7.69
Average Tuition $4,088
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $227

The oldest public university in the state of New Mexico, NMSU is also one of the largest, with an enrollment of more than 18,000 students. The school opened in 1888 as an agricultural college, evolving over the next century into a major research institution. NMSU has deep roots in the history of the Southwest, and the school is recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution, with 45% of students identifying as Hispanic. The school also wins praise from the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education as one of the top 25 institutions working to increase access to STEM education for Latino students. NMSU offers 20 online master’s degrees in a wide range of subjects, from criminal justice and business administration to music education, nursing, and social work.


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35

University of Central Arkansas

Value Score 7.68
Average Tuition $4,375
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $243

Rooted in values of intellectual excellence, community, diversity, and integrity, UCA is a prominent public institution located in Conway, Arkansas, about 30 miles north of Little Rock. Home to around 12,000 students, the university is comprised of six distinct colleges, including Fine Arts and Communication, Liberal Arts, Math and Science, Health and Behavioral Sciences, Business, and Education. U.S. News & Report has ranked UCA highly for its master’s degree programs, placing it among the top 25 schools in the South for graduate education. The university offers 16 distinct master’s programs online, including instructional technology, health science, community and economic development, and business administration. The MBA program at UCA is ranked as one of the top value programs among online schools. Online students at UCA get 24/7 technical support and are also matched with a program coordinator who can provide support for issues arising outside of classes.


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36

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Value Score 7.67
Average Tuition $4,770
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 40%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $265

A private Southern Baptist institution with education centers all over the South, NOBTS operates a main campus out of New Orleans along with an extensive distance education program. The seminary is nationally recognized, enrolling nearly 4,000 students from 39 U.S. states and 39 countries around the world. The school’s vision is based around values of doctrinal integrity, spiritual vitality, mission focus, characteristic excellence, and servant leadership, preparing graduates to assume a variety of faith-based service positions. The school’s academic philosophy also emphasizes qualities of scholarship, practicality, accessibility, opportunity, and urgency, so it’s no surprise that NOBTS offers a range of flexible online education programs to accommodate non-traditional students. While the school’s MDiv is its most common degree, online students at NOBTS can choose from a range of advanced programs, including theological studies, biblical studies, Christian education, discipleship, and pastoral ministry.


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37

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Value Score 7.65
Average Tuition $4,778
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $245

A top tier regional university in central Oklahoma, SWOSU has offered quality, accessible education to students for over a century. Located about an hour from Oklahoma City in the town of Weatherford, SWOSU is small for a state university, enrolling around 6,000 students. This smaller size allows the school to maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1, encouraging more intimate class sizes and increased attention for students. Seeking to offer accessible, affordable higher education to students from Oklahoma and around the world, the college offers a specialized selection of online graduate programs to students, including nursing, healthcare informatics, educational administration, and psychology. All of the degrees are offered in a fully online format except for psychology, which requires some on-campus meetings. The Educational Administration degree is offered in a "webinar" format, in which students interact in a virtual classroom environment that makes use of their computers’ webcams.


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38

University of West Alabama

Value Score 7.64
Average Tuition $6,264
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 89%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $348

Founded in 1835 as a Christian women’s college, UWA now serves more than 5,000 students, operating under a mission of intellectual and student diversity. UWA is a public regional college, offering an intimate educational experience to students through a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. More than half of the classes at UWA feature 20 students or less, allowing for more individualized attention from professors. The school’s commitment to diversity is demonstrated through the makeup of its student body, with 54% of students identifying as ethnic minorities. Students at UWA can pursue online master’s programs in a range of areas, including business, education, liberal arts, and natural sciences. The school offers a range of specializations and concentrations for degrees in experimental psychology, adult continuing education, and education specialist, with most concentrations in education leading to teacher certification.


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39

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Value Score 7.63
Average Tuition $3,568
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $198

Located in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, A&M-CC’s campus occupies most of Ward Island on the city’s Oso Bay. The only university in the country to inhabit its own island, A&M-CC has operated since 1947 and now serves nearly 12,000 students. The school is world-renowned for its academic research, but A&M-CC also wins praise for the quality of its education programs, ranking as one of the most affordable online colleges in Texas. The magazine Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education also ranks A&M-CC as one of the top 20 colleges for Hispanics in Texas. The school’s distance education program offers several online degrees through the colleges of business, education, liberal arts, health Sciences, and engineering. In addition to popular degrees such as business administration and nursing, A&M-CC also offers highly specialized degrees in geospatial surveying engineering, kinesiology, and reading. U.S. News & World Report also ranks the school’s nursing program as one of the best in the nation.


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40

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Value Score 7.59
Average Tuition $5,738
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 95%
Number of Online Programs 16
Part-time cost per credit hour $412

Founded in 1884 in the town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, NSULA’s campus is the oldest continually occupied location of higher education in the state. The school’s mission is based in the creation and spread of knowledge through teaching, research, and service. NSULA wins honors as one of the most affordable online schools in Louisiana, and the school’s online graduate programs in education and special education also rank nationally. The school offers more than a dozen distance education programs in subjects ranging from English and teaching to radiologic science and Homeland Security. Out-of-state online students at the school do not pay any additional tuition fees, and the low tuition rate for graduate credits makes NSULA a popular choice for students seeking an affordable master’s degree online. NSULA also ranks as a top military friendly university and a top school for service veterans, winning praise from publications G.I. Jobs and U.S. News & World Report.


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41

North Dakota State University

Value Score 7.55
Average Tuition $5,440
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $302

Occupying a 158-acre campus in Fargo, North Dakota, NDSU is a major center of public education and research in the state, featuring nationally ranked programs in agricultural sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, and more. Outside of academics, NDSU ranks as one of the most affordable schools in the state, boasting a tuition rate 11.4% lower than comparable regional universities. The school’s annual enrollment is around 14,000, with about 2,000 students in graduate programs. NDSU has offered graduate studies since 1895, and the school currently maintains 11 distinct grad programs in areas including managerial logistics, dietetics, merchandising, and urban systems. NDSU is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of regional colleges that combine academic resources for online students. Through the IDEA program, students can fulfill credits for a degree through online courses at any of 11 different universities while still earning their degree through NDSU.


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42

Delta State University

Value Score 7.50
Average Tuition $6,012
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 89%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $334

From its humble beginnings as a teacher’s college in Cleveland, Mississippi, DSU has grown into a comprehensive regional university that serves around 4,000 students annually. Based around values of civility, integrity, accountability, and a commitment to excellence, the school enrolls students from all 50 states and over 20 different countries. The school’s small size allows it to maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, which is far lower than most public universities and allows for a much higher degree of individualized attention for students. DSU also ranks as much cheaper than comparable state universities, and out-of-state students pay no additional fees to attend, making the school an ideal choice for distance education students from around the country. The university offers 12 unique online graduate programs, ranging from counseling and criminal justice to nursing and business administration. DSU is also the only institution in the state to offer a master’s degree in commercial aviation, also available online.


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43

Lamar University

Value Score 7.49
Average Tuition $5,940
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 78%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $330

One of the fastest growing universities in Texas, LU operates out of a 292-acre campus in the town of Beaumont, about 90 miles east of Houston and just 25 miles west of the Louisiana border. Formerly the flagship school of the Lamar University System, LU was absorbed into the Texas State University System in 1995. The school serves a student body of over 15,000, and LU has won national recognition for both the quality of its education and the diversity of its students. Distance education students at LU can earn master’s degrees in a variety of areas, including arts & sciences, business, education, and counseling, studying everything from digital learning and healthcare administration to engineering management. U.S. News & World Report praises the school’s online master’s programs in criminal justice, education, and nursing in particular.


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44

University of Central Florida

Value Score 7.49
Average Tuition $6,916
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 37%
Number of Online Programs 22
Part-time cost per credit hour $370

The second-largest public university in the country, UCF is a rapidly growing institution with an enrollment of more than 63,000 students. From its sprawling campus in Orlando, Florida, the school maintains over 200 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, serving students from every U.S. state and 140 different countries. U.S News & World Report ranks UCF as one of the “Most Innovative” schools, so it’s not surprising that the university is a leader in distance education. Graduate students at UCF can choose from more than 20 online master’s programs, all of which are held to the same rigorous standards as the university’s traditional degrees. Popular online degrees at UCF include digital forensics, health services administration, and criminal justice.


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45

Columbus State University

Value Score 7.48
Average Tuition $5,364
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 55%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $298

First opened in 1958 as a junior college housed in a former hosiery mill, CSU has grown into a nationally distinguished university that is now home to over 8,000 students. Located in Columbus, Georgia, about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, the school is ranked as one of the top 50 regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report. With an educational mission based on values of excellence, engagement, creativity, servant leadership, inclusion, and sustainability, CSU attracts students from around the country and the world. The university offers more than a dozen fully online master’s programs, ranging from criminal justice and business administration to software development and mathematics education. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school’s online degrees in business and education as some of the strongest in the country. Online students at CSU also gain full access to the university’s library system, including research assistance and digital archives.


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46

University of Wisconsin - Stout

Value Score 7.44
Average Tuition $6,613
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 71%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $423

Founded in 1891 in honor of lumber magnate James Huff Stout, UW-Stout began as a manual training school, implementing a curriculum that went on to influence many vocational schools. The university’s emphasis on professional and technical education endures more than a century later, and UW-Stout was designated Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University in 2007. The school seeks to provide education to students in the fields of technology, applied art, industry, home economics, and helping professions. This focus translates to UW-Stout’s online grad programs, which allow students to earn degrees in diverse subjects such as design, construction management, industrial and applied mathematics, technical communication, and rehabilitation counseling. The university was an early adopter of distance education, offering online courses in some form as early as 1996. The online program at UW-Stout is extremely diverse, enrolling more than 1,700 students from 43 U.S. states and 21 international countries.


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47

South Dakota State University

Value Score 7.42
Average Tuition $5,264
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $347

SDSU is the largest university in the state of South Dakota, offering 180 fields of study to nearly 13,000 students from all 50 states and 81 different countries. Located in the town of Brookings, the school was founded as an agricultural college in 1881, making SDSU the second-oldest university in the state. SDSU is rooted in values of affordability and accessibility, and online education programs at the school are available to students regardless of location. Students can take more than a dozen fully online master’s programs, including agricultural education, dietetics, educational administration, family & community services, and public health. SDSU is also a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a partnership of 20 regional universities that share academic resources to offer greater freedom and flexibility to online students. Through the Great Plains IDEA system, students at SDSU can take additional online course offerings through other schools in the system, allowing them to fulfill their degree requirements more easily.


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48

University of Illinois at Springfield

Value Score 7.37
Average Tuition $7,996
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $349

One of three campuses in the University of Illinois System, UIS was established in 1969 as a public liberal arts college and now enrolls over 5,000 students. The school is located in the capital city of Springfield, about three hours south of Chicago. UIS holds a reputation as one of the top colleges in the region, with U.S. News & World Report ranking it 8th among public schools in the Midwest and 36th among regional universities. The school is also a longstanding proponent of distance education, having offered online degrees since 1999, and online education programs at UIS have received awards from organizations such as the Online Learning Consortium and the Society for New Communications Research. Online students at UIS can earn degrees in a dozen subjects, including English, history, computer science, business, and more. U.S. News & World Report awards the school top honors for its online grad programs, with particular praise for the business degree.


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49

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Value Score 7.36
Average Tuition $6,960
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $290

UNL was established in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1869, and the school is both the oldest and largest educational institution in the state. More than 25,000 students attend UNL annually, and the school ranks among the top national research universities in the country. The school’s mission is aligned around values of teaching, research, and service, pursued through its eight academic colleges. Both Kiplinger’s and The Princeton Review rank UNL as a top public value college, and the U.S. Department of Education designates it as a "Low Costs, High Graduation Rate" school. U.S. News & World Report also praises UNL’s online education programs, ranking them 14th among all schools in the nation. UNL offers more than two dozen master’s degrees online, ranging from applied science to interior design. Many of the school’s graduate programs also include professional certifications to help students distinguish themselves in their fields.


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50

Utah State University

Value Score 7.34
Average Tuition $5,143
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 45%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $247

Located in the town of Logan, Utah, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, USU is a thriving public research university with a student population of over 28,000. The school was founded in 1888 as an agricultural college, and USU has since grown into a major educational institution in the region, ranked as one of the top public universities in the West by Forbes. USU's prestigious academic programs draw students from all over the country, with out-of-state residents making up nearly a quarter of the student body. Though it’s a top public university, USU is still highly affordable, and Forbes also ranks the school as one of the four cheapest public universities in the nation. USU is a major proponent of distance and online education, and the school offers online graduate programs in a variety of subjects, including instructional technology, human resources, rehabilitation counseling, and horticulture.


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