Online graduate programs
Top universities are starting to offer online
degrees, but not always for less than their
traditional offerings. Here are details on some
online graduate programs that have been
launched at some of the country’s top schools.
Program: Executive Master's in Healthcare Leadership
Description: Health-care professionals meet four times over the course of two
years, and do the rest of the work online.
Online discount: There is no comparable in-person degree at Brown, but the
program is more expensive than similar in-person degrees at some of Brown’s
Program: Master’s in Data Science
Price: $2,222.22 per unit (27 units)
Description: UC Berkeley’s School of Information’s one-year program is
Online discount: No. The school’s other master’s program costs $17,423
per semester, for out-of-state residents. To complete the program, the cost
per unit would be less than $1,500.
Program: Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
Price: $40,547 to $51,779
Description: The school has two online-only master’s programs. (Predictive
Analytics and Medical Informatics) and two that can be online or in-person
(Public Policy and Administration, Information Systems).
Online discount: No. The Information Systems program is the same price for
all students. The Public Policy and Administration degree is actually more
expensive for online students.
Program: Master of Science, Finance
Description: This 20-month program at Georgetown’s McDonough School of
Business has no in-person equivalent. It is designed for financial professionals.
Online discount: Arguably, yes. Though it is a different type of degree,
McDonough’s in-person MBA program costs $55,158 for just the first year of a
Program: Master’s in Computer Science
Description: Georgia Tech offers what may be the cheapest online graduate
degree from a major university. Students are required to have some
programming experience to enroll.
Discount: Yes. Each credit-hour costs $134. For traditional grad programs,
state residents pay $550 per credit-hour; out-of-state students pay $1,150.
Program: Distance Learning, Columbia University School of Engineering &
Price: $1,640 per credit
Description: The school offers a wide variety of science and engineering
graduate programs, with the same teachers, classes and coursework as in-
Discount: No. The tuition is the same for all students, though in-person
students pay minor facility and health-care fees, that online students do not.
Program: USC Rossier School of Education, USC Viterbi School of
Price: Between $47,518 and $51,538 for Rossier; $1,706 per unit for Viterbi.
Description: You can get an MA in education and a teaching certificate
completely online at Rossier. Viterbi offers several grad degrees.
Discount: Slight, if any. At Rossier, the same programs cost a few thousand
dollars more in-person, but include mandatory health insurance. At Viterbi, unit
costs are the same for all students.