A master cosmetologist is a licensed cosmetology practitioner who has already completed advanced training in cosmetology programs with a concentration in one area. They have grown and honed their skills by learning new industry techniques and products, and are eligible to take on apprentices.
Cosmetologists directly work with clients in providing the best quality nail care, skin care, and hair care. Some work for hotels, cruise lines, and spas, while there is also a growing number of them opening their salons.
In a master’s degree program in cosmetic science and cosmetology, you will continue to study some topics that you may have discussed during your regular cosmetology programs, but this time, at a more advanced level. Most of the time, master cosmetologists prefer to specialize in one key area in the cosmetic industry, although there are still some who opt to continue practicing more varied and diverse skills.
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Cosmetology and cosmetic science are multidisciplinary degrees that combine chemistry and materials science with modeling and imaging to make and market new beauty products. For those interested in the field of cosmetology but who prefer to hold continuing education degrees, a master’s degree in cosmetic science is a strategic route. In this field, students will take courses on:
- Skin, hair, and oral products
- Skin Care and Hair Care Science
- Ethical Research Practices
- Pharmaceutical Sciences
There are also students who enroll in course electives including fragrance science, clinical and instrumental testing, color cosmetics, cosmetic microbiology, and molecular skin biology.
With a master’s degree in cosmetology, graduate students now have better opportunities with companies specializing in personal care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and chemistry.
There are so many online schools that offer Cosmetology online programs today. Our list recommends the best options for prospective Cosmetology graduate students, with each graduate school and program meeting these criteria:
- Delivered as an online or hybrid master’s in Cosmetology degree program, enabling students to upgrade their knowledge and qualify for higher positions in the field without having to leave their current profession.
- Offers rigorous coursework featuring cosmetic product processing to advanced techniques in makeup application, and everything in between,
- Facilitated thru a robust Learning Management System where online lectures, online courses, and on-demand videos are hosted,
- Features Cosmetology experts and real-world professionals as professors,
- Received regional accreditation demonstrating that it underwent and passed intensive reviews to meet the standards of academic excellence,
- Recognized by organizations that advance the Cosmetology industry and profession,
Visit our Methodology page to know more about our graduate program ranking process.
The 5 Best Master’s in Cosmetology/Cosmetic Science Graduate Schools
This list offer degree programs on campus, online, or in a hybrid format.
University of Cincinnati
Master of Science in Cosmetic Science
This program is part of the school’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and is designed to teach students how they can properly use raw materials in making new products, and then develop, formulate, and evaluate the quality and safety of the products for human use.
- This program is globally recognized as one of the nation’s oldest cosmetic science master’s programs and is led by world-class faculty with academic and corporate expertise, experience, and practical application.
- No campus visit is required for this master of science in cosmetic science as this is delivered 100% online.
- This continuing education online program is handled by world-class faculty who have extensive and real-world expertise.
- Students can choose a concentrated, one-week, hands-on laboratory session on campus.
The University of Cincinnati is Higher Learning Commission-accredited.
Standout Features of the University of Cincinnati’s MS in Cosmetic Science:
After completing the program, students get to network and work with professionals from notable brands, including L’Oréal, Unilever, Esteé Lauder, Proctor and Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.
Did You Know?
The University of Cincinnati is ranked the number one public university for co-op and is named among the world’s top 100 most innovative universities. Its campus is also listed among the most beautiful in the world.
Master’s in Cosmetic Engineering
This program is designed for those who are interested in industrial business processes and chemical engineering surrounding the cosmetic and beauty industry.
- This specialized area in cosmetic science brings together specific courses designed for chemical engineering graduate students for professional experience and successful entry into this rapidly increasing industrial sector.
- Graduates of this program have landed jobs in top cosmetic companies like Revlon, Avon, L’Oréal, and Estee Lauder.
- Students are allowed to choose a graduate design project within the cosmetics field. This gives them unique hands-on experience in handling all the tools crucial to the industry.
Manhattan College is regionally accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.
Standout Features of Manhattan College’s Master’s in Cosmetic Engineering:
This is the only type of program in the US and will prepare students for several roles in the consumer and cosmetic industries– from process engineering to product research to product development.
Did You Know?
Manhattan College is a relatively small school with extensive undergraduate degree programs in research, sports, and clubs. It also has a very beautiful campus in New York City and unending career opportunities.
New Brunswick, NJ
Online Master’s in Cosmetology- Personal Care Science
The goal of this personal care science concentration is to teach and equip students with the tools and competence to succeed in the very lucrative personal care (cosmetic) industry. Students learn the basic applications and processes of personal care chemistry and formulations, including emulsions, hair biology, bioactive, and skin biology and functions.
- This online master’s in cosmetology concentration takes courses in other key business areas including marketing, accounting, communication skills, leadership, entrepreneurship, and other related business acumen.
- Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Those who obtained an undergraduate degree in a non-chemistry field should complete at least two semesters of organic chemistry.
- Students completing this program may land jobs in the beauty care industry as innovation scientists color and skin care specialists, research chemists, product developers, scent design associates, and many more.
Rutgers University is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.
Standout Features of Rutgers University’s Online Master’s in Personal Care Science:
This personal care science concentration not only focuses on the chemistry of beauty treatments and personal care products but also gives attention to business management and fundamental knowledge of the industry.
Did You Know?
Rutgers University is the eighth-oldest institution of higher learning in the US. Every year, the school offers more than 100 free on-campus programs on global topics and offers 160 study-abroad programs in 50 countries.
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Master’s in Cosmetic Science
This graduate degree program is primarily created to serve the needs of cosmetic science professionals in New York. This program was introduced in 1982 and is the first in New Jersey.
- This master’s degree is for those who are tasked with making commercial products in the cosmetics, fragrance, and toiletries industries.
- The program allows cosmetic students to learn the most recent advances in their field and helps them develop the necessary skills required for senior positions in the cosmetics industry.
- This program runs for five semesters, although some can complete in less than that due to the course scheduling and availability.
Fairleigh Dickinson University has obtained approval from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Standout Features of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Master’s in Cosmetic Science:
Unlike most graduate schools offering a master’s degree in cosmetic science, this school does not require an Advanced Chemistry GRE. However, GRE scores in quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing are still required.
Did You Know?
The International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management at FDU is known for having the best hospitality programs both nationally and globally.
Fashion Institute of Technology
New York, NY
Master’s in Professional Studies in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing and Management
This program is tailored to future executives to develop them into empathetic leaders with sharp competencies in analytical business and creative skills.
- This graduate program features product innovation and creative management courses.
- This is an on-campus program where courses are held in the only fragrance laboratory on a US college campus.
- Learning is focused both on traditional business skills and more specialized skills needed in the beauty industry like brand and product development.
The Fashion Institute of Technology has gained the approval of the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools.
Standout Features of Fashion Institute of Technology’s MPS in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing and Management:
This program has a strong emphasis on team projects and case studies and intensive interaction with industry professionals who also serve as guest instructors and lecturers.
Did You Know?
The FIT has a massive amount of connections, considering it is one of the best fashion schools in the world. This is very important because connections can travel a long way in life.
Top Cosmetic Science Careers in Master’s in Cosmetic Science Program
- Cosmetic Chemists and Scientists
- Clinical Testing and Instrumentation
- Consumer Affairs
- Cosmetic Technology
- Hair Care Scientist
- Product Manufacturing and Development
- Quality Assurance/Control
Top Career in Master in Cosmetology Program
- Hair Cutting/Hair Styling/Hair Coloring
- Makeup Application
- Salon and Beauty Consultants
- Skin Health Specialists
- Nail Care/ Nail Files Technicians
- Cosmetology Instructor
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a high school diploma to practice cosmetology?
Yes, cosmetology schools require basic education to get in. You should have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
How lucrative is the cosmetic science industry?
The cosmetics science industry is one of the most profitable industries for those who can successfully make their brand and develop high-quality products from raw materials.
What do you need to start up your own salon?
On top of the technical skills, you need to have enough knowledge of the business side of the field. It also helps that you pass the state licensing exam, although this is not a requirement.
- A master cosmetologist is a great career choice for those who are passionate, driven, and creative about working with clients hands-on.
- An online Master of Science in Cosmetology offers you the chance to improve your knowledge with specialized and in-depth study.
- As a master cosmetologist, lifelong learning is necessary to stay on top of the latest industry trends.