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Inside the Best Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey (NJ)

Whether your career goals include a higher salary, a leadership role, or both, an online master’s program in New Jersey can help pave the way. Keep reading for details on some of NJ’s best online graduate programs.

Author: Megan Harrington

Editor: Staff Editor

Search hundreds of schools for the master’s YOU want……

With over 23 million people, the New York City metro area (which includes portions of NJ) is the largest metropolis in the United States. Millions of people live in and around New Jersey for access to jobs. The metro area is home to more than 50 corporate headquarters for Fortune 500 companies. If you’re looking to advance your professional life, it can take work to stand out among that crowd. A graduate degree can help you seize the career you envision and maximize your salary potential.

We’ve outlined some of the best online graduate degrees in the state, including schools that offer the right mix of high-quality academics, convenience, and affordability. We’ve also highlighted some of the most in-demand program options and top-earning careers for graduates. Let’s get started.

Top-Rated Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey for 2024

Several universities offer online master’s programs in New Jersey. While the specifics vary depending on the program, typically you can expect greater affordability and flexibility compared to on-campus options. Rutgers University, the state’s top public university, offers over a dozen completely online graduate degrees.

For 100% online master’s programs, you may never need to visit campus, and depending on the format (synchronous vs. asynchronous), you may be completely in control of your learning schedule. For some programs, particularly in the healthcare fields, there’s likely an in-person practicum requirement.

The schools below highlight some of the best places in New Jersey to earn a master’s degree online. Keep in mind that your ideal school might differ depending on your unique situation and professional goals.

No matter where you choose to earn a degree, these three universities offer a robust number of affordable and flexible master’s programs and serve as baseline as you widen your research of other schools. If you’re going to invest your time and financial resources in a master’s degree, you want to make sure it’s worth it.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University is a nationally ranked school that prioritizes outcomes-focused learning, meaning you’ll graduate with the skills you need for career success. Thanks in part to its quality clinical placements, Rutgers’ online Master in Social Work (MSW) program is ranked No. 1 in NJ and No. 16 in the nation.

The school’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is also highly regarded and includes opportunities to meet with business leaders in a variety of sectors and travel to other countries to strengthen your international understanding.

Rutgers offers 16 fully online courses, which cost $1,007–$1,313 per credit, depending on the program. In addition to affordable tuition, Rutgers doesn’t charge extra online course fees, and scholarships are available for most programs. For graduate students in NJ seeking a world-class research institution, highly regarded faculty, and small class sizes, Rutgers is a stellar option.

Montclair State University

With 13 fully online graduate degrees, Montclair State University offers a wide breadth of graduate programs. The school’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is one of New Jersey’s most affordable and flexible programs and offers a 20% tuition discount for RNs at affiliated hospitals. The school’s other programs are equally prestigious. Montclair State’s graduate programs have been named as some of the best in the nation.

Montclair State University pairs the resources of a large public university with the flexibility and affordability of online courses. All remote students have full access to library resources, the writing center, technical support, career advisement, and a dedicated graduate program coordinator. Online students are taught by the same faculty and receive the same diploma as their in-person peers, making this an excellent choice for students seeking quality instruction on a flexible schedule.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology is the only public technological university in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. If you’re looking for graduate programs in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, this school should be on your list. NJIT offers flexible and convenient course options including 14 fully online master’s programs and 21 graduate certificate programs.

The online courses are taught by the same highly ranked faculty that teaches in-person courses and students have access to a robust level of resources including academic advisement, tutoring, and career counseling. Online programs cost $1,143 cost per credit, making NJIT competitive with peer institutions. Students can rest assured that their tuition will offer a favorable return on their investment. According to Payscale.com, NJIT is ranked in the top 2% of schools when it comes to return on tuition investment.

Types of Online Master’s Programs Available in New Jersey

There are several options when it comes to online graduate programs in New Jersey. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in your studies and finish quickly, a full-time program may be right for you. However, if you plan on working while studying, a part-time program can offer greater flexibility. There are also accelerated programs and schools that don’t require a GRE. Whatever you’re looking for, New Jersey has it.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey

You’ll finish sooner if you’re able to devote much of your time and energy to a full-time online master’s degree. This program option is for students willing to dedicate much of their weekly schedules to coursework and take three or four classes per semester. The Master of Science degree in computer science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology is only 30 credits, so with the availability of summer and winter classes, you could graduate in a year.

The MFA in dance at Montclair State University is twice as many credits, but the school has mapped out a program that lets students graduate in two years. Generally, full-time graduate students do not work full-time, but you may serve be able to serve as a teaching assistant or work a few hours per week outside of the program. With full-time study, you’ll be able to complete most online master’s programs in New Jersey in one to two years.

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey

A part-time master’s program is a flexible option if you plan to work full-time or have time-consuming personal obligations. Depending on the program, you may be completely in control of when and where you learn with asynchronous classes. Programs with synchronous online learning often offer evening or weekend options for working students.

This option will take longer to complete, but the flexibility of a part-time program is hard to beat for busy professionals. The master’s in accounting at Seton Hall is only 30 credits, and students have up to 20 months to finish, while students in the master’s in digital marketing program at Rutgers can take up to 4.5 years to finish the 30-credit program.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey

Has it been a while since you’ve studied for a standardized test? The good news is many online master’s programs in NJ have dropped GRE testing requirements, making it easier than ever to apply to graduate school. Two such programs are the master’s in educational leadership from William Paterson University and the Master of Business from Farleigh Dickinson University.

Without the barrier of GRE prep and testing, you can focus on other parts of the application such as personal statements and references. However, keep in mind that if your undergraduate grades aren’t up to standard, the school may require a certain GRE score instead.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey

Do you have an undergraduate background that’s related to your prospective master’s degree? If so, you be eligible for an accelerated degree option. These graduate programs can often be finished in as little as a year because students can skip over any introductory coursework they’ve taken in their undergraduate studies.

The most common types of accelerated degree programs are in the social work and nursing fields but be sure to ask about course waivers no matter what degree you prefer. The MSW programs at Rutgers University and Seton Hall University offer accelerated paths to a master’s in social work for students who’ve completed a bachelor’s degree in social work.

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

Master of Business Administration

An MBA is an advanced degree with a focus on business and it’s a great option for students looking to make connections, start their own businesses, or serve in leadership positions. The New York–New Jersey metro area is a hotbed for Fortune 500 companies, so an MBA is a great way to stand out in the corporate world.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Computer Science

Whether you aim to hold a leadership position or want to make yourself a more desirable candidate for entry to mid-level positions, an online master’s degree in computer science is a good investment in your career. Graduates of these types of programs often work in positions related to internet technology (IT).

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Education

Are you a teacher who’s ready to move outside of the classroom? Graduates of online master’s in education programs often assume leadership positions such as school principal or superintendent. They may also hold jobs in higher education such as an admissions counselor. No matter what age of students you want to focus on, this degree can help you raise your salary potential and advance your career.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

There are many paths to obtaining your online MSN degree. While many MSN students already hold RN licensure, it’s not necessary. There are MSN options for students with undergraduate degrees in other subjects and without prior nursing experience. Demand within the healthcare industry continues to grow, and graduates of MSN programs are in a great position for job and salary opportunities.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Fine Arts

Students who earn an MFA often do it so they can teach in higher education. Since New Jersey has nearly 400,000 students enrolled in higher education, there are many schools in the area that hire faculty. Not interested in teaching? Many MFA programs can also help students advance their chosen craft, whether it’s dance, art history, or music.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

How Much Will You Pay? Online Master’s Programs in New Jersey Costs

Higher education is a big investment, so it’s important to understand the full financial commitment of earning a master’s degree in New Jersey before choosing a program. There are options when it comes to footing the bill, including grants and scholarships, which you don’t have to pay back, and loans, which accrue interest and must be paid back on a specific schedule.

Many graduate schools work with prospective students to line up financial aid before enrollment. Be sure to ask about opportunities like fellowships and assistantships. These are special financial aid options geared toward graduate students. To get an idea of the investment required, we’ve highlighted three graduate programs and their typical costs.

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










New Jersey Master’s Degree Financial Support Options

It’s normal to feel a bit of sticker shock when you add up the costs associated with earning a master’s degree, but keep in mind that there are plenty of financial aid opportunities available for master’s students in New Jersey.

The most attractive of these options include scholarships and grants, fellowships, and graduate research assistantships. This is money that doesn’t need to be repaid. Fellowships are essentially funding and stipends to support yourself as a graduate student, while an assistantship gives you money in exchange for academic work and teaching.

There are also many merit-based and need-based scholarships and loans to investigate. Most public universities, such as Rutgers, have information specifically geared toward funding graduate degrees. Private universities such as Seton Hall can often offer competitive scholarships and assistantships to their graduate students. Keep in mind that a program’s cost per credit is just one piece of the puzzle, and there are often lots of ways to make the financial math work.

Top Earning Careers with a Master’s in New Jersey

One of the main reasons to earn a master’s degree is the opportunity to advance in your career and increase your salary potential. Enrolling in a graduate program is a big investment, but it can be a worthy one if it results in a bigger paycheck.

There are certain positions that will see a significant pay bump upon completion of a master’s degree in New Jersey. For example, the median earnings for a registered nurse in NJ is approximately $76,000, while the median earnings for a nurse practitioner in NJ is much higher at $135,000. While salary specifics vary and fluctuate, there’s a good chance a master’s degree can lead to a top-earning career.

The following tables show data for a number of occupations that are expected to see faster than average growth in New Jersey through 2030.

Nurse Practitioner

Whether you’re looking to improve patient quality of care or earn more money, graduating from a master’s of science in nursing program is the first step to becoming a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners often serve as the primary provider at clinics and medical offices and have the potential to earn nearly double the salary of a registered nurse in New Jersey.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$143,250 38% Master of Science in Nursing

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers often liaise with doctors to provide care to patients, and they may specialize in areas such as pediatrics or palliative care. If you’d like to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and own your own practice, a master’s degree is required.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$75,865 7% Master of Social Work

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


Early to mid-level statisticians who want to stand out among job applicants can benefit from the advanced knowledge of a master’s degree. For some mid-level or leadership positions, employers may require a graduate degree. To be competitive in this sector and maximize income, a master’s in statistics is a wise investment.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$136,530 (NY-NJ metro area) 30% MS in Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Occupational Therapist

To work as an occupational therapist in New Jersey, a master’s degree is required. You’ll be qualified to work as an OT assistant or aide without a graduate degree, but you can increase your salary and responsibilities by moving into a therapist role.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$107,184 12% MS in Occupational Therapy

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

Speech Language Pathologist

Much like occupational therapists, a master’s degree is required to become licensed as a speech-language pathologist In New Jersey. Whether you want to open your own practice or work in a healthcare or school system, earning your master’s in speech-language pathology can make your professional goals possible.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$100,290 19% MS in Speech-Language Pathology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 and Salary.com, 2023