The 10 Best Online Master’s of Applied Science Graduate Schools in 2023

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Best Online Master's Applied Science - featured image of scientist working on research

Earning a Master of Applied Science from one of the best online schools in the country will prepare students to solve real-world problems and advance their scientific careers.

An Applied Science degree program’s curriculum is quite unlike a regular science degree program, highlighting the firsthand application of scientific methods rather than focusing simply on theoretical or fundamental science methodologies.

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A great number of colleges and universities have recently included an online Applied Science degree program, giving more people the tools and opportunities to earn a degree in Applied Science. If you have developed an interest in the field of research, this is the degree for you!

online master's of applied science

Applied Science Defined

The study of Applied Science discusses the practical implementation of existing scientific knowledge to develop technological improvements and resolve real-world challenges in information systems, medicine, and engineering.

While research-based scientific programs have a primary objective to create discoveries, Applied Science prioritizes implementing the new scientific-based knowledge being explored by research-based scientific programs.

As a clear example, scientists who discovered and mapped the genome of deadly viruses focused on pure scientific research. The scientists, who will be using the new findings extracted from the pure research to develop possible vaccines and medications, are pursuing Applied Science programs.

Applied Science is a multidisciplinary study consisting of a diverse range of fields, including information systems, communication, healthcare, business management, biotechnology, sustainability, and engineering.

Applied Science projects or initiatives may be receiving funding from research universities, private companies, and government agencies. Aside from that, partnerships with private and public sectors may also provide funding for these projects. 

Specializations to Consider

Upon graduation, these programs prepare students to not only work in a broad range of more generalized areas but, due to the specific training they receive, be enabled to work in highly specialized areas such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
Online Master of Applied Science fact 4


Choosing a superior Online Master’s of Applied Science program, and the school that offers it isn’t always an easy task! Students need to conduct in-depth research on the university they are considering attending, and inspect the online master’s program curriculum being offered by the institution.

We can help you make that choice! Our 10 Best Online Master’s of Applied Science Graduate Schools emphasize these exceptional features:

  • Showcase academic curricula that emphasize the most up-to-date and advanced Applied Science courses that master’s students will find useful in their career post-university,
  • Integrate the use of state-of-the-art equipment, and the most current theories and principles to deliver excellent coursework,
  • Feature an impressive group of credentialed instructors known for their contribution to the Applied Science discipline,
  • Present a wide range of financial assistance options for eligible Applied Science graduate students,
  • Exhibit leadership in the Applied Science academic community, featuring top rank in listings and stellar reviews from students,
  • Is Properly accredited.

10 Best Master’s of Applied Science Graduate Schools

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

: 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 68588
: 888-622-0332

Online Master of Applied Science

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a land-grant education, was founded in 1869. It is home to more than 25,500 students from 50 states and 136 countries and consistently tops national research university rankings in the U.S.

  • UNL’s Online Master of Applied Science program is suitable for students interested in pursuing a professional degree in natural resources, food, and agriculture.
  • Students should complete 36 credit hours of coursework to graduate from the MAS program.
  • 18 out of 36 credit hours are dedicated to a specific area of concentration.
  • The MAS program has two specializations to choose from, namely Science for Educators and Community Development.
  • Aside from coursework completion, students must complete a degree project that comprises three to six credit hours. The degree project must be in one area of focus, such as Grassland Studies, Natural Resources, Food Science and Technology, Entomology, Community Development, Agronomy and Horticulture, Education, Agricultural Leadership, or Agricultural Economics.

Standout Features of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Online Master of Applied Science Program:

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Online MAS program is the only program of its kind in the country. Unlike other online schools, UNL awards its graduates with a specific designation, i.e., “Master of Applied Science.” Distance learners enjoy the same set of student services, including career counseling, success coaching, orientation and tutorial modules, and library resources.

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The university receives major recognitions from prestigious organizations, such as the U.S. News and World Report and the Financial Times. Its distance graduate education is consistently ranked among the best in the country. 

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University

: Campus Box 7113, Raleigh, NC 27695-7555
: 919 515 9030

Online Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina State University started as a land-grant institution grounded in engineering and agriculture. Now, NCSU is a leading public research university that caters to a diverse range of disciplines.

A powerhouse in STEM fields and other areas of study, N.C. The state is home to more than 36,000 undergraduates and graduates.

  • The Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering requires 30 credits for completion.
  • To enroll, prospective students must have an undergraduate degree in engineering. Otherwise, they’re granted provisional admission.
  • Given the MBAE is a self-supported program, students can earn their degree within three semesters or in 1.5 years.
  • A thesis isn’t required for graduation.
  • Admission requirements include official transcripts, letters of reference, statement of interest, and GRE score.

Standout Features of North Carolina State University’s Online Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Program:

The Online Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering program at NCSU is part of the Course Quality Program. With the Course Quality Program, the university contributes to DELTA’s mission of advocating high-quality online and hybrid learning by offering faculty a process of quality assurance in distance learning.

The initiative provides QM-based professional development programs to N.C. State faculty for free, assuring students of having a research-based and expert-validated quality of online courses.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

North Carolina State University is a frontrunner in building innovative American manufacturing sector, creating self-powered health monitors, developing a smart electric grid, and restricting nuclear proliferation.

N.C. State’s award-winning Centennial Campus has over 70 private and public partnerships, including the Hunt Library that received recognition from TIME as the library of the future.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

: 2545 Research Blvd., Fort Collins, CO 80526
: 970 491 5288

Online Master of Science in Microbiology

Colorado State University is one of America’s top public research universities that is part of the Colorado State University System. It is a research powerhouse consistently ranked among the top and is a leader in different areas of study, such as engineering, anthropology, natural resources, atmospheric science, chemistry, and occupational therapy.

  • The Master of Science in Microbiology at Colorado State requires at least 30 credits to complete the program.
  • Students can accomplish their graduate microbiology degree within one to two years.
  • The non-thesis master’s in microbiology program requires a scholarly paper aside from the coursework completion.
  • Enrollment into the graduate program already includes a plethora of student services, including a free full version of Microsoft Office365, technical support, and free access to wellness and mental health resources.
  • There is no need for students to submit their DAT, MCAT, GRE or other graduate-level admission exams for enrollment.

Standout Features of Colorado State University’s Online Master of Science in Microbiology Program:

CSU’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology is a leading institution in infectious disease education and research with state-of-the-art biomedical research programs. The university’s biomedical research is proactive in developing effective vaccines and treatments for global infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, students pursuing an Online Master of Science in Microbiology at CSU are guaranteed to have a top-quality online program in the practice of their future profession.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

Colorado State University is a consistent school across different prestigious rankings worldwide in different areas of the discipline. From Military Times to Sierra Magazine to the Financial Times to the U.S. News & World Report, the university is recognized among the top educational institutions in the country and worldwide.

Regis University

Regis University

: 3333 Regis Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80221-1099
: 303 458 4900

Online Master of Science in Data Science

Since 1877, Regis University is a Jesuit Catholic university that establishes a more humane and just world through transformative teaching at the frontiers of culture, reason, and faith. As a catholic university, Regis has an Office of Mission that advocates learning opportunities for students to enrich their understanding and better discern how to contribute to their communities.

  • The 36-credit hour Master of Science in Data Science has a rolling admissions policy, recommending students to apply at least four weeks before their preferred start date.
  • The online graduate program in data science has start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October.
  • Students must have a bachelor’s degree or relevant professional experience, essay, resume, and official transcripts to enroll.
  • The curriculum has courses that are delivered in an 8-week learning format.
  • Depending on the students’ pace of learning, they can graduate with a Master of Science in Data Science degree in as few as 12 to 24 months.

Standout Features of Regis University’s Online Master of Science in Data Science Program:

Regis University’s Online Master of Science in Data Science program allows students to begin with a certificate in Data Science if they aren’t 100% ready for the full master’s program. All credits obtained from the graduate certificate in Data Science can be transferred towards the master’s program.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

Aside from the regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, Regis University has many specialized accreditations from different organizations, including ABET, CCNE, CACREP, GAC, and NACC.

The university is part of the HLC Open Pathway, one of three options that higher learning institutions have for maintaining their HLC accreditation status.

Ohio University

Ohio University

: 1 Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701
: 740 593 1000

Online Master of Science in Geological Sciences

With almost 30,000 students across seven regional campuses and the main headquarters in Athens, Ohio University is one of the top character-building universities in the U.S. The university is strategically located between Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Columbus, nestled in the rolling unglaciated hills of Southeastern Ohio.

  • Ohio University’s Online Master of Science in Geological Sciences is a non-thesis program for working professionals, earth science teachers, and geoscientists.
  • Students must accomplish seven courses and two credits of a colloquium in geology or any approved discipline, summing up to 30 credit hours for degree completion.
  • Graduates often earn their M.S. in Geological Sciences degree in as little as three semesters.
  • Each course has a 7-week duration that can be completed asynchronously. 
  • Submission of GRE scores isn’t required for admission into the online program.

Standout Features of Ohio University’s Online Master of Science in Geological Sciences Program:

Ohio University provides graduate students with the opportunity to strengthen their skills and knowledge through online graduate GIS certificates, such as GIS & Cartography and Geospatial Analysis & Programming.

Through the Online M.S. in Geological Sciences program, graduates will improve their marketability as the next generation of allied professionals, earth science educators, and geoscientists.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

Ohio University is the state’s first-ever university to provide dining, housing, level-rate tuition, and tuition fees locked in for 12 succeeding semesters. Aside from that, the university has expanded its initial OHIO Guarantee program to include graduation plans to help students graduate on time and offer career counseling for life and scholarships to continuing students through the all-new OHIO Guarantee+ program.

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Idaho State University

Idaho State University

: 921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello, Idaho 83209
: 208 282 4636

Online Master of Science in Health Informatics

Established in 1901, Idaho State University offers undergraduates and graduates high-quality education in over 250 programs. The university is also the state’s designated premier institution in health professions. Aside from that, ISU provides on-campus students with exceptional academic programs at the heart of nature, allowing them to find world-class rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, and skiing.

  • ISU’s Online Master of Science in Health Informatics is the only degree of its kind in Idaho.
  • Students must complete 30-credit hour Health Informatics core courses and 9-credit hour specialization courses as the 39-credit hour core component of the program.
  • Aside from the core requirements, students can extend their studies by accomplishing an Internship, a Thesis/Project, or an Internship+Thesis/Project. Instead of 39 credits, graduates must complete 42 credits, 42 credits, or 45 credits, respectively. All programs are optional and will only depend if students will take one.
  • The six areas of specialization that students can choose from including Clinical Research Informatics, Population Health Informatics, Consumer Health Informatics, Rural Health Informatics, Data Science & Analytics, and Clinical Informatics.
  • On average, students can earn their online MSHI degree in 24 months.

Standout Features of Idaho State University’s Online Master of Science in Health Informatics Program:

Given that it’s the only Master of Science in Health Informatics program in Idaho, pursuing this degree at ISU helps students develop and strengthen their proficiencies and knowledge in the areas of Social & Behavioral Aspects of Healthcare, Information Science & Tech, and Health.

The online MSHI program is developed in compliance with the Commission’s rules on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management and the American Medical Informatics Association.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

Idaho State University has an old tradition where a student becomes a”True Benga” if he or she kisses someone while holding one of the pillars on Red Hill. Nobody knows when the tradition started.

A Bengal tiger is ISU’s identity, especially when it comes to athletics and other university traditions.

Bellevue University

Bellevue University

: 1000 Galvin Road South, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
: 402 293 2000

Online Master of Science (MS) in Computer Information Systems

Based in Nebraska, Bellevue University is a not-for-profit, open-access institution established in 1966. Today, the university caters to 50,000+ graduates worldwide. It is one of the universities around Nebraska to receive accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission.

  • Bellevue University’s 36-credit hour M.S. in Computer Information Systems features four emphases that sync students’ academics with their career aspirations, such as Networking, Cybersecurity, Business Intelligence, or Applications Development.
  • 9 out of 36 credit hours are dedicated to students’ chosen specialization, namely Database, Software Development, Data Science, or Cybersecurity.
  • Each student is assigned with a corresponding Student Coach to help them stay on track with their online studies until they graduate.
  • Students participate in a cohort format, with a career-centered curriculum, and their colleagues in a small class size of fewer than 24 students.
  • 24/7 tech support, library services, and support tools are available to help students in their studies.

Standout Features of the Bellevue University’s Online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems Program:

The Online Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science Information Systems program at Bellevue is part of the Real Mastery® approach where students study but master and strengthen their capabilities and expertise that employers expect. They apply their learnings to real-world scenarios, providing them with the experience and confidence to showcase their proficiencies to their employers.

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Bellevue University is consistently ranked among the country’s top military-friendly universities. It’s also one of the schools that are often found in different online schools listing that provides distance learners with a state-of-the-art online learning experience.

Auburn University

Auburn University

: 210 Spidle Hall Auburn, Alabama 36849
: 334 844 3790

Online Master of Science in Nutrition

Initially known as the East Alabama Male College, Auburn University was founded in 1856, 20 years after its founding. Today, the university has more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across 15 schools and colleges. Auburn University has 150+ programs from which students can choose.

  • Auburn University’s online Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition program has garnered accreditation from the Alabama Commission of Higher Education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The curriculum requires 33 credit hours, including a 5-credit hour non-thesis research project.
  • Distance learners can choose electives with an emphasis in Community Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, or Nutrition Science.
  • Full-time students must enroll in at least nine credit hours, which already includes the Summer term.
  • The online graduate program is offered through Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences.

Standout Features of Auburn University’s Online Master of Science in Nutrition Program:

Pursuing an Online M.S. in Nutrition program at Auburn’s College of Human Sciences provides graduates with the opportunity to integrate science-based proficiencies with human-based values. It is a venue that challenges learners academically and prepares them for exciting and fulfilling professions in the global workforce.

The university’s outstanding faculty mentors students and offers a support system to enhance their personal and professional growth.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

Since its establishment in 1856, Auburn University has granted over 300,000 academic degrees. Is Alumni Association is one of the SEC’s strongest in the country, with 45,000 participants.

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama

: Box 870388, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
: 800 467 0227

Online Master of Science (MS) in Human Environmental Sciences

The University of Alabama, the state’s flagship university, is dedicated to excellence in service, research, and teaching. Since 1831, U.A. offers an innovative online learning experience where students can achieve their highest potential.

  • U.A.’s Online Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences is delivered through Bama by Distance’s College of Continuing Studies. 
  • Thirty credit hours are required for students to graduate from U.A.’s online MSHES program.
  • The online MSHES program offers students an opportunity to develop an innovative study plan with specific areas of emphasis, such as Hospitality Management or Consumer Quality Management.
  • Students can apply anytime since applications are accepted year-round.
  • Enrollment into the program requires a Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Aside from that, students can either submit an acceptable GMAT/GRE/MAT scores, a minimum GPA of the last 60 hours, or a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Standout Features of The University of Alabama’s Online Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences Program:

The College of Continuing Studies’ Online Master of Science in Human Environmental Sciences program allows students to create their program of study. That said, they can combine more than one area of study in a Human Environmental Sciences-related major.

Students can select from more than 25 courses to develop a customized curriculum. Each student will be supported by an academic advisor to help them create their plan of study.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

The University of Alabama remains a frontrunner among top public universities in the membership of National Merit Scholars. Currently, U.A. has enrolled almost 800 National Merit Scholars. In the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s report, the university has received a status of R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

: 800 W. Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
: 262 472 1234

Online Master of Science (MS) in Environmental Safety and Health

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a College of Distinction for its career development, education, and business programs and its dedication to inclusion and equity. UWW’s 20 years of award-winning distance learning experience offers the assurance of having an innovative program towards completing a degree.

  • The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health offers a 100% online MS in Environmental Safety and Health.
  • Depending on the study plan, the online M.S. ESH program requires a total of 30 or 36 credit hours of coursework completion.
  • Students pursuing the research option are required to accomplish 30 credit hours, including a 3-credit hour research paper. Otherwise, students who prefer coursework completion only must complete 36 credit hours.
  • To apply for admission, students must have a bachelor’s degree, 20+ undergraduate credits in business, engineering, mathematics, or science, and a minimum of one year of professional work experience.
  • Applicants without work experience can still be enrolled in the online program by registering the ESH Common Body of Knowledge.

Standout Features of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Online Master of Science in Environmental Safety and Health Program:

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Online M.S. ESH program has been reviewed by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and received approval from the GSP Qualified Academic Program. That said, students are guaranteed to have a curriculum aligned with the blueprint of the Associate Safety Professional examination, letting graduates apply to obtain the GSP designation.

DID YOU KNOW - Best Online Masters of Applied Science

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is one of the top 5 mobility-friendly universities in the U.S. A journalist from New Mobility Magazine evaluated the school for a national survey of wheelchair-friendly universities for the Wheels On Campus initiative.

What is an online Master of Applied Science degree?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an online Master of Applied Science degree?

An Online Master of Applied Science degree is a formal graduate designation that emphasizes the implementation of scientific knowledge in a specific area of studies, such as materials engineering, patient management and safety, nanotechnology, agronomy, technology, and natural resources management. 

Also known as MASc or MAS, online Master of Applied Science programs are more common in Australia, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries compared to the U.S. Instead, the Master of Engineering and Master of Science in Applied Science programs are more prevalent.

Several colleges and universities in the U.S. offer online graduate programs in Applied Science in more specialized studies, such as nutrition/food science, biology, agriculture, population health management, and public health. 

These online graduate programs are designed to offer working professionals the education and proficiencies in evidence-based developments, including the latest innovations of emerging technologies and scientific research.

An online Master of Applied Science program uses an interdisciplinary approach that integrates practices, fundamentals, and theories from different areas of scientific research.

How do you identify an Online Master of Applied Science program?

With an online Master of Applied Science program, the degree may or may not be fully recognized as an online graduate Applied Sciences program. Since MAS programs aren’t prevalent in the U.S., many Master of Science degree programs exists as a hybrid between Applied Science and pure research-based science.

The primary factor of an online Applied Science graduate program is the curriculum dedicated to implementing scientific theories and research. Many general Masters of Applied Science programs are integrated into the curriculum of more concentrated programs, such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and agriculture.

To provide you with an overview, here are some of the more common fields in the study of Applied Science at the graduate level:

  • Applied Analytics
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Applied Biology
  • Applied Chemistry
  • Applied Economics
  • Applied Finance
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Applied Statistics
  • Applied Urban Science
  • Data Science
  • Finance
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Nursing
  • Organizational Leadership
What are the other types of Online Master of Applied Science programs?

Aside from the Online Master of Applied Science and Master of Science programs, there are numerous online graduate programs classified as Applied Science programs. The essential factor of an online graduate Applied Science program is a curriculum that emphasizes the practical application of scientific methodologies and principles to resolve real-world challenges.

For example, an online Master in Psychology program offers training and education in the evidence-based implementation of psychological treatment and counseling, involving the application of quantitative tools and scientific methodologies to address psychological concerns. An Online Master of Social Work program has a similar approach to the psychology graduate degree program.

On the contrary, the Professional Science Master’s program is a newer Applied Science graduate program that provides interdisciplinary study in mathematics, engineering, technology, and Applied Science to integrate law, professional communication, leadership, and business.

That said, Professional Science Master’s programs combine technical studies in Applied Science with leadership, management, and other administrative skills essential in organizations and businesses that perform scientific development and research.

What is an online Master of Science in Applied Science degree program?

Although there are only a few Master of Applied Science degree programs in the U.S., many schools include various Master of Science in Applied Science programs. However, these graduate programs aren’t purely designated as “Applied Science.”

Instead, they combine methodologies and fundamentals from mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, and physical sciences into the general curriculum that offers graduate-level studies for career progression in Applied Sciences.

Aside from that, an online MS in Applied Science degree helps prepare graduates for licensure or professional certification in a specific study area. Like other graduate programs, online Applied Science graduate programs include a capstone project or thesis as part of the culminating requirement.

Some online M.S. programs also require students to accomplish clinical or laboratory hours and research training programs through internships, practicums, and other types of practical learning experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider earning your Master’s degree in Applied Science… if you’re ready to put on your research hat! This degree focuses on advancing your knowledge in Science, as well as fostering your interest in the field of research.
  • You may choose to focus on a specialization, such as the healthcare industry, engineering, agriculture, and much more!

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Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor