Getting your Graduate degree is not just a huge financial commitment; it’s a great commitment of your time as well. You want to make sure that you truly understand your reasons for attending before spending all of that money and time to pursue an advanced degree.
On average, getting a Masters degree generally takes between 2 and 3 years. There are some factors that could change how long you spend pursuing that degree.
Some programs are more involved than others. The intensity of the program can be one of the things that determine how extensive the time commitment you are making is. Some accelerated programs can be completed in 12-18 months, while part time attendance could take three or more years. If you are interested in a thirty or forty hour program, you may be able to complete those hours more quickly depending on how hard you are willing to work.
In the same respect as the time intensity, you may find that the program you are applying for or interested in is structured to where you must complete particular courses at specific times and in a specified order. Those courses may only be available at those predetermined times. However, there will be some programs that are more flexible. Some programs allow you to take a full load of courses and potentially complete the program faster. Completing these programs faster than average depends on how hard you want to push yourself.
Generally speaking, you have much more flexibility with an online program than you do on campus. You can work on courses anytime, and fit your school into an already busy schedule that you may have with work or home. You may need to participate in online tests or meet deadlines at specific times, but for the most part, you will not be dealing with the same structure as a program on campus might present. However, do not take your time commitment lightly, as the unstructured nature of online classes may lull you into false confidence of time management. Time not spent commuting to campus is better invested in improved studying and total productivity instead of surfing Face Book.
Based on your pre-existing schedule, you need to determine how much time you are willing and able to commit. This parameters outlined are important to consider while choosing the type of graduate program to pursue and estimating how quickly it may be completed. If you have the opportunity to take a full load of courses and you are willing to commit yourself to that, you can complete a program in less time. Reducing the amount of time necessary to complete school is turned into increased time to succeed outside the class room.