How long does it take to get a graduate degree? | 06.24.10

Posted in Graduate Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

The most predominant hang-ups for young professionals concerning going to graduate school are time and money. How much will graduate school cost? And how long will it take? As you learned from earning a Bachelor’s, time and money go hand in hand. The longer it takes to get a graduate degree, the more it’s going to cost in tuition.

How long it will take to complete a graduate program is contingent on how much time you are able to devote to classes. If you have a full-time job and are only able to take part-time classes at night, it will obviously take longer to get a degree than if you were going to class full-time.

Getting a Master’s degree generally takes between two to three years on a full-time course load. Other programs can take more or less.

For example, getting a law degree generally takes three years, provided you are on a full-time program. You may be able to get a part-time law degree in four years.  A law degree typically requires between 80-90 credits.  For business school, a full-time MBA program takes two years; part-time MBA programs usually take three to four years. Medical degrees generally take four years to earn.

Obviously this varies from school to school, and program to program. One of the perks of graduate school is that many programs are very flexible to fit your schedule, so the decision on how long you go to school is mostly up to you. If possible, try to go to graduate school at least half-time so you can be eligible to receive federal Stafford loans. Half-time student eligibility is determined by the school. For example, if a school claims 12 credits counts as full-time, then you must be taking at least six credits per semester to receive a Stafford loan.

If work and family make going to school half-time unlikely, a private student loan can help you cover graduate tuition costs. Compare your loan options today.

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