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Best Online Master’s Programs in Minnesota (MN): 2024’s Top Schools

The best online master’s programs in Minnesota come in various learning formats and often allow you to design your own schedule. Learn more about your future MN online graduate program below.

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Panoramic view of a city skyline at twilight, showing illuminated skyscrapers, a serene park with a pond, and bustling highways extending into the distance.

Perhaps you’re a dedicated professional in Minneapolis aiming for a career shift, or maybe you’re an aspiring academic in Saint Paul seeking to further your education. Whether you’re already living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes or know that’s where you ultimately want to study, understanding which online master’s programs in Minnesota is best for your needs can be challenging.

But lucky for you, this guide has insights. To help you navigate your higher education journey, the following sections offer details about the state’s top-notch online learning options. Keep reading to explore online graduate programs in MN and find the one that best suits your goals and life.

2024’s Top Online Master’s Degrees Offered in MN

Major universities often understand the unique needs of their students, offering graduate degrees both in person and online to accommodate a wide variety of students. While some online master’s programs in Minnesota are available entirely online, some are hybrid, meaning only certain courses must be taken on campus.

Programs with online components make pursuing a higher level of education more convenient, as students can balance work and family life on top of studying. Many programs allow students to take courses on their own time through recorded lectures and uploaded materials. Others require students to sign on at a certain time, but they can do so virtually.

Most online master’s programs in Minnesota provide plenty of resources for online students. You may not experience the same campus lifestyle you would in a traditional college environment, but you’ll likely have access to online tutoring options, study support, and virtual office hours.

While everyone’s definition of “best” will be different, these online master’s programs in Minnesota are quality programs with flexible study options and reasonable costs.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota has a long list of graduate programs students can consider. Ranging from education to health to public policy and beyond, you’ll find over 20 options to accommodate your learning goals. Some of these programs have in-person components, but those are primarily reserved for medical and science degrees. If you must attend on-campus courses, UMN has multiple campuses throughout the state.

UMN understands the needs of students, particularly those choosing to study online. As a large state school, it provides many online resources. There are tutoring options, licensing explanations and guides, and a huge online library, to name a few.

Some of the programs offered by UMN Online are more affordable if you’re an in-state resident, while some offer the same tuition price whether you’re in state or out of state. Financial aid is available, including the Native American Promise Tuition Program.

Minnesota State University

Minnesota State University’s online master’s programs are designed with busy adults in mind. You’ll have more than 20 online programs to choose from in a wide range of disciplines. To pay for your studies, MNSU provides a list of grants, financial aid, and fellowships for students.

Every graduate student at MNSU completes a capstone project, often of your choosing. Most of these projects are in the form of dissertations, but there are other options you can choose from depending on the degree you’re seeking.

Of the online master’s degree options, nine degrees can be earned entirely online. Tuition costs $551.45 or $806.60 per credit, depending on the program.

Saint Mary’s University

Logo of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota featuring a red and white shield with a star and text around it.

Saint Mary’s University is a Catholic-based university offering 12 different master’s programs and even more graduate certificates. There’s a slight focus on public programs such as health and human services, public health, and social work. These programs are fully online, helping students with busy schedules to obtain their degrees.

Saint Mary’s University provides six start dates throughout the year, and for hybrid programs, there are three campuses to choose from.

The cost to attend Saint Mary’s online is entirely dependent on the degree you’re pursuing. An MS in Addiction Studies is $610 per credit, for example, while programs like Data Intelligence, Geo Analytics, and Health and Human Services Administration cost $760 per credit. Degree-seeking students who are enrolled at least half time may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition.

Available Online Master’s Programs in Minnesota

With such diverse online offerings available to Minnesota online master’s degree-seekers, it’s understandable that not all programs operate the same. The way your program is structured is largely determined by the degree you’re seeking. Liberal arts degrees commonly won’t often require in-person learning, while medical and science programs may be primarily online but require students to attend in-person lab work.

Here’s a look at the different types of programs you’re likely to encounter.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in MN

Full-time programs require more constant study, meaning they’re not as flexible to working students, but they typically take less time to complete. Because of the time commitment, most full-time online master’s programs in MN can be completed in just a year or two. Many of these programs are asynchronous programs that allow you to sign on and study uploaded course materials on your own, while some are synchronous and require you to attend classes at a certain time. A couple of examples of full-time, online master’s programs include University of Minnesota’s Master of Health Informatics and St. Cloud State University’s MBA.

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in MN

Part-time programs are more flexible, allowing you to take a reduced number of credits each semester. It’ll likely take you a few years at least to complete these programs because you’re going at a slower pace, but this allows you to create a better work-life-school balance. Some examples of these programs include St. Cloud State University’s Online MBA and Saint Mary’s University’s Online Master of Social Work.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in MN

The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is a standardized exam that many online master’s programs in Minnesota require potential students to take. Certain programs require you to get a minimum score to be accepted. That said, more and more universities are offering programs that don’t require this test.

The GRE is mostly required for business schools, but many programs don’t require the GRE; for example, Minnesota State University’s MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders and University of Minnesota’s MS in Computer Science.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in MN

Students looking to receive their Minnesota online master’s degree as quickly as possible can research the state’s many accelerated programs. When enrolling in one of these programs, many students can complete their graduate degree in a year to 18 months.

Some of these accelerated programs require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a complementary subject area, such as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Accelerated RN to MSN Program and Saint Mary’s University Accelerated Online MBA program.

Exploring Minnesota’s In-Demand Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Accounting (MAcc)

Getting a master’s degree in accounting helps prepare you for a career in finance or as an accountant. You’ll be prepared to work in a variety of business settings; after all, every business needs help with its finances. Or you may choose to work with individuals in need of financial help. For students with a love of math and numbers, accounting is a lucrative career option throughout the country.

Quality Examples of Online Graduate Programs

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

When you earn your online MBA, you’ll learn the nuances of owning a business and/or have a thorough understanding of business operations when you’re working for others. You’ll be prepared to manage the financial aspects of a business as well as gain insights into the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business.

Quality Examples of Online Graduate Programs

Master of Public Health (MPH)

A master’s degree in public health is meant for individuals passionate about promoting health and wellness on a national and even global scale. It’s often a necessary degree for healthcare practitioners, policymakers, and community advocates who aim to address complex health challenges. As the world heads towards a healthier future, public health is a huge concern, making this a valuable degree.

Quality Examples of Online Graduate Programs

Master of Healthcare Management

Healthcare management degrees provide proper education to individuals who want to be a part of the medical community but don’t want to be practicing doctors and healthcare providers. These programs emphasize a deep understanding of the healthcare system and the organizational systems behind it. It also covers policy implementation, helping individuals understand how to make change in the medical world.

Quality Examples of Online Graduate Programs

Master of Sports Management

For those who want to promote health and wellness through physical activity and education in schools, a master’s in physical education or sports management makes sense. This degree caters to aspiring physical education teachers, coaches, and fitness professionals who want to deepen their understanding of exercise science and curriculum development.

Quality Examples of Online Graduate Programs

The Cost of an Online Master’s in Minnesota

Pursuing a master’s degree is no small feat, time-wise or cost-wise. Understanding the total financial commitment before enrollment is vital as it helps students make informed decisions about their education. Having a comprehensive plan for paying for the degree enables students to manage their finances effectively and potentially avoid excessive borrowing.

Lining up financial aid such as scholarships and grants helps alleviate the financial burden, making the pursuit of a master’s degree more feasible for a larger variety of students. Finding sources of financing that you aren’t required to pay back allows you to focus on your studies and future career goals without unnecessary financial stress.

The three schools below offer good examples of what you might pay for your online master’s program in Minnesota.

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

34

$806.60

$27,424.40

30

$730

$21,900

30

$503

$15,090

Minnesota Graduate Program Funding Options

In Minnesota, master’s students can access a range of financial aid options that can help alleviate the burden of affording their degrees.Several universities, such as the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University, offer various scholarships and grants based on academic merit, financial need, or specific fields of study.

Additionally, fellowships and assistantships are available, providing financial support in exchange for research or teaching responsibilities. Work-study programs are also vital lifelines for many graduate students, enabling students to work part time on campus. By leveraging these opportunities, master’s students in Minnesota can pursue their academic goals with reduced financial strain.

Lucrative Careers for Master’s Degree Holders in MN

Many students seek master’s degrees to advance their careers and earn a higher salary. There’s real value in doing so. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average weekly earnings jumps from $1,432 for those only who hold a bachelor’s to $1,661 for master’s degree-holders.

Certain online master’s programs in Minnesota hold more value than others, however. Specific industries are experiencing rapid growth, meaning their career outlook is stronger. Below are career options and their corresponding job outlook for Minnesota residents considering a master’s.

Librarian

A library science master’s degree equips you with advanced knowledge in information organization, research methodologies, and general library management. It provides graduates with critical skills in digital archiving, data management, and even customer service. This prepares you for leadership roles in libraries, academia, and nonprofit organizations.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$71,705 3% MS in Library Science

Source: Salary.com, 2023

Nurse

A nursing master’s degree provides advanced clinical training, leadership skills, and specialized knowledge that prepares nurses for roles in hospitals and private practice settings. This degree enhances critical thinking and gives students the skills they need for specialized patient care. For nurses looking to advance their careers or work in a more diverse healthcare setting, this degree may be necessary.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$84,000 6% MS in Nursing

Source: Incredible Health, 2022

Orthotist/Prosthetist

Orthotists and prosthetists design and fits artificial limbs, braces, and appliances for the physically disabled. In addition to entering a field where you can improve people’s quality of life, this industry has an extremely high growth rate. Students typically need an MS in Orthotics & Prosthetics and must complete a residency before they can be certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$89,677 15% MS in Orthotics & Prosthetics

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

Social Worker

Becoming a social worker involves getting a master’s degree. Social workers act as advocates for parents and their children, as well as for other communities. A degree in social work will prepare you for diverse roles in mental health, child welfare, and community services.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$73,108 7% Master of Social Work (MSW)

Source: Salary.com, 2023

Teacher

As a teacher, you’re responsible for educating youth or adults. Typically, teachers are required to get a master’s, particularly if they want to specialize in more complex education or help with curriculum development and policy. While not the most lucrative career choice, teachers are always needed and are highly valued by their students.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$44,383 1% Master of Education (MEd)

Source: Salary.com, 2023