Master’s Degree Student Loan Debt Statistics

Master’s Degree Student Loan Debt Statistics

Master’s degrees are advanced degrees that typically take from 1 – 3 years to complete. To be accepted onto a master’s course, a student generally needs to have already completed a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes prospective students are required to sit entrance exams. 

Many master’s degrees also have prerequisites which means a student will have to have taken specific classes at undergraduate level (e.g. maths and programming for an MS in Computer Science.)

Master’s degree student loan debt statistics

  • The typical amount owed by federal student loan borrowers who completed a graduate degree is $102,913
  • On average, individuals with a master’s degree owe $80,494 in student loan debt
  • Roughly 14.4% of the average graduate student’s loan balance comes from their undergraduate education
  • The average graduate’s student loan balance is 145.6% higher than the average student’s
  • Across all advanced degrees, debt from graduate school alone averages $88,212
  • Private, for-profit institution attendees owe an average of $118,684, with $76,182 of that debt being from graduate school
  • Graduate students today are 2.5 times more likely to take out loans for school than they were in 1995 
  • The average amount of graduate student debt has more than doubled since 1995

MBA student loan debt statistics

An MBA is a Master’s of Business Administration – essentially an advanced degree in management and one of the most popular master’s degree programs for business people.

Average debt at the most competitive business schools

  • An MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management costs more than 3 times as much as an MBA from Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, or Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Duke Fuqua School of Business is the only other school that comes close to breaking the $100k mark amongst the top schools
Business SchoolAverage MBA Student Debt
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management$162,886
Duke Fuqua School of Business$95,432
University of Chicago Booth School of Business$79,808
Columbia Business School$72,314
Yale School of Management$58,493
University of Michigan Ross School of Business$56,055
Stanford Graduate School of Business$51,246
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania$45,500
Dartmouth Tuck School of Business$41,000

Average Master’s degree debt by major

Visual and Performing Arts, General$63,830
Radio, Television, and Digital Communication$55,980
Social Sciences, General$54,550
Clinical, Counseling, and Applied Psychology$51,890
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing$51,420
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, General$48,690
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication$48,370
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other$44,600
English Language and Literature, General$44,300
Political Science and Government$43,850
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities$44,400
Finance and Financial Management Services$43,400
Psychology, General$43,400
Business Administration, Management, and Operations$43,250
Computer Engineering$42,650
Public Administration$42,150
Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management$41,240
Computer & Information Sciences, General$40,580
Biology, General$40,270
Communication and Media Studies$39,270
International/Global Studies$37,180
Zoology/Animal Biology$37,060
Hospitality Administration/Management$36,200
Computer Science$35,300
Engineering, General$33,240
Health and Physical Education/Fitness$33,370
Agriculture, General$30,680
Geography and Cartography$30,660
Education, General$29,430
Mechanical Engineering$26,780
Civil Engineering$26,180
International Agriculture$23,280