Rankings

The 10 Best Online Master of Professional Studies Graduate Schools

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: February 19, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

Best Online Master's of Professional Studies - featured image

Find your perfect college degree

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Learning does not end when one earns an undergraduate degree and starts their career. Opportunities for growth and development await working professionals who want to further their education by pursuing an online Master of Professional Studies program. 

Just like other advanced degrees like Master of Arts and Master of Science, the Master of Professional Studies program offers a focused study in a particular area but without the broad scope of science, engineering, and other traditional fields. Instead, this graduate-level degree focuses on a narrow spectrum of fields and other interdisciplinary areas in specific and specialized industries. 

Many colleges and universities offer Master of Professional Studies programs with a wide range of concentrations. Students are equipped with the skills needed for work and are instrumental in advancing their careers. 

Some of the fields covered by the MPS programs include Design, Applied Economics, Information Science, Project Management, and Strategic and Organizational Leadership.

Quick audio summary:

METHODOLOGY

This ranking is a compilation of the Best Online Master of Professional Studies Graduate Schools based on qualities that will provide each student with an excellent education, professional enrichment, and career advancement. The following factors were considered:


Best Online Master of Professional Studies Graduate Schools

Best Online Master of Professional Studies Graduate Schools

Missouri State University

Missouri State University

: 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65897
: 417 836 5000

Online Master of Professional Studies

A highly prestigious public university in the country, the Missouri State University, has three campuses within Missouri and one in Dalian, China. Since its founding in 1905, it has helped prepare students for their chosen careers. The university has enrolled tens of thousands of students across various educational levels. Their student-centered learning is integral in promoting and supporting not only academic success but also personal development. 

Standout Features:

On top of the six areas of concentration on offer, the online Master of Professional Studies at Missouri State University also allows Individualized studies. This means students can customize their MPS degree to fit their needs. They can develop their program of study by consulting with the Individualized Graduate Committee. 

Did you know?

Missouri State University houses a wide range of centers and institutes, including the Center for Archaeological Research, Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences, Center for Resource Planning and Management, Ozarks Public Health Institute, and Foreign Language Institute. The university has continuously received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission since 1915.


Tennessee Technological University

Tennessee Technological University

: 1 William L Jones Dr, Cookeville, TN 38505
: 931 372 3888

Online Master of Professional Studies

Established in 1915, Tennessee Technological University is known for its commitment to transformative experiences in a technologically driven world by offering a range of STEM-infused and comprehensive programs across higher education levels. This highly regarded public university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Standout Features:

Designed to meet professionals’ educational needs, the Master of Professional Studies program at Tennessee Technological University is both affordable and flexible. Once completed, students can earn the degree program with an embedded certificate program. 

Did you know?

Tennessee Tech used to be called the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute from 1915 to 1965. Its seal is put on display on the Derryberry clock tower. In 1965, the name was changed to Tennessee Technological University, fondly called Tech by its supporters. The university is symbolized by its beloved mascot and two-time consecutive UCA National Championship title winner, Awesome Eagle.


Georgetown University

Georgetown University

: 640 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
: 202 687 8700

Online Master of Professional Studies

Since its foundation in 1789, Georgetown University solidified its place as one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Its global network has reached 190,000. Currently, the university enrolls 17,000 students from 135 different countries. 

Standout Features:

The Master of Professional Studies programs offered at Georgetown University are accelerated and can be earned completely online. While the MPS programs typically require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, the university takes a holistic approach by evaluating the applicant’s academic history, professional qualifications, and other factors before admission. 

Did you know?

Georgetown University houses a wide range of schools. It includes the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown Law, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Robert E. McDonough School of Business, Georgetown College, and School of Continuing Studies where the Master of Professional Studies programs belong.


University of Arizona

University of Arizona

: 1200 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721
: 520 621 0898

Online Master of Professional Studies

A land-grant university established in 1885, the University of Arizona pushes for educational offerings, partnerships, and community service to build sustainable relationships with Native Nations and indigenous communities. The university offers more than 300 majors across a variety of study areas. 

Standout Features:

The university’s Master of Professional Studies in Indigenous Governance program is a unique offer that advances Indigenous issues. Courses related to Indigenous Governance are also hosted by other campus partners such as the Graduate College, Eller College of Management, The School of Environment and Natural Resources, and many more. 

Did you know?

The University of Arizona has rich and colorful traditions. Two of their main attractions are their mascots Wilbur and Wilma, and their nationally acclaimed marching band. Their commitment to academic excellence is exemplified by over 100 centers and institutes that provide research opportunities to students, researchers, government, and industry.


Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University

: 1 University Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37204, USA
: 615 966 1100

Online Master of Professional Studies

Nestled in the heart of Nashville, Lipscomb University is a private institution known for its excellent academic programs and small teacher-to-student ratio. It currently offers more than 176 undergraduate programs, 60 master’s degree programs, and several doctorate programs. 

Standout Features:

Students are allowed to create a program of study based on their educational needs and career goals. They can earn the online Master of Professional Studies degree by selecting two stackable certificates with a research core and research methods and a capstone project. 

Did you know?

Recognized for its many achievements and successes, Lipscomb University has built its credibility since its founding in 1891. It was one of the fastest-growing private doctoral universities in the country in 2019. The US News and World Reports recognized the university as an A+ School for B Students. It has been included in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 100 best values in private universities several times.


Penn State World Campus

Pennsylvania State University

: 128 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802
: 800 252 3592

Online Master of Professional Studies

The Pennsylvania State University boasts more than 125 years of experience under its belt. It was one of the first few universities to offer fully online degrees when it launched the Penn State World Campus in 1998. The university currently offers more than 150 programs through the World Campus. 

Standout Features:

To offer the MPS in Psychology of Leadership program online, Penn State World Campus collaborated with the Penn State College of Liberal Arts. The focus of the program is the relationship between leaders and followers. Instructors of this degree include world-famous researchers and practitioners of leadership, ensuring working professionals learn from the best. 

Did you know?

Pennsylvania State University is known for its academically rigorous and accredited programs. They have received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Students at the Penn State World Campus can access a full range of services, from academic advising and career counseling to technical support, a nationally recognized research library, and tutorials.


University of North Alabama

University of North Alabama

: 1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35632
: 256 765 4100

Online Master of Professional Studies

The University of North Alabama has been producing competent students for 185 years! It is known for online degree programs offering the same quality courses and faculty as their on-campus counterparts. They are also known for their commitment to providing lifelong opportunities for people of all ages. 

Standout Features:

In the University of North Alabama’s Online Master of Professional Studies program, students can customize their areas of study depending on their knowledge base. They are expected to communicate with their academic advisor to select and schedule their specialization coursework within the 12 graduate credit-hour requirement. The Master of Professional Studies program in this university has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Did you know?

The University of North Alabama is known for its affordable and accessible education to full-time professionals. A graduate degree from the university can cost only around $12,000 to $17,850. The costs are further brought down by financial aid, employee reimbursement schemes, and scholarships.


Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

: 600 Park Street, Hays, KS 67601-4099
: 785 628 3478

Online Master of Professional Studies

Fort Hays State University is located on the great plains of the American Midwest, which presents students with a safe and friendly college town that offers rich cultural experiences, from great food and art exhibits to theatre performances and festivals. 

Standout Features:

The online Master of Professional Studies program with a concentration in Criminal Justice is offered under the Department of Criminal Justice. The department offers hands-on learning and opportunities for internships. Students have interned with the Hays Police Department, the State of Kansas Community Corrections, and the Kansas City FB Field Office. 

Did you know?

Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University constantly ranked among the top regional universities in the American Midwest. This regional public university is also a regular in the “best college” rankings of the US News and World Report and USDLA.


Cornell University 

Cornell University 

: 616 Thurston Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853
: 607 254 4636

Online Master of Professional Studies

Cornell University boasts 16 departments, two schools, and a research expenditure amounting to $242 million in a leading institution for scientific learning. Since 1865, it has grown into a prominent university with a high commitment to quality education. Currently, it enrolls 3,23,620 students. 

Standout Features:

Did you know?

Cornell University distinguishes being affiliated with 50 Nobel laureates, either as faculty members or alumni. This includes Roald Hoffman, Harold Varmus, Eric Betzig, Robert W. Fogel, and Toni Morrison.


Columbia University

Columbia University

: 2970 Broadway, MC 4119 New York, New York 10027
: 212 854 9666

Online Master of Professional Studies

Known as one of the world’s important research centers, Columbia University has provided quality and excellence in higher education since its establishment more than 250 years ago. It has 20 prestigious affiliated schools, one of which is the School of Professional Studies. The latter has been providing students with knowledge and skills to advance their personal and professional goals. 

Standout Features:

Columbia University’s online Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management is the only degree of its kind in the Ivy League. It is a CFP Board Registered program designed for students who wish to meet their CFP certification. 

Did you know?

Columbia University boasts over 20 research centers and institutes, with an annual research expenditure of $1 billion. It has helped produce 84 Nobel Laureates, including Theodore Roosevelt, Herman Joseph Muller, George Wald, Milton Friedman, and Nadine Gordimer, among many others.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master of Professional Studies?

Often confined to practical and conceptual education and training, the Master of Professional Studies is interdisciplinary. The aim is to help prepare graduates to advance in a particular field, especially niche industries requiring specialized knowledge and skills. 

Owing to the changing demands of the professional landscape, a Master of Professional Studies degree focuses on cultivating skills that employers want. Apart from conceptual learning, there is also a strong emphasis on hands-on research. Graduates are provided with firsthand experience to form a more solid understanding of theories and practice and apply what they learned. 

Professional growth and career advancement are often at the core of this advanced degree program. 

What sets the Master of Professional Studies apart from other advanced degrees?

While the Master of Professional Studies is also considered a terminal degree, it differs significantly from Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science degrees because of its narrow and specific focus. Programs offered under the Master of Professional Studies cater to professionals who wish to learn and acquire interdisciplinary knowledge and extensive technical expertise with the aim of career advancement.

Since these programs are mostly geared towards working professionals, the classes are often held in the evenings, during weekends, or through online mediums to accommodate their hectic schedules. Moreover, part-time programs are the norm. 

Industry experts lead the classroom instructions instead of traditional graduate degrees, where a tenured faculty is at the helm. A Master of Professional Studies program often culminates in a capstone project, unlike its counterparts, requiring completing a thesis for graduation. Applied research and hands-on experience go hand in hand in a Master of Professional Studies program, going beyond the usual theory and research. 

Who can benefit from a Master of Professional Studies program?

A Master of Professional Studies program is geared toward working professionals who seek career advancement and development. They have very specific knowledge and skill sets that they wish to enhance, and in the process, help them grow their current careers.

Ultimately, students of professional studies graduate programs are equipped with the skills necessary for their specific career paths. 

This type of terminal degree offers courses that combine applied research, specialized skills, and hands-on learning. It is mostly ideal for an almost immediate leap to the workforce right after they graduate. Students who take this advanced degree program are usually employed, so the flexible, part-time format suits their needs. 

Is an online Master of Professional Studies program worth it?

If one’s goal is to acquire specialized knowledge and skills to develop and grow as a professional, then an online Master of Professional Studies program is worth looking into. This graduate degree often offers a range of professionally focused concentrations integral to their career advancement journey.

Because of its specific scope, a Master of Professional Studies program is valued by employers. It is structured to prioritize the application of research skills, evidence-based problem-solving, and a combination of theory and practice across various disciplines. 

In most online Master of Professional Studies programs, students are given ample opportunity to engage with professionals experienced in their respective fields and industry experts. They can also find opportunities to build their network, participate in valuable internships, and avail themselves of other career advancement benefits. 

What employment opportunities does an online Master of Professional Studies program offer?

An online Master of Professional Studies program is designed to equip students with training to enhance their career prospects. Working professionals on career growth and enhancement can use this degree to gain practical competencies immediately applicable to their line of work. Career opportunities like promotions are on sight for those who complete this degree. 

For example, an HR professional can be prepared for upper-level positions such as compensation and benefits manager and director of industrial relations. The specialized programs equip them with the right type of specialized skills that give them a considerable advantage over their competitors. 

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.