Cost of an Online Master’s Degree Program

The following short article is written to provide general advice about online education and degrees, not just information specific to WGU. If you have specific questions about WGU, feel free to inquire online or speak with an enrollment counselor (1-866-225-5948).

The cost of your education for an online master’s degree program includes more than just tuition. Many schools only list the upfront tuition costs, but you must factor in many other incidentals when comparing costs of online degree programs.

Some additional costs include:

Books & Fees

  • eBooks
  • traditional textbooks
  • Course fees
  • Testing fees


Most online degree programs have minimum system requirements that your computer must meet. Will your system need significant upgrades to meet the technological demands of streaming video, chat rooms, and proprietary software? Will you need to purchase additional software as part of the online courses? Is your Internet access fast enough, or will you need to upgrade to a better service, which will entail a monthly fee from your service provider?

Residency Requirements

If your degree program requires an internship or a residency program or any traditional classroom time, add in commuting and/or living costs to the total.

You may have to investigate closely to find these numbers. You must factor in these costs on top of your master’s degree tuition for a realistic estimate of the cost of your online education.

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