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2024’s Leading Online Master’s Programs in Kentucky (KY)

If you want to advance your career, online master’s programs in Kentucky can help you increase your knowledge and abilities. Learn about these programs and get a glimpse of the best schools in the state offering them.

Author: Kenya McCullum

Editor: Staff Editor

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Panoramic view of a twin cable-stayed bridge with intricate lattice steelwork, spanning a river at twilight. the city skyline is visible in the background, bathed in soft purple and blue hues.

Are you thinking about going back to school to earn a master’s degree? If so, you’re far from alone. According to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, there was a 68.7% increase in master’s degrees over the past five years earned by people around the state with a 10.2% jump between 2021 and 2022 alone.

Online master’s programs in Kentucky can help you follow in the footsteps of these graduates. They are a flexible way to earn your graduate degree as you keep up with your full-time job and family responsibilities. Continue reading to find out the types of online graduate programs available in Kentucky as well as the jobs you can elevate into when you complete your degree. We also provide information about the best schools in the state with online graduate degrees and the popular academic disciplines in these institutions.

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

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a few dozen colleges and universities in Kentucky offer advanced degrees, and many offer online master’s degrees. This means you have ample choices of online master’s programs in Kentucky to meet your education and career goals.

Program choices are also flexible enough to fit nicely into your lifestyle, too. Some programs are conducted entirely online, so you don’t have to travel to campus at all. If you’re the type of learner who wants the flexibility of an online program but don’t want to completely miss out on face-to-face interactions, you can enroll in a hybrid program that gives the best of both worlds. These often require students to come to campus regularly for specific courses or to occasionally participate in activities like practicums.

Continue reading to learn more about online master’s programs in KY and what they have to offer. The following schools were selected based on the qualities such as affordability, convenience, and tuition costs that graduate students look for.

Western Kentucky University

Logo of Western Kentucky University featuring stylized letters "WKU" in dark green with a red graphical element above the 'W' resembling a flame or abstract design.

Western Kentucky University offers online master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines, from education to health to business to liberal arts. Tuition depends on the type of student you are. For example, state residents pay $607 per credit, while those from other states and countries pay $917 and $953 respectively. Additionally, students with certain experience may receive a lower tuition rate. P-12 educators, for instance, pay $350 per credit and those who are local government employees can participate in the school’s discount program to get the rate of $500 per credit.

To help lessen the financial load of their education, students have several financial aid opportunities they can take advantage of. For example, a non-resident with a parent or grandparent who graduated from Western Kentucky University can receive the WKU Family Scholarship. The school also offers graduate assistantships.

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University offers online master’s degree programs in disciplines like education, business, healthcare, and technology. If you’re concerned about online learning and whether or not you’ll be left alone to sink or swim when you enroll in a distance program, rest assured the school will give you the support you need to be successful.

For example, Northern Kentucky University allows you to receive prior learning credits if you have taken exams like the International Baccalaureate (IB) assessment, Advanced Placement (AP) exams, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). Also, students who have served in the military can receive credits based on the standards set forth by the American Council on Education’s Military Guide. Other past work experience is considered, so you can have your professional credentials evaluated through a portfolio assessment.

Other ways that Northern Kentucky University sets students up for success is through its student services, which include technical support and library services.

University of Kentucky

Logo of the University of Kentucky featuring "UK" in large, bold letters and "University of Kentucky" written underneath in smaller font, all in blue on a transparent background.

The University of Kentucky has online master’s degree programs delivered in either completely online or hybrid formats. The school, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, has master’s degrees in areas such as library science, criminal justice, business administration, and social work.

No matter what program you choose, you have access to an array of services, like the Graduate Student Success Pathways tool, designed to help you navigate your program and make decisions about how to leverage your studies for career advancement. Also, online students have access to services such as library and accommodation assistance.

Types of Online Master’s Programs Available in Kentucky

Is your schedule so hectic that going to school full-time would be too challenging? Are you interested in completing your degree as quickly as possible? Do you want to avoid taking a standardized test in order to apply for an online master’s program in Kentucky?

No matter your situation, online graduate programs in Kentucky can accommodate you. There are programs that not only help you achieve your aspirations but that also fit nicely into your lifestyle. Continue reading to find out the types of online master’s programs available in Kentucky and how they can provide what you want.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in Kentucky

You can generally complete an online master’s program in Kentucky in two years if you enroll on a full-time basis. This is a good option if you’re able to efficiently juggle your coursework with other responsibilities and may be the best way to finish your studies in a reasonable amount of time. Although a full-time program can be challenging, the flexibility of virtual studies can help facilitate your success. Two high-quality examples of full-time, online master’s programs in KY include Kentucky State University’s MA in Interdisciplinary Behavioral Sciences and Eastern Kentucky University’s Master of Social Work (MSW).

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in Kentucky

People who have hectic schedules juggling work and family may think they can’t go back to school because they’re simply too busy. Luckily, there are many online master’s programs in KY they can enroll in on a part-time basis. Although this option means it will take longer to complete your degree, it can be well worth it to not have to abandon your aspirations. Two great examples of part-time, online master’s programs in KY include Kentucky State University’s MA in Interdisciplinary Behavioral Sciences and Eastern Kentucky University’s MSW program.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in Kentucky

Have you been avoiding applying for an online master’s program in KY because you don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking a standardized test like the GRE? Fortunately, that no longer has to be an obstacle. Many schools have stopped requiring the GRE and are instead basing their admissions on factors like past academic performance and work experience. The following are some of the online graduate programs in Kentucky that don’t require applicants to submit GRE scores. For example, Union College offers nine online master’s degree programs that do not require GRE scores.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in Kentucky

Do you want to complete your master’s degree in the fastest way possible? If so, you can enroll in an online accelerated master’s program in Kentucky and complete your degree in about one year. Some programs allow you to earn your master’s degree quickly, while other accelerated programs allow undergraduate students to begin working on their master’s degree in the later years of their bachelor’s programs. Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More University both offer accelerated online MBA programs.

A Closer Look at In-demand Master’s Degrees in KY Online

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Do you want to become an entrepreneur? Are you eyeing a position in the C-Suite at your current organization? Are you a new manager who wants to sharpen your skills? Whatever your business objectives are, a business administration master’s degree from an online graduate program in Kentucky is a good way to help you achieve them. Since there are so many concentrations available in MBA programs, you get the opportunity to not only learn advanced business concepts but also gain expertise in your field whether your work involves finance, operations management, international business, or marketing.

Quality Examples of Online MBA Programs

Master of Science (MS) in Engineering

If you’re a professional focusing on areas like environmental, civil, chemical, or computer engineering, enrolling in online master’s programs in KY can help you advance in your career. Earning an engineering master’s degree opens career opportunities and increases your earnings as well as lays the foundation for doctoral work. Engineering degree programs are also great for increasing your professional network since you’ll connect with both peers and educators in your field during your studies.

Quality Examples of Online Engineering Programs

Master of Education (MEd)

A master’s degree in education can help you pave the path for multiple career directions. For example, if you want to work with students in the classroom, you can sharpen your teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge by earning this degree. Online education master’s programs in Kentucky also focus on leadership training, which is helpful if you’d like to become a school administrator.

Quality Examples of Online MEd Programs

MS in Nursing (MSN)

If you’ve been a nurse for a while and want to focus on a certain area and provide specialized care, an online nursing master’s program in KY can help. Whether you’re interested in working with a specific patient population, like children or the elderly, or providing a specific type of service, like acute care, a master’s degree can give you the expertise you need.

Quality Examples of Online MSN Programs

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

If you’ve used your art to build a career, then you know there’s a lot more to being successful than having talent. A master’s degree in fine arts can help you not only further hone your craft but also dive deeper into the underlying theories that drive it, whether your work involves fashion, performing arts, creative writing, or design. MFA programs also allow you to connect with your peers and professors, so you become part of a strong artistic community that shares ideas and provides valuable feedback.

Quality Examples of Online MFA Programs

How Much Does it Cost to Earn an Online Master’s in Kentucky?

No matter what degree level or discipline you’re interested in, tuition for online master’s programs in Kentucky is something you’ll want to pay attention to before enrolling. Although it depends on the school you attend, you can generally expect to pay by the credit for significant savings compared to the cost of a traditional, on-campus program. Review the table below for a view of the tuition that different schools with online master’s programs in KY may charge.

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

42

$595/credit

$24,990

30

$435/credit

$13,050

30

$775/credit

$23,250

Kentucky Graduate Program Funding Options

As with undergraduate students, there are several financial aid opportunities available for those pursuing online master’s programs in KY. This includes scholarships and grants, assistantships, and fellowships. For example, current and entering MBA students at Bellarmine University can receive a scholarship through the W. Fielding Rubel School of Business. Similarly, Northern Kentucky University offers its International Study Scholarship to graduate students who want to take courses abroad.

Online Master’s Programs That Lead to Top-Paying Careers in Kentucky

Finishing a higher-level degree can go a long way toward having a healthy earning potential. In fact, according to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, master’s degree graduates can expect to make $2,427,016 in their lifetime. Also, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those with a master’s degree earn $1,661 a week on average compared to the $1,432 and $1,005 weekly earnings bachelor’s and associate degree graduates make respectively.

Librarians

Whether they work in school, public, or academic settings, librarians are responsible for creating book databases, organizing materials so people can find them easily, and assisting with research. Master’s degrees help students acquire these skills through a curriculum that covers research strategies, collection management, and methods of managing inventory.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$60,740 3% Master of Library and Information Science

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Economists

Strong analytical skills are imperative for economists because they’re tasked with using mathematical models and statistical tools to analyze data to make sense of what’s going on in the economy. Online economics graduate programs in Kentucky have a curriculum that emphasizes advanced analytical skills as well as research abilities that aid economists as they conduct and publish studies.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$88,290 6% MS or MA in Economics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Mental Health Counselors

When people are going through challenges in their lives, they often rely on mental health counselors to help them get through it. Whether people are battling chronic mental health issues like depression or anxiety or dealing with difficult events like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, mental health counselors use their training to provide the help they need. The curriculum of online master’s psychology programs in Kentucky focuses on human behavior, psychological disorders, and assessment and diagnosis techniques.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$49,300 18% MA in Psychology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Statisticians

Online statistics master’s programs in KY focus on advanced survey design, mathematical and statistical modeling, and data analysis to prepare students for statistician positions. With this expertise, professionals use strong mathematical analysis skills to solve complex business problems.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$73,960 30% MS in Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Political Scientists

During a master’s degree program in political science, students take coursework related to political communication. This is useful if they pursue a political scientist career because these professionals are often responsible for doing research, publishing academic articles, and giving presentations. Additionally, students in online graduate political science programs in Kentucky study policy and governance, which can help them monitor policies and their effects on the job.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$62,046 7% MA in Political Science

Source: ZipRecruiter, 2023