How to Choose a Master’s Degree Program

Choosing a Master’s Degree program requires some research, with an understanding of what you want to do with your future and why you believe a Master’s Degree will assist you in that pursuit. Leaders with specialized healthcare expertise are in demand, and according to the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the pharmacy profession is only expected to grow incrementally between now and 2026, but Healthcare Administration is growing at a much faster than average rate.

If you are serious about getting a Master’s Degree in the healthcare industry, do your homework and learn all you can about a school before you apply. Ask questions. Compare schools to find the best fit for you and the future you want.

As cliché as it is, you have endless options when it comes to choosing a Master’s Degree program. Filtering through the options can be an taxing chore, so the following are questions that can assist you in finding the best option for you.

What Are the Admission Requirements?

If you had some wild nights and not so stellar grades in your undergraduate courses and your grade point average does not meet the minimum requirements for admission to a graduate-level school or program, keep looking. Many colleges and universities will factor in your work experience and the fact that you have matured since your college days. A meticulously completed application, a resume that shows a growing career, a personal statement outlining your experience in the pharmaceutical or healthcare field, and excellent letters of recommendation should help you get accepted by an institution that meets your needs. In fact, graduate schools often provide provisional admission.

How Much Will It Cost?

For most, cost is a major consideration when deciding on a program. Graduate students often pay for tuition and fees out-of-pocket. However, the number of highly-regarded, accredited schools that offer online Master’s Degree programs has grown over the years. “The University of Wyoming may be the only program on this online master’s degree in health services administration ranking to actually undercut Mississippi College on tuition costs,” TMHA Staff. It is possible to reduce some costs of attending graduate school by completing the work online. At the University of Wyoming, we also offer discounts to folks that have served or are currently serving in the military and those that are registered with our affiliate programs like the Wyoming Pharmacy Association. While some private college online programs may be out of your price range, many state universities offer comparable Master’s Degrees online. An advantage to studying online is the flexibility of the classes and assignments to fit into your family life and current work life, and many even can continue to work full-time while earning the degree.

New to accreditation?

If you are going to invest your time and money in getting a Master’s Degree, do your homework and make sure that the university you choose is accredited. An accredited school is one that has been assessed by a regional or state accrediting agency and determined to meet certain standards of quality. Those accreditation agencies must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, which also maintains a database of accredited colleges and universities.

Choosing an accredited institution is important because accredited schools that remain in good standing can administer federal financial aid programs. Employers also typically prefer applicants with degrees from accredited institutions.

Does the school have a good reputation?

Research the reputation of a school before you apply. Even if the school is accredited, you want to know if there have been any issues. Has accreditation ever been in jeopardy? Does the department in which you will seek your Master’s Degree have a good track record of preparing students to get better jobs or pursue a PhDs or other terminal degrees?

How Long Will It Take to Earn the Degree?

If you choose a master’s degree in your undergraduate field, you may be able to complete your degree in as little as one year. If you’ll be getting a degree in a new field, it may take two years of full-time study, and with part-time study, it could take three to four years to earn your degree. Our program is just two years long and can be stretched into six if you desire.

Should I Choose an Online Program?

Whether you choose an online or campus-based program depends on how you learn, where you and the school are located, and where you are at in your personal life. Our entire program is online, with two required in-person seminars in Laramie, WY throughout the 5 semesters. Many of our successful graduates have highly rated the convenience of the online classes and the ease of meeting within the time frame as required.