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Online Master’s Programs California

Many public and private universities in California offer accredited online master’s programs in various subjects.

Key Takeaways

  • Diverse Options: California schools offer tuition choices for different budgets, including public and private universities.
  • Strong Careers: Graduates enjoy competitive salaries, especially in fields like cyber security and business.
  • Online Flexibility: Many schools provide online Master’s degrees, ideal for working professionals.

These programs provide working professionals with the flexibility to advance their education and careers remotely.

Here’s a guide to popular programs, top schools, benefits, and considerations for pursuing an online master’s degree in California.

Popular Programs

  1. Business (MBA)
  2. Education (MEd, MAT)
  3. Nursing (MSN)
  4. Computer Science
  5. Psychology (MA)
  6. Public Administration (MPA)

Benefits

  • No campus visits required for fully online programs
  • Flexible scheduling for self-paced work
  • Often cheaper tuition rates compared to on-campus options
  • Access to networking and career advancement opportunities

Considerations

  • Ensure the program and school are properly accredited
  • Confirm if any residencies or in-person check-ins are mandatory
  • Research post-graduation job prospects in your chosen field

Best Online Master’s Programs in California

San Diego State University

  • Tuition + fees: $9,570
  • Acceptance: 38%
  • Graduation: 76%
  • Student body: 34,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1195/25
  • Cost of Degree: $9,570
  • Expenses: $23,348
  • Starting Salary: $48,151
  • Salary after 4 years: $60,577
  • Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MA in Teacher Leadership, Master of Public Health, Master of Public Administration, MS in Big Data Analytics, MS in Computer Engineering

San Diego State University offers an affordable Cost of Degree at $9,570, making it an attractive option for students seeking a budget-friendly education. With a diverse student body of 34,000 and a 76% graduation rate, SDSU provides a vibrant learning environment. The university’s programs, including teacher leadership and public health, cater to various career aspirations. Graduates can expect to start their careers with a salary of $48,151 and earn $60,577 after four years, typically recouping their educational expenses within 7 years.

University of California, Irvine

  • Tuition + fees: $13,356
  • Acceptance: 29%
  • Graduation: 84%
  • Student body: 37,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1330/29
  • Cost of Degree: $13,356
  • Expenses: $22,527
  • Starting Salary: $48,940
  • Salary after 4 years: $73,247
  • Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MA in Criminology, Master of Legal and Forensic Psychology, MS in Computer Engineering, MS in Electrical Engineering

The University of California, Irvine, offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree amounting to $13,356, providing students with affordable education options. With a diverse student body of 37,000 and an 84% graduation rate, UCI offers a dynamic academic environment. Programs like criminology and computer engineering cater to various career paths. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $48,940, increasing to $73,247 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 6 years.

California State University, Fresno

  • Tuition + fees: $15,675
  • Acceptance: 97%
  • Graduation: 57%
  • Student body: 22,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 995/18
  • Cost of Degree: $15,675
  • Expenses: $23,348
  • Starting Salary: $46,708
  • Salary after 4 years: $62,481
  • Cost Recoup Time: 5 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MS in Water Resource Management, MA in Deaf Education, MA in Teaching

California State University, Fresno, offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree totaling $15,675, making it a cost-effective choice for students. With a high acceptance rate of 97%, CSU Fresno provides accessible graduate education to a student body of 22,000. Programs like water resource management and teaching cater to various career paths. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $46,708, earning $62,481 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 5 years.

California State University, Chico

  • Tuition + fees: $18,258
  • Acceptance: 85%
  • Graduation: 65%
  • Student body: 15,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1070/21
  • Cost of Degree: $18,258
  • Expenses: $18,258
  • Starting Salary: $42,228
  • Salary after 4 years: $58,317
  • Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MS in Nursing

California State University, Chico, offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree amounting to $18,258. With a respectable acceptance rate of 85%, CSU Chico provides accessible graduate education to a student body of 15,000. The program in nursing caters to those pursuing a career in healthcare. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $42,228, earning $58,317 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 6 years.

Biola University

  • Tuition + fees: $27,124
  • Acceptance: 61%
  • Graduation: 70%
  • Student body: 5,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1180/25
  • Cost of Degree: $27,124
  • Expenses: $15,118
  • Starting Salary: $41,932
  • Salary after 4 years: $50,791
  • Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: Master of Business Administration (MBA), MA in Public Relations and Reputation Management, MS in Curriculum, Instruction, and Publication, MA in Education, MS in Special Education

Biola University offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree totaling $27,124. With a student body of 5,000 and a 70% graduation rate, Biola provides a personalized learning environment. The university offers a variety of programs, including business administration and special education. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $41,932, earning $50,791 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 6 years.

National University

  • Tuition + fees: $30,990
  • Acceptance: Not provided
  • Graduation: Not provided
  • Student body: Not provided
  • Median SAT/ACT: Not provided
  • Cost of Degree: $30,990
  • Expenses: $15,510
  • Starting Salary: $87,111
  • Salary after 4 years: $106,536
  • Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MA in Dispute Resolution, MS in Human Resource Management, Master of Business Administration (MBA), MA in Public Administration, MS in Health Sciences

National University offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree amounting to $30,990, providing students with accessible graduate education. While specific acceptance and graduation rates were not provided, NU’s programs in dispute resolution, human resource management, and public administration are tailored to diverse career paths. Graduates typically start their careers with a substantial salary of $87,111, earning $106,536 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 6 years.

Pepperdine University

  • Tuition + fees: $57,870
  • Acceptance: 53%
  • Graduation: 83%
  • Student body: 10,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1320/30
  • Cost of Degree: $57,870
  • Expenses: $27,105
  • Starting Salary: $53,179
  • Salary after 4 years: $73,333
  • Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Policy, MS in Human Resources

Pepperdine University offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree totaling $57,870, providing students with a prestigious education. With an acceptance rate of 53% and a graduation rate of 83%, Pepperdine offers a high-quality academic experience. The university’s programs, including business administration and public policy, cater to various career aspirations. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $53,179, earning $73,333 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 7 years.

University of San Diego

  • Tuition + fees: $48,739
  • Acceptance: 54%
  • Graduation: 80%
  • Student body: 9,000
  • Median SAT/ACT: 1310/29
  • Cost of Degree: $48,739
  • Expenses: $22,680
  • Starting Salary: $54,298
  • Salary after 4 years: $74,875
  • Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: MS in Cyber Security Engineering, MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership, MA in Education

The University of San Diego offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree amounting to $48,739, providing students with a high-quality education. With an acceptance rate of 54% and a graduation rate of 80%, USD offers a rigorous academic environment. Programs like cyber security engineering and law enforcement leadership cater to diverse career paths. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $54,298, earning $74,875 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 7 years.

Golden Gate University

  • Tuition + fees: $35,385
  • Acceptance: Not provided
  • Graduation: Not provided
  • Student body: Not provided
  • Median SAT/ACT: Not provided
  • Cost of Degree: $35,385
  • Expenses: $23,808
  • Starting Salary: $54,103
  • Salary after 4 years: $70,419
  • Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
  • Online Master’s Degrees: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), MS in Accounting, MS in Business Analytics, MS in Finance

Golden Gate University offers online Master’s programs with a Cost of Degree totaling $35,385, providing students with accessible graduate education. While specific acceptance and graduation rates were not provided, GGU’s programs in business administration, public administration, and finance are tailored to diverse career paths. Graduates typically start their careers with a salary of $54,103, earning $70,419 after four years, often recouping their educational expenses within 6 years.

Insights and Analysis: Best Online Master’s in California

Affordability:

  • California State University Schools, including San Diego State University, California State University, Fresno, and California State University, Chico, offer the most affordable Cost of Degree ranging from $9,570 to $18,258.
  • Biola University and National University, though not as budget-friendly, still provide relatively lower-cost degree options compared to private institutions like Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego.

Acceptance Rates and Student Body:

  • San Diego State University has a competitive acceptance rate of 38%, while California State University, Fresno boasts a high acceptance rate of 97%.
  • National University did not provide specific acceptance and graduation rates, making it challenging to assess its selectivity and graduation outcomes.
  • Private institutions like Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego exhibit moderate acceptance rates, reflecting their selective admissions processes.

Graduation Rates:

  • University of California, Irvine, leads in graduation rates with 84%, followed by the University of San Diego at 80%.
  • California State University, Fresno, has a graduation rate of 57%, which is lower compared to other public institutions like San Diego State University (76%) and California State University, Chico (65%).
  • National University did not provide specific graduation rate data, leaving a gap in assessing the success of its students in completing their programs.

Program Diversity:

  • National University and Biola University offer a broad range of online Master’s programs, catering to various career paths, from business administration to education.
  • Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego focus on specific areas such as business and law enforcement leadership, reflecting their niche program offerings.

Return on Investment (ROI):

  • National University stands out with a high starting salary of $87,111, potentially indicating strong career outcomes for its graduates.
  • Graduates from private institutions like Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego typically command higher starting salaries but also face longer cost recoup times due to their higher tuition costs.

Online Learning Options:

  • All the mentioned universities offer online Master’s degrees, providing flexibility for working professionals and students seeking remote education.

In summary, while affordability is a key consideration for many students, factors like acceptance rates, graduation rates, program diversity, and ROI should also be weighed when selecting an institution for pursuing an online Master’s degree. Each university has its strengths and unique characteristics, making it important for prospective students to align their educational goals with the offerings and outcomes of their chosen institution.