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2024’s Best Grad Schools: Online Master’s Programs in Wisconsin (WI)

Explore today’s best online master’s programs in Wisconsin and discover how earning your online master’s degree may be just what you need to take your career to the next level.

Author: Michael Hoffman

Editor: Staff Editor

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Panoramic view of a city skyline at sunset featuring modern buildings and a prominent, domed capitol building, reflected in the water of a nearby lake.

You probably know that earning your master’s degree can be the best move you can make to push your career forward. As a working professional, though, the real question is how to earn your master’s without giving up your current job. The answer may rely on finding a top-quality, convenient, and affordable online master’s program in Wisconsin.

This guide takes a comprehensive look at the best online master’s programs in Wisconsin today: what programs are available, how much they cost, and how they can provide you with the study flexibility and convenience you need. We’ll also introduce you to financial aid resources available to Wisconsin online graduate students and take a look at earnings and job growth figures for several popular occupations in Wisconsin for master’s program graduates.

Ready to take that next big step in your career? Then keep reading as we introduce you to the best online master’s programs in Wisconsin for 2024.

Wisconsin’s Highest-Rated Online Master’s Programs for 2024

Study convenience and flexibility are what make online master’s programs in Wisconsin so popular. And popular they are, with quality, fully accredited degrees available online from private and — most significantly — University of Wisconsin (UW) schools in dozens of majors. These colleges and universities are keenly aware that most prospective graduate students today are working professionals looking for a way to advance their careers by earning their master’s or doctorate while continuing their current jobs.

Online master’s programs in WI meet the academic needs of working students through a variety of methods, including part-time study, fully asynchronous formats, live-streamed classes scheduled in the evening and on weekends, and more. Online programs present challenges as well, particularly for students to be both self-motivated and self-disciplined. But, as a successful working pro, you’ve already developed those skills.

To give you an idea of what the best online master’s programs in WI offer, we’ve spotlighted three schools currently leading the way in online master’s degrees. Our school selections are based on criteria important to most master’s students, including program quality, affordability, study convenience, availability of valuable academic and career support services, and more. Remember, specific factors vary from school to school and major to major. But with the substantial breadth and depth of Wisconsin online graduate programs available, you’re likely to find more than one that fits your needs.

University of Wisconsin — Madison

Logo of the University of Wisconsin, featuring a large red "W" inside a shield with a heart, above the text "Wisconsin" in stylized font on a dark green background.

By far the biggest provider of online master’s programs in the state is the UW system. UW offers nearly 60 online graduate (master’s and doctoral) degree programs across a network of 26 campuses statewide. Topping that network is the University of Wisconsin — Madison, the main campus of the UW system. UW-Madison currently offers fully online and hybrid master’s degrees in over two dozen academic disciplines — from agriculture and applied economics to sports leadership. Of particular note are the more than one dozen master’s programs in the engineering field alone.

As a UW-Madison online master’s student, you’ll enjoy the affordable tuition rates common to most public universities. For example, the current per-credit tuition rate for most online master’s programs at UW-Madison is $500, including fees. And that rate is available to all online master’s students, either in state or out of state. UW-Madison online graduates also enjoy the added prestige of having earned their master’s through UW’s highly respected flagship campus.

University of Wisconsin — Whitewater

Logo of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater featuring a purple letter 'W' and the text "University of Wisconsin - Whitewater" in green.

Another major UW campus offering a variety of quality, affordable online master’s programs in Wisconsin is the University of Wisconsin — Whitewater. UW-Whitewater is home to 15 online master’s programs, including five in the business field, three in computers/IT, and four covering specialized areas in education. All of UW-Whitewater’s online master’s programs feature 100% self-paced, asynchronous formats that allow students exceptional convenience and flexibility in accessing and attending to their coursework.

As with all other University of Wisconsin schools, tuition for UW-Whitewater online master’s programs are affordable, ranging from $569 to $678 per credit for most programs. UW-Whitewater Online additionally features a wide array of resources and support services for online students, including career counseling, financial assistance, library and research assistance, and tech support. Each online student is assigned their own academic adviser to help with program planning, academic requirements, class registration, and more.

Concordia University

Logo of Concordia University Wisconsin featuring a stylized blue shield with a book, the university name in blue text, and "Wisconsin" in smaller letters below.

Along with the many public schools that make up the UW system, Wisconsin is home to a number of private colleges and universities offering quality, fully accredited online master’s degree programs. Among the most prominent is Lutheran-affiliated Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW). Through its online portal, CUW offers a surprisingly large number of Wisconsin online graduate programs in a range of disciplines, including business, education, nursing, social sciences, and more.

Most master’s programs are fully online and feature asynchronous formats, meaning students can log on and complete their coursework at any time. Programs feature surprisingly affordable per-credit tuition rates in the $600s, making them competitive in price with public university master’s programs. And to help with paying for their programs, CUW now offers a variety of scholarship opportunities exclusively for adult and post-traditional learners, resulting in thousands of dollars in savings for qualifying online master’s students.

Explore Different Formats for Your Online Master’s Program

Wisconsin online graduate programs, like their traditional campus-based counterparts, come in a variety of formats to help students tailor their studies to meet their individual needs and preferences. Here’s a look at some of the most common formats you’ll find during your search of online master’s programs in WI. See which works best for you.

Full-time Online Master’s Programs in Wisconsin

We explained earlier that online master’s programs in WI are designed with working students in mind, and that often translates into part-time formats. It doesn’t mean, however, that full-time programs aren’t available. They are — just not as often as part-time ones. Full-time program lengths vary from program to program. Nevertheless, you’ll find that most can be completed in about two years — sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

Examples of full-time online master’s programs in WI include the Master of Social Work at UW-Green Bay and the Master of Public Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin. You’ll notice that both of these programs are offered full-time and part-time, which is something you’ll find with many Wisconsin online graduate programs.

Part-time Online Master’s Programs in Wisconsin

As we’ve been hinting, students looking for part-time master’s programs in Wisconsin are in luck. In fact, if there’s an online master’s program in WI in the specific major you want, there’s likely to be at least one school offering it in a part-time format. Like full-time programs, part-time program lengths vary but most are completed in three to four years.

Examples of Wisconsin online graduate programs with part-time options include Marian University’s MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Track and UW-Eau Claire’s MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

No-GRE Online Master’s Programs in Wisconsin

It used to be that taking the GRE was a given for admissions into any master’s degree program. Those days are gone. A growing number of schools are simply eliminating GRE requirements or requiring the GRE only of students who don’t meet other admissions standards. That’s certainly true of many (maybe most) online master’s programs in Wisconsin. Examples of online master’s programs in WI with no GRE requirement include the MS in Education program at UW-Superior and all 10 fully online master’s programs at UW-Platteville. But there are lots more.

To learn more about earning your online master’s without having to take the GRE, visit OMD’s guide to the Best Online Master’s Programs with No GRE Requirements.

Accelerated Online Master’s Programs in Wisconsin

When it comes to degree programs, “accelerated” can mean a number of things. In some cases, an accelerated master’s degree program is one in which students complete both their bachelor’s and master’s in a combined format that allows them to share some coursework between the two degrees. UW-Platteville, for example, offers several such online programs through its Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Pathway.

In other cases, “accelerated” refers to programs with shortened lengths for individual courses. For example, the MS in Health Care Administration (HCA) Online program at Marian University features courses offered in an accelerated seven-week format, as opposed to a standard 15-week format.

Whatever the details, the goal of most accelerated online master’s programs in Wisconsin is the same: to provide their students the opportunity to shorten their entire program’s length. So, in regard to UW-Platteville’s Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s programs, students are able to earn their master’s degrees by continuing their studies for as few as three additional terms beyond their bachelor’s. And students in Marian University’s accelerated HCA Master’s program can complete their degrees in 15 to 18 months. Other accelerated online master’s programs in WI can be completed in as little as one year.

Online Master’s Degrees for Consideration in WI

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The master of business administration may be the single most popular master’s in the field of business — or, for that matter, in any field. And you’ll find tons of MBA online programs in Wisconsin, most with a number of specialization options. You’ll also find that most of these programs are offered 100% online.

For more on finding and succeeding in a great online MBA program, be sure to visit OMD’s guide to the Top Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

MS in Cybersecurity

Computer science has been among the hottest career fields for some time now. And today, cybersecurity is one of the hottest specializations within the computer science field. That’s because the incidence of hacking, data breaches, and other cybercrimes has reached new heights, resulting in more and more companies relying on cybersecurity professionals to catch and stop potential threats before they can do their damage. And that, in turn, is why Wisconsin online graduate programs in cybersecurity have become so popular.

To learn more about online computer science master’s programs, visit OMD’s Top Online Master’s Degrees in Computer Science guide.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Social Work (MSW)

An online master’s in social work degree prepares its students for advanced social work practice in an array of jobs and practice settings working with individuals, families, groups, and even entire communities. Most programs offer mandatory or optional coursework that can be credited toward licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licensure. You’ll find both fully online and hybrid-formatted programs as well as both full-time and part-time options available for online MSW programs in Wisconsin.

If you think earning an MSW degree online might be in your future, be sure to check out the OMD guide to the Best Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Online Programs.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

MS in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) are RNs with advanced and specialized training in family practice. FNPs are often the primary care providers for individuals and families across all genders, lifespans, demographics, and diseases. Coursework in online MSN programs for Family Nurse Practitioners in Wisconsin may be offered 100% online or in a hybrid format. All FNP programs, however, include substantial in-person clinical hour requirements.

FNP master’s programs are far from the only type of MSN degrees available online. To learn more about online MSN programs, visit OMD’s Best Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) Programs guide.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Master of Sports Management & Administration

A master’s degree in sports management or administration provides students with advanced leadership training to prepare them for careers in professional, collegiate, amateur, and recreational sports — from coaches, athletic directors, and facilities managers to sports agents, marketing consultants, and media relations specialists. Both fully and partially online sports management master’s programs are available in Wisconsin.

For more on how you can earn your sports management or administration master’s online, be sure to check out OMD’s guide to today’s Top Online Sports Management Master’s Degree Programs.

Quality Examples of Online Programs

Price of Tuition for an Online Master’s in Wisconsin

One thing that all college degree programs have in common — whether online or on-campus — is that they all require a major financial commitment. It’s important, therefore, that you have a clear and detailed understanding of all costs involved in your degree program, including how you plan to pay for it (aka financial aid) before you enroll.

To give you a better idea of the range of costs for Wisconsin online graduate programs, we’ve listed below the current per-credit tuition rates for three programs. Keep in mind, though, that your total program cost will be higher once you include additional fees and/or the costs of books, supplies, Internet service, etc.

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










Wisconsin Graduate Program Funding Options

Not surprisingly, specific financial aid opportunities for online master’s programs in WI vary from discipline to discipline and from program to program. Nevertheless, you’ll find that the full range of funding resources is available to qualifying Wisconsin online master’s students. That includes scholarships and grants, fellowships and assistantships, work-study programs, VA benefits, and the ever-popular student loan.

Most likely the best place to start your funding search is with the financial aid offices at the colleges and universities offering the master’s programs you’re considering. You’ll also find lots of valuable information on school financial aid websites. Examples include:

And be sure to check out OMD’s many resources on funding your online master’s education, including:

Top Careers for Master’s Degree Holders in Wisconsin

Career advancement is a big part of what getting a master’s is all about. That advancement can mean moving into leadership positions in your current job or switching over to an entirely new career path. One big thing it almost always means is more money. For example, according to Payscale.com(October 2023), the average annual salary for master’s degree holders is $83,000, as compared to bachelor’s degree holders who average $72,000 per year. That’s an increase of over 15%.

To dig into the details a bit more, we’ve listed below five high-paying careers with significant growth potential that normally require a master’s degree. Included are recent salary and job growth figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. Keep in mind, however, that what you actually earn with your newly obtained master’s will depend on a number of factors, including your specific job title and employer, as well as your geographic location.


Working in a range of government and private health settings, epidemiologists are public health professionals focused on investigating the causes of diseases and developing strategies for preventing and stopping their spread. A master’s in public health with a concentration in epidemiology is commonly required for entry into the profession.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$75,080 30.8% Master of Public Health

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022; Projections Central, 2021

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are highly skilled mental health professionals who diagnose and treat emotional and mental health disorders of individuals and couples within the context of their relationships, marriages, and family systems. You’ll need a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, substantial post-degree supervised clinical training, and a state license to practice as an MFT.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$63,110 16.3% MA or MS in Marriage and Family Therapy

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022; Projections Central, 2021

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced training who provide primary and specialized care to individual patients and their families. Most nurse practitioners earn their MSN degrees in a specialized field that focuses on a particular population of patients. Common specializations include adult-gerontology, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and women’s health nurse practitioner.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$121,210 52.2% MSN Nurse Practitioner

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022; Projections Central, 2021

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists are licensed health professionals who provide treatment and interventions to help patients with temporary injuries and illnesses to recover from their physical issues, as well as patients with permanent disabilities to live better, more productive lives. Occupational therapists must have a master’s degree in occupational therapy (including completion of substantial hands-on field experiences) and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam to obtain the state licensure required for practice.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$82,080 17.5% MS in Occupational Therapy

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022; Projections Central, 2021


Statisticians are professionals who collect and, through the use of statistical models and methods, analyze and apply data to solve real-world problems in business, government, medicine, the physical and environmental sciences, and more. Some entry-level positions may require only a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, but advancement in the profession requires obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree in data science or statistics.

State Median Annual Pay National Job Outlook Related Master’s Degree
$88,480 35.5% MS in Statistics or Data Science

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022; Projections Central, 2021