Many college freshmen feel pressure to declare a major quickly, only to reevaluate their interests and values as upperclassmen. For instance, as a freshman, did you just know you wanted to major in psychology? But now that you’re about to graduate, the world of cybersecurity is calling your name?
No need to worry — there’s a solution for you.
There are actually a good number of master’s degrees you can earn with an unrelated bachelor's degree, like:
If you’re one of the many who has experienced a sense of dissociation from your undergraduate degree and are considering attending graduate school, here is a list of 10 graduate programs that do not require a related bachelor’s degree.
(It's not all poetry and grammar)
An English & Humanities degree focuses on a variety of subjects and studies that use methods ranging from close reading of literary and archival texts to the digital humanities, in order to explore the intricacies of the society, culture, and world around us.
Beyond literary studies, some of the common subjects in an English & Humanities program are:
A liberal arts education not only opens doors for employment, it’s also a good predictor of future success. The Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems showed in a recent study that graduates with a liberal arts education (humanities or social sciences) earn more at their peak-earning ages compared to others who hold a professional or pre-professional degree.
Since a graduate degree in humanities remains vast and varied, an undergraduate degree in anything from political science to linguistics to art history could be of use when working towards a master’s in English & Humanities.
Graduates of an advanced degree in English & Humanities are well equipped for careers in a multiplicity of professions. Here are several career positions that are common for graduates of a humanities-focused program:
A recent article from The Atlantic discusses the declining numbers of students enrolling in humanities programs and the discrepancy in annual earnings but goes on to argue that an education in humanities may be more valuable than previously thought:
(Combining social science with public policy)
Health education and promotion focuses on the behaviors, systems, environments, and policies affecting health at a variety of levels. The field of health education and promotion draws from the biological, environmental, psychological, physical, and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability, and premature death through education-driven behavior change activities.
The purpose of health education and promotion is to positively influence the health-related behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that affect their health. It involves the development of individual, group, institutional, community, and systemic strategies to improve health knowledge and behavior.
These strategies include individual and group education, training and counseling, audio-visual and computerized educational materials development, community development, social action and planning, advocacy, and coalition building.
A variety of institutions like hospitals and schools utilize health promoters, planners, and critical thinkers. Degree holders with undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields, including but not limited to, marketing, humanities, psychology, human services, or political science could greatly benefit the work of a health promoter.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that employment of health educators is projected to grow 21 percent between 2012 and 2022.
A degree in health education and promotion can lead to a variety of specializations. Here are some of the most common areas and workplaces of health educators.
Marymount’s M.S. in Health Education and Promotion focuses on effective methods for creating and delivering health education and allows for flexibility for students to specialize in an area of interest. Students learn to incorporate all levels of influence from the individual to policy-level in an effort to promote healthy behaviors and improve quality of life.
MU’s Health Education and Promotion program is based on the competencies necessary to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) upon graduation.
Graduates of Marymount’s HEP program are equipped to:
(If you're thinking about being a teacher, now is the
best time to get started)
An advanced degree in education is a chance for you to explore your options and sharpen your skills as a teacher. The education world is in need of great teachers, administrators, and curriculum and policy developers. A master’s degree in education can put you on the path to all of those positions and more.
Several studies show that many new teachers were once working in other careers. If you’re thinking that the field of education is the career change for you, you should take the plunge into an advanced education program.
If you are considering making a career shift to the education field, know that you are not alone.
Several studies show that many new teachers were once working in other careers before making the decision to switch to the field of education. In fact, individuals who have varying professional backgrounds like psychology, English, history, sociology, philosophy, biology, and criminal justice can bring a lot of diversity of experience to the classroom.
If you think that working in education is the right career choice for you, you should consider taking the leap and jumpstarting your education career with an M.Ed.!
An M.Ed. will help you to become an effective teacher. Advanced education programs place a heavy emphasis on pedagogy, professional knowledge, and educational technology. If you are new to education, getting a master’s degree will give you an in depth understanding o f educational theory and the means and skill set to translate this information into practical instructional skills.
There is a growing need for teachers all over the nation, so job placement rates look exceptional for aspiring educators. In fact, a recent Executive Order from the Governor of Virginia stated that “Virginia is now facing a severe and growing shortage of qualified teachers, and in some high-poverty divisions the shortages are reaching crisis levels. The number of unfilled teacher positions across the state has increased by 40 percent over the past 10 years. In 2016, two months into the school year more than 1,000 fully funded positions remained vacant. This trend must be reversed in order to secure the Commonwealth’s future economic growth and prosperity.”
Marymount is one of the leading teacher education programs in the greater Washington D.C. area. Marymount alumni are teaching in public, private, Catholic, and independent schools. Marymount graduate students participate in dynamic field experiences in a variety of school settings and are prepared for the challenges in today’s classrooms.
Marymount offers M.Ed. programs in:
Marymount graduate students are prepared and excited to enter the teaching profession. Upon graduation, students have both the practical experience and support network to make a positive difference in the lives of students.
Marymount’s teacher preparation programs are accredited by the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure of the Virginia Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
(Good managers are hard to find - be one of the few with
Health care management is a practice that focuses on the fast-paced and dynamic health care field, which equips professionals with the skills to manage and direct within an ever-changing health care environment.
In an ever growing society, health care is always a necessity. The diversity of the health care setting has expanded, and there are now more career opportunities than in just the public health realm.
There are no real prerequisites for admission into a health care management program as the kind of bachelor’s degree held is open ended, although most students come with a background in business, nursing, health science, or social service. If you are drawn to altruistic jobs but don’t necessarily want to be involved in patient care, health care management could be a good fit for you.
One common misconception surrounding the field of health care management (HCM) is that most jobs revolve around clinical work. While the majority of HCM graduates stay in health care, the employment opportunities are actually diverse and varied. Many end up in hospital health systems or in military health systems.
Specifically, health care management is also a good fit for nurses looking to transition into management or who want to move on from patient care. This field could also be good for administrators, supervisors, or assistant directors looking to advance in their career — even if they have no experience in the health care field.
With a master’s in HCM, a few of the career possibilities are:
Marymount University's M.S. in Health Care Management aims to prepare managers to competently perform in the highly competitive health services marketplace in the Washington, D.C. area. The program is designed for students with experience in either health care or business who wish to become hospital administrators, managed care coordinators, financial/operational managers in health care facilities and managed care groups, or physician practices.
At Marymount, you can choose to pursue the single degree in Health Care Management, or you can choose to enroll in one of two dual-degree programs:
Adding an MBA to your HCM degree gives you a competitive edge, providing you with even more informed business skills often needed to understand the business operation side of a department.
As for the HCM and IT dual degree, the benefits are that the increasing use of electronic medical system is on an electronic medical records system (EMR), and being familiar with IT provides you with the tools to be more technologically savvy or to pursue up-and-coming telemedicine employment opportunities.
(The blending of art and science)
Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis, and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.
According to the NCIDQ, “Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants' quality of life and culture.”
It’s complicated. It’s dynamic. It’s constantly changing — interior design is a profession that works to enhance the human experience with good design that changes lives.
A graduate degree in Interior Design without a related bachelor’s degree can require some additional class requirements or program approach, but nevertheless, this creative degree can be attained by individuals with backgrounds in the arts and humanities or the social or technical sciences. Some programs may require a portfolio for admission.
Whether you are just beginning a career as an interior designer or advancing your current professional interior design knowledge and skills, Marymount University can fit your needs – offering two tracks in our Interior Design program.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of interior designers in the U.S. is expected to grow about 4 percent from 2016-2026. This is a bit slower than the average of other occupations, however, employment of interior designers in specialized design services such as hospitality, healthcare, and commercial/corporate design are expected to grow 8 percent.
Job seekers should look for employment opportunities in high-income areas (like D.C.!) because wealthy individuals are more likely to remodel or renovate their spaces. And while the studio and classroom afford you opportunities to gain theoretical knowledge and technical skills, an internship/practicum provides valuable practical experience. Practicums and Internships are available with nationally recognized architectural and design firms, furniture and interior retailers, contract designers, and other organizations around the Washington D.C. area.
Marymount’s Master of Arts in Interior Design program strives to nurture intellectual growth, independent learning, and an increased capacity to engage in interior design practice.
The coursework at Marymount will provide an increased understanding of human needs within the built environment as required for practice or education and research. Coursework also fosters an interdisciplinary approach to design, while supporting independent and lifelong learning.
In the classroom, students will focus on design knowledge and skills, as well as a comprehensive design process with emphasis on the development of programming skills. This includes proficiencies that address client or user goals and needs, graphic and written communication, problem solving, critical thinking, ethics, and social responsibility. Scholarly research is promoted through application in coursework and independent learning as well as the thesis or design research.
Graduates of the M. Wilhelmina Boldt Interior Design program at Marymount will be:
(And join a community of business thought leaders)
An MBA program helps students to identify emerging business problems, think critically about options and design, as well as recommend and manage principled and effective solutions in the global marketplace — whether the goal is to advance in one’s current field or to facilitate a career shift into the field of business.
MBA courses are designed to incorporate the application of several business disciplines to ensure high quality management decisions in a global environment.
Though some majors will certainly help prepare students for their MBA (think business, marketing, or accounting), most MBA programs do not require a specific undergraduate degree. To name just a few, undergraduate degrees such as philosophy, theology, sociology, English, political science, criminal justice, and psychology could serve as a solid foundation for future MBA students.
Consider the following statistics about a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), reported by MBA graduates:
MBA graduates who rated their overall
experience as either “excellent” or “good”
MBA graduates who considered their
MBA skills useful for the workplace
Graduate who studied on campus were less likely to rate their MBA as excellant than online or blended course graduates.
Furthermore, employers will be seeking some contemporary topics from MBA graduates in the next several years:
Marymount’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) prepares you to face the powerful market forces that continue to reshape the business landscape. With a rigorous blend of best practices and practical application, our MBA program will prepare you to identify emerging business problems, think critically about options, and design, recommend and manage principled and effective solutions in an evolving global world.
In addition, Marymount’s MBA program delivers the quality, flexibility, and value sought by professionals in the D.C. area. Some noteworthy facts about the MBA program include:
(Technology runs the world - be a part of the future)
Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems from the theft and damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption of the services they provide.
As long as industries use computers and technology to run their businesses, there will be a need for cybersecurity. Technology continues to permeate areas of daily life in more ways than just your computer, thus making the need for defense against hackers a continuing priority. Infected devices are a threat to other systems, and even if one is compromised, it is extremely likely to make others vulnerable as well.
While graduate programs like Business and IT may require work experience in their respective fields, creative, detail-oriented thinkers from different backgrounds and fields could bring new skill sets to these highly technical industries.
In a survey recently conducted by the SANS Institute, 49 percent of respondents — cybersecurity professionals — reportedly make $100,000 or more. Further breaking down the data, they report that the highest figures are “mostly attributed to those with management roles, while the largest single group (23 percent) selected the $80,000–$99,999 range, representing those with administrator or engineering roles.”
The SANS Institute also found that while experience in the field is a sure path to increased salary, professionals with master’s degrees get higher salaries sooner. Consider the following graph:
The difference of these salaries over time widens the gap even further. While graduate school is an investment, it pays for itself over and over again with a high salary earned earlier in your career.
Marymount’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity program prepares individuals for high-level positions in the technology and management of cybersecurity. The program also will help you meet the knowledge requirements for current professional certification requirements.
Marymount’s M.S. in Cybersecurity will:
The Marymount Cybersecurity faculty are experts in the field with strong ties to the industry, giving students the competitive edge needed to work for federal agencies such as the NSA and CIA, as well as private companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Amazon.
With the cybersecurity field growing and with a competitive number of cybersecurity professionals, it is important that students distinguish themselves as an expert in their chosen niche by preparing with rigorous coursework that translates to in-depth knowledge and field-ready experience. Students accomplish this by complementing their graduate Cybersecurity degree with an additional skill set relevant to the most sought-after disciplines within cybersecurity. Students can choose from two specialization tracks:
(Join a community of leaders in health professions)
Physical therapy professionals, according to American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), are “health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.”
Forensic & Legal Psychology
(If you're interested in research, public policy, and law)
Forensic and legal psychology (or psychology and law) involves the application of scientific and professional aspects of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. This field encompasses contributions made in a number of different areas - research, practice, public policy and teaching/training among them - from a variety of orientations within the field of psychology.
There is no specific undergraduate major requirement necessary in order to pursue a graduate degree in forensic & legal psychology, but having a major or minor in psychology will be of benefit. It is, however, very helpful if applicants have taken a few courses in psychology, criminal justice, and criminology.
While sociology or criminal justice can serve as good foundations for a forensic and legal psychology master’s, many degrees are accepted.
Some research suggests that “Forensic psychology salaries vary widely, based on education, experience, and geographic location.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide salary information for forensic psychologists but reports a median salary of $72,580 per year for psychologists overall. The employment of psychologists is expected to increase 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average rate of growth for all occupations. This anticipated growth is due to the expected increasing demand for psychological services in social service organizations and in the criminal justice system. Psychologists who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty, such as forensic psychology, have the best prospects for finding a job.
While the figures above will generally reflect professionals with a doctorate in forensic psychology, individuals who pursue a master’s degree can often find work in intelligence analysis; local, state, and federal law enforcement (e.g., FBI, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, etc); corrections; probation and parole, crime analysis; social science research; mitigation investigation; sentencing advocacy; trial consulting; offender management; victim advocacy/assistance; child advocacy; and policy analysis.
Marymount’s Forensic & Legal Psychology program is interdisciplinary and combines study in criminal justice, law, and public policy, in addition to the many subfields of psychology. It addresses questions of value, such as how best to achieve fairness and justice in the American adversarial legal system, as well as empirical issues such as the origins of criminal behavior, problems with eyewitness testimony, evaluation of threats against public figures, personalities of political leaders, the origins of terrorism, evaluation and treatment of offenders, and the effectiveness of trial consultation.
Each course incorporates an ethics component to encourage you to grapple with the extremely complicated issues involved in a career in forensic and legal psychology.
Once enrolled in the M.A. program, students may apply for and complete a concentration in Intelligence Studies, which provides the knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive in the Intelligence Community and the private-sector companies that support it.
Note: Marymount University is the first Washington D.C.-area university to offer the Master of Arts in Forensic & Legal Psychology. In addition, the Forensic and Legal Psychology program hosts multiple events during the year (e.g., Annual Appreciation Dinner, Speaker Seminar Series); provides extensive networking opportunities to students; employs adjuncts who are distinguished professionals in their field; and maintains connections with various law enforcement agencies, court systems, and other justice-related organizations in the Metropolitan D.C. region.
(If your strengths lie in helping people)
Mental health counselors have a broad knowledge base. Not only can they help mentally healthy people cope with difficult life events such as illness, unemployment, loss, or relationship difficulties, but they can also provide services to people with clinical mental illnesses as outlined by the DSM-5, such as but not limited such as depression or bipolar disorder. In addition to courses in other areas of concentration, candidates may study trauma and crisis intervention and human development across the lifespan.
Many individuals decide post-graduation that they want to pursue a career path in which helping people is the main objective. Undergraduate degree holders of any field can work towards a master’s in a counseling program, however, if you are still in your undergraduate institution, classes such as abnormal psychology, theories of counseling, and other psychology classes may be helpful in the transition.
There are many career options for counselors. Counselors can be generalists or they can specialize by client population, areas of concentration, or treatment methods. They can see clients in private practice or in agency settings such as hospitals, prisons, nonprofit agencies, or community health organizations. Professionals at the doctoral level might conduct and publish research and teach in college or university settings.
The job growth outlook for this field is just above average, hovering around 8%, making this a steady career field. Here is a breakdown of information on specific median salaries for concentrations within this field.
|Industry||Employment (1)||Percent of Industry Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage (2)|
|Elementary and Secondary Schools||127,100||1.52||$30.65||$63,760|
|Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools||54,980||1.85||$23.93||$49,770|
|Vocational Rehabilitation Services||12,980||3.96||$19.61||$40,800|
|Individual and Family Services||7,840||0.49||$20.07||$41,740|
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. the job outlook for this field is extremely optimistic, with expected growth of 23% between 2016-2026. Here is a breakdown of the median salaries for specific jobs in this field. Note that this is a concentration with plenty of potential for opening a private practice, accompanied by the potential for higher salary based on hourly fees.
|Industry||Employment (1)||Percent of Industry Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage (2)|
|Individual and Family Services||28,770||1.81||$20.77||$43,200|
|Outpatient Care Centers||26,250||3.56||$21.30||$44,310|
|Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities||16,330||2.68||$18.12||$37,680|
|Local Government (OES Designation)||9,880||0.18||$26.55||$55,220|
|Offices of Other Health Practitioners||9,560||1.19||$24.06||$50,040|
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. the job outlook for this field is extremely optimistic, with expected growth of 23% between 2016-2026. Below is a list of median salaries for jobs within this field.
|Industry||Employment (1)||Percent of Industry Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage (2)|
|Outpatient Care Centers||20,870||2.83||$20.33||$42,290|
|Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities||26,250||3.03||$18.51||$38,500|
|Individual and Family Services||18,430||0.77||$19.57||$40,700|
|Local Government (OES Designation)||6,000||0.11||$23.04||$47,910|
|Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals||5,510||2.39||$21.80||$45,340|
This is not an exhaustive list of career options within the counseling field. Counselors may also do motivational speaking, conduct workshops, provide consulting services, write, or provide supervision and training to other, newer counseling colleagues, and some counselors do a mix of several of these career options. For example they combine client care with research and writing, or they split their time between private practice and a community health setting.
Most importantly, each of these options provides meaningful opportunities to help people heal, grow and overcome personal challenges to live happier lives and have healthier relationships, which is the best reason of all to pursue a career in counseling.
Marymount University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with three specializations from which a student must choose. These specializations are:
These graduate degrees in counseling prepare individuals to enter their chosen field with the knowledge and tools necessary to make a lasting impact in the lives of the clients they serve. The bedrock of these programs is a focus on individual and group counseling skills, tests and measurements, research methods and design, human growth and development, career development, counseling theory, diagnosis and treatment, multicultural counseling, ethical issues in counseling, and intensive clinical placements in the community.
In addition to coursework, graduates of Marymount’s Counseling graduate program who choose to continue for licensure will also be required to complete state licensure requirements and perform a certain number of residency hours to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Note: Every state requires one to take a qualifying examination. Because the programs are CACREP-accredited, students can take the NCE or NCMHCE prior to graduating from Marymount University.
Are you looking for some guidance as you consider grad school? We invite you to download this interactive infographic on why you should apply to grad school NOW and visit our Graduate Education Resource Library for our other helpful resources!
Are you ready to take the plunge and apply to a graduate program at Marymount University? You can start your application TODAY.
We promise to make your application a priority!