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Inside the Best Online Master’s Programs in Maryland (MD)

For Marylanders looking for a convenient, affordable way to earn a master’s degree, online or hybrid programs can be a great choice. Learn about some of the best online master’s programs in Maryland.

Author: Ellery Weil

Editor: Staff Editor

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Aerial view of a suspension bridge over a wide river in Maryland at sunset, with a striking sun dipping below the horizon and casting golden hues across the sky and glittering water.

When Marylanders think of their home state, there’s a lot that comes to mind: blue crab and Berger Cookies, summers at Ocean City, sailing in Annapolis and the annual croquet party, or even the musical Hairspray and its catchy songs about Baltimore among them. But do you think of education?

Maryland is a thriving state for educational attainment, with 40.8% of state residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher — well above the national average and the average in neighboring states. And for Marylanders who want to take the next step and earn a graduate degree, the state is home to plenty of colleges and universities from which to choose.

In fact, for those who want a convenient way to earn their master’s, online master’s programs in Maryland can do more than just save you the hassle of commuting to school, they can also save you time and money while you earn a quality degree. Here’s a closer look inside the best online master’s programs in MD to see if one’s a good fit for you.

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

For Maryland students interested in an online master’s program, you have many factors to consider. Happily, there are a lot of options for you to choose from — especially because the University of Maryland system has an extensive range of online master’s degree options to choose from across multiple disciplines. Beyond UMD, Maryland is home to a range of public and private institutions offering online and hybrid master’s degrees.

However, before you apply, you’ll need to do your homework. No two online programs are the same, and you’ll need to check if the Maryland online master’s degree you’re interested in offers synchronous, asynchronous, or self-paced classes, if it’s fully online or requires some travel to campus, and if you meet the admissions requirements — not to mention factors like cost and the availability of financial aid.

With all this in mind, here are a few particularly exceptional schools offering diverse and well-regarded online master’s programs in MD for you to consider.

University of Maryland, College Park

The flagship of Maryland’s state university system, the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) offers a wide range of well-regarded online master’s programs across an extensive range of academic disciplines. Students at UMD can pursue an online master’s in subjects ranging from their fully online MBA to master’s degrees in subjects from systems engineering to data journalism to criminal justice, as well as non-degree online graduate certificate programs.

As a state school, UMD offers in-state tuition for Maryland residents, including for online programs — with the exception of the online MBA, which charges a single per-credit rate of tuition for all students, regardless of residency. Online graduate students can also benefit from the university’s extensive online resources, alumni and networking organizations, and more.

Johns Hopkins University


With its prestigious programs in the medical sciences and research campus in the heart of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University is one of Maryland’s best-known and best-regarded private universities. JHU offers a wide array of online and hybrid master’s degree programs across their numerous schools and departments, ranging from specialized online MBAs, to an MA in Cultural Heritage Management, to MS programs in fields ranging from data science to gifted education.

Online graduate students at JHU benefit from their world-class faculty, without the challenges of relocating to their campus. Further, online graduate students at JHU have the choice between full-time or part-time study, meaning you can tailor your course schedule to fit alongside your personal and professional responsibilities. Tuition varies per subject, with many online students paying the same tuition as their on-campus counterparts.

Goucher College

Goucher is a private liberal arts college that offers three highly specialized online master’s programs in education and education-related fields (an MEd, an MS, and an MA). The school also offers three online MA programs in Environmental Sustainability and Management, Digital Communication, and Applied Policy and Analysis.

The school’s Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching programs can be completed in traditional or hybrid environments, taking two to four years, or in an accelerated online format, which can be completed in as little as 18 months.

In terms of tuition, Goucher’s graduate programs in education cost students $499 per credit, while other online graduate students pay $597 per credit. The school offers a rolling admissions policy, so you can apply at your own convenience.

Types of Online Master’s Programs Available in Maryland

Now that you’ve considered a few online master’s programs in Maryland that may look interesting to you, it’s time to consider some practical concerns. Below you’ll find a few different formats of online graduate programs in Maryland to help you decide which one is right for you.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in MD

A full-time online master’s program in Maryland is, in many ways, similar to an in-person online master’s program in that you’re studying full time, whether or not you have a paid job as well. Full-time online master’s programs, like the MPS in Data Journalism at UMD or the MS in Bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins, require a substantial time commitment, but mean that you can graduate sooner than with part-time study. Therefore, you can begin working full time more quickly or move on to your doctorate or another terminal degree.

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in MD

For students with substantial personal or professional responsibilities, a part-time online master’s program is a way to fit studying for your postgraduate degree into your busy life. These programs, like the MA in Communication or the MS in Energy Policy and Climate offered part-time through Johns Hopkins, take longer to complete than full-time programs, but require less of a time commitment per week; this makes it easier to balance studying with full-time paid work or any other commitments you may have.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in MD

If you’re interested in graduate school but suffer from test anxiety or just don’t do well in standardized testing, you may be concerned about taking the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE. Not to worry — no-GRE master’s programs are becoming more and more popular. These programs — including Maryland online master’s degrees like the engineering programs offered online at Johns Hopkins or any online master’s from University of Maryland Global Campus — use a holistic admissions system that doesn’t require standardized test scores, GRE or otherwise, for admission.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in MD

Want to finish your master’s degree as quickly as possible? An accelerated online master’s program can help you with that. These programs, like the one-year accelerated master’s degrees in Education (MEd) or MS in Higher Education Policy, Research, and Administration offered at Goucher College, can be completed in as little as one year of intensive study. Although these programs require an intense time commitment while enrolled, they will allow you to finish your degree quickly and begin your post-graduation plans.

Choosing an In-Demand Online Master’s Degree in MD

Public Management

For students looking towards a career in government, public service, or to work in consultancy or nonprofits, consider a master’s in public management. This degree will teach you the analytical, data-driven aspects of public sector management, while accounting for the human and business elements. (Another similar degree to research is an online MBA.) With the nation’s capital close by, Marylanders pursuing these types of degree will have plenty of opportunities to put their education to work after graduating.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Data Science

For a degree that utilizes your STEM skills and can lead to a highly in-demand career, consider a master’s degree in data science. This fast-growing field combines statistics, computer programming, and applied mathematics, and is being utilized by employers in everything from business to tech. Maryland graduate students in data science can take advantage of the large body of nearby public and private sector employers for internships and jobs post-graduation.

Quality Examples of Online Programs


Aspiring teachers in Maryland have multiple reasons to pursue a master’s degree in education. Not only will your employment opportunities get a boost from your new qualifications, but also many Maryland online master’s programs in education offer specialized qualifications — from gifted education to technical education to special education — which will allow you to focus on teaching in an arena you’re passionate about.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Health Administration

As the home of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in addition to multiple world-class hospital systems, the State of Maryland is always in need of skilled graduates with healthcare management degrees. A master’s degree in health administration will help you stand out and qualify you for upper-level health administration positions as you progress in your career.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Digital Media/Communications

With the internet becoming an increasingly vital and essential way for people to get their news, digital media is more important than ever. And as residents of a state adjacent to the nation’s capital, Marylanders are at the heart of the action. An online MFA or master’s degree in digital media, journalism, and/or communications can help lead you to a career writing for a local or national digital publication on any number of important issues.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Understanding the Expenses of MD Master’s Programs

One potential upside of an online Maryland master’s program is that it may save you money. However, not all online degrees cost the same, and it’s important to have a sense of what your costs will be before you enroll — so you can put a plan in place to pay for your degree before you start.

In addition to tuition costs like those offered below to give you a sense of what to expect, it’s important to consider factors like if you’re eligible for in-state tuition, financial aid and scholarship opportunities at your school, and any private scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply.

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




40 (10 courses)






Smart Strategies for Funding Your Master’s Degree in MD

In addition to looking for programs with affordable tuition, you’ll find a variety of ways to help fund your Maryland online master’s degree. You should consider financial aid options available from your school, and research opportunities for fellowships, scholarships, grants, and assistantships — many of which may be funded by an outside party.

Public and private organizations throughout Maryland may also provide some assistance in funding your degree. For instance, the state government of Maryland offers a Graduate and Professional Scholarship Program, while state schools, like UMD, offer a host of competitive graduate scholarships and fellowships. Check as well if your local community offers private scholarships — these are often smaller but less competitive.

Top Earning Careers with a Master’s in Maryland

Your Maryland online master’s degree can lead to a variety of different careers, depending on what you study; but what are some options for a postgraduate career that earns a good living and offers room to grow? Master’s degree-holders in Maryland make an average of $104,625 per year according to Salary.com, so you can expect your degree to pay off materially as well as in terms of intellectual and career fulfillment. Here are a few fast-growing, high-earning master’s degree careers to consider:


An archivist is responsible for keeping historically and academically significant documents categorized, preserved, and organized. Most archives will require a postgraduate degree from their archivists, and in Maryland, as one of the original 13 colonies and with its proximity to the Smithsonian, opportunities for aspiring archivists are comfortably paid and growing every year.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$77,681 10% MA in Cultural Heritage & Preservation;
MLS in Library Science

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; ZipRecruiter, 2023

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants play an increasingly important role on the front lines of primary care. These vital medical professionals need graduate-level training before working directly with patients, but once you’ve graduated, you can expect a high-paying, rapidly growing job market in Maryland’s many healthcare institutions — from Walter Reed to NIH to the Johns Hopkins health system.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$106,595 27% MS, Physician Assistant

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; ZipRecruiter, 2023


Both academic and government-supported research institutions make Maryland a center for healthcare research, and with a recent pandemic, the importance of epidemiologists is clearer than ever. This highly specialized research career requires advanced training in a graduate program but is rewarded with good wages and a rapidly expanding job market.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$110,180 27% MS in Epidemiology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; Salary.com, 2023

Political Scientist

Between the state capital in Annapolis and sharing a border with the nation’s capital in Washington, political science opportunities are thick on the ground for Marylanders. A master’s degree will help an aspiring political scientist not only hone their skills, but also stand out in a highly lucrative job market.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$78,412 7% MA in Political Science; MPP in Public Policy

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; Salary.com, 2023

Postsecondary Educational Administrator

With a rich variety of liberal arts colleges and major research universities, both public and private, Maryland needs skilled postsecondary administrators more and more each year. After earning your master’s degree, you’ll be ready to work in postsecondary educational institutions from community colleges to graduate schools.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$76,567 4% MA or MEd in Educational Administration

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; Salary.com, 2023