Earning a master’s degree takes a commitment in time. After four to five years of undergraduate coursework and more than a decade and a half of schooling altogether, it should only be pursued by individuals who place high value on education.
There are several different types of master’s degrees; the Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) are the most common. More specialized degrees also exist, like the Master of Education and Master of Public Health. These degrees, along with the MS, MA and many MBA programs, take two years to complete. However, there are some accelerated one-year MBA programs that require a higher volume of courses, while others are part-time – often taken by busy professionals –and usually last more than three years. In many cases, MBA programs require previous work experience as an admissions requirement. Students who wish to attain management-level jobs must first be familiar with how businesses operate. A professional degree, like an MBA, is supposed to supplements a student’s firsthand experience, whereas an academic degree, like a Master of Arts, focuses on intellectual growth.
Students may also enroll in five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. A Master of Accountancy is usually one extra year tacked onto a bachelor’s degree, which gives the students the 150 credit hours needed before taking the CPA exam in most states. In 3-2 engineering programs, students are required to complete three years of undergraduate work and then transfer into a school of engineering. For example, students at Old Dominion University may complete Bachelor of Science followed by a Master of Engineering during a five year period. The University of Colorado offers a five year joint BA/MA in Cognitive Psychology five year joint BA/MA in Cognitive Psychology . And there are programs that last even longer. The University of Albany has complete seven-year programs that combine biology with optometry or dental school; both of which are taken at different universities.
Ultimately, the time it takes to complete a master’s degree program depends on the subject area, school, whether it’s full-time or part-time and the ability of the student to learn the information.