How Long Does a Master Degree Take? A Comprehensive Guide

When you think about furthering your education, one of the first questions that might pop into your mind is, “How long does a master degree take?” It’s a valid question, and the answer can vary based on several factors. Let’s dive into the details.


A master’s degree, for many, represents a significant step in their academic and professional journey. But, understandably, before committing, most want to know the time investment required.

Factors Influencing the Duration of a Master’s Degree

1. Field of Study

Different fields have different durations. For instance, a Master of Arts might take less time than a Master of Science in some institutions. Similarly, professional degrees like the MBA might have a different duration compared to academic ones.

2. Previous Academic Background

If you’re diving into a new field, you might need to take some prerequisite courses, which can extend the duration.

3. Program Intensity

Some programs are more intensive and demand more hours per week, leading to a shorter overall duration. Conversely, less intensive programs might spread out over a longer period.

4. Thesis vs. Non-Thesis Options

Some master’s programs offer both thesis and non-thesis options. Typically, a thesis option might take a bit longer due to the research involved.

Master’s Degree by Country

The duration of a master’s degree can also vary by country. Here’s a brief overview:

  • United States: Typically 1-3 years, depending on the program and whether you’re studying full-time or part-time.
  • United Kingdom: Usually 1-2 years.
  • Australia: Ranges from 1-2 years.
  • Canada: Generally 1-2 years, but can extend based on research programs.

Full-time vs. Part-time Studies

Your mode of study can significantly influence the duration. Full-time students, naturally, will complete their degrees faster than part-time students. However, part-time studies offer flexibility, which might be suitable for those working or managing other commitments.



So, how long does a master degree take? The answer isn’t straightforward. It depends on various factors, including your field of study, country of study, and whether you’re studying full-time or part-time. However, regardless of the duration, the knowledge and skills acquired can be invaluable for personal and professional growth.

By Sultan

Aamir Iqbal, an Oxford University graduate with a fervor for education. With a vision to empower students globally, he founded BestEducationLearning.