Before you begin the process of choosing from the many accredited online master's degree programs available, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree. All colleges and universities will require you to hold a bachelor's degree before you begin your master's degree work, and your undergraduate studies are likely to help you determine which accredited online master's degree programs are best for you. Start by determining your education and career goals, and thinking about what you would like to do with your master's degree once you earn it. Some students choose to enter the work force, for example, while others may want to continue on to earn a PhD.
It is important to take your schedule into consideration as well when choosing accredited online master's degree programs. When attending a college or university full-time, most students take two to three years to earn a master's degree. Many students who take online classes do so because online classes offer flexible schedules and you can take classes part-time rather than full-time. Be sure to think about how much time you have to devote to your accredited online master's degree programs, as well as what other tasks you will take on during your education. If you will be working full-time, for example, it is important to consider whether you will be able to devote the necessary time and energy to the program.
Look for accredited online master's degree programs offered by well-known and reputable institutions. Many brick and mortar schools now offer online coursework, so attending a reputable institution that also has a brick and mortar school option will help ensure that you will receive quality instruction from experienced and knowledgeable professionals. When researching various options, take note of tuition rates, as these can vary significantly in much the same way courses offered on campus will. Think about your budget for attending school before you enroll to ensure you can complete your degree program in a timely manner.
Sometimes accredited online master's degree programs will feature components that will require you to come to a fixed campus at some point throughout your education. This may occur so you can take part in a lab exercise or hands-on training, or for a variety of other reasons. Be sure to read the program's curriculum carefully to find out if any such requirements exist, or if any other requirements exist that may cause a problem for you throughout the course of your education.