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How long does it take to earn an online master’s degree

December 08, 2016 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
Are you considering pursuing a graduate degree online? If so, we can help. We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about earning a master's degree online at Arizona State University, such as how long does it take.

Arizona State University offers more than 80 online master’s degrees, doctorate programs and graduate certificate programs. These fully online programs offer busy professionals and students the opportunity and flexibility to elevate their education and career opportunities on a timeline that works for them.

So just how flexible are they? How long will it take you to earn your master’s degree? Should you be worried an online master’s degree isn’t prestigious? (Spoiler: No)

We cover those and more of the most commonly asked questions about earning an online graduate degree below.

How long does it take to get a master’s degree online?

A graduate degree is 30 credit hours, which is 10, 3-credit courses. Most students complete their graduate degrees in 18-24 months. The maximum time allowed to complete your master’s program is six years.

But ultimately, the time it takes to complete the program depends on how many courses you take throughout the academic year. Busy professionals are likely to take fewer courses per semester, while full-time students will take more. It’s up to you! Do what’s best for your schedule and goals.

Please note, though: Graduate students who wish to take a break of a full semester or longer should consult with their advisor to ensure appropriate protocols are followed and you’re not declared ineligible for future semesters.

How long does it take to earn a doctorate degree online at ASU?

ASU offers a few online doctoral degrees. They are more robust and do take longer — approximately five years for the EdD.

Does ASU offer any expedited online master’s programs?

There is not a way to expedite your program if you’re only getting a master’s degree other than taking the maximum of 18 credit hours per semester. But keep in mind, taking on more than six credit hours per semester is a heavy load at the graduate level.

For those looking to earn both an undergrad and graduate degree, ASU’s 4+1 programs allow you to complete both in five years total.

Is an online master’s degree respected?

Absolutely. Your degree from ASU Online is taught by the same esteemed faculty as the on-campus programs and your diploma and transcript do not denote you earned the degree online. The rigor and quality of the content, as well as the course load, are the same as the on-campus classes. The online master’s degrees, and all degrees offered at ASU Online, are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission in all regional locations via distance education.

“Many of our faculty and leadership have worked diligently to prove that learning efficacy and student outcomes are maintained on all modalities,” noted Casey Evans, senior director of strategic learner and program mobilization at EdPlus at ASU. “Your online graduate degree has the same content taught by the same faculty as its on-campus program.”

Does an ASU Online master’s degree or doctorate degree say “online” on the diploma?

It will not. ASU Online graduates receive a diploma from Arizona State University, same as students who earn their degrees on campus. Neither your diploma nor transcripts will note that it’s an online degree.

What are some of ASU’s most popular online master’s programs?

These are some of the most popular online graduate programs at ASU:

Learn more about ASU Online’s graduate programs.


About ASU Online

Earn your degree completely online from the nation's most innovative university. ASU Online offers more than 200 degree programs and certificates in high-demand areas such as nursing, engineering, business, education and more. Explore all of our areas of study.

Our offerings include:

  • Elite expertise and research.
  • Innovative curriculum design.
  • Superior student support services.

Learn more at our about us page. And follow ASU Online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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