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Online Master’s Degree Programs in Arizona

Earning a master’s degree online can be a convenient and flexible way to accrue new professional skills, advance in one’s career, and/or increase one’s earning potential. Arizona residents who hold a bachelor’s degree can earn online master’s degrees in many popular fields, including business, nursing, education, healthcare, and public administration. There are online master’s programs in these fields offered by schools in Arizona and by out-of-state colleges and universities that accept applicants who live in Arizona. These programs utilize distance-learning technologies to deliver all or most of their coursework online, allowing students to complete a master’s program without having to relocate or commute regularly to a college or university campus.

Students who are interested in earning a master’s degree online can use this page as a resource to learn about programs offered by public universities and accredited, non-profit colleges and universities in Arizona, as well as find information about a selection of programs offered by schools in nearby states.

Schools in Arizona That Offer Online Master’s Degree Programs

Arizona’s state system for higher education is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the administration of three large, degree-granting institutions: Arizona State University; the University of Arizona; and Northern Arizona University. Arizona State University has four campuses in the Phoenix area and additional campuses in Tempe, Mesa, and Lake Havasu City. It is one of the largest residential universities by enrollment in the US, and it also has a large online footprint, offering over 175 degree programs through ASU Online.

The University of Arizona is a large research and degree-granting institution located in Tucson. It houses the James E. Rogers College of Law, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the Eller College of Management, and colleges of social and behavioral sciences, education, engineering, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy. The school offers a broad range of online degree programs, including online master’s programs in fields like accounting, business administration, cybersecurity, legal studies, mechanical engineering, nursing, special education, and more.

Northern Arizona University is the third largest state university in the Arizona system. Located in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University serves students throughout the state and country by offering on-site bachelor’s and graduate degree programs at various campuses and online degree programs in business, computing and technology, education, social sciences, health professions, and criminal justice.

The table below offers an overview of Arizona’s three largest public universities, the location of each school’s main campus, and whether or not the school offers online degree programs.

SchoolLocationOnline Degree Programs
Arizona State University (ASU)TempeYes
University of ArizonaTucsonYes
Northern Arizona University (NAU)FlagstaffYes

Many of the private colleges and universities located in Arizona are also active in offering online degree programs. This includes several schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Prescott College in the Central Arizona city of Prescott. The table below provides an overview of the six largest regionally accredited, non-profit private colleges and universities in Arizona, based on enrollment numbers collected by the US Department of Education for its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

SchoolLocationOnline Degree Programs
Grand Canyon UniversityPhoenixYes
Midwestern UniversityGlendaleNo
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityPrescottYes
Arizona Christian UniversityPhoenixYes
Ottawa UniversityPhoenixYes
Prescott CollegePrescottYes

Out-of-State Schools in the Arizona Region That Offer Online Master’s Programs

Arizona residents may also want to explore the many options for earning a master’s degree online through colleges and universities located in other states, including a number of schools that have campuses in neighboring and regional states. In California, for example, there are several schools active in offering online master’s programs. Pepperdine University in the coastal city of Malibu offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program through its Graziadio School of Business and Management, online master’s programs in psychology and marriage and family therapy through its Graduate School of Education & Psychology, and online master’s programs in legal studies and dispute resolution through its law school. The University of Southern California (USC) offers a broad array of online master’s programs in fields such as business and accounting, communication, computer science, education, engineering, health, law, psychology, public policy, and social work.

The University of Nevada in Reno, a large public research university in the neighboring state of Nevada, is another out-of-state option for Arizona residents. It has online master’s programs in business administration, social work, public health, education, justice management, psychology, and nursing.

The University of Utah in Salt Lake City has several online master’s programs that accept candidates from Arizona, including an online MBA program and Master of Science (MS) programs in Biomedical Informatics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Gerontology, and Information Systems. And the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque offers online Master of Arts (MA) programs in several different education specializations, as well as online MS programs in Computer Engineering, Construction Management, Dental Hygiene, and Space Systems Engineering.

The 15 Most Common Fields for Master’s Degree Studies in Arizona

Through an analysis of IPEDS data on the number of graduates from master’s programs offered by schools in Arizona, OnlineEducation.com has identified 15 of the most common areas for graduate studies at the master’s level in the state. While IPEDS classifications for types of master’s programs do not align precisely with the names of actual online master’s programs, the list below provides a representative overview of the areas of study that are most common at the master’s level in Arizona.

  1. Business Administration and Management
  2. Nursing Administration
  3. Curriculum and Instruction
  4. Psychology
  5. Educational Leadership and Administration
  6. Special Education and Teaching
  7. Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
  8. Accounting
  9. Elementary Education and Teaching
  10. Mental Health Counseling/Counselor
  11. Secondary Education and Teaching
  12. Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
  13. Public Administration
  14. Health/Health Care Administration/Management
  15. Teacher Education

In the following sections, Arizona residents can explore some of the many options for earning a master’s degree online in most of the fields listed above, both from in-state schools and from out-of-state colleges and universities in the Southwest region.

Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Degree Programs in Arizona

Two of the three public research universities in Arizona offer online MBA programs. The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU) has an online MBA program that utilizes 7.5-week terms, allowing students to take one course at a time. The curriculum is comprised of 11 core courses and six electives. The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona has an online MBA program that offers courses six times per year during eight-week terms. Students can complete the Eller online MBA program in as few as 14 months but are allotted up to four years to graduate.

Grand Canyon University and Ottawa University are the two private, non-profit schools with campuses in Arizona that offer online MBA programs. Students can complete the Grand Canyon University program in roughly two years, while the time to completion for the Ottawa University program depends on the number of courses taken per semester. Ottawa’s program offers students optional specializations in Leadership Development and Strategic Innovation.

Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California (USC) are among the schools in California that offer online MBA programs. Pepperdine’s online MBA program has the following specializations: Marketing; Finance; Leadership & Managing Organizational Change; General Management; and Digital Innovation & Information Systems. The Marshall School of Business at USC offers an online MBA program that can be completed in 21 months and that includes a required, weeklong campus session.

The College of Business at the University of Nevada at Reno offers an online Executive MBA (EMBA) program that requires applicants to have five or more years of professional experience prior to enrollment. The program uses a cohort model, which means students begin and progress through the 12-course curriculum together, typically taking two years to graduate. And the University of Utah offers an online MBA program through its David Eccles School of Business that can be completed in two years. The program includes one required, three-day campus session.

Online Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Nursing Administration Degree Programs in Arizona

The University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University are the two state schools in Arizona that offer online MSN programs. Registered Nurses (RNs) can earn an MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership degree online from the University of Arizona in just 15 months, provided they hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). RNs who hold an associates degree in nursing (ADN) are also eligible for the program and can complete the degree requirements in as few as 24 months.

Northern Arizona University has an online MSN program with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization and an online MSN program with a Nursing – Generalist curriculum. Both programs have a flexible enrollment structure that gives students up to six years to finish the degree requirements.

Grand Canyon University and Ottawa University also offer online MSN programs in Arizona. Grand Canyon’s program has a Public Health Nursing curriculum and can be completed in 23 months. The program offered by Ottawa University has two specializations: Nurse Educator, and Nurse Leadership.

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is one of the schools in the Southwest that offers online MSN programs. RNs from Arizona are eligible for admission to UTEP’s online MSN programs in Nursing Education and Nursing Administration Management. Students can complete the coursework and internships required for these programs in two years. The MSN in Nursing Education program requires students to attend two on-campus sessions. Azusa Pacific University in California offers an online MSN in Nursing Education program, and the University of Southern California (USC) offers and online MSN program with an FNP specialization that requires students to attend two campus sessions.

Note: Online MSN programs typically require students to complete a certain number of clinical hours in-person at a site approved by the program. RNs who live in Arizona should check with a program administrator about potential clinical sites prior to submitting an application to an online program offered by a school in another state. Arizona RNs who are considering online MSN programs offered by out-of-state schools should also be aware that licensing and certification requirements for nurses vary by state. RNs who intend to seek licensure upon completion of an online MSN program offered by a school in a state other than Arizona should examine the program’s curriculum prior to submitting an application in order to ensure it will meet the Arizona requirements for licensure or certification in their intended area of specialization.

Online Master’s in Education and Teaching Degree Programs in Arizona

Teachers and educators in Arizona can receive advanced training in a number of educational areas through online master’s programs offered by Arizona State University (ASU). ASU Online offers online Master of Education (MEd) programs in four areas of specialization: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Early Childhood Education; English as a Second Language (ESL); and Gifted Education. In addition, ASU Online offers an online MEd in Educational Leadership (Principalship) program and an online MEd in Educational Technology program.

There are also several types of online master’s in teaching and education programs offered by the University of Arizona. The schools offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Education Technology for K-12 teachers program; an online Master of Arts (MA) in Second Language Learning & Educational Technology program; and an online MA in Special Education program with specializations in Behavior Support, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Disabilities. And Northern Arizona University offers online master’s programs in the follow education specializations: ESL; Early Childhood Education; Educational Leadership; Educational Technology; Elementary Education; Mathematics Education; Science Teaching; Secondary Education; and Special Education.

Among the private colleges and universities in Arizona that offer online master’s programs for teachers and educators are Grand Canyon University and Prescott College. Grand Canyon has five online master’s programs in educational fields: an online MA in English program with an emphasis in Education; an online MS in Biology program with an emphasis in Education; an online MS in Chemistry program with an emphasis in Education; an online MEd in Educational Administration program; and an online MA in Autism Spectrum Disorders program. Prescott College offers an online MA in Education program that allows students to choose from several specializations, including Environmental Education, Adult Learning, and Experiential Education.

The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the out-of-state schools in a nearby state that offers online master’s programs in teaching and education. USC’s Rossier School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and two online MEd specializations: Learning Design & Technology, and Enrollment Management & Policy.

The University of Nevada in Reno (UNR) and the University of New Mexico (UNM) are two other out-of-state schools in the Arizona region that have online master’s programs for teachers and educators. UNR offers an online MEd in Literacy Studies program, and UNM Online offers three programs: an MA in Educational Leadership program; an MA in Elementary Education program; and an MA in Secondary Education program.

Note: Applicants to online master’s in teaching and education programs should research programs carefully for information on several relevant factors. Some online programs require students to complete in-person internships, which may require commuting to a site approved by the program. Some programs require applicants to hold a teacher certification and/or have one or more years of classroom experience. Finally, certification and licensing requirements for teachers and educators vary by state. Arizona residents who are considering an out-of-state online MAT or MEd program and who intend to seek state certification upon completion of the program should examine Arizona’s certification eligibility requirements carefully to determine whether or not an online program meets those requirements.

Online Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Degree Programs in Arizona

Arizona State University (ASU) offers several types of online masters programs in psychology, including an online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology program, an online MS in Forensic Psychology program, and an online MS in Family & Human Development program. For Arizona residents who are interested in earning a master’s in counseling degree online, there are several options. Grand Canyon University offers an online MS in Addiction Counseling program and an online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Ottawa University offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling program. And Prescott Colleges offers an online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Across Arizona’s western border in California there are two schools that offer online master’s programs in psychology and counseling. Pepperdine University offers an online MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy program, as well as an online MA in Psychology program and an online MS in Behavioral Psychology program. And the University of Southern California (USC) has an online MS in Applied Psychology program that accepts applicants from Arizona.

Note: Most online master’s in counseling programs and some online master’s in psychology programs require students to complete a certain number of internship hours in-person at a site approved by the program. Prior to submitting an application to an online program offered by an out-of-state school, Arizona residents should examine the program’s curriculum carefully to determine whether or not it has an internship component and contact a program administrator about potential internship sites. Applicants to online master’s in counseling programs should also be aware that licensing requirements for professional counselors vary by state. Some programs offered by out-of-state schools may not meet the Arizona’s requirements for counseling licensure. Therefore, students should review licensing requirements and speak with an admission advisor before applying to an out-of-state program.

Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs in Arizona

There are two schools in Arizona that offer online master’s in accounting programs: the University of Arizona and Ottawa University. The University of Arizona has an online Master of Science in Accounting program that is offered jointly by the university’s Eller College of Management and its School of Accounting. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have completed several undergraduate prerequisites in accounting. However, the University of Arizona offers an online accounting graduate certificate program in which students can complete the coursework required to enroll in the MS in Accounting program. Ottawa University’s online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program is unique in that it is designed to accept students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree, provided they have some undergraduate credits. Students who have not yet completed a bachelor’s program can receive a bachelor’s degree and an accounting master’s degree in five years of study through Ottawa University.

Arizona residents may be interested in exploring two options for earning a master’s in accounting degree through online programs offered by Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Southern California (USC). CSU Global offers an online Master of Professional Accounting program that is designed for students who majored in accounting or completed an undergraduate concentration in accounting. Students who do not meet the academic eligibility requirements can apply for provisional admissions, after which they must take the prerequisite courses. USC’s Leventhal School of Accounting offers several on-campus master’s in accounting programs and an online Master of Business Taxation program that features advanced coursework in accounting, tax law, and tax preparation.

Note: While a master’s degree is not required for formal licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), earning a master’s in accounting degree is one way to work toward qualifying to sit for the CPA exam. However, eligibility requirements for CPA licensure vary by state. Arizona residents who are considering an online master’s in accounting program should research Arizona’s CPA requirements prior to submitting an application to a program offered by an out-of-state school in order to determine whether the program will meet the academic training requirements for CPA licensure in Arizona.

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Arizona

Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the schools in Arizona that offers an online master’s in criminal justice. The ASU Online program is a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) program. Students who enroll full-time can complete the program requirements in as few as 18 months, while students who prefer part-time enrollment have up to six years to complete their degree. Grand Canyon University offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice program with an emphasis in Legal Studies.

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas and the University of San Diego in California are two regional schools that offer online master’s in criminal justice programs. Through SHSU, Arizona residents can earn an online MS in Criminal Justice in two years of part-time study. The University of San Diego offers an online MS in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership that features coursework that is designed for current law enforcement professionals. And for students interested in broad training in criminal justice, the University of Nevada in Reno offers a Master of Justice Management with three areas of concentration: Juvenile Justice Management; Adult Justice Management; and Executive Court and Agency Administration.

Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Degree Programs in Arizona

There are several types of online master’s programs in the field of public administration that are offered by schools in Arizona. Arizona State University (ASU), for example, offers an online Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program designed for public sector professionals with five or more years of experience. The program is comprised of ten required courses that can be completed in 19 months by taking one course per 7.5-week term. Students in the program are required to attend three-day executive sessions in Phoenix and Washington DC. ASU Online also offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Public Safety Leadership & Administration that gives students the option of three concentrations: Emergency Medical Services; Executive Fire Administration; and Executive Police Administration. Students who complete one course per 7.5-week term can graduate from the program in roughly two years.

Northern Arizona University offers an online MPA program that has concentrations in the following areas of study: Criminal Justice Administration; Educational Administration; Environmental Management; Applied Sociology; and Tribal Government. The program has a required field education component. And Grand Canyon University offers an online MPA program with an emphasis in Government and Policy that can be completed in 20 months.

Outside of Arizona, there are numerous schools that offer online MPA programs, including California State University in Northridge and the University of Southern California (USC). The Cal State Northridge online MPA program has three specialization options: Health Administration; Nonprofit Sector Management; and Public Sector Management and Leadership. The program can be completed in roughly two years. USC’s online MPA program can be completed in six semesters of full-time enrollment and features three specializations options: Local Government Management; Nonprofit Management; and Public Policy.

Online Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) Degree Programs in Arizona

Arizona State University (ASU) offers an online Master of Science in Healthcare Management (MHM) program, which is largely equivalent to an MHA degree program. The MHM program gives students the opportunity to choose from three concentrations: Healthcare Leadership; Healthcare Innovation; and Healthcare Informatics. The program is designed for current healthcare professionals who want to learn to apply business skills to management challenges in the healthcare sector.

ASU Online also offers an MS in the Science of Healthcare Delivery program that focuses on quality improvement systems in healthcare, leadership skills, and evidence-based management of healthcare enterprises. In addition, ASU Online has an MS in International Health Management that it offers in partnership with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The program features a curriculum that covers various aspects of global healthcare organizational management.

Grand Canyon University is another Arizona school that offers an online master’s in health administration program. The Grand Canyon University program is an online MS in Healthcare Administration program that can be completed in 25 months of part-time enrollment.

Arizona residents who are interested in exploring online MHA program offered by out-of-state schools may want to begin with two schools in the neighboring state of California: National University and the University of Southern California (USC). National University’s online MHA program is structured so that students take one class per four-week term. The core curriculum for National University’s online MHA program is comprised of 16 classes. USC offers an online Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) program that includes two required five-day campus visits. The EMHA program is designed for students who have a minimum of five years of professional experience in healthcare administration. The program length is six semesters.