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Inside the Best Online Master’s Programs in New York (NY)

If you want to advance your career or expand your knowledge, an online graduate degree can help. Learn about the best online master’s degree programs in New York below.

Author: OMD Staff

Editor: Staff Editor

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A woman wearing glasses sits by a window with a laptop, smiling and bathed in sunlight, with a cityscape visible in the background.

The word “master” has some powerful connotations ― think of phrases like “master of your own destiny” or “master craftsperson.” For those who want to become leaders in their field, a master’s degree is an obvious step, and an online master’s degree program in New York is a convenient and often cost-effective way to earn one.

Whether you’re a New Yorker who wants to change careers or are simply looking to get ahead in your chosen field, a degree from one of the many online graduate programs in NY will give you credentials that stand out, especially since only 14.4% of Americans have a master’s degree or higher. Your options are many and varied with the multitude of online master’s degree programs in New York. The State University of New York (SUNY) system alone, for example, offers 149 online master’s degrees. Take a look below at some of the top online graduate programs in NY to see which might be a good fit for you.

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

Looking at the landscape for online graduate programs in NY, the world of online education is your oyster. Online master’s degree programs in New York are widely available, including both state and private institutions. Depending on the subject, these programs may be 100% online. This is often the case in fields like history, law, or tech-related fields like cybersecurity. Other fields have in-person lab or fieldwork requirements, as is common in nursing, education, and biology.

While the “best” online master’s program is highly subjective and dependent on the field of study, class format, cost, and more, there are a few schools with online graduate programs in NY that stand out from the rest because of the variety of programs offered, student support for online students, financial aid opportunities, and more. Have a look at some of the top New York online graduate programs below.

New York University (NYU)

Logo of New York University featuring a purple torch design on the left and the acronym "NYU" in bold purple letters on a white background.

NYU is one of the best-known and most competitive institutions of higher learning in New York and even the nation. It offers a variety of online and hybrid master’s degrees, including Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Laws (LLM) programs. The online masters’ offerings at NYU stand at two dozen, but that number is expanding. NYU prides itself on providing professional development opportunities and practical experience to online and hybrid students, including fieldwork experiences with relevant partner institutions across the U.S.

As a private university, tuition at NYU is high, with graduate-level tuition at over $1,000 per course credit. However, online students benefit from the reduced cost of living as they do not need to relocate to New York City, and NYU offers a variety of program-specific graduate-level scholarships and employment opportunities.

City University of New York

Logo of The City University of New York featuring stylized text “CUNY” in blue, followed by “THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK” in smaller letters.

The City University of New York (CUNY) has been educating New Yorkers through its eleven constituent colleges since the nineteenth century. Today, CUNY offers 42 different online master’s programs, including Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Education (MEd), Master of Public Health (MPH), and more.

CUNY is a state university, and its combination of diverse, high-quality online graduate degree options and affordable tuition of only $470 per credit hour for New York residents make it a standout choice among the many available online master’s degree programs in New York. CUNY’s online learning program focuses on accessibility, and they are committed to providing aid to students in all aspects of their online graduate degrees, including professional and mental health support, career and academic advising, and disability accommodations.

Rochester Institute of Technology

The logo for Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in orange and brown colors. The text "RIT" is stylized with a bold and modern font.

For those with an aptitude and passion for STEM, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offers a broad range of online-optional and online-exclusive technical master’s degree programs. These online MS programs, like their highly acclaimed online Master of Architecture Degree, span subjects as diverse as Data Science to Health Informatics to Specialized Secondary Education for Hard-of-Hearing Students.

Whatever your field of study, RIT’s online programs are designed for working professionals and give students a broad amount of flexibility in setting their class schedules. Online graduate tuition at RIT stands at $1,350 per credit hour. Online students are eligible for a variety of financial aid programs, and RIT emphasizes its extremely high rate of employment for graduates, 100% in many cases.

Types of Online Master’s Programs Available in New York

Since you’re already interested in pursuing your master’s, you now need to decide what kind of program works best for you among the many online master’s degree programs in New York that are available. Not all online graduate degrees are the same with differences in scheduling format, completion time, and how to apply. Below are some types of New York online graduate programs to consider.

Full-Time Online Master’s Programs in NY

A full-time online master’s program, such as NYU’s online MPH with a concentration in Nutrition or the MS in Health Informatics at RIT, requires a significant weekly time commitment. Even if your program allows you some flexibility in your course schedule, as is the case for programs with asynchronous classes, most students find working while pursuing online master’s degree programs in New York to be difficult if not impossible.

Part-Time Online Master’s Programs in NY

For students with professional commitments or other responsibilities that impact their schedules, part-time online master’s degree programs in New York are a good idea. These programs, like the online MBA at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business or the MA in Higher Education Administration at Stony Brook University, give options for how frequently you attend your classes to give you less of a time commitment each week, but it will also take you more time overall to graduate.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in NY

Are standardized tests outside of your expertise? Not a problem. No-GRE online master’s degree programs in New York, like the online MSW at Columbia University or most of the degrees offered through St. Joseph University’s online master’s programs, do not require you to take the GRE. This means if you have test anxiety or don’t perform your best in a standardized test format, you can let your record shine on its own when applying for grad school.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in NY

For students who want to complete their master’s as quickly as possible, an accelerated online master’s program can help you get there. Some schools offer online programs, like the MA in Global History or the MS in Data Science programs at Fordham University, that allow you to complete your masters in a shorter time of more intense study. Many of these programs are designed to begin while you’re still an undergraduate and combine senior year of undergrad with master’s coursework, potentially saving time and money.

In-Demand Online Master’s Degrees in New York

Business Administration

Students looking for a fast-paced career in the corporate world may be ideal candidates for an online MBA. New York is a national center for business and finance and the home of Wall Street and the stock market, making it an ideal location for MBA students and graduates looking to shape their careers.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Network Security, Risk Management, and Cybersecurity

Sensitive information is processed digitally hundreds of thousands of times per day, and it’s vital to keep that information safe. Students who want careers that mix business with STEM may be interested in careers in cybersecurity. Once you’ve finished your master’s, New York’s thriving business sector and its high need for security make it a great place to build a career.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Higher Education Administration

More Americans are earning college degrees every year, which means that the higher education sector is growing and expanding. A master’s in higher education administration places you in an ideal position to work in this vital and rapidly growing field. With over 400 colleges in New York, you have plenty of employment opportunities to explore after graduation and plenty of room for advancement once you’re working for a given institution.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Health Services Administration

Healthcare is a vitally important field. As the US population ages, it’s more important than ever. Studying health services administration allows you to combine organizational and managerial skills with the study of health and medical sciences. Further, upon graduation, you’ll be eligible for jobs at hospitals, in clinical settings, for research organizations, and more.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Information and Library Sciences

If you love books and reading, consider a master’s in information and library sciences. This field is ideal for those who appreciate the value of not only literature and information but of preserving knowledge for generations to come. As more and more paper materials are being digitized, both to preserve them and to make them more accessible, the skills in this degree will be in higher and higher demand in the coming years.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

How Much Does an Online Master’s in New York Cost?

Online master’s degree programs in New York vary significantly in terms of cost. With the tuition differences between public and private institutions, the differing times to completion, the number of credits per program, and other factors like the availability of scholarships and aid, it’s important to know the cost of any specific program before you enroll.

Whatever program you choose, be sure to have a plan for how you’ll pay for it, whether through scholarships, loans, personal savings, or some combination of them all. Below are some programs that illustrate the differing costs of New York online graduate programs.

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

60

$1,784

$107,040

30

$470

$14,100

30

$1,540

$46,200

New York’s Master’s Degree Funding Opportunities

As you figure out how to fund your online master’s degree in New York, it’s important to do your research on funding opportunities. Many schools with online graduate programs in NY offer need-based aid, like grants and scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships just for graduate students.

There are also private, state-specific opportunities, such as the NY Teaching Fellows program for education students. The Higher Education Services Corporation of the State of New York (HESC) also maintains a helpful website with links to state and federal funding opportunities that include federal programs like the FAFSA and school-specific programs offered by the state-funded SUNY and CUNY systems.

Top Earning Careers with a Master’s in NY

While many pursue their master’s degrees out of love for their subject, an increase in earning potential is another significant motivation. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average master’s degree graduate earns over $200 more every week, or over $10,000 more per year, than the average worker with a bachelor’s degree. Not all master’s degrees lead to comparable increases in pay. Below are a few examples of careers where you’ll not only earn a good living with your master’s degree but where high demand in New York will help keep you employed for years to come.

Economist

Economics is a complex field that impacts areas from government to social welfare to corporate business. Being an economist requires high-level skills in math, research, and even behavioral psychology. A master’s degree in economics gives you the advanced knowledge and skills required for an upper-level career as an economist.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$113,940 6% MS in Economics; MBA

Source:Projections Central, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Family Therapist

Demand for family therapy and family therapists is growing fast. A family therapist deals with clients discussing some of the most sensitive and vulnerable aspects of their lives. A master’s degree provides you not only with the knowledge to best help these families but also with the skills to make clients comfortable and willing to listen to you.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$53,760 15% MS in Counseling or Psychology

Source:Projections Central, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Nurse Practitioner

As more people look to nurse practitioners for general and family medicine, demand for these experts is booming. Nurse practitioners fill many of the roles of general practice physicians, so they need the high-level training and clinical experience a master’s degree gives to deliver the best possible care for patients.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$123,780 38% MS in Nursing

Source:Projections Central, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Curator

New York is home to some of the finest museums and libraries in the world. As demand for curators rises across the country, a New York online master’s degree can help you join their numbers. In a relevant master’s program, you’ll learn both organizational and administrative techniques along with the preservation and accessible curation skills needed to present a collection to the public.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$80,280 10% MA in Museum Studies; MLS in Information and Library Science

Source: Projections Central, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Software Developer

Software developers design computer applications and programs, which requires a strong background in computer programming. People in this industry can grow to become project management specialists or computer and information systems managers. For some software developer positions, employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$141,130 35% MS in Computer and Information Technology

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022