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one year masters programs in california

Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by

The internet has given us a great many amazing things, but the revolution it has created in higher education may be the greatest. Working professionals who want to increase their education and credentials for promotion don’t have to spend years of their lives attending evening classes anymore. The quickest master’s degree online can be finished in less than a year, and there are even more accelerated online master’s programs that take just 15 or 18 months. They can even keep working while getting their master’s.

In fact, there are 1 year master’s programs online in just about every field, from accredited, reputable colleges and universities. From project management and finance to healthcare and nursing, education to social work and public administration, working adults and career-changing professionals looking for the shortest master’s degree programs in their field don’t have to look far or long. Best Master’s Programs has ranked the very best 1 year master’s degree programs from a variety of private and public colleges and universities.

Methodology: Ranking the Best 1 Year Master’s Programs Online

To rank the Top 15 One-Year Online Master’s Programs, did a wide-ranging search for accredited colleges and universities offering fully online master’s degrees that could be completed in as little as a year, and no more than 18 months. From our initial pool, editors narrowed down to the top 15, ranking programs by three metrics:

  • Cost (IPEDS data)
  • Reputation (NICHE review score)
  • Alumni Salary (College Scorecard data)

With these criteria, Best Master’s Programs has determined the quickest master’s degree online programs that also have the power to provide a real return on investment and a long-term career. For another way of looking at value, see BMP’s ranking of the Most Affordable Master’s Programs.

1. CSU-Global Campus

Colorado State University Global Campus’ one-year online master’s program gives students the opportunity to earn an MS in Organizational Leadership. The program is designed for mid-level executives and prepares students for dynamic leadership roles in the varied disciplines of the business world. The coursework synthesizes student experiences with conventional theories and verified strategies to assess organizational challenges, and to propose effective solutions. CSU’s executive fast track program is one of the shortest master’s degree programs with courses in communication, ethics and social responsibility.

Colorado State University is a public, non-profit school that is a members of the Colorado State University system. CSU-Global launched in 2007, designed to offer students convenient, cost-effective distance-learning degrees without the need to follow a fixed course schedule. Colorado State University’s – Global Campus online programs offer the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. CSU offers a tuition (currently unchanged for the past seven years) guarantee that locks the initial tuition rate as long as a student remains enrolled in the school. Classes begin every four weeks, which allows students to start immediately on one of the quickest master’s degree online programs possible.

Degrees: MS in Organizational Leadership
How Fast?: 15 months

2. University of North Texas – Online.UNT

The University of North Texas’s accelerated online Master’s degree programs include 9 exceptional degree programs. One-year online master’s programs are available in: Advanced Data Analytics (MS), Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.), Digital Communication Analytics (MS), Learning Technologies (MS), Education Leadership (M.Ed.), Health Services Administration (MS), Marketing (MBA), Supply Chain (MBA) and Business Management (MBA). Online programs offered by the University of North Texas can be completed entirely online. UNT offers some of the quickest master’s degree online programs in Texas.

The University of North Texas is among the largest universities in the country. Originally a private teacher’s college, UNT was bought by the state in order to fill the need for affordable public higher education in North Texas. Todaty the Carnegie Classification categorizes the University of North Texas as a Tier-1 public research university. UNT’s class of 2022’s total enrollment exceeds 38,000 students. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UNT the 4th best online graduate program in the nation. Tuition rates are based upon a student’s state of residence.


  • Master of Education
  • Master of Learning Technologies
  • MBA Strategic Management

How Fast?: 12-14 months

3. University of Texas of the Permian Basin

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s 1-year master’s programs online provide students with a comprehensive range of online degrees by collaborating with the University of Texas Online Consortium. UTPB offers ten graduate programs; seven of which are considered accelerated online master’s programs. These accelerated distance-learning degrees include: Educational Leadership (MA), Special Ed, Autism (MA), Public Administration (MA), Bilingual/ESL (MA), Special Ed (MA), Business Administration (MBA) and Business Administration – Finance. UTPB classes run seven-and-one-half weeks. They are accessible anywhere, at any time.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin was founded in 1973 as a degree-completion school for adult students. Today, UTPB’s accelerated online master’s programs offer flexible schedules for busy working professionals. The online faculty at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is the same talented educators found in their brick and mortar classrooms. U.S. News & World Report has designated UTPB’s online graduate programs 6thin the nation for Student Services and Technology. Program requirements differ based upon the selected degree program, but tuition costs remain the same for each online graduate degree.


  • Bilingual / ESL (MA in Education)
  • Educational Leadership (MA in Education)
  • Special Education (MA in Education)
  • Special Education, Autism (MA in Education)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Business Administration – Finance (MBA)
  • Public Administration (MA)

How Fast?: 12-18 months

4. University of Miami

The University of Miami (U of M) Online’s 16-month Master of Science degree in Finance is one of the shortest master’s degree programs available in Southern Florida. The MS Finance degree requires the completion of 32-credits to graduate. Students attending classes online are taught by the same preeminent faculty teaching on-campus. AACSB International has accredited U of M’s online business degrees. Students earning their MS of Finance attend one 7-week online course at a time. The MS of Finance degree includes eight graduate level courses.

The University of Miami was established in 1925 as a private research school just south of Magic City, aka Miami. U of M receives over $300 million in research grants annually, which facilitates its cutting-edge research objectives. Forbes has ranked the University of Miami among the top 53 research-oriented schools in the country. Tuition remains the same for in-state and out-of-state students. U of M participates in the Yellow Ribbon military scholarship program. The University of Miami offers many scholarships, some of which reduce tuition by as much as 30%, and Florida’s quickest master’s degree online.


  • MS in Finance

How Fast?: 16 months

5. California State University East Bay

California State University, East Bay’s accelerated online Master’s degree programs are many and varied. The MS in Education degree is a 15-month program that consists of 10 seven-week courses, while CSEB’s Master in Education Leadership degree prepares graduates to apply management and leadership skills to improve the field of education. The Master of Science in Health Care Administration is designed for working professionals who want to develop their administrative skills. CSEB’s Master of Science in Recreation and Tourism, on the other hand, explores the many and varied concepts defining the tourism industry.

Cal State East Bay is a public university that was established in 1957. The Princeton Review has acknowledged CSUEB as a Best in the West college, and East Bay has been named the most diverse university in California. The online curriculum for each master’s degree is comprehensive and challenging. Communication between faculty members and students includes videoconferencing, virtual chat rooms, email and the telephone. The master’s degree programs allow students to advance at their own pace for some of the shortest master’s degree programs online.


  • MS Education
  • MS Educational Leadership
  • MS Recreation and Tourism
  • MS in Health Care Administration

How Fast?: 15 months

6. Benedictine University Online

Benedictine University Online’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) can be finished in just 18 months by following an accelerated online master’s program. BUO’s MBA degree prepares graduates for leadership roles; ready to face the 21st century business challenges. The MBA degree offered by Benedictine University Online can be earned by completing one course each semester or by completing two courses each semester, for those students who wish to fast track their degree. The MBA program permits course waivers for previous earned credits.

Benedictine University was established in 1887. The university maintains locations in Illinois, Arizona, Vietnam, China, and cyberspace. Approximately 85% of online students continue to work full-time. Benedictine University Online maintains an accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, and its online programs have been widely cited among the best in the US. MBA online graduates are prepared to succeed in a variety of industries across the globe. The master’s degree program selected determines the tuition costs, and a student’s level of preparation determines the quickest master’s degree online.


  • Accelerated MBA

How Fast?: 18 months

7. University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley

The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley’s One-Year Online Master’s Programs include a variety of online master’s degrees. These accelerated online master’s programs include: Education, Business, Health Science, Public Affairs, Social Work and Nursing degrees. The MBA program offers specialties in Finance, and International Online Trade, among others. The education degree options include Leadership, Technology and Special Education, and still more. Nursing degree candidates can opt for Administration or Online Education concentrations. Social work programs offer an Advanced Standing degree. Health care graduate degrees include Nutrition, Informatics, Administration or Laboratory Sciences.

UTRGV, located at Texas’ most southerly tip, was established in 2013 (through the consolidation of several area schools) as a public university. Both the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Public Health programs have been nationally recognized for quality and affordability. Their fast track degree programs are affordable, flexible and convenient. The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley serves one of the largest Hispanic student bodies in the nation.


  • Business
  • Education
  • Health Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Public Affairs
  • Social Work

How Fast?: 12 months

8. Campbell University

Campbell University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree comes from their acclaimed Lundy-Fetterman School of Business. The online learning platform allows degree candidates to study at their own pace, anywhere, at any time. The same distinguished Campbell University faculty teaches students in both traditional classrooms, and online. The coursework is divided into eight-week asynchronous classes, with a rolling schedule of admissions that includes six start-dates each year. Campbell University MBA graduates lead with purpose and are prepared for the ever-changing business landscape.

Campbell University currently enrolls more North Carolina residents than other private school located in NC. CU’s distance learning coursework began through a pilot program in 1999, with the Lundy-Fetterman school leading the charge for more online degree programs, including 1 year master’s degree programs like the accelerated MBA. Tuition rates for Campbell University’s MBA program apply to in-state and out-of-state students. The MBA program requires students to complete a comprehensive field test before graduation.


  • Online MBA

How Fast?: 12 months

9. California Baptist University

California Baptist University’s accelerated online master’s programs include eleven fields of study: Accounting, Communication, Counseling, Psychology, Education (Teaching, Leadership and Early Childhood), Information Technology Management,Kinesiology, MBA (Accounting and General Management), Organizational Leadership, Public Administration, Public Health, and Public Relations. Online coursework can be completed as a full-time or a part-time student.

California Baptist University was established as a private liberal arts school in 1950; fully chartered by the state of California several years later. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked CBU’s MBA online programs #1 with regards to MBA Faculty Credentials and Training and Graduate Education Faculty Credentials and Training. Online master degrees save time and money; tuition rates vary and are based upon the program selected, but the number of 1 year master’s programs online is impressive.


  • Accounting
  • Communication
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Education – Early Childhood
  • Education – Leadership
  • Education – Teaching
  • Information Technology Management
  • Kinesiology
  • MBA – Accounting
  • MBA – General Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations

How Fast?: 12 months

10. Concordia University-Portland

Concordia University Portland’s online MA in Teaching (MAT) degree in Elementary Education or Secondary Education can be earned on a full-time basis that follows an 11-month format or on a part-time basis that follows a 22-month evening format (MAT-E) – a speed that puts one-year online master’s programs to shame. CU-P’s coursework and student teaching experiences are applied to both degree requirements, and an Oregon teaching license. Each program’s curriculum varies based upon the grade-level candidates wish to teach. Additionally, Concordia University offers MAT degree candidates the opportunity to apply for the Madison Scholars program, if eligible.

Concordia University was established 1905 as a private prep school. Today, CU is a nonprofit Lutheran liberal arts school. CU maintains several campuses in Oregon, with a law school in Boise, ID. A regional commission on universities has accredited Concordia University programs. There are numerous scholarships, endorsement scholarships, and certificates available to offset tuition costs. Those beginning their MAT at Concordia by December 3, 2019, will receive free textbooks.


  • MA in Teaching (MAT)

How Fast?: 11 months

11. Lamar University

Lamar University’s online MS in Criminal Justice degree program is a 30 credit-hour online program is designed for law enforcement professionals who wish to further their career while they continue to work. Graduates of the 1 year master’s program online in Criminal Justice will be prepared to enter the criminal justice specialties of constitutional law, correctional facilities, ethics and assessment. Criminal Justice coursework includes the exploration of the criminal justice system and the application of the various theoretical approaches to crime.

Lamar University, a member school with the Texas State University System, is located in Beaumont, TX. LU began as a junior college with students attending classes in a local high school. The online MS in Criminal Justice degree offers a variety start-dates throughout the year. Tuition rates are the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. The Carnegie Foundation has recognized Lamar University as a Doctoral Research University. Lamar University’s online degrees are consistently recognized as some of the most affordable degrees in the nation, along with one of the best one-year online master’s programs in the nation.


  • MS in Criminal Justice

How Fast?: 12 months

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