Skip to content

Looking to Earn A Part-Time Master’s Degree? Keep these Pros and Cons in Mind!

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: January 28, 2019

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: January 28, 2019

Pros And Cons of Studying a Part Time Master’s

After you earn your undergraduate degree, you may be inspired and motivated to continue your higher education to get a master’s degree. Depending on your career goals, earning a master’s degree could even be required. So, when considering whether to enroll in a part-time masters or full-time program, there are some things that you should know. 

Let’s take a look at all there is to know about a master’s degree part-time. By doing so, you’ll fully understand the pros and cons so you can decide which method is better for you.

Source: Unsplash

Part-Time Vs. Full-Time Master’s Program 

The main difference between a master degree part time or a master degree full-time is the time that it takes to complete. 

A typical master’s program (that is, full-time) tends to take a year to complete. On the other hand, a part-time master’s takes about two years to complete. Overall, each option requires the same amount of course units – their timelines and intensity just differ. 

Pros of a Part-Time Master’s 

Many students seek out a part-time master’s degree because of the benefits that come along with it. Of course, your choice for enrollment will depend on your own circumstances. 

Here’s what you stand to gain by enrolling in a part-time master’s program: 


Perhaps the most touted benefit of learning part-time is the immense flexibility that you stand to gain. For a lot of students, familial or work responsibilities are part of every day life, so the idea of studying full-time isn’t possible. With a part-time master’s, you’re able to spread your study schedule across more days so that you can continue working or taking care of other responsibilities more easily. This is especially true when you enroll in an online master’s program as you get to learn at your own pace and in your own space! 

Employer Sponsorship 

When you enroll part-time and are able to withhold your job, you gain the possibility of employer sponsorship to help you cover the cost of your education. There are a lot of organizations that provide employer tuition assistance to graduate students. To find out of your employer has this perk, be sure to check with your HR team. 

Professional Experience Advantage 

Not only is work experience beneficial for your career growth, but it can also be beneficial to your educational experience. You’ll be able to apply industry knowledge to your coursework, and vice versa.

Less Intensive 

When you learn part-time, you’ll spend more time in school, but it will be less intensive as your coursework is extended over that time period. For many students, studying part-time helps to relieve stress and supports a more enjoyable academic experience. 

Cons of a Part-Time Master’s

Studying part-time allows you to gain schedule flexibility and have more overall freedom. However, it comes with its own set of challenges or considerations worth reviewing before making this choice. 

Time management 

Although coursework is extended and could feel less intensive, you’re also going to need to hone in on your time management skills and ability to balance multiple responsibilities. It’s surely doable, but it will require that you plan in advance and take your schoolwork seriously. 


Given that you’ll be focusing on different types of responsibilities, you’ll need to categorize your time. This way, you won’t fall prey to becoming easily distracted. For example, if you’re studying and thinking about work or at work and thinking about school, then you won’t be giving either avenue your full attention or potential. You’ll have to limit distractions and remain focused on your end goals to do well in each endeavor. 

Takes More Time 

The most obvious potential downside of enrolling part-time is that you’ll be in school for a longer time. Rather than spending one year or just over a year to earn your master’s, it could take two years or just over. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the ability to have a work-life balance is more important than the number of days you’re studying. Additionally, if you’re working while going to school, you’re still gaining valuable work experience, so you’re not necessarily losing out on anything in the meantime. 

Living Costs

If you choose to earn your master’s degree away from home, then you’ll be paying for your living costs for longer during a part-time program as compared to a full-time program. For this reason, it’s important to look at the cost of living to figure out whether it makes financial sense to go this route. Of course, you can forget about this concern when you choose to learn online since you can learn from the comfort of your home.

Source: Unsplash

Getting a Master’s Degree Online 

Because of the immense flexibility and affordability, a lot of part-time master’s degree seekers choose to earn their degrees online. An online degree, such as those offered by the University of the People, can provide you with a unique and top-notch learning experience. As an online student at the University of the People, you can learn from wherever you want, and whenever you want. All you need is an Internet connection and a compatible device. 

With our tuition-free programs, students from all over the world take part in boosting their careers and expanding their job opportunities. 

Mastering Your Master’s 

Whether you earn a part-time master’s or select a full-time option, you’ll be increasing your salary potential and job growth capabilities! The upside of learning part-time provides students with the freedom to pursue work, life, and job responsibilities at the same time as their education. 

When it comes to the quality of the education and the outcome, there’s no difference between a degree that’s earned part-time or full-time. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances that inform how you wish to conquer your higher education goals.

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.