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Inside the Best Online Master’s Programs in Georgia (GA)

Georgia is home to some of the nation’s most affordable online graduate programs, preparing you for jobs in growth industries in the Peach State.

Author: Rebecca Newman

Editor: Staff Editor

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Whether you’re looking to explore opportunities in business, healthcare, sciences, media, or education, Georgia’s vast network of colleges and universities is preparing more students than ever to find their passion, advance their current careers, or make a change to start a new career through an online master’s degree.

With more than 90 colleges and universities in Georgia, finding an online master’s program that fits your budget and schedule is easier than ever. And now’s the time to do it: The Georgia Department of Labor predicts 552,00 new jobs will be available in the state by 2028, with healthcare, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, manufacturing, construction, and educational services jobs leading the growth.

Keep reading to discover top schools and standout online master’s programs in Georgia that will prepare you for jobs in high-demand sectors.

Top-Rated Online Master’s Programs in Georgia for 2024

Similar to online programs available nationwide, online master’s programs in Georgia offer a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning, discussion boards and other virtual tools to connect you with your classmates, and schedules that fit into your existing responsibilities. Most students appreciate the flexibility of the online format and the ability to take courses at a measured pace without losing time commuting to campus—although time management and following self-directed tasks are crucial skills and tools for embarking on an online degree.

Many Georgia online master’s programs allow you to study completely online, although for some careers such as nursing, education, or social work you may have to complete a practicum in your community. Some programs require a short intensive each semester or annually, typically three to five days on campus, while the rest of the degree is completed online. We’ve combed through the offerings in Georgia to sample an array of online master’s programs based on quality, flexibility, value, and degrees that offer the most promising job prospects.

University of Georgia

Logo of the University of Georgia featuring the year 1785 with a red and black shield, an arch, and the institution’s name in white and black text.

While the University of Georgia (UGA) campus focuses on undergraduate education, the school has migrated many of its master’s programs to an online format, making them more accessible to working professionals trying to advance or change their careers. In addition to the 25 online master’s degree programs, UGA Online has 19 certificate programs to bolster bachelor’s-level study or to augment your master’s degree.

Tuition for online programs varies by degree, but mostly are between $400 and $500 per credit in-state and $1,000 to $1,200 per credit out-of-state, with exceptions for highly technical programs. UGA Online works closely to support veterans and their dependents as they advance their education while offering them dedicated student support services.

Georgia Southwestern State University

With 14 on-campus graduate offerings, six of which are available online, Georgia Southwestern State meets the national standards for distance learning, which focus on maintaining the integrity of the content. The online master’s programs, which include a master’s in business administration, computer science, or four different areas in nursing, are accredited and maintain the integrity of on-campus learning. GSW’s online graduate courses are $257 per credit hour, regardless of residency status.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is continuously improving its online master’s program by evaluating the technology and assessing how to enhance the experience of online learning for students. This student-centered approach means that online students have access to the same resources as on-campus students, including academic advisors, financial aid counselors, and counseling and psychological services.

KSU offers 42 master’s degrees on campus and 26 master’s degrees online, with numerous program offerings related to education and engineering. All programs are $438 per credit hour; the rate decreases with each additional credit hour you take per semester.

Types of Online Master’s Programs Available in Georgia

Online master’s programs in Georgia are as varied as the industries in need of skilled professionals. Once you decide which type of program is right for you, whether full-time, part-time, accelerated, traditional, or even programs with no GRE requirements, you can start your master’s degree without delay.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in Georgia

For the student looking to make a quick change, a full-time Georgia online master’s program is the most expedient option to achieve that goal. Institutions across the state offer full-time degree programs; completing your degree online helps you keep up with your existing responsibilities while pursuing your master’s. Check out Emory University’s Master of Public Health in Epidemiology or Fort Valley State University’s Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling for two healthcare career options currently in high demand.

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in Georgia

For students who prefer to gradually incorporate their online master’s degree into their responsibilities, part-time online master’s programs are a great option. University of North Georgia offers its MSN in Nursing Education either full- or part-time and offers a unique institutional loan forgiveness policy if you join their faculty following degree completion.

For students curious about the changing media landscape, University of West Georgia has an MS in Digital and Social Media Communication that can be completed part-time, offering flexible and affordable courses.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in Georgia

Standardized test scores typically aren’t a great predictor of who will excel in an online master’s program; more and more top institutions and programs are relinquishing this antiquated requirement. By not having to spend several months studying for the GRE, you can begin your online graduate program in Georgia sooner.

The only graduate financial technologies (fintech) degree in Georgia, MS in Digital Financial Technologies at Kennesaw State University, doesn’t require the GRE and leads to excellent job prospects. Another hot field is supply chain management. The MS in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at Georgia Southern University requires neither the GRE nor an undergraduate degree in business.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in Georgia

Perhaps you have a pay increase on the horizon that relies on you completing an online graduate program in Georgia. If you’re tight on time and are ready to take the plunge, accelerated programs are a great way to get there. Educators can consider options such as the Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary English at Kennesaw State, which can be completed in 15 to 18 months.

For those who want to enhance their careers in coaching and athletics, Georgia College & State University offers an MS in Health and Human Performance, which can be completed in as little as 15 months.

In-demand Master’s Degree in Georgia

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Recognized and revered, an MBA communicates to employers and colleagues that you are prepared to take on leadership in a thoughtful, evidence-based manner. There are more options than ever for earning an MBA through an online master’s program in Georgia, with varying schedules, price points, and alumni networks that will help solidify your success.

Quality Online MBA Selections:

MS in Computer Science

Graduates with a solid knowledge of coding, systems, and the science of computing are in high demand as the tech field continues to grow. Students with or without computer science backgrounds can pursue an online master’s program in Georgia to advance their career and earning potential in the tech sector.

Quality Online Computer Science Selections:

Master of Education (MEd)

To impart the most meaningful learning to the next generation, we need teachers who are highly skilled in the craft of education. Increasing numbers of states and school districts are demonstrating preference for master’s level educators. Whether you complete your master’s part-time while teaching or full-time to prepare you for the field, Georgia online master’s programs in education are prudent investments that typically result in a salary increase for teachers.

Quality Online Master of Education Selections:

Master of Nursing (MSN)

As crucial contributors to the healthcare delivery system, nurses are a formidable and dynamic workforce who approach care from a thoughtful, person-centered orientation. Advancing your education as a nurse allows you to have more responsibility within the healthcare team, practice independently (depending on the state), or embark on leadership responsibilities for fellow nurses or for a health system at large. A Georgia online master’s program will get you the MSN you need to take the next step.

Quality Online Nursing Selections:

MA in Journalism, Mass Media, or Communications

In the age of the sound bite, thoroughly understanding the media landscape is a vital skill for individuals and organizations. Whether you choose to present the news as a journalist, promote a brand or company via as a social media influencer, or represent an individual or company as a publicist, these online graduate programs in Georgia offer you the expertise to do so.

Quality Online Mass Media Selections:

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Georgia Cost?

Online master’s programs in Georgia are built with an understanding of the financial necessity and potential strain of investing in your education. Many state colleges and universities boast competitive tuition, not to mention Georgia’s generous state programs to make higher learning more affordable.

Your Georgia online master’s program will almost certainly increase your earning potential, but even so it’s crucial to have a plan for how to manage your debt following its completion. Taking advantage of your state resources and financial aid can help most students finance their education.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Tuition Cost

30

$257

$9,210

36

$320.50

$11,538

30

$629

$18,870

Georgia’s Master’s Degree Funding Opportunities

Georgia has several unique programs for master’s program graduates to earn loan forgiveness or to earn scholarships based on their intended vocation and employment that will assist the needs of the state. Online master’s students in Georgia can tap into state-funded incentives for behavioral health professionals, medical examiners, and those in the military.

Georgia online master’s students may also utilize traditional financial aid opportunities such as federal loans and may qualify for scholarships/grants, fellowships, work-study programs, and graduate research assistantships to help offset the cost of their degree. Through the recently launched “Know More. Borrow Less” initiative, the Georgia Student Finance Commission works to protect students from predatory loan practices, fund education for the state’s future workforce, and increase borrower knowledge.

Top-Earning Careers with a Master’s in Georgia

When you’re considering various degree paths to enhance your knowledge base and move your career forward, you’ll also want to optimize the potential return on investment for your degree. Ask yourself:

  • Are there jobs in this field that I want?
  • Does my program include training or prerequisites for licenses or certifications that I’ll need?
  • Will this program increase my lifetime earning potential?

These questions are excellent starting points to consider as you embark on an online master’s program in Georgia, especially as you consider the Georgia job market and how you hope to advance once you graduate. The following fields are projected to experience at least stable growth and, in some cases, rapid growth in the coming years, making the most of your graduate education.

Nurse Practitioner

Nursing is an essential function in the healthcare system. With considerable clinical experience, RNs may opt to go back to school to expand their expertise, specialize in a particular area, and take on larger roles as nurse practitioners. You must hold a master’s degree from an accredited nursing program to become licensed as a nurse practitioner. The Georgia Department of Labor predicts that healthcare will account for over 20% of new jobs created in the state by 2028.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$112,090 38% MSN, Nurse Practitioner

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; CareerOneStop, 2022

Healthcare Social Worker

Navigating the healthcare system can be daunting and cumbersome to those in need of support and resources. Healthcare social workers are both connected to local, state, and federal programs and resources and carry a compassionate, person-centered outlook to support patients as they navigate medical challenges and healthcare systems. Healthcare workers including master’s-level social workers are expected to drive job growth in Georgia in the next five years.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$55,790 7% Master of Social Work

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; CareerOneStop, 2022

Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathology is a wider industry than many realize. In addition to providing tools to improve speech disorders, speech-language pathologists assist individuals who are experiencing speech delay, difficulty with speech following a medical incident such as a stroke, and better understanding an infant’s oral anatomy and how it may relate to their ability to breastfeed. A master’s degree is required to practice in the field.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$78,310 19% MS in Speech Pathology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; CareerOneStop, 2022

Urban and Regional Planner

Beyond cities and bridges, urban and regional planners consider many aspects of life in myriad settings, whether urban, suburban, or rural. They consider land preservation, development of community spaces, repurposing existing buildings or spaces, and optimizing placement of resources. A master’s degree is necessary to advance in this field.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$70,870 4% Master of Urban Planning

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; CareerOneStop, 2022

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Technology for disability aids has increased drastically over the last decade, particularly with 3D printing and other tools that continue to evolve. Children who use orthotics and prosthetics outgrow them and need to have them scaled up or replaced, and all users may need devices revised to better suit their needs while optimizing their functioning. This specialized area requires a master’s degree.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$75,950 15% MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; CareerOneStop, 2022