Master’s degrees are offered by universities and colleges all over the world, but they can be very expensive.
There are also many online programs that allow students to study from home while still being able to access the same resources as an on-campus student would have access to at their university or college.
If you’re looking to obtain a Master’s degree on a budget, there are many options available. Find them below.
Master’s degree programs are one of the most popular post-graduate degrees. It is usually a two-year degree (unless otherwise stated) that helps professionals to develop their knowledge and skill set in a specific field.
The cost of obtaining a master’s degree can be quite high, but there are many cheapest universities in USA for masters that offer quality education at affordable prices.
To help you find the best university for your budget, we have compiled a list of the top 10 cheap universities in USA for master’s degrees.
Benefits of Studying for a Master’s Degree
While studying for a master’s degree can be a challenging and time-intensive experience, it is also one that can pay off in many ways.
These are some of the benefits you get from earning your master’s degree:
- You will be able to get a new job or move up in your career. A high-quality graduate program will equip you with the tools necessary to help advance your career in any area of interest.
- Master’s degrees are valuable qualifications that employers seek out when hiring new employees or promoting current staff members, which could result in higher pay when compared to others who do not have one.
- An employer may also offer tuition reimbursement programs if they see value in having employees who hold higher levels of education within their company or field of work; this may allow them more opportunity for growth and success than other candidates without these benefits included with their positions.
List of Cheapest Universities in USA to Obtain your Masters
According to a popular compilation put together by Yocket and further findings, these are the cheapest universities in USA for Masters programs, if you are looking to save money on tuition.
This list will absolutely blow your mind because these universities are top schools in the country, and still maintain a high quality of education.
Here are the cheapest universities in USA for Masters; as well as their flagship programs:
University of Houston, Texas
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Accounting, Architecture, Art & Design Courses, Pure & Applied Sciences, Engineering programs, Geophysics, Finance, Cybersecurity, Law (LLM), Marketing, Mass Communication Studies, Nursing (MSN), Sociology, etc. See all programs
- Tuition Cost: We found a Master’s in any Engineering program at UH to cost around $9,360 – $10,415.50 on 10 hours of study for non-resident/international students.
If you plan to study a Master’s program at UH, you can estimate your annual tuition cost to continue your research.
University of Houston, or UH, is a four-year public research university that was founded in 1927. It has more than 44,000 students and offers more than 300 programs that lead to degrees, including master’s and doctoral degrees.
UH boasts a student-to-teacher ratio of 18:1 and offers some of the lowest tuition rates in the country.
UH is known for its business, law, education, engineering, architecture, nursing and library science programs. The university also offers graduate programs in the arts and sciences, and virtually every professional course that you can think of.
Purdue University, Indiana
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Aeronautics and Astronautics, Agriculture-inclined programs, Nuclear Engineering, Nursing, Nutrition, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Marketing, Pure Sciences (e.g., Chemistry, Biology, etc.) See all Master’s programs.
- Tuition Cost: Starts at $4,996 (Management courses) for resident students, and $14,959 for non-resident students.
Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. It was founded on May 6, 1869, when Purdue University was established as the Indiana State Normal School (and thus renamed over time).
The school’s main campus stretches across 763 acres with approximately 40 buildings that house over 70 undergraduate colleges offering graduate programs such as doctoral degrees or master’s degrees along with professional schools providing doctorates or master’s degrees.
Obtaining a Master’s degree from Purdue University costs $5,558 for resident students and $14,959 for non-resident students; making it one of the cheapest universities in USA for Masters degree.
Aside from that, just like the University of Houston, Purdue boasts a wide range of available professional courses that allow students to improve their educational standing, and higher atop their careers. The Aeronautics program is particularly a worthy highlight of these top Master’s programs offered at Purdue University.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Program Highlights (Master’s): American Studies, Applied Physical Studies, Journalism, Art & Art History, Environment & Ecology, Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Information & Library Science, Epidemiology, Dentistry, etc. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: Varies by the program. $5,276 – $32,507.5 (for an MBA). However, regular programs like Journalism, Science, or Environmental and Ecology courses cost as low as $5,000 – $7,500 for resident students and $14,000 – $17,000 for non-resident students.
See the full list of tuition fees by programs.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship institution of the University of North Carolina system and is known for having many well-known colleges, such as the School of Law, School of Medicine and School of Dentistry.
UNC has more than 100 majors with 28 doctoral programs on campus and has more than 40,000 students enrolled annually.
This university was established as “The University Fund” in 1789 by an act passed by four counties in central North Carolina; Orange County (now Durham County), Chatham County (now Orange County), Mecklenburg County (Charlotte) and Tryon County (New Bern).
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university known for its strong academics, as well as its athletic teams. It’s often ranked one of the best colleges in the country, and it offers several cheap master’s programs in subjects like business, public health, and education.
It is also well-known for being one of the most affordable universities in the USA; its average tuition is around $14,000 per year (non-resident students) for most of its Master’s degrees.
San Diego State University, California
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Aerospace Engineering, Anthropology, Art, Sciences, STEM, Engineering, etc. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: $9,608 for California residents; price not stated for non-residents. Price is subject to change without notice.
San Diego State University is a public research university in San Diego, California. It was founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School to educate teachers and has since expanded to offer more than 150 undergraduate degrees and around 100 graduate degrees.
San Diego State University is known for its programs in education, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. It also offers an online program in Medical Laboratory Science; this is one of the only programs of its kind available online.
The university’s Medical Laboratory Science program offers undergraduate coursework in laboratory technology, as well as master’s degrees in Medical Laboratory Science and Clinical Laboratory Management.
SDSU is one of the cheapest universities in USA to study for your master’s degree; in addition, they offer really great courses that you will love.
Stony Brook University, New York
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Accounting, Anatomical Sciences, Anthropological Sciences, Health courses, Art, Electrical Engineering, etc. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: Varies. $5,379.90 – $17,396.25 (including NY and non-NY residents).
Stony Brook University is a public university located in Long Island, New York. It was founded in 1957 as the State University College on Long Island and became a university in 1966. The school has more than 50,000 students and over 1,500 faculty members.
Stony Brook University is known for its science programs, including those in biology, chemistry, and physics. The school also offers many undergraduate degrees in math and engineering fields like computer science, math education, and Electrical Engineering.
The school has more than 300 student organizations that offer opportunities to get involved on campus. These include Greek life (fraternities/sororities), sports teams, community service groups, religious organizations, and arts clubs.
The school also has many intramural sports leagues for students who want to stay active off-campus or just need some extra exercise.
Taking its tuition cost into consideration, Stony Brook makes a strong case for any graduate student looking for the cheapest universities in USA for masters degree. In addition, they offer great courses with world-class delivery.
University of Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Business programs, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Nursing Practice, Speech-Language Pathology, Clinical Psychology, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, etc. View UTulsa’s Graduate School.
- Tuition Cost: $25,002 per year.
The University of Tulsa, which was founded in 1894, is a private university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s known for its strong programs in the arts and sciences, as well as its top-notch engineering school.
The University of Tulsa is a great place to get your master’s degree if you’re looking for one that’s affordable.
Its tuition rates are low compared to other universities, and they offer financial aid packages to help students pay for their education costs.
UTulsa also offers online options for many of its degrees. If you want to earn a master’s degree from a private university but don’t want to move far from home or spend too much money on your education, UT might be an excellent choice.
The University is also renowned for its highly ranked business school and nationally recognized engineering department. There are over 26 master’s degree programs and 19 doctoral programs offered at UT, such as Chemistry and Biology.
The school also offers a variety of graduate degrees, such as an MBA. If you’re interested in studying abroad, then UT has several international partnerships with schools around the world that can help you accomplish this goal.
However, even at $25,002 tuition fee for its Graduate School, UTulsa is still a long from being “cheap,” but it is an affordable price compared to what most other top universities in USA charge.
Michigan Technological University, Boston
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Accounting, Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, STEM programs, Business Administration, Engineering programs, etc. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: $23,332 – $26,505 per year.
Michigan Technological University is one of the cheapest universities in the US for master’s degrees. The average tuition fee for a master’s program at MTU is $24,918 per year, which is quite reasonable compared to other universities.
The university is located in Houghton, Michigan and has been ranked among top 100 universities in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. It has also been ranked as one of America’s best-value colleges by Forbes magazine.
In addition to the affordability and quality of education provided by MTU, its distance learning program also attracts many students worldwide due to its low cost and flexibility of study.
The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Art, Economics, Engineering, STEM, etc. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: $11,843 (resident) and $22,437 (non-resident). You can also estimate your tuition cost.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTDallas), based in Richardson, Texas, is a public research university. The University of Texas System has eight campuses, including UT Dallas.
With more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees offered through its 11 schools and colleges and more than 50 research centers and institutes focused on cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and cybersecurity; the school offers you plenty of opportunities to study within your field.
An average class size of 18 students per instructor is enough to ensure you get personal attention from your professors at this school.
California State University-Fullerton, California
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Accounting and Finance, Accountancy, Engineering, Healthcare, STEM, Business Administration. See all programs.
- Tuition Cost: $13,000 – $15,000.
How about a taste of the West Coast? CSU-Fullerton is located in Fullerton, California and offers students a variety of academic programs at affordable prices.
The university has been recognized as one of the top public universities in the country. The school also doubles as one of the cheapest universities in USA for masters in any professional course of your course.
The university has an annual average tuition fee of $14,468 per year for international students and $6,174 for domestic students. In addition to this fee, you will be responsible for paying fees relating to your living expenses such as books, transportation costs or accommodation expenses (if applicable).
To apply for admission into CSU-Fullerton you must submit official copies of all transcripts from high school/college up until that point. If English is not your first language, then these documents must also be translated into English before being sent over to the University.
You must also submit standardized test scores from either SAT or ACT depending on which type was taken last time around.
University at Buffalo, New York
- Program Highlights (Master’s): Business Administration, Engineering, Finance, Economics, Health and Education, Management Information Systems, etc.
- Tuition Cost: $17,000 – $23,000.
University at Buffalo is a public research university with campuses in Buffalo, New York. The university was established in 1846 as a private medical college, but in 1962 it merged with the State University of New York system.
The University at Buffalo is known for offering some of the most affordable master’s programs in the country, with a large number of programs being offered at no cost to students.
The university offers a wide range of master’s programs, including degrees in business administration, finance, economics, health and education.
Many of these programs are available online, while others are offered in person through one of the university’s many campuses across New York State.
Students can apply for financial aid or scholarships to help cover costs such as tuition and housing expenses.
Other Great Alternatives for Master’s Study for International Students
All these universities are excellent and offer a wide range of master’s programs that are recognized worldwide. They have excellent reputations, global reach, research programs, student facilities, etc.
If you think any other university should be on this list, then please leave a comment after reading.
City University of New York, New York
City University of New York (CUNY) is one of the largest universities in the US. It offers a wide range of courses at different levels, including master’s degrees and doctorate degrees.
The university also has a large number of students from around the world who are able to study here because CUNY provides affordable education for international students as well.
There are many reasons why you should consider studying at CUNY:
- It offers affordable education for both international and local students.
- Students can choose from a wide range of programs, including professional programs such as business administration or nursing, as well as arts and humanities programs such as English literature or history.
The graduate tuition fee at CUNY cost $550/credit hour.
Dakota State University, South Dakota
Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, South Dakota. The University is a member of the South Dakota Board of Regents. It was founded in 1881 and has a total of 11,000 students.
The average tuition fee at the university is $6,730.20 per year for residents whereas it costs $11,930.40 for non-residents.
California State University-Long Beach, California
CSULB is a public university located in Long Beach, California. The school was founded as an associate of the University of California system, though it has since become an independent institution.
CSULB offers over 20 master’s degree programs and is home to several notable research centers, including the Center for Tropical Research, the Institute for Transportation Studies, and the Center for Textile Recycling Science (CTRS). CSULB is also one of only two universities in Southern California to offer undergraduate degrees in marine biology.
CSULB’s campus spans 450 acres with more than 100 buildings on-campus housing its 40+ thousand students.
The average class size at CSULB is about 30 students per class; this gives you plenty of opportunities to make connections and build relationships before graduating.
The average cost of studying a master’s degree program at CSULB is $14,932; which makes it a really affordable university in USA for master’s degree.
Minot State University, North Dakota
Located in the beautiful city of Minot, Minot University was founded in 1889. It is also one of the oldest public universities in North Dakota. The average tuition at this university for studying master’s degree programs is $4,081 per year for 12 – 18 hours of study.
This amount is actually so ridiculous, it makes Minot University one of the cheapest universities in USA for masters degree.
However, this university only offers seven master’s programs, one specialist degree, and seven graduate certificates. Some notable programs are:
- Information Systems.
- Speech-Language Pathology.
- Sports Management.
Minot University doesn’t offer top competitive programs like Engineering, Science, or Art courses; which makes it less desirable – despite its low cost.
Suggested Tips for International Students to Get Reduced Tuition Fees
When applying to the cheapest universities in USA for master’s degree, you can try applying for some of these to get even lower tuition fees (subject to availability and your selection):
- Apply for a Scholarship.
- Apply for a Fellowship.
- Apply for a Teaching Assistantship.
- Apply for a Research Assistantship: this is an award that pays you to work on research projects, and it can be extremely helpful to your post-graduation career prospects.
You’ll learn about the field you want to go into and develop great experience in your chosen area of study.
- Work-Study Program: if you’re not eligible for one of the above options (or if they have been filled up), then consider applying as part of the university’s work-study program.
This option basically allows you to pay reduced tuition fees through internships or campus jobs, which will also help build up your resume with relevant work experience.
What is a Master’s degree?
A master’s degree is an advanced academic degree that students take after completing their undergraduate education.
A master’s degree typically requires two years of full-time study and includes research, coursework, and a thesis or project to complete the program.
The completion of a master’s program can often lead to more career opportunities in your field of study.
What is the purpose of a Master’s degree?
Many students pursue master’s degrees because they have already completed their undergraduate studies and want to further their education by gaining new skills and knowledge to enter into another career or industry.
Some employers also require individuals who are applying for certain positions to hold certain qualifications, though this varies from company to company.
What is the cheapest university in USA for Master’s degree study?
That accolade goes to Minot State University in North Dakota. But due to its small category of graduate programs offered, it doesn’t compete.
A top university that will suit this profile better is the San Diego State University which costs less than $10,000 annually.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, there are tons of cheap universities in the US to choose from. The top 10 list is just a starting point for your research, so don’t hesitate to dig deeper into other schools as well. Goodluck!