Master's degrees allow students to complete advanced specialized academic study at the graduate level. Although obtaining a master's degree can mean career advancement in some fields, many pursue this degree on a pathway to eventual study at a professional school. Students can matriculate into one-year master's degree programs to develop well-rounded applications for professional schools or to become more competitive job candidates in the workforce.

Tulane University

Founded in 1834, Tulane University is a private research university in the Uptown District of New Orleans, La. With an academic catalog that includes more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs of study, the university features an extensive range of master's programs. Tulane's School of Science and Engineering hosts a one-year master's program in cell and molecular biology. Ideal for students intending to pursue professional degree studies, the two-semester course of study also suits those planning for careers in the biotechnology industry. Although the program's curriculum aims to give students a firm foundation in cell and molecular biology, it also introduces topics in anatomy, embryology and biochemistry, as well as other relevant areas of study. Biomedical ethics, neurobiology of disease and synaptic organization of the brain are some of the elective courses that students matriculated into the program can choose among. A thesis project is not a part of program requirements.

Tulane University 6400 Freret St. Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5618 tulane.edu

The University of Chicago

Located in Chicago's Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods, the University of Chicago is a private research university in Illinois. Founded in 1892, today the university offers 49 majors and 24 minors and houses master's degree programs in biological sciences, humanities, physical sciences and social sciences graduate divisions. The one-year Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) allows students to explore an individualized course of study. Students matriculated into the program can decide to specialize in a single disciple or use resources of several departments and pursue interdisciplinary studies. The program is also optimal for those that will continue graduate work in the field. The MAPSS program requirements include the completion of perspectives in social science analysis, the program's core course. Additionally, students must write a master's paper under the supervision of a university faculty member.

The University of Chicago 5828 South University Ave. Chicago, IL 60637 773-702-8316 uchicago.edu

Nova Southeastern University

Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla., is one of the country's largest independent universities. From African diaspora studies and applied behavior analysis to speech-language pathology and substance abuse studies, Nova features undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study in a range of areas. Full-time students matriculated into the university's Master of Business Administration program can complete the degree in one year. Housed within the university's H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, the program's curriculum includes required courses like entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, business modeling and managerial marketing, as well as required non-credit career development workshops and internships. Students additionally have the option to participate in organizations such as the Graduate Business Student Association as well as attend lecture series hosted by the school.

Nova Southeastern University 3301 College Ave. Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL 33314 954-262-5000 nova.edu