Within the state of Michigan there are numerous public universities and accredited, non-profit private schools that offer various types of master’s degree programs, including online programs that utilize distance-learning technologies. Online master’s programs provide Michigan residents with the opportunity to further their academic studies and advance their career prospects without having to commute to a campus for classes or relocate in order to be near a college or university. There are also online master’s programs offered by accredited colleges and universities in other states that accept applicants from Michigan, allowing residents of the state to earn a master’s degree from schools in other parts of the country.
In the sections below, we provide an overview of schools in Michigan that offer online master’s programs in many of the more common areas for master’s-level study in the state, as well as details on schools in neighboring and regional states that offer online master’s programs in those fields.
The Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) is the coordinating board for the 15 public universities that comprise the state’s system of publicly funded, degree-granting institution of higher education. This includes Michigan State University, the largest of Michigan’s public universities and one of the ten largest schools in the country, based on enrollment data collected by the US Department of Education.
Michigan State University features Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts and Letters; Education; Engineering; Human Medicine; Law; Music; Natural Science; Nursing; Osteopathic Medicine; Social Science; and Veterinary Medicine. The school is also home to the Eli Broad College of Business and Graduate School of Management. Through these various colleges, Michigan State offers a broad range of campus-based master’s programs, as well as online master’s programs in Clinical and Biomedical Laboratory Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Food Safety, Healthcare Management, Literacy and Language Instruction, Nursing, Strategic Communication, and more.
The University of Michigan, the state’s oldest public research university, has its flagship campus in Ann Arbor and satellite campuses in Dearborn and Flint, which operate their own undergraduate and graduate programs. All three University of Michigan campuses offer online courses and degree programs through their various schools and departments, and the University of Michigan administers Michigan Online, which is a member of edX, a national association of universities that offers a wide selection of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Most of the other public universities in Michigan offer online degree programs in popular fields, such as business administration, health administration, education, and public administration. The table below lists the ten largest state universities, along with the location of each school’s main campus, and whether or not the school offers online degree programs.
Online Degree Programs
|Michigan State University (MSU)||East Lansing||Yes|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor||Yes|
|Wayne State University (WSU)||Detroit||Yes|
|Central Michigan University (CMU)||Mount Pleasant||Yes|
|Grand Valley State University (GVSU)||Allendale||Yes|
|Western Michigan University (WMU)||Kalamazoo||Yes|
|Eastern Michigan University (EMU)||Ypsilanti||Yes|
|Ferris State University||Big Rapids||Yes|
|University of Michigan-Dearborn||Dearborn||Yes|
Many private colleges and universities in Michigan also offer online degree programs, including online master’s programs in a range of different fields. The table below lists the ten largest accredited, non-profit, degree-granting private schools in Michigan, the location of each school’s main campus, and whether or not the school is active in offering online degree programs.
Online Degree Programs
|Baker College||Flint Township||Yes|
|Davenport University||Grand Rapids||Yes|
|University of Detroit Mercy||Detroit||Yes|
|Calvin College||Grand Rapids||No|
|Spring Arbor University||Spring Arbor||Yes|
|Andrews University||Berrien Springs||Yes|
|Lawrence Technological University||Southfield||Yes|
Online learning technologies allow students in one state to enroll in master’s programs offered by schools located in other states without the inconvenience of having to relocate. Residents of Michigan who are interested in earning a master’s degree in a particular field may want to explore the online master’s programs offered by several schools located in neighboring and regional states, including schools in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
The University of Cincinnati and Ohio University are two publicly funded schools in Ohio that extend admissions eligibility for various online master’s programs to Michigan residents. Located in the city of Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati offers online programs through its Colleges of Allied Health Science, Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Pharmacy, including online Master of Health Administration (MHA), online Master of Business Administration (MBA), online Master of Education (MEd), online Master of Engineering (MEng), and online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.
Ohio University in the city of Athens offers numerous types of online master’s programs. The university’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs has Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Executive MPA (EMPA) programs that are offered online; the Scripps College of Communication offers an online Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Communication; and through its other schools and colleges Ohio University offers online master’s programs in engineering, education, health administration, nursing, business administration, sports administration, chemistry, and social science.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private, non-profit school that offers a selection of online master’s program. Located in Winona, MN, Saint Mary’s offers online Master of Science (MS) programs in Accountancy, Business Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Project Management; online MA programs in Educational Leadership, Health and Human Services Administration, Human Resource Management, and Organizational Leadership; and other types of online master’s programs, including an online MBA program.
Through Purdue University Online, the distance education adjunct of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, residents of Michigan can earn online master’s degrees in communication, computer science, economics, education, engineering, information technology, and public health. Purdue University Online offers online MEd programs in Applied Behavior Analysis, Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education; online MS programs in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Industrial Engineering, and other fields; and options to earn a dual MS/MBA and MEng/MBA degrees online.
There are also opportunities for Michigan residents to enroll in online master’s programs offered by Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Lewis University is non-profit private university that offers several online master’s programs, including an online MBA program, an online MSN program, and online MS programs in Organizational Leadership, Information Security, Data Science, Computer Science, Business Analytics, and more.
Using data on graduates from master’s degree programs offered by schools in Michigan, OnlineEducation.com has identified the 15 most common areas for master’s degree studies in the state. The data that was analyzed comes from the US Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which aggregates self-reported information from participating colleges and universities throughout the country and provides statistical data on wide range of institutional characteristics, including enrollment and graduation numbers. The 15 areas of study that produce the largest number of graduates from master’s degree programs in Michigan are as follows:
While IPEDS subject area designations do not align precisely with speciic master’s degree programs, the IPEDs data provides a representative overview of the more common areas for master’s-level studies in Michigan. The sections below provide information on schools in Michigan and regional states that offer online master’s programs in many of these fields, including:
There are many options for earning an MBA, or Master of Business Administration degree from schools located in Michigan. Central Michigan University offers an online MBA that has five specializations: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); Human Resource Management (HRM); Logistics Management; Marketing; and VDO Emphasis. Ferris State University also offers an online MBA program with several specializations, including: Project Management; Lean Systems and Leadership; Business Intelligence; Performance Metrics; Design and Innovation Management; Supply Chain Management and Lean Logistics; and Incident Response. And the University of Michigan-Dearborn has an MBA programs with specializations in Finance and International Business that can be completed online.
Baker College, Davenport University, Northwood University, and Lawrence Technical University are four of the private schools in Michigan that offer online MBA programs. Online students can enroll in an MBA program with a general business curriculum offered by Baker College, and the school also offers a range of online MBA specializations, including: Accounting; Business Intelligence; Cloud Security and Risk Management; Finance; Healthcare Management; HRM; Information Systems; and Leadership Studies.
The online MBA program offered by Davenport University is offered in a 12-month format that does not include any specializations, and in a traditional format that allows students to specialize in Finance, Healthcare Management, HRM, Marketing, or Strategic Management. Northwood University also offers its MBA program in several formats, including a flexible online format that allows students to complete the degree requirements in 24 months of part-time enrollment. And Lawrence Technical University offers a two-year online MBA program that has specializations in Finance, Cybersecurity, Project Management, and Information Technology.
Among the many schools in other states that offer online MBA programs, the University of Saint Mary in Kansas, Benedictine University in Illinois, and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota are three schools in regional states that Michigan residents may want to explore. The University of Saint Mary has an online MBA program that can be completed in as little as one year of full-time enrollment. The program features six concentrations: Leadership and Organizational Health; Finance; General Management; Healthcare Management; HRM; and Marketing and Advertising Management. Benedictine University’s online MBA program is designed to be completed in roughly one-and-a-half years of full-time enrollment and it has seven concentrations: Entrepreneurship and Managing Innovation; Accounting; Financial Management; Marketing; International Business; Healthcare Administration; and Internet Marketing. And, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an online MBA with a general business track and three additional concentrations: Data Analytics; Social Media Marketing; and Sustainability and Environmental Management.
While there are currently no schools in Michigan that offer a Master of Social Work (MSW) program that is fully online, the School of Social Work at Michigan State University (MSU) offers a blended program that is an option for students who live more than 50 miles from the school’s East Lansing and Flint campuses. The program requires students to attend a mid-June summer institute on MSU’s East Lansing campus at the start of the program, and to then attend one Saturday campus class per month while courses are in session. MSU’s blended program takes three years of year-round, part-time enrollment to complete and features a clinical track and a track for Office of Children’s Lawyer (OCL) social workers.
Michigan residents who are interested in earning an MSW degree online may want to consider the programs offered by the University of Missouri and Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University. The University of Missouri online MSW program has two tracks: an Advanced Standing track for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and a traditional track for students whose undergraduate major is in another discipline. Students who take two courses per semester can complete the traditional track in three years, or nine semesters; the Advanced Standing track takes less time to complete, typically about two years. The program offers two specializations: clinical practice, and macro practice with a focuses on policy, planning, and administration in human services.
Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers an online Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) program that is largely equivalent to an MSW program. Students who enter the program without a BSW degree can complete the program in roughly two-and-a-half years. Applicants who hold a BSW degree can apply for the program’s Advanced Standing track, which takes less time to complete. The program has a macro practice specialization (Community Practice for Social Change), and two clinical specializations: Children, Youth, & Families; and Mental Health With Adults.
Note: While online MSW programs offer all of most of their coursework through distance learning technologies, students in these programs are required to complete field education hours in-person at an approved clinical site or social service agency. Applicants to an out-of-state program should inquire about fieldwork placements prior to submitting their application. It is also important to note that licensing for clinical social workers is administered at the state level, and licensure requirements vary by state. Michigan residents who are considering earning an online MSW degree from a school in another state should examine Michigan licensure requirements carefully to ensure that a program’s curriculum fulfills those requirements.
Among the schools in Michigan that offer master’s programs in accounting, Davenport University and Madonna University are two that offer their accounting degrees online. Davenport University has an online Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program that features a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) concentration, as well as three additional concentrations: Finance; CMA (Certified Management Accountant); and FEA (Finance, Economics, and Accounting). Madonna University offers an online MS in Accountancy program that provides students with the option of completing a portion of the 150 hours of work experience necessary to qualify for CPA certification as part of the program.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Maryville University are two of the regional schools that offer online master’s in accounting programs that residents of Michigan may want to explore. The Saint Mary’s program is a ten-course, 20-month online MS in Accounting program designed to help students prepare for the CPA and CMA exams. Maryville’s online MS in Accounting program has several pathways. Students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting can complete the program’s seven core accounting courses in ten months and may then enroll in up to four advanced, CPA-preparation courses, while students who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting may enroll in up to ten introductory and intermediate courses that are part of Maryville’s accountancy bridge program.
Note: Michigan residents who intend to sit for the CPA exam should be aware that CPA certification eligibility is determined at the state level and CPA eligibility requirements vary by state. Before applying to an out-of-state online master’s in accounting program, residents of Michigan should examine the state’s CPA eligibility criteria carefully to determine whether or not an online program offered by a school in another state meets those requirements.
Central Michigan University (CMU) and Ferris State University are two of the public universities in Michigan that offer online Master of Health Administration (MHA) programs. The CMU online MHA program gives students the option of completing a graduate thesis or completing either a internship or a fieldwork placement. The Ferris State online MHA program is offered in a traditional format for students with less than two years of management experience, and in an executive format for students who have two or more years of management experience.
In addition to the CMU and Ferris State programs, Michigan State University offers an online MS in Healthcare Management program that is similar to an MHA program. The Michigan State program offers two concentrations: Healthcare Leadership, and Healthcare Compliance. And Madonna University offers an online MS in Senior Living Administration that is similar to an MHA program with a long-term/senior-care specialization. The program features concentrations in Hospice Services, Nursing Home Administration, and Independent and Assisted Living.
There are two schools in the neighboring state of Ohio that offer online MHA programs: Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati. The Ohio University online MHA programs requires applicants to have two years of experience in healthcare management and offers a curriculum that can be completed in roughly two years. There are no professional experience requirements for the University of Cincinnati online MHA program, which features concentration concentrations in Global Health Systems and Emerging Issues in Health Systems Management.
Teachers and education professionals in Michigan can earn a master’s degree in a wide range of specializations through online programs offered by schools in the state. The College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU) offers an online Master of Education (MEd) program that features six concentrations: Special Education; Sport Coaching and Leadership; Technology and Learning; P-12 School and Postsecondary Leadership; Literacy Education; and Science and Mathematics Education. Oakland University offers an online MA in Teaching (MAT) program with a specialization in Reading and Language Arts, as well as an online MEd in Special Education with concentrations in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Emotional Impairment. Wayne State University has an online MEd program with specializations in Learning Technology and Design & Performance Systems, as well as an online MEd in Career and Technical Education program. And Central Michigan University offers an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction program with three specializations: General Instruction; Mathematics; and Reading.
Among the other Michigan schools that offer online master’s in education programs are Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Western Michigan University (WMU), Eastern Michigan University (EMU), and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. GVSU offers online MEd in Special Education and Educational Technology programs. WMU offers two types of online MA programs for teachers: an MA in Educational and Instructional Technology and an MA in Educational Leadership. EMU offers two online master’s programs for educators: an online MA in Educational Leadership (K-12 Administration), and an online MA in Educational Psychology. And the University of Michigan-Dearborn offers an online MA in Education with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
In addition to public universities offering online master’s in education programs, there are several private schools that have online programs in Michigan. Baker College offers an online MS in Educational Leadership (K-12) program. Spring Arbor University offers an MA in Education program. And Andrews University offers two types of online master’s in education degree programs: an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and an MA in Educational Leadership.
Outside of Michigan there are numerous schools that offer online master’s in education and teaching programs, including Indiana University, which offers online MEd programs in the following specializations: Adult Education; Educational Leadership; Instructional Systems Technology; Literacy, Language, and Culture Education; and Special Education. And for teachers who already hold a teaching license or certificate, Ohio University offers an Advanced Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction online.
Note: Teacher licensing and certification processes varies by state, as do the training requirements for teachers and educational administrators. While many online master’s in education programs are designed for students who already hold a teaching license, some online master’s programs may lead to licensure. Michigan residents who are considering online master’s in education programs offered by schools in other states should research Michigan’s licensure requirements, particularly if they intend to apply for licensure upon completion of a master’s program.
There are several Michigan schools that offer online Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs. Central Michigan University (CMU) has an online MPA program that includes an internship for students who do not have experience working in government and politics. The School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) offers an online MPA program that features five specializations: Public Management; Urban/Regional Policy & Planning; Health Administration; Nonprofit Management & Leadership; and Criminal Justice. The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers a flexible MPA program designed for working professionals that is partially online, with some of the program’s courses being offered through distance learning technologies and some seminars scheduled in the evenings on the school’s Dearborn campus.
Indiana State University is one of the regional schools offering an online MPA program. The Indiana State program is designed for working professionals who have experience in the public and non-profit sectors. It can be completed in two to three years, depending on how many courses students take per term. And the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University offers an online MPA with concentrations in Non-Profit Management and Public Leadership and Management, both of which can be completed in roughly two years.
Students in Michigan who are interested in earning a master’s degree in organizational leadership have several in-state online options. Through Northwood University, they can earn an MS in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree online in 24 months of full-time enrollment. Spring Arbor University offers an online MA in Strategic Communication and Leadership program that can be completed in 18 months of full-time enrollment. And Central Michigan University (CMU) offers an online MS in Administration program with a Leadership concentration and elective courses in organizational development, organizational psychology, and organizational change.
There are several options for earning an online master’s in organizational leadership from out-of-state schools located in the Michigan region. Lewis University in Illinois offers an online MA in Organizational Leadership with concentrations in Professional and Executive Coaching, Organizational Management, Non-Profit Management, Training and Development, and Higher Education/Student Services. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an online MA in Organizational Leadership program that can be completed in roughly two years with no required campus visits.
While there are several online MBA programs with specialization in Human Resource Management (HRM) offered by schools in Michigan, Central Michigan University (CMU) is one of the only schools in the state that offers a non-MBA master’s in HRM. CMU’s online MS in Administration has a concentration in HRM that includes coursework in labor relations, staffing, training and organizational development, and public personnel management. The program concludes with an applied HRM research project.
There are also several schools in nearby states that offer online master’s in HRM programs, including Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, which has an MA in HRM program that can be completed in 26 months through online coursework. And the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania offers an online MS in HRM program that is designed to prepare students for the Society for Human Resource Management-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) exam. The University of Scranton program can be completed in two years, although students are allotted up to six years to complete the degree.
There are currently no fully online, accredited master’s in counseling programs offered by schools in Michigan. However, Michigan residents are eligible to apply for admission to online master’s in counseling programs offered by schools in other states, including the programs offered by Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. The Northwestern program is an online MA in Counseling program (Counseling@Northwestern) that has two tracks, one for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field that includes 24 courses, a practicum, and an internship, and one that provides a bridge curriculum for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology. The Bridge to Counseling track requires students to complete a total of 27 courses, a practicum, and an internship. The program offers students the option of a concentration in Child and Adolescent Counseling and several enrollment plans that can lead to graduating in one-and-a-half to three years. Students in the Counseling@Northwestern program are required to attend two on-campus immersion sessions during the program.
Bradley University in Peoria, IL, and Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN, are two other out-of-state schools that offer online master’s in counseling programs. The Bradley University program offers two areas of focus: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and Professional School Counseling (PSC). In addition to online courses, the program includes two weeklong residencies on the Bradley campus. Indiana Wesleyan offers an MA in Counseling program with six specializations: Clinical Addictions Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Community Counseling; Marriage and Family Therapy; School Counseling; and Student Development Administration. The crediting and coursework requirements vary by specialization, as do the number of courses that may be taken online. Potential applicants are advised to contact the program for additional details regarding the program.
Note: Online master’s in counseling programs typically require students to complete clinical internships at approved sites. Those interested in attending an out-of-state program should contact a program representative about clinical placements prior to submitting an application. In addition, professional counselors must be licensed in their state of practice and requirements for licensure vary by state. Michigan residents who are considering an online master’s in counseling program offered by a school in another state should carefully examine Michigan’s counselor licensing requirements to ensure that an out-of-state program will provide adequate preparation for licensure in Michigan.