Cheap online master's degree programs

Pursuing graduate education can be frustrating and expensive while working full-time and facing the rising costs of living. Online colleges and universities offer flexible programs and the ability to continue working while gaining another degree.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University is a fully online university accredited by not just one but four regional accrediting agencies. Originally created to meet the demand of rural students in the Western United States, WGU has established a reputation as being not only affordable, but flexible, allowing students to work at their own pace instead of using traditional course schedules. Western Governors offers graduate programs in education, business administration, information technology, health-care management, and nursing. Semesters are six months long and cost about £1,950, but students can take as many classes as they can complete in each semester.

Western Governors University

4001 South 700 East, Suite 700

Salt Lake City, UT 84107-2533


Northcentral University

Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northcentral University offers a large number of graduate degrees in education, business, marketing, human resources, information technology, criminal justice, psychology, and marriage and family counselling. Each semester costs about £715 to £1,300 depending on the degree program chosen, and payment plans are available.

Northcentral University

10000 E. University Drive

Prescott Valley, AZ 86314


Marylhurst University

Offering some unique graduate programs is Marylhurst University, a traditional university in Oregon with a solid online education program. Marylhurst has master's programs in sustainable business, business administration, art therapy, divinity, interdisciplinary studies and education. Tuition is about £3,900 a semester, but the college offer a prior learning assessment program that converts life and work experience into college credits, which can greatly reduce the length and cost of a graduate program.

Marylhurst University

17600 Pacific Highway

P.O. Box 261

Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261


Valdosta State University

A public state university in Georgia, Valdosta State has earned a wide reputation for its affordable online graduate programs. It offers online graduate programs in special education, library science, social work, business administration and public administration. As a side note, it also has an innovative two-year online foundational undergraduate program that functions as a two-year community college program. The tuition for a full-time online student is about £2,275 per semester.

Valdosta State University

Valdosta, GA 31698-0170


In-state universities

Consider a public college or university in your state that offers instate tuition. Most larger colleges and universities, as well as some smaller public colleges, now have full online and distance education programs, and many offer a complete roster of academic degrees and programs. In-state tuition at most colleges is generally much less expensive than any private or out-of-state university.

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About the Author

In 2010, Michelle Clark started writing education articles on teaching and learning activities for eHow and Answerbag. She has a Bachelor of Science in religion, a post-baccalaureate certificate in K-8 education from Western Governor's University, and is a certified elementary and middle-grades teacher, with middle-grades specialization in social studies and language arts. Clark also has done graduate work in sociology and intercultural studies.