Master Degrees & Graduate Schools by State

Master Degree By State

Master's Degrees Education in the United States

In the U.S. a master's degree is a postgraduate degree that is typically earned during a doctoral degree program. These degrees are referred to as "master's degree en route" and are awarded upon completion of the Ph.D. program or in lieu of the Ph.D. if the student leaves the program before completion.

However, not all master's degrees are "en route" and can be earned independently from a Ph.D. Some master's degrees are "professional" degrees and may actually be the highest level of education for that particular discipline such as Master of Fine Arts.

Admission to a master's degree can require a bachelor's degree, a minimum grade point average and a satisfactory score on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT). Make sure to check with your school of choice to determine what degree and GPA requirements programs may have and if you are required to take the GRE or GMAT for admissions.

Benefits of Online Master's Education in the U.S.

Beyond the perceived prestige some may associate with earning a master's degree in the U.S., comparable master's degrees from other countries may be offered in hybrid bachelor's degree programs as they are in the U.K.'s Integrated Master's Degree (, 2013), as independent educational programs that do not require earning a bachelor's degree as it is under the European Bologna Process, or require earning multiple postgraduate degrees as is the case in France (, 2013).

Quick Facts about Master's Education in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are about 16,459,000 people who hold a master's degree in the nation as of 2012, or about eight percent of the Census' noninstitutionalized population (, 2012). Only three million people held professional degrees, about as many as doctoral degree holders. Of the nearly 16.5 million master's degree holders in the U.S., more than 12 million are currently employed, with most working in education and health services or professional and business services sectors.

Graduates with a master's degree were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as earning about $300 a week more than graduates with a bachelor's degree in 2012 (, 2012). They also had an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, a full point less than graduates with a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, graduates with a professional degree - typically a master's degree - earned almost $700 more a week than graduates with a bachelor's and enjoyed an unemployment rate of 2.1 percent.

Universitat D'andorra, Outstanding Features -
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Mathematics, Master of mathematics -
U.S. Census Bureau, Educational Attainment, Educational Attainment in the U.S.: 2012 -
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, Employment Projections, Education Pays … 2013 -