Online Master's Degree Programs in Alaska
Advances in online teaching techniques and instructional technologies have allowed colleges and universities to extend the reach of their degree programs, including many types of master’s degree programs, to qualified students who live and work outside commuting range of a school’s campus. As a result, Alaska residents who hold a bachelor’s degree and meet other admissions requirements can pursue a master’s degree without having to relocate or travel to a school’s campus by enrolling in an online program. These programs, which are offered in many common fields of study, provide a more flexible and convenient alternative to traditional campus-based programs.
Several of Alaska’s universities offer online master’s programs, and a far greater number of out-of-state schools offer programs that are authorized to accept candidates from Alaska. This page provides an overview of the public and private non-profit universities in Alaska that offer online master’s programs in many of the state’s most common areas for master’s level studies, as determined through an analysis of master’s program graduation data collected by the US Department of Education for its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). In addition, the sections below provide details on programs offered by out-of-state schools that accept applicants from Alaska.
Schools in Alaska That Offer Online Master’s Programs
Alaska has three publicly funded postsecondary institutions that offer bachelor’s and graduate degree programs. All three schools are part of the University of Alaska System, which has campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. In addition, the University of Alaska has a division for online programs, Distance at UA, through which all three of the state’s universities offer online programs, including online master’s programs. The table below lists the University of Alaska System’s three campuses by size, based on IPEDS enrollment data, and includes information on the location of the school’s campus and whether or not the school offers online degree programs.
|School||Location||Online Degree Programs|
|University of Alaska Anchorage||Anchorage||Yes|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||Fairbanks||Yes|
|University of Alaska Southeast||Juneau||Yes|
There are currently two non-profit private schools offering baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in the state of Alaska. Both schools are listed below, along with the location of the school’s main campus and whether or not the school offers online degree programs.
|School||Location||Online Degree Programs|
|Alaska Pacific University||Anchorage||Yes|
|Alaska Bible College||Palmer||No|
Out-of-State Schools with Online Master’s Programs That Accept Alaska Residents
One of the advantages of online master’s programs is that they allow students who cannot or would prefer not to relocate to another state the option of earning their degree from an out-of-state school without the complication of having to move and/or spend long periods of time away from home. While there are many accredited, non-profit colleges and universities located throughout the country that offer online master’s programs, Alaska residents may want to begin by exploring programs offered by the schools in the states that are geographically closest to Alaska.
For example, the University of Washington, which has its main campus in Seattle, offers a number of online master’s programs through its division of Professional & Continuing Education. Among these programs are online master’s programs in several engineering fields, as well as Master of Science (MS) programs in finance, mathematics, and construction and transportation management. Gonzaga University, a non-profit private university located in Spokane, is another school in the state of Washington that is active in offering online programs. Gonzaga has online master’s programs in communication, leadership, education, and nursing.
Oregon’s largest public university, Oregon State University (OSU), offers online master’s programs in adult and higher education, school and mental health counseling, various business administration and management specializations, environmental and natural resource sciences, and public health and policy. And The University of Southern California (USC), which is California’s largest private, non-profit university, offers online master’s programs through many of its numerous academic divisions, departments, colleges, and schools. USC’s offerings include online master’s programs in business and accounting, communication, computer science, education, engineering, healthcare, law, psychology, public policy, and social work.
Finally, Arizona State University (ASU), which is one of the ten largest universities in the US by enrollment, has an extensive array of online master’s programs that accept out-of-state applicants, including applicants who reside in Alaska. ASU Online has master’s programs in many areas of study, including business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, cybersecurity, education, engineering, homeland security, legal studies, nursing, psychology, social work, and sustainability.
The 15 Most Common Areas For Master’s Degree Studies in Alaska
Based on an analysis of IPEDS master’s program graduation data for schools in Alaska, OnlineEducation.com has determined the 15 most common areas for master’s degree studies in the state. These areas are:
- Education, General
- Business Administration and Management
- Public Administration
- Educational Leadership and Administration
- Secondary Education and Teaching
- Special Education and Teaching
- Management Science
- Social Work
- Teacher Education and Professional Development
- Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services
- Creative Writing
- Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management
- Clinical Psychology
- Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
It is important to note that IPEDS classifications do not align precisely with the names and designations of specific online master’s programs. However, an analysis of the IPEDS data provides a general picture of the types of master’s degrees pursued by graduate students at colleges and universities in Alaska. The sections below offer an overview of online programs offered by schools in Alaska and by a selection of out-of-state schools in most of the fields referenced above.
- Online Master’s in Education and Teaching Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Engineering Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Social Work (MSW) Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Counseling Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Creative Writing Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Psychology Programs in Alaska
- Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) Programs in Alaska
Online Master’s in Education and Teaching Programs in Alaska
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has three master’s programs in education fields that it offers online: a Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership program; an MEd in Special Education program; and an MEd in Teaching and Learning program. The Educational Leadership program has a two-year completion time and includes extensive field training and a year-long principal internship in addition to online courses. The Teaching and Learning master’s program can be completed in 1.5-2 years and includes an applied research project. Students in the Teaching and Learning program can tailor their degree based on their career goals through electives in areas like curriculum design and instruction, teacher leadership, indigenous education, and adult and professional learning. The online MEd in Special Education program has concentrations in Elementary and Secondary Education and includes field placements in elementary and secondary special education classrooms.
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program that can be completed through a mix of online courses and supervised teaching experiences at program-approved schools. The MAT program has three curricular options: Elementary Education (K-8); Secondary and Middle Grades Education; and Special Education. UAS also has an online MEd program with specializations in Educational Leadership, Reading Specialist, and Special Education. Finally, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) offers an online MEd in Special Education program with a track for initial certification and a track for certified teachers who want to add a special education endorsement. UAF’s Special Education program requires supervised internship experiences in addition to online courses.
Alaska residents who are interested in exploring online master’s programs in education that are offered by out-of-state schools may be interested in the programs offered by Eastern Washington University (EWU) in Washington State. EWU offers online MEd programs in Adult Education; Curriculum & Instruction; Early Childhood Education; Educational Leadership; Educational Leadership (Principal Certification); Special Education; and Literacy. Of these programs, only the Curriculum & Instruction and Literacy programs require applicants to hold a teaching certificate. Gonzaga University, a private, non-profit school in also located in Washington, offers an online MEd in Educational Leadership program that is designed for teachers who have a minimum of three years of professional experience in a K-12 school. Qualified teachers can complete the Gonzaga program in as few as four semesters.
Boise State University in Idaho has several online options for Alaska residents who are interested in training for a career in special education: an online MEd in Early and Special Education program; and an online Master’s in Teaching (MIT) program with an Early Childhood Intervention track and a Special Education track. In addition, Alaska residents who are interested in entering the field of higher education administration may want to explore two programs offered online by Oregon State University (OSU): an online MEd in Adult and Higher Education program; and an online MEd in College Student Services Administration program.
Note: Online master’s in teaching and education programs may require internships, field experiences, and/or student teaching assignments at program approved sites. It is thus advisable to contact a program administrator regarding potential field placements prior to applying to online programs offered by out-of-state schools. It is also important to note that certification and licensing requirements for teachers vary by state. Alaska residents should review their state’s requirements prior to applying to an online program offered by an out-of-state school to ensure the curriculum meets Alaska’s eligibility requirements for licensing or certification.
Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs in Alaska
There are two schools in Alaska that offer online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has an online MBA program that gives students the option of a general business management curriculum or a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum that focuses on fisheries, marine biology, and oceanography. Both tracks consist of ten courses that can be completed in under two years.
Alaska Pacific University (APU) offers a flexible MBA program that gives students the option of taking classes online or attending campus-based evening classes. The APU program has a general business management curriculum and two options for specialization: Finance; and Health Services Administration. In addition, APU offers an Executive MBA in Strategic Leadership program with courses that are held online and in campus-based evening sessions. The Executive MBA program is designed for business professionals who have several years of relevant managerial experience.
There are many accredited colleges and universities with schools of business and management that offer online MBA programs that accept applicants from Alaska, including schools in Washington, Oregon, and California. The Carson School of Business at Washington State University (WSU) has an online MBA program that offers specializations in Marketing, Finance, International Business, and Hospitality Business Management, as well as an Executive MBA (EMBA) program that is designed for professionals with a minimum of five years of managerial or business leadership experience. The EMBA program includes an optional International Field Study component, which consists of a study-abroad experience in China.
Seattle University, a private, non-profit university in Washington State, offers an online MBA program through the Albers School of Business and Economics. The program has a business management and leadership curriculum and includes a weekend-long residency in Seattle at the Albers School campus followed by a two-day off-site retreat in Seattle. Oregon State University (OSU) offers an online MBA program that does not require any campus visits and that has specializations in Business Analytics, Marketing, Organizational Management, and Supply Chain/Logistics Management. Finally, the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC) offers an online MBA program that requires students to attend a one-week orientation in Los Angeles at the start of the program.
Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Programs in Alaska
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) offers an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program with four designated concentrations: Higher Education Administration; Municipal Governance; Natural Resource Policy; and Rural Development. Students in the 36-credit program complete eight core courses in public administration principles and practices for a total of 24 credits, and then choose a four-course concentration to fulfill the program’s remaining credit requirements. The program does not require any campus visits.
Alaska residents who are interested in exploring additional MPA programs that are offered online may want to consider several programs offered by schools in western and northwestern states. Northeastern University Seattle, which is the West Coast satellite campus of a private, non-profit university based in Boston, MA, offers an MPA program that gives students the option of taking all of their courses online or enrolling is a mix of online courses and courses held at the school’s Seattle campus. Students in the program, which can be completed in as few as 18 months, can select from among four concentrations: Nonprofit Sector; Urban Analytics; Urban Studies; and Public Policy Analysis. In addition to didactic coursework, the program requires students who do not have prior experience in public administration to complete a 380-hour internship.
The University of Idaho is another out-of-state school that has an online MPA program that admits applicants from Alaska. The program features a curriculum that focuses on local government administration and an internship that students must complete at a government agency or nonprofit organization approved by the program. The University of Southern California (USC) also offers an online MPA program through its Price School of Public Policy. The program is designed to be completed in six semesters of full-time enrollment and includes one required campus visit at USC’s Los Angeles campus.
Online Master’s in Engineering Programs in Alaska
Currently, there are no schools in Alaska that offer online master’s programs in engineering. However, Alaska residents may want to explore the options for earning a master’s degree in engineering online through the University of Washington (UW), Washington State University (WSU), Gonzaga University in Washington State, or Oregon State University (OSU).
UW has two online Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering program specializations that it offers online: Construction Engineering; and Energy Infrastructure. The program is designed for students who majored in engineering as undergraduates, but applicants to the program who are interested in pursuing the Energy Infrastructure specialization may be eligible for admission if they have one or more years of professional experience in an energy infrastructure field. UW also has an online MS in Mechanical Engineering program, an online Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program, and an online Master of Aerospace Engineering program.
WSU offers an online Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Electric Power Engineering program through the university’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. The PSM curriculum includes a mix of technical coursework in subjects that include power systems, renewables, and high-voltage transmission lines, as well as non-technical professional training in management, decision-making strategies, and finance.
Gonzaga University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has an online Master of Engineering (MEng) in Transmission & Distribution Engineering program that offers most of its coursework online but that requires students to complete an Engineering Leadership capstone project that includes a weekend-long, campus-based immersion session at the Gonzaga campus in Spokane. Applicants to the program are required to have an undergraduate degree in civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering.
OSU offers an online MEng in Engineering Management program that does not require an undergraduate degree in engineering but that is designed for students who have a technical background. Students in the program learn about financial, project, and personnel management in engineering. The program does not require any campus visits.
Online Masters in Social Work (MSW) Programs in Alaska
University of Alaska at Anchorage (UAA) is the only Alaska school that currently offers an online Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The UAA program has an advanced generalist curriculum with coursework and field training in clinical and macro practice social work. It is designed to be completed in two to four years by students who do not have prior training in social work, and in one to two years by graduates from Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) who qualify for the program’s Advanced Standing track. All of the program’s didactic coursework is offered via online instruction and field education hours can be completed at dozens of approved sites throughout the state. Admission to the UAA program is restricted to Alaska residents.
Alaska residents who are interested in looking out-of-state for an online MSW program may want to consider the programs offered by Idaho’s Boise State University, Oregon’s Portland State University, and by the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California (USC). Boise State offers a program with an advanced generalist curriculum through its College of Health Sciences. The program has a traditional track for students who do not hold a BSW degree, and an Advanced Standing track for graduates from CSWE-accredited BSW programs.
Portland State’s online MSW program gives students a choice between two designated concentrations: Practice and Leadership with Communities and Organizations (macro practice); and Health Across the Lifespan (clinical practice). It too has a traditional curriculum plan for non-BSW graduates and an Advanced Standing track for qualified BSW graduates.
The online MSW program offered by the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC has three specializations: Adult Mental Health and Wellness; Children, Youth, and Families; and Social Change and Innovation. The first two tracks offer a clinical social work curriculum, while the third has a macro practice curriculum. Students who qualify for USC’s Advanced Standing track can graduate in one year. Non-BSW students can opt for a two-year, full-time track, or a part-time track that can take up to four years to complete.
Note: MSW programs require students to engage in field education at program-approved sites. Therefore, Alaska residents who are considering programs offered by out-of-state schools are advised to contact a program administrator regarding field placements to ensure that a convenient location can be identified prior to initiating the application process. In addition, students who intend to apply for a license to independently practice clinical social work should take into account that licensing requirements for clinical social workers vary by state. Thus, while completing a CSWE-accredited MSW program offered by an out-of-state school will meet most state’s general requirements for licensing, it is nonetheless advisable to review Alaska’s requirements prior to applying to an out-of-state program to ensure that a program’s curriculum meets those requirements.
Online Master’s in Counseling Programs in Alaska
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is currently the only school in Alaska offering an online master’s in counseling program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). UAF has an online Master of Education (MEd) program with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization, and a School Counseling (K-12/elementary and secondary) specialization. The specializations have similar structures and similar curricular requirements. Students can choose to complete all of their didactic coursework online or to attend some evening classes at UAF’s Fairbanks campus, but are required to engage in a site-based field practicum and an internship under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor. Students in the School Counseling specialization have the opportunity to complete some of their supervised clinical hours at UAF’s on-campus counseling clinic.
Among the out-of-state schools offering online master’s in counseling programs that Alaska residents may want to explore are Northwest University in Washington, Oregon State University (OSU), and the University of Southern California (USC). Northwest University has an online Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program that offers most of its didactic coursework online but that requires students to attend three on-campus sessions in addition to clinical internships that are completed at program-approved sites. OSU’s Master of Counseling program has a Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization and a School Counseling specialization. It too requires a limited number of campus visits, specifically two weekend sessions per semester at the university’s Wilsonville campus. USC’s online MEd in School Counseling program does not require any campus visits, but students are required to complete a 100-hour practicum and 600 hours of internship experiences at a program-approved site.
Note: Master’s in counseling programs are designed to prepare students to apply for licensure, which is required by state boards of counseling. However, licensing requirements vary by state. Alaska residents should familiarize themselves with the state’s licensing requirements prior to applying to an online program offered by an out-of-state school to ensure that the program provides adequate preparation for licensing in Alaska. Applicants may also want to contact a program administrator in advance about potential clinical placement sites, as online all master’s in counseling program require students to complete clinical hours.
Online Masters’ in Creative Writing Programs in Alaska
While there are currently no schools in Alaska that offer online master’s in creative writing programs, there are out-of-state schools offering online creative writing master’s programs that accept applicants from Alaska, including the University of Nebraska Omaha, the University of Denver, and National University. The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program that it offers through the University of Nebraska Online. The program provides most of its coursework online but requires students to attend a ten-day colloquium residency at the university’s main campus in Omaha.
The University of Denver offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Professional Creative Writing program with a concentration in Professional Creative Nonfiction Writing through its University College division. The program, which can be completed in as few as 18 months, does not require any campus visits. Finally, National University, a multi-campus non-profit, private university headquartered in California, offers an online MFA in Creative Writing program that does not require any campus visits.
Online Master’s in Psychology Programs in Alaska
Alaska Pacific University (APU) is the one school in Alaska that currently offers an online master’s program in psychology. The program is an online Master of Science (MS) in Counseling Psychology program with a curriculum that is designed to prepare students to apply to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Alaska, although the program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In addition to online coursework covering topics in theories of counseling and mental health, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, and the application of psychological principles to issues related to substance abuse, anxiety, family dysfunction, and other concerns, the program requires students to complete 600 hours of supervised internships. Thus, while APU’s MS in Counseling Psychology differs in some respects from a master’s in counseling program, it does provide a significant amount of training and instruction in counseling.
Alaska residents who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in psychology through an online program, may be interested in exploring the programs offered by Pepperdine University in California, the University of Washington (UW), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Pepperdine has an online Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology program that includes coursework in industrial-organizational psychology, clinical interventions with children, adolescents, and adults, and group therapy principles and practices. However, the online MA in Psychology curriculum does not prepare students for licensure in psychology or mental health counseling. Pepperdine also offers an online MA in Clinical Psychology program that includes 700 hours of clinical placements and that is designed to prepare students to become LPCs or licensed marriage and family therapists (MFTs). The LPC training track is the only track currently offered to residents of Alaska.
UW offers an online Master of Education (MEd) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program that is designed to prepare students to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam, which can lead to state licensure in ABA. The program, which is offered through UW’s College of Education, offers all of its didactic coursework online but requires students to complete a supervised practicum at a site approved by the program.
UNLV has an online Master of Science (MS) in Educational Psychology program that is designed to provide teachers with a deeper understanding of the psychological aspects of learning, although the program does not require applicants to be licensed teachers. While the focus of the UNLV MS in Educational Psychology program curriculum is on the application of psychological theories and practices in classroom environments, the skills students cultivate in the program are applicable in non-school settings, such as in adult training and education for businesses and government agencies.
Note: Licensure in most psychology fields requires a doctoral degree. However, some master’s in psychology programs meet state requirements for licensure in ABA, clinical mental health counseling, and/or MFT. These requirements vary by state. It is thus advisable to review state policies regarding licensing in a particular field prior to applying to a program offered by an out-of-state school. Alaska residents should also note that some online master’s in psychology programs require students to complete in-person internships. Contacting a program administrator before submitting an application to an out-of-state program is a good way to ensure that a convenient internship site can be found prior to enrollment.
Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) Programs in Alaska
The School of Nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Leadership program with a Nurse Educator track and a Nurse Administrator track. Both tracks require students to complete a 120-hour Evidence Based Practicum for Nursing at a program approved site. However, all of the program’s didactic instruction is offered online. UAA also offers two Nurse Practitioner (NP) MSN specialization programs in a hybrid format that mixes online courses with campus-based courses. The NP specializations offered by UAA’s School of Nursing are Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). UAA’s online MSN programs require applicants to hold a Registered Nurse (RN) license and a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).
Alaska residents may want to explore the online MSN program offered by Washington’s Gonzaga University. Gonzaga’s online MSN program has a Nursing Leadership in Healthcare (NLH) track that requires students to attend one campus-based immersion session and to complete 180 supervised clinical hours at a program-approved site. The program also has two Nurse Practitioner (NP) tracks: FNP; and PMHNP. The NP tracks require 660 clinical hours at a site approved by the program and several campus-based immersion sessions – six for the FNP track, and five for the PHMHNP track. The Gonzaga program is structured to accommodate RNs who have a BSN degree as well as RNs who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
Montana State University (MSU) and Idaho’s Boise State University are two additional out-of-state schools that offer online MSN programs that accept applicants from Alaska. MSU’s online MSN program has a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) specialization, which prepares students for the CNL Certification exam and credential administered by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC). Students in the program are required to travel to the university’s Bozeman campus at the start of each fall semester and to complete a clinical practicum and a professional project or research paper. The program is structured to accommodate RNs who hold a BSN degree as well as RNs who have an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and who have thus not yet completed a bachelor’s program.
The School of Nursing at Boise State University offers an online MSN program with an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) curriculum and tracks that allow students to choose a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AGACNP) or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (AGPCNP). The program requires students to attend three weeklong campus-based summer intensives and to complete four clinical rotations under the supervision of a qualified preceptor. The program is designed for RNs who have a minimum of one year of professional experience in an intensive or critical care unit or emergency room for the AGACNP track or in primary care of adult patients for the AGPCNP track.
Note: Alaska residents who are considering online MSN programs offered by out-of-state schools should be aware of two factors prior to submitting applications. MSN programs require students to complete clinical hours at program-approved sites under the supervision of a qualified preceptor. RNs who live and practice in Alaska may want to consult with an administrator at program’s offered by out-of-state schools in order to ensure that a convenient site for clinical rotations can be found. RNs who intend to apply for an additional state nursing license in an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specialization upon completion of an MSN program in an NP specialization should review Alaska’s licensing requirements in advance, as licensing requirements for nurses vary by state.