09 Free Online Master’s Degree Programs in 2023

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In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the pursuit of a master’s degree has become a transformative journey accessible to a broader audience than ever before.

In this article, we unveil the 9 best free online master’s degree programs for 2023, breaking down the details, requirements, and opportunities that await prospective students.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MITx) – MicroMaster’s in Principles of Manufacturing

MITx offers a MicroMaster’s program aimed at professionals seeking career advancement in manufacturing. This program is presented by MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department, a globally renowned institution. The best part? The entire course is free, with a nominal fee ($1,260) for certificate verification.

  • Courses: Manufacturing process control, supply chain for manufacturing, manufacturing systems, and management in manufacturing.
  • Courses: 8
  • Duration: One semester
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.3%

2. The University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education – Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Online

Designed for aspiring K-12 teachers, the University of Southern California’s MAT program imparts foundational knowledge in both theoretical and practical teaching aspects. While not tuition-free, this program offers various scholarship options, including the James Madison Graduate Fellowship, which covers full tuition for aspiring secondary school educators.

  • Credit Hours: 28
  • Duration: 1 to 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 16.1%
  • Financial Aid: Scholarships available

3. University of Illinois – Graduate Courses on Coursera

The University of Illinois offers an alternative path for graduate education through Coursera, an online platform. While it doesn’t provide free online master’s degrees, it grants access to free or low-cost courses. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow students to earn credits for various graduate programs, offering course completion certificates to bolster resumes.

  • Courses: Master of Science in Management, Master of Computer Science, Master of Science in Accountancy, and Master of Business Administration.
  • Credit Hours: Vary by course
  • Duration: Vary by course
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

4. University of the People, School of Education – Online Master of Education in Advanced Teaching

The University of the People, a trailblazer in making quality education universally accessible, offers a tuition-free Online Master of Education in Advanced Teaching. While the program itself is free, applicants need to budget for a $60 application fee and a $300 assessment fee at the conclusion of each course. This master’s degree offers two specializations: Elementary/Middle School Education and Secondary Education, covering subjects such as human development, teaching and learning theory, behavior management, and assessment of learning.

  • Credit Hours: 39
  • Duration: 1.5 to 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

5. University of the People, School of Computer Science – Online Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

The University of the People extends its commitment to accessible education with the tuition-free Online Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT). This program equips students with essential skills to navigate the intersections of information technology, communication, and business. Applicants are required to pay a $60 application fee and a $300 assessment fee per course.

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Duration: 1 to 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

6. The University of Texas at Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Management – Online Master’s in Business Analytics (Data Science Focus)

The University of Texas at Dallas offers a Master’s in Business Analytics that focuses on data science, covering cutting-edge technologies such as Python, R, Hadoop, SAS, SAP, Spark, and AI. Scholarships of up to $15,000 are available, significantly reducing tuition fees. This program promises a high return on investment, opening doors to lucrative career opportunities.

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Financial Aid: Scholarships cover nearly 100% of tuition
  • Acceptance Rate: 78.6%

7. IICSE University – MA in English Language and Literature

IICSE University, a fully digital institution, offers a tuition-free MA in English Language and Literature. While tuition and study resources come at no cost, there is a one-time application fee of $45 and a $50 fee per exam. This program delves into the intricate connections between language and literature, exploring various periods in English literature, theoretical approaches, and research methodologies.

  • Courses: History of literature, poetry, Shakespeare studies, and drama.
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Costs: Up to $1,200
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

8. Fort Hays State University – Master of Professional Studies in Human Resource Management

Fort Hays State University offers the Master of Professional Studies with an emphasis on Human Resource Management. While not entirely tuition-free, FHSU boasts some of the lowest tuition rates in the country. The program allows students to develop advanced professional skills in their chosen field, including coursework and a major project.

  • Courses: Research and practice in global HR, organizational leadership, employment law, and conflict management through communication.
  • Credit Hours: 30
  • Acceptance Rate: 91.1%

9. University of West Georgia – Master of Science in Digital and Social Media Communication

The University of West Georgia offers the Master of Science in Digital and Social Media Communication, renowned for its affordability. Although not entirely tuition-free, this program provides cost-effective education. It hones critical thinking and strategic skills, delving into strategies, analytics, and legal aspects of digital communication and social media.

  • Courses: Content creation, analytics, and strategic communication.
  • Credit Hours: 30
  • Duration: 1 to 2 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 59.5%


Are These Master’s Degree Programs Really Free?

Yes, most of the programs listed in this article offer tuition-free master’s degrees. However, some may have minor associated fees for application, assessment, or certification. Always check the specific program’s details for any applicable fees.

What Are the Admission Requirements for These Programs?

Admission requirements vary by institution and program. Generally, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and may be required to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Review each program’s admission criteria on their respective websites for detailed information.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master’s Degree Online?

The duration of online master’s degree programs can vary widely, typically ranging from 1 to 5 years, depending on factors like program structure, course load, and your personal schedule. Be sure to check the program’s specific timeline and flexibility options.

Can International Students Enroll in These Programs?

Many of the programs on this list are open to international students. However, it’s essential to review the program’s admission policies and ensure you meet any English language proficiency requirements if applicable.

Do These Programs Offer Financial Aid or Scholarships?

Some programs do offer financial aid or scholarships to help cover expenses such as books or additional fees. Be sure to explore the financial aid options provided by each institution and program.

Can I Transfer Credits to These Programs?

Transfer credit policies vary among institutions and programs. Some may accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions, while others may have limitations. Contact the program’s admissions or academic advisors for guidance on credit transfer.

Do I Need to Be Online at Specific Times for Classes?

Online master’s programs often offer flexibility, allowing you to complete coursework at your own pace. However, some courses may have specific deadlines or live sessions. Check the program’s structure and requirements to understand any time commitments.

Are These Degrees Recognized by Employers?

Most of the programs listed in this article are offered by reputable institutions and are recognized by employers. However, it’s essential to research the specific industry or field you plan to work in and ensure that the degree aligns with your career goals.

Can I Work While Pursuing These Master’s Degrees?

Many online master’s programs are designed to accommodate working professionals. The flexibility of online learning allows you to balance work and studies, making it feasible to pursue a degree while working.

How Can I Apply for These Programs?

To apply for these programs, visit the respective institution’s website and navigate to the admissions section. Follow the application instructions provided, which typically include filling out an online application, submitting required documents, and paying any applicable fees.

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