Should You Get a Second Master’s Degree?

If you already have a graduate degree, you know how many advantages and opportunities exist as a direct result of your master’s degree. But later in life, if you choose to specialize in your field or you want to alter the trajectory of your career altogether, you might not know that a second master’s degree can also provide tremendous advantages. In fact, a second master’s degree—even if in another field entirely—can afford you greater professional opportunities, hold you in higher regard among colleagues and essentially place you in the highest academic echelon, no matter where you go in life.

Can You Get Two Master’s Degrees?

It's entirely possible to earn two master’s degrees and there are many reasons to do so. Two master’s degrees can help you to pursue more than one academic field, qualify for a position with more responsibility and opportunities and help you to become a top candidate for higher paying jobs.

What is a Dual/Double Master’s Degree?

A dual degree, also known as a double master’s degree, enables a graduate student to pursue two master’s degrees at the same time. The two degrees may be in complimentary fields, allowing students to achieve two degrees in less time than they would have taken had they earned them individually. A dual degree is not the same as a double major—for example, receiving a single master's degree in biology and chemistry—but it entails earning two distinct degrees at the same time.

Students who are pursuing a dual or double master’s degree may find that there are several drawbacks that make this less attractive than earning a second master’s degree. Dual/double master’s degrees require a student to split their attention. It doesn’t facilitate the immersive and rewarding experience that one gets with a first master’s degree and then, later on in life, a second master’s degree. Since any master’s degree provides a level of confidence as well as the educational benefit, it could be said that dual/double master’s degrees are not as beneficial, at least in that regard. Therefore, most students opt for a single master’s degree first; then, if they so choose later on, they go for a second master’s degree.

Benefits of a Second Master’s Degree at Monroe College

There are many things that stand out as benefits to pursuing a second master’s degree online at Monroe College. The first is that it can actually be done online. As second master’s degree students are adults with full lives, this is a huge benefit that enables the student to study from anywhere, including abroad.

The second biggest benefit is the discount financing that Monroe College offers students pursuing a second master’s degree online. Financial discounts are always attractive, but especially so for adult students already managing things like childcare payments, mortgages, car loans, etc. This is a special discount that is available for online students at Monroe College.

Master’s Degree vs. PhD

When students reach the conclusion of their master’s program, they often ponder whether they should continue their education with another master’s degree or pursue a PhD. Despite the fact that both master's and doctoral degrees are considered graduate studies, there are substantial distinctions between the two.

Research vs. Skill Development

Master's degrees are essentially interdisciplinary, combining material and teaching approaches from various fields to guarantee that students get specialized skills and tools for a variety of future occupations.

PhDs, on the other hand, are intended to be self-contained research projects with little support from professors and departments with the goal of confirming the solution to a single issue.

Time Involved

While a master’s program typically consists of four semesters, with certain master’s degrees allowing students to finish their studies in as little as one year or 18 months, PhDs can take anywhere from three to five years to complete, depending on the subject and graduate institution.

Choices in Career Trajectory

Master's degrees are designed to impart general abilities, which are great if you want to keep your professional options open by pursuing a variety of positions. A master's in communication sciences, for example, can prepare you to work in fields ranging from journalism to public relations and sales.

With a PhD, your specialty narrows even further while your depth of knowledge expands dramatically. This is the road to take if you have a specific professional goal in mind, such as rising to the top of a company hierarchy, or if you want to freelance or start your own business.

Time Commitment and Flexibility

Another variation between master's and doctoral programs is the ability to work during the academic year. While there are part-time master's degree programs that provide courses in the late evening to allow working students to attend, PhDs are more like full-time jobs and are supported to compensate for the difficulties of mixing work and research. A PhD also entails continual research as well as other academic obligations such as teaching, conferences, publishing, and departmental organization.

MBA as Second Master’s Degree

Whether you wish to specialize in a managerial specialization, plan a career move or want to develop a hybrid skill set of technological and managerial abilities, the decision to pursue an MBA after an MS is based on a variety of factors. If you have a technical specialization in your MS and wish to improve your managerial abilities and enhance personal development, you could pursue an MBA following your MS. In either case, an MBA can help you advance your career and find better work possibilities as a multiple master’s degree holder.

International Second Master’s Degree

There are tremendous benefits of earning a second master’s degree as an international student. For starters, your educational degrees will be worth more to your future employers and to you in terms of career advancement, no matter where you choose to work in the world. You will also be permitted to remain in the U.S. for longer than if you only go for one master’s degree. Finally, you will simply have more options for your career path, which will provide you with more options in all areas of your life.

How to Finance Your Second Master’s Degree

If you want to get your second master's but are worried about the costs, a loan for your second master's might be the answer to your funding needs.

Stafford Loan Direct

The maximum amount that may be borrowed with a direct Stafford Loan is capped at an annual amount per person. As long as you don't go over the limit, you have the opportunity to get a loan for a second master's degree. Speak with your student loan servicer and see if you can have your loan increased, if necessary.

Perkins Loans

A Perkins loan may be available to pay for your second master’s degree. However, it is important to understand that there is a lifetime maximum per individual.

Personal Loan

A personal loan for a second master's degree is also a viable alternative. Unsecured personal loans are very common types of lending. This implies you won't have to give any kind of security. If you can no longer repay a loan, collateral is anything of value that will serve as payment (i.e., security).


Almost all colleges have a scholarship system in place to recognize and reward their most deserving students as well as those who need financial assistance. A related notion is the assistantship, in which you may be required to serve as a substitute instructor for undergrad students or as a lab assistant in order to receive a partial remission of the master's degree tuition costs.

GI Bill

The GI Bill is a set of benefit programs meant to assist veterans and active-duty military personnel in obtaining an education. The program also assists certain veterans' family members in obtaining financial assistance for their education or professional training.

To use the GI Bill benefit for your schooling, you must first determine your eligibility. Veterans must first get a GI Bill Statement of Benefits which will specify the amount of money they are eligible to receive for their schooling. Many students discover that the GI Bill covers the majority, if not all, of their school costs, as well as providing them with a large housing and book allowance.

Should You Pursue a Second Master’s Degree?

Online dual master's degree programs provide a unique opportunity to pursue your academic studies in advanced disciplines while also broadening your professional alternatives in a short amount of time. Enrollees who pursue a double master's degree online might achieve two degrees in less time.

When it comes to higher education, those with two master's degrees have more options. Admission to PhD programs is tough, with just a few individuals chosen among hundreds who apply. Because research work may overlap these areas, you will be a stronger contender if your master's degrees are in relevant topics.

Monroe College is a top choice graduate school for local and international students in pursuit of a second master’s degree. Interested in learning more about getting a first or second master’s degree at Monroe College? Talk with us and request more information or apply today!