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

September 16, 2021 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
Are you considering pursuing a graduate degree online? 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 100 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? We cover these 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. While most students complete their graduate degrees in 18–24 months, the maximum completion time allowed 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: 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.


Does ASU offer any expedited online master’s programs?

While there isn’t a way to expedite your credit hours required, depending on your bachelor's degree, you may transfer credits into a program. To learn more about this option, speak with your advisor. 

You may also take up to 18 credit hours per semester, depending on your availability. Your advisor can help you determine what will work best for you and your schedule. But keep in mind, taking on more than six credit hours per semester is considered a heavy load at the graduate level.

For those looking to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree, ASU’s Accelerated Master's (formerly called 4+1) programs allow you to complete both degrees in as little as five years.


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 transcript doesn’t denote that your degree was earned online. The rigor and quality of the content, as well as the course load, are the same as the on-campus courses. 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, executive director for strategy and success 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?

No, whether you earn your master’s degree on campus or online, your diploma will say “Arizona State University.” That’s because our online degree programs are taught by the same faculty using the same curriculum as our on-campus degrees.


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 300 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, YouTube, X and Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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