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2024’s Top Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota (ND)

A master’s can be the next step in your career. To make sure it’s the right one, we rounded up the best online master’s programs in North Dakota and outlined lucrative careers for graduates.

Author: Angela Myers

Editor: Staff Editor

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

While North Dakota may not be the most populated state, it does have one of the strongest economies — last year, the state’s economy grew six times faster than the national average. This growth has led to higher salaries and more job openings, especially for those who have a master’s degree in their field. If you’re interested in online master’s degrees in ND, your search just became more accessible thanks to this guide. Keep reading to discover the top online master’s programs in North Dakota, in-demand career fields, and more.

Leading Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota

Online learning provides a high-quality education in a more accessible format. Often, students complete virtual lectures and coursework without having to step foot on campus. Other online master’s degrees in ND, however, do have an in-person component.

When courses are online, lectures are either delivered in synchronous meetings at set times or in asynchronous modules that students can watch whenever they have time. Some programs blend synchronous and asynchronous coursework. In North Dakota, many online programs are designed for working professionals. That means if there are set class times, they usually work around a typical 9-5 schedule or provide some flexibility for those balancing work and school.

For a better idea of what high-quality online master’s programs in North Dakota look like, explore the three profiled schools below. These schools stood out in terms of affordability, accreditation, and rigor of curriculum. While they aren’t the perfect fit for every student, everyone can use these spotlights as a quality barometer when researching schools.

The University of North Dakota is a leader in online education. This includes its many online master’s degrees, which provide students with a cutting-edge learning experience. While the school provides online or hybrid master’s degrees in almost every field, its most in-demand ones are the virtual MBA,online master’s degrees in education, and online master’s in engineering.

For all three degrees, students can customize their degrees to their specific interests. For example, engineering students can concentrate their master’s degree in artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, cyber security, data science, energy engineering, environmental engineering, or geological engineering. No matter what program you choose, you’ll have access to the University of North Dakota’s standout student support resources, such as their online tutors and professional development guidance. The school also offers generous financial aid packages to master’s students.

North Dakota State University (NDSU) offers a variety of master’s degrees that can be completed either completely online or in a hybrid format. The school’s master’s degree programs cover many disciplines, including education, healthcare, supply chain management, and more. Unlike other institutions in the state, most of their degrees can be completed entirely online. The master’s in agricultural education, dietetics, and merchandising are three such degrees.

NDSU also offers fully online graduate certificates for those who want to continue their education but aren’t ready to commit to a master’s degree. To make graduate education more affordable, the school offers in-state tuition to students for most of their programs regardless of residency status. NDSU also offers many generous financial aid packages to graduate students.

Minot State University offers online degrees in about 100 areas of study. Of those degrees, eight are master’s degrees and nine are graduate certificates, though the format of each degree differs. The master’s of education with a concentration in cognitive science is offered in a synchronous online format, meaning students must attend virtual lectures at set class times.

The other online master’s and graduate certificates are designed to be taken asynchronously. Students watch prerecorded video modules in these programs and complete coursework whenever convenient. This makes Minot State University the most flexible option for online master’s degrees in ND. Masters are offered in education, disability human services, management, speech-language pathology, sports management, and special education.

Available Formats for ND Online Master’s Programs

Not all master’s degrees are created equal. Instead, there are different formats and requirements for each program. To learn what degree type is right for you, explore the four most common types and the best online master’s degrees in ND for each.

Full-time Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota

The typical online master’s is a full-time program. In these programs, coursework is the primary concern, and students don’t work full-time or have other significant responsibilities while getting their degrees. Full-time degrees are an excellent option for those who want to complete their master’s faster and can devote over 30 hours a week to their education. Popular full-time programs include the business information systems master’s at Valley City State University and the biomedical engineering master’s at North Dakota State University.

Part-time Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota

If devoting more than 30 hours a week to your degree sounds overwhelming, a part-time master’s may be a better fit. In part-time programs, students take fewer courses and can better balance their degree with work and life obligations. A popular part-time online master’s degree in ND is the Master of Higher Education at the University of North Dakota. Since these programs are completed part-time, they usually take longer to complete than their full-time counterparts.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota

What does the Master of Sports Management at Minot State University and the MA in Teaching at Maryville State University have in common? Neither one requires applicants to submit their GRE scores. No-GRE online master’s programs in North Dakota are a great fit for applicants with test anxiety or those who don’t have the time to study for and take the GRE. It’s also ideal for students whose GRE scores don’t reflect their academic potential. In non-GRE programs, acceptances and rejections are determined by other factors, such as undergraduate grades and work experience.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in North Dakota

A master’s degree can take up to four years to complete. If you want to complete your degree faster, consider accelerated programs. Some of the fastest online master’s degrees include the Master of Economics program at the University of North Dakota and the MEd program at Maryville State University. In some accelerated programs, it’s possible to graduate in one year, though we didn’t find any one-year master’s in ND.

Master’s Degrees Worth Considering in North Dakota

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A master’s of business administration (MBA) is one of the best ways to propel a business leadership or management career. MBA programs are usually designed for those with either a few years of work experience or an undergraduate degree in the field. Typically, MBA students take courses in all business fields before deciding to specialize in one area. Popular concentrations include marketing, finance, management, sales, and supply chain operations.

Quality Example of an Online MBA Program

Master of Science in Engineering

While only a bachelor’s degree is required to work as an engineer, a master’s degree can lead to more specialized, higher-paying roles or managerial and leadership roles within the engineering field. Getting a Master’s in Engineering is also a great way to specialize in a specific engineering area, such as software or civil engineering. Further, the projected job openings in the next 10 years are above average for almost all types of engineers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Quality Examples of Online Engineering Programs

Master of Education (MEd)

In North Dakota, a master’s in education can lead to leadership roles in K-12 or higher education. Education leaders and administrators are in demand in North Dakota, and a Master’s of Education (MEd) prepares students to meet that demand. These programs are ideal for licensed teachers who want to progress their careers and are passionate about education management or curriculum development.

Quality Examples of Online MEd Programs

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Let’s say you’re already a licensed nurse but want to take your career to the next level. A Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) can provide the training and credentials to progress your career. Depending on your concentration, an MSN can lead to a career in nurse administration, nurse management, or nurse education. Plus, given the recent nursing shortage in North Dakota, your skillset will be in demand for years to come.

Quality Example of an Online MSN Program

MBA in Sports Management

An MBA with a concentration in sports management or a master’s of arts in sports management prepares students to take on administrative and managerial roles within professional, college, and community athletic programs. Because North Dakota’s economy is growing quickly and the state features two universities with major athletic programs (North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota), this is a great career option for those passionate about sports and with previous business education or experience.

Quality Example of an Online Sports Management Program

Don’t Break the Bank: The Cost of an Online Master’s in ND

There’s no sugarcoating it: Master’s degrees can be expensive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, master’s students pay about $19,792 a year for tuition alone. This doesn’t include student fees, the cost of books, and other expenses, which can increase the price even more. Fortunately, many online master’s degrees in ND cost less than the national average.

To better understand how much your degree may cost, explore the tuition for three programs at popular universities in North Dakota in the table below.

School/Program No. of Credits Resident Cost/Credit Est. Tuition










North Dakota Financial Aid Options

While tuition is often cheaper in North Dakota, many of these programs still come with a hefty price tag. Consider applying for financial aid to help offset the cost of your degree. Some popular financial aid options include scholarships and grants, fellowships, work-study programs, and graduate research assistantships. Student loans are also a good option, especially those offered by the federal government.

In North Dakota specifically, there is additional state-funded aid that students can explore, such as the DEAL student loan. Individual colleges and university systems also offer financial aid packages. Valley State University maintains a listing of internal and community scholarships and provides a cultural diversity waiver for certain students.

North Dakota University offers graduate assistantships, which also come with a base tuition waiver. The University of North Dakota also offers graduate assistantships in several areas, including teaching, research, and service, along with several graduate student awards and fellowships.

Lucrative North Dakota Careers for Master’s Graduates

A master’s degree is an investment in your future, and for many North Dakota residents, that investment pays off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with a master’s degree make $1,661 a week, while those with a bachelor’s degree earn $1,432 a week. That means a master’s degree boosts earnings by over $10,000 over a year on average.

In North Dakota, specifically, there’s an even higher potential to earn more. Operations managers, for example, make over $100,000 a year, while physician’s assistants make about $122,590 a year on average. Continue reading to explore these and other lucrative careers that require a master’s degree.

Financial Manager

Let’s say you’ve worked in finance or business for a few years and are eager to become a leader in the finance sector. Getting an MBA and becoming a financial manager is one of the best ways to make this happen. Financial managers are in demand because they provide valuable oversight and financial insight for private companies, governments, and nonprofits.

ND Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$137,000 16% MBA in Finance

Source: North Dakota Labor Market Information, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Physician Assistant

Those who want to work directly with patients but don’t want to attend medical school or become a nurse should consider a career as a physician assistant (PA). Under a doctor’s supervision, PAs examine, diagnose, and treat patients. PAs earn high salaries and are in demand in North Dakota.

ND Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$122,590 27% MS: Physician Assistant

Source: North Dakota Labor Market Information, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Speech-language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists help children and adults with language or speech disorders. They provide hands-on training and guidance so these individuals can improve their communication skills. After getting their master’s degree, speech-language pathologists can expect healthy earning potential and industry demand in North Dakota.

ND Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$70,980 19% MS in Speech-language Pathology

Source: North Dakota Labor Market Information, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023

Operations Manager

If you’re interested in the day-to-day operations of a business and maximizing efficiency in business processes, becoming an operations manager may be the career path for you. As leaders in supply chain operations, these individuals earn high salaries in North Dakota with slightly above-average industry demand.

ND Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$100,740 5% MBA

Source: North Dakota Labor Market Information, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023


Epidemiology is one of the fastest-growing fields today. These professionals analyze diseases and brainstorm public health initiatives to combat diseases and other widespread health issues, such as injuries or addictions. In North Dakota, epidemiologists have plenty of work opportunities, though they are in larger cities where the larger hospital systems are located, such as Fargo.

ND Median Salary National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$62,620 27% MPH

Source: North Dakota Labor Market Information, 2022; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023