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How Can I Earn a Master’s Degree Faster?

Theresa Schempp
By Theresa Schempp

According to Forbes, the average master’s degree can take about two years to complete as a full-time student and costs an average of more than $66,000. At University of Maryland Global Campus, we are proud to offer affordable programs so students can earn their online master’s degree for much less than the average cost. To make our already affordable programs even more economical and to help students graduate in less than two years, UMGC offers accelerated pathways for some of our graduate programs. 

What is an Accelerated Pathway at UMGC?

UMGC’s accelerated pathways offer students a way to apply credit from some of our undergraduate degrees toward some of our graduate degrees and certificates. Students who complete an eligible undergraduate degree program or specific coursework from UMGC can reduce their total coursework for related graduate degrees and certificates and save both time and money. The accelerated pathway for most programs reduces the graduate coursework by up to six credits. The accelerated pathway to the Master of Arts in Teaching is particularly beneficial, as it reduces graduate-level coursework by up to twelve credits.  

Accelerated pathways are available to students who pursue a graduate program in one of the following areas at UMGC:

As an example, if a student has earned a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity technology from UMGC and were able to earn six credits through the accelerated pathway program, they would need just 24 credits to earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity technology and 30 credits to earn a master’s degree in cloud computing systems, cyber operations, cybersecurity management and policy, or digital forensics and Cyber Investigation.

How Do Accelerated Pathways Work?

To be eligible for an accelerated pathway at UMGC, students must complete an undergraduate degree that includes the coursework necessary for graduate credit. The specific courses that translate to graduate credit are outlined on the accelerated pathways webpage. If a student is just starting out on their education at UMGC, they can review these courses and determine if they are either part of an undergraduate program they want to pursue or can be worked into their coursework selections. Students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree at UMGC can review their coursework to see if any of their credits can be applied to a graduate program.  

To benefit from the accelerated pathway, a student must begin the related master’s degree or certificate within two years of completing their bachelor’s degree. Students still need to meet all graduate admission requirements, and time limits for degree completion apply to all students who use accelerated pathways. Some additional requirements are listed under individual pathways depending on the degree program.

Students do not need to apply for the accelerated pathway but should speak to their success coach once they have enrolled in their graduate program to earn credit towards their master’s degree.

What Other Advantages Does UMGC Offer?

Earning a degree is a major decision, and UMGC respects the time and dedication it takes. UMGC is a regionally accredited university, and many of our programs are additionally accredited for their institutional quality. Our esteemed faculty bring real industry experience to their classrooms, so students have the most up-to-date information that they can apply to their career. 

UMGC does not require the GMAT or GRE, so students can apply immediately to start earning their degree. With many degrees offered entirely online or in a hybrid format, students can save on commuting time and access their online courses anytime and from anywhere. UMGC also offers personalized support through advising and success coaches, so students can stay on track with their classes and programs. 

To help students save money, UMGC offers no-cost digital materials, which have replaced textbooks in nearly every course. Students also gain access to lifetime career services, where they can find career tools, job listings, mentoring | UMGC, and career fair events. Whether students are transitioning to a new career currently, or want to update their resume in five years, they can take advantage of UMGC’s career resources at any point. 

Accelerated pathways can help students reduce the amount of work required to earn their master’s degree. Students can put their master’s degree on the fast track, save time and money, and graduate ready to achieve their next goal.

Learn More About Accelerated Pathways

A UMGC admissions advisor can help you get started.

Reference on this webpage to any third-party entity or product does not constitute or imply endorsement by UMGC nor does it constitute or imply endorsement of UMGC by the third party.