What is a master’s degree?
A master’s degree is a major milestone of graduate work in which an individual has demonstrated mastery of a specific field of study or professional practice. A master’s degree typically requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Common skills required of a graduate student include academic writing, critical thinking and reading comprehension. At the completion of a master’s degree, students are expected to hold advanced knowledge of a subject and demonstrate analysis, evaluation, or professional application of the subject. An online master’s degree is a master’s degree that can be obtained through a fully online course of study.
Can I get a master’s degree online?
Yes. UCF Online offers 30+ fully online master’s degrees. Admission into an online master’s degree program at the University of Central Florida requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or recognized foreign institution, and a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in a bachelor’s program or in the last 60 attempted credit hours of undergraduate studies.
Some programs also may require you to take the Graduate Readiness Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Much like the SAT or ACT assesses undergraduate readiness, the GRE and GMAT are designed to evaluate your ability to cope with graduate level work. It is recommended to review all admission requirements, including required exams, as you plan for your future in graduate studies.
Is an online master’s degree recognized?
Yes. UCF’s online master’s degrees are recognized and valued the same as the face-to-face alternative. The University of Central Florida is a SACSCOS accredited institution and is a leader in education, research and partnerships. The online master is simply an alternative mode to receiving instruction that allows for additional flexibility in scheduling. The online courses are taught by the same instructors as the face-to-face/in-person degree pathway. Many online courses are mixed with online-only and in-person students.
In addition to SACSCOC accreditation, many of our online master’s degree programs maintain accreditations from their respective industry accrediting bodies. These specialized accreditations are awarded to programs that meet industry standards in their curriculum. Programs that have industry accreditations include:
- Master of Social Work Online MSW, accredited by CSWE
- Online Executive Master of Health Administration, accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
- Online Healthcare Informatics, PSM, accredited by CAHIIM
Will my master's diploma say “online”?
When you receive your diploma, it will not make a distinction between online or face-to-face. Your master’s degree will be that – a master’s degree. A master’s degree from the University of Central Florida carries weight. With graduates spanning the hospitality, engineering and health care industries, UCF is fulfilling demand for critical, high-value jobs across the state.
Are online master’s degrees different than face-to-face degrees?
Students who enroll in an online master’s degree will receive the same quality education as those who enroll in the same program in a face-to-face/in-person format. The biggest difference between receiving your master’s degree online or face-to-face is the format in which you receive instruction. If you enroll in a fully online graduate degree programs, all course-related instruction will be conducted entirely online. While course instruction will be internet-based, some online programs require experiential learning experiences such as practicums or clinicals. These are intensive internships that provide students with in-field training.
Since course instruction is entirely online, fully online graduate degree programs allows you to schedule courses when they are convenient for you. Unlike face-to-face courses, which require you to be on campus at a certain day and time, fully online courses are flexible and can fit into busy schedules.
Pursuing your graduate degree online requires some unique studying skillsets than that of the face-to-face alternative. For instance, many UCF Online graduates cite time management as being a constant hurdle to overcome. Many online courses are on-demand and self-paced, requiring you to set aside time to dedicate to your studies. Successful UCF Online graduates report that dedicating a consistent time and place for studying helped them on the road to graduation.
How long does it take to earn a master’s degree online?
The speed at which you can complete a degree depends on the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in. The time required to complete an online master’s degree varies between 30 and 63 credit hours depending on the program. Additionally, some programs require a specific sequencing of courses or have accelerated terms. These variables will impact the speed at which you can complete your degree.
A graduate student is considered full-time when enrolling in nine credit hours per semester. At full-time, a student can complete a 30-credit-hour online master’s degree in as little as four semesters, or a year and a half.
According to the UCF graduate catalog, students enrolled in a UCF Online graduate program are required to finish their degree within seven years from the date of their admission. This encourages students to progress through their master’s program at a good pace and prevents information being studied from becoming obsolete during the course of study.
How much will an online master’s degree cost?
Enrolling in master’s programs online through UCF Online costs less than UCF’s in-person master’s degree. UCF Online master’s students save $42.33 per credit hour compared to on-campus master’s students. View a full breakdown of tuition costs for UCF Online students.
The total cost will vary depending on your residency status.
Florida residents, for example, pay $327.32 per credit hour for a UCF Online master’s degree. The estimated tuition for Florida residents pursuing an online master’s degree full-time is $8,837.64 per year (27 total credit hours taken). Compared to a full-time, in-person student, in-state residents enrolled in one of UCF’s accredited online masters programs will save $1,142.91 a year.
Likewise, out-ofstate residents pay $1,151.72 per credit hour. The estimated tuition for out-of-state residents enrolled full-time is $31,096.44 per year (27 total credit hours taken). Compared to a full-time, in-person student, out-of-state residents will save $1,142.91 a year.
UCF Online also offers a number of special-tuition online master’s degrees. The tuition costs for these programs are set by their respective department to be competitive with similar programs across the nation. As such, the tuition for each program is different than that of the general education’s programs. The tuition costs of special tuition programs are typically the same for in-state and out-of-state students. These degrees and their associated cost per credit are:
- Master of Social Work (MSW) Program, Online Track | $487.45/credit
- Master of Science in Health Sciences – Executive Health Services Administration | $772.69/credit
- Master of Science in Healthcare Systems Engineering | $1,239.16/credit
- Professional Science Master’s Program in Health Care Informatics | $772.69/credit
- Master of Nonprofit Management (non-resident cohorts) | $440.62/credit
- Master of Science in Research Administration | $641.22/credit
In addition to tuition costs, you should also consider the cost of class materials, books, lodging and other living expenses. These costs are not included in tuition. Please see Financial Aid’s Cost of Attendance page for a breakdown of estimated living expenses.