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What Are the Different Types of One Year Master's Degree Programs?

Florence J. Tipton
Florence J. Tipton

One year master’s degree programs are generally designed for professionals who want to continue academic studies in a short period of time. Also called fast track or accelerated degrees, subjects for one year master’s degree programs may vary among academic institutions. Usually, these degrees include courses of study that align with a professional’s career advancement goals. Some common degree programs may include executive business management and organizational leadership.

The average master’s degree program can take up to two years to complete — longer if a student enrolls part-time. Professionals who wish to complete a master’s degree in less than two years might opt for an accelerated program. Generally, these are known as one year master’s degree programs.

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Just as the name implies, students can complete a master’s degree within one year. On average, courses covered over a two year instruction period are condensed into half the time. This typically involves intense course schedules that bypass fundamental courses and focus on advanced subjects.

Regardless of the courses of study, most programs can benefit working professionals within several areas. One benefit is an opportunity for professionals to strengthen their educational credentials. This might connect with a second benefit to gain more industry knowledge and qualify for a promotion. Enrolling in an accelerated degree program could also offer a learning format that accomplishes these goals without compromising work/home life schedules.

Several learning formats may exist at academic institutions for one year master’s degree programs. Some programs are strictly online, allowing professionals to merge class work with existing students' home and work schedules. Even though this is considered a flexible format, students are normally expected to meet minimum standards of class participation.

Academic institutions might also have fast track programs where students meet on campus. Instruction for on-campus programs could entail meeting in class one or two days each week. Still other degree programs are a hybrid where students meet both online and in class.

An example of a one year master’s program is the executive business management degree. In general, this course of study covers advanced techniques such as strategic planning and leadership development. This degree program might include fast-paced courses that put advanced business concepts into practice with case studies.

Because of the intense instruction, executive business management degrees may require potential students to meet prerequisites before acceptance. For example, some programs expect students to have at least five years of management work experience. Another prerequisite example could include completion of several hours in previous graduate coursework.

The organizational leadership accelerated program is another example that usually prepares students for various leadership roles. Many programs allow students to select a focus area such as nonprofit leadership. In these programs, students can learn advanced business and leadership principles related to the nonprofit environment. Some of these nonprofit areas may include fundraising, board development, and human capital strategies for paid and volunteer staff.

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