Founded as a teachers’ college in 1867, Chicago State University has evolved into a 7,200-student university with 25 graduate programs on the city’s South Side. According to its website, the university tailors its programs toward nurses, teachers and public-sector employees who want to better themselves by obtaining master’s degrees in an urban setting at a reasonable price without sacrificing quality.

Master of Arts

The College of Arts and Sciences at Chicago State University offers four master of arts degrees in counseling, English, history, and geography and economic development. If you pursue the geography and economic development master’s degree, you’ll work in the Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center where you’ll study and provide data to nonprofits working to help the disadvantaged in south Chicago. The degree has a computer demographic map-making component. The college also offers a master of fine arts in creative writing. All master's programs require a thesis.

Master of Science

Chicago State offers master of science degrees in biological sciences, computer science, criminal justice and mathematics through its College of Arts and Sciences. Biological sciences master’s students have gone on to become teachers, technicians, allied health professionals or Ph.D. students. Criminal justice master’s degree graduates have become criminologists, FBI agents, air marshals, corrections officers and juvenile probation officers. The seven full-time and 20 adjunct criminal justice faculty members come from a variety of professional backgrounds and are researching criminal recidivism, restorative justice, child abuse and neglect and the disproportionate number of minorities in prisons.

Graduate Education Degrees

Chicago State offers 14 different master’s degrees in education to suit niche specializations for teachers and administrators. The Master of Arts in Teaching degree for secondary education includes a seminar component, helps teachers learn how to integrate technology into the classroom, and helps teachers appropriately educate gifted and special needs students. The program also offers master's degrees in early education, library science, physical education, and technology and education. The university’s College of Education has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education since 1954.

Graduate Health Degrees

Chicago State’s College of Health Sciences offers master’s degrees in nursing, occupational therapy and public health. The occupational therapy program has been accredited since 1984 and its instructors have strong records both in professional service as well as scholarship, according to the department website. The Master of Public Health program focuses on unmet public health needs of minority populations and how to address those needs. Six credits of the public health program are dedicated to field work in impoverished neighborhoods, and students must write a thesis and present a project based on their experiences and studies in order to graduate.

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