What Are the Best Masters Programs in the U.S.?

A master's degree is the lowest-level graduate degree available to students who have already completed their bachelor's degrees. Master's degree programs are available in both professional and academic disciplines and can also lead to professional or doctorate degree programs. Read on to learn more about universities which offer some of the top-ranked master's programs in the country.

View 12 Popular Schools »

Choosing a Master's Degree Program

Many factors go into selecting a master's program, including your professional goals, academic interests and whether or not you plan to pursue continued doctoral or professional study.

Many students choose their subject or field before they begin searching for specific programs. Master's degrees are available in almost every academic and professional area, from nursing to history to computer science.

Once you know either the specific topic or general field that you would like to study, it can be helpful to identify the top-ranked programs in that area. U.S. News & World Report ranks graduate schools based on discipline. Although it doesn't distinguish between master's and doctoral programs, most top-ranked schools in the U.S. News list include both.

Top Graduate Schools in the U.S.

In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked the following schools #1 in their respective graduate fields:

DisciplineTop-Ranked College or UniversityLocation
BiologyStanford UniversityStanford, CA
BusinessStanford UniversityStanford, CA
ChemistryCalifornia Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)Pasadena, CA
Computer ScienceCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA
Clinical PsychologyUniversity of California - Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
CriminologyUniversity of Maryland - College ParkCollege Park, MD
Earth ScienceCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA
EconomicsHarvard UniversityCambridge, MA
EducationVanderbilt UniversityNashville, TN
EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Cambridge, MA
EnglishUniversity of California - BerkeleyBerkeley, CA
Fine ArtsRhode Island School of Design (RISD)Providence, RI
Healthcare ManagementUniversity of Michigan - Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MI
HistoryPrinceton UniversityPrinceton, NJ
Library & Information StudiesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaign, IL
MathMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA
NursingJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD
Occupational TherapyBoston UniversityBoston, MA
Political ScienceHarvard UniversityCambridge, MA
Physical TherapyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
PhysicsCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA
Public AffairsSyracuse UniversitySyracuse, NY
Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD
PsychologyStanford UniversityStanford, CA
Social WorkWashington University in St. LouisSt. Louis, MO
SociologyUniversity of California - BerkeleyBerkeley, CA
StatisticsStanford UniversityStanford, CA
Show me popular schools

Related to Best Masters Programs

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Five-Year Bachelor's/Master's Programs in Psychology: An Overview

Psychology students interested in obtaining both a bachelor's and master's degree in only five years of study may enroll in a...

Top Nutrition Masters Programs: List of Colleges

Discover the top universities providing nutrition master's degree programs across the nation. See school rankings, program...

Top Schools with Geography Masters Programs: List of Best Schools

Find out the degree and concentration options for master's degrees in geography at two top schools that offer these programs....

Best Telecommunications Masters Programs: List of Schools

Learn about two leading engineering and communications schools that offer master's programs in telecommunications. Find out...

Schools with Midwifery Master's Programs: How to Choose

Popular Schools

Popular Schools