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A master's degree (from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
) is an
academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including Bach ...
awarded by
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

universities
or
college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

college
s upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific
field of study An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Education, taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined (in part) and recognized by the academic journals in which research is pu ...
or area of
professional practice
professional practice
.
A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's degree, bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of
theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, G ...

theoretical
and applied topics; high order skills in
analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composit ...

analysis
, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to
solve complex problems
solve complex problems
and think
rigor Rigour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage ...
ously and independently.


Historical development


Medieval era to 18th century

The master's degree dates back to the origin of European universities, with a
Papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden Seal (emblem), seal (''bulla (seal), bulla'') that was traditionally appended to the end in order to auth ...
of 1233 decreeing that anyone admitted to the mastership in the
University of Toulouse The University of Toulouse (french: Université de Toulouse) is a university in France that was established by papal bull in 1229, making it one of the earliest University, universities to emerge in Europe. Since the closing of the university in 17 ...
should be allowed to teach freely in any other university. The original meaning of the master's degree was thus that someone who had been admitted to the rank (degree) of master (i.e. teacher) in one university should be admitted to the same rank in other universities. This gradually became formalised as the (licence to teach). Originally, masters and doctors were not distinguished, but by the 15th century it had become customary in the English universities to refer to the teachers in the lower faculties (arts and grammar) as masters and those in the higher faculties as doctors. Initially, the
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to ...
(BA) was awarded for the study of the
trivium The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art ( ...

trivium
and the
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
(MA) for the study of the
quadrivium In liberal arts education Liberal arts education (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
. From the late Middle Ages until the nineteenth century, the pattern of degrees was therefore to have a bachelor's and master's degree in the lower faculties and to have bachelor's and doctorates in the higher faculties. In the United States, the first master's degrees (, or Master of Arts) were awarded at
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
soon after its foundation. In Scotland, the pre-Reformation universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen) developed so that the
Scottish MA The degree of Master of Arts (MA; , ) in Scotland typically refers to an undergraduate degree. The degree can be either a three-year general or four-year ''Honours degree'' in humanities or social sciences, awarded by one of several institutions. ...
became their first degree, while in Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin, the MA was awarded to BA graduates of a certain standing without further examination from the late seventeenth century, its main purpose being to confer full membership of the university. At Harvard the 1700 regulations required that candidates for the master's degree had to pass a public examination, but by 1835 this was awarded
Oxbridge Oxbridge is a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the move ...
-style three years after the BA.


Nineteenth century

The nineteenth century saw a great expansion in the variety of master's degrees offered. At the start of the century, the only master's degree was the MA, and this was normally awarded without any further study or examination. The Master in Surgery degree was introduced by the
University of Glasgow The University of Glasgow (abbreviated as ''Glas.'' in Post-nominal letters, post-nominals; ) is a Public university, public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded by papal bull in 1451, it is the List of oldest universities in continuous ...

University of Glasgow
in 1815. By 1861 this had been adopted throughout Scotland as well as by
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
and Durham in England and the
University of Dublin The University of Dublin ( ga, Ollscoil Átha Cliath), corporately designated the Chancellor, Doctors and Masters of the University of Dublin, is a university located in Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Irela ...
in Ireland. When the Philadelphia College of Surgeons was established in 1870, it too conferred the Master of Surgery, "the same as that in Europe". In Scotland, Edinburgh maintained separate BA and MA degrees until the mid-nineteenth century, although there were major doubts as to the quality of the Scottish degrees of this period. In 1832
Lord Brougham Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, (; 19 September 1778 – 7 May 1868) was a British statesman who became Lord High Chancellor and played a prominent role in passing the 1832 Reform Act and 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. ...
, the
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
and an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh, told the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
that "In England the Universities conferred degrees after a considerable period of residence, after much labour performed, and if they were not in all respects so rigorous as the statutes of the Universities required, nevertheless it could not be said, that Masters of Arts were created at Oxford and Cambridge as they were in Scotland, without any residence, or without some kind of examination. In Scotland, all the statutes of the Universities which enforced conditions on the grant of degrees were a dead letter." It was not until 1837 that separate examinations were reintroduced for the MA in England, at the newly established
Durham University , mottoeng = Her foundations are upon the holy hills ( Psalm 87:1) , established = (university status) , type = Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the ...

Durham University
(even though, as in the ancient English universities, this was to confer full membership), to be followed in 1840 by the similarly new
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a p ...
, which was only empowered by its charter to grant degrees by examination. However, by the middle of the century the MA as an examined second degree was again under threat, with Durham moving to awarding it automatically to those who gained honours in the BA in 1857, along the lines of the
Oxbridge MA In the universities of Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London London is the capital city, capital and Li ...
, and Edinburgh following the other Scottish universities in awarding the MA as its first degree, in place of the BA, from 1858. At the same time, new universities were being established around the then British Empire along the lines of London, including examinations for the MA: the
University of Sydney The University of Sydney (USYD, or informally Sydney Uni) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, ...

University of Sydney
in Australia and the
Queen's University of Ireland The Queen's University of Ireland was established formally by Royal Charter on 3 September 1850, as the degree-awarding university of the ''Queen's Colleges'' of Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland ...
in 1850, and the Universities of Bombay (now the
University of Mumbai The University of Mumbai, informally known as Mumbai University (MU), is a collegiate university, collegiate Public university, public State university (India), state university located in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, India. The U ...

University of Mumbai
),
Madras Chennai (, ), also known as Madras (List of renamed Indian cities and states#Tamil Nadu, the official name until 1996), is the capital city of the states and territories of India, Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The state's largest city in area ...

Madras
and
Calcutta Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , the official name until 2001) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...

Calcutta
in India in 1857. In the US, the revival of master's degrees as an examined qualification began in 1856 at the
University of North Carolina The University of North Carolina is the multi-campus public university system for the state of North Carolina North Carolina () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. North Caroli ...
, followed by the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
in 1859, although the idea of a master's degree as an earned second degree was not well established until the 1870s, alongside the
PhD A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as La ...
as the terminal degree. Sometimes it was possible to earn an MA either by examination or by seniority in the same institution, e.g. in Michigan the "in course" MA was introduced in 1848 and was last awarded in 1882, while the "on examination" MA was introduced in 1859. Probably the most important master's degree introduced in the 19th century was the Master of Science (MS in the US, MSc in the UK). At the University of Michigan this was introduced in two forms in 1858: "in course", first awarded in 1859, and "on examination", first awarded in 1862. The "in course" MS was last awarded in 1876. In Britain, however, the degree took a while longer to arrive. When London introduced its Faculty of Sciences in 1858, the University was granted a new charter giving it the power "to confer the several Degrees of Bachelor, Master, and Doctor, in Arts, Laws, Science, Medicine, Music", but the degrees it awarded in science were the
Bachelor of Science A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare' ...
and the
Doctor of Science Doctor of Science ( la, links=no, Scientiae Doctor), usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D., or D.S., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries, "Doctor of Science" is the degree used f ...
. The same two degrees, again omitting the master's, were awarded at Edinburgh, despite the MA being the standard undergraduate degree for Arts in Scotland. In 1862, a
Royal Commission A royal commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry A tribunal of inquiry is an official review of events or actions ordered by a government body. In many common law countries, such as the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of ...
suggested that Durham should award master's degrees in theology and science (with the suggested abbreviations MT and MS, contrary to later British practice of using MTh or MTheol and MSc for these degrees), but its recommendations were not enacted. In 1877, Oxford introduced the Master of Natural Science, along with the Bachelor of Natural Science, to stand alongside the MA and BA degrees and be awarded to students who took their degrees in the honours school of natural sciences. In 1879 a statute to actually establish the faculty of Natural Sciences at Oxford was promulgated, but in 1880 a proposal to rename the degree as a Master of Science was rejected along with a proposal to grant Masters of Natural Sciences a Master of Arts degree, in order to make them full members of the University. This scheme would appear to have then been quietly dropped, with Oxford going on to award BAs and MAs in science. The
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
(MSc) degree was finally introduced in Britain in 1878 at Durham, followed by the new Victoria University in 1881. At the Victoria University both the MA and MSc followed the lead of Durham's MA in requiring a further examination for those with an ordinary bachelor's degree but not for those with honours.


Twentieth century

At the start of the twentieth century, there were, therefore, four different sorts of master's degree in the UK: the
Scottish MA The degree of Master of Arts (MA; , ) in Scotland typically refers to an undergraduate degree. The degree can be either a three-year general or four-year ''Honours degree'' in humanities or social sciences, awarded by one of several institutions. ...
, granted as a first degree; the
Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin) In the universities of Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London London is the capital city, capital and Li ...
, granted to all BA graduates a certain period after their first degree without further study; master's degrees that could be gained either by further study or by gaining an
honours degree Honours degree has various meanings in the context of different degrees and education systems. Most commonly it refers to a variant of the undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education Secondary educat ...
(which, at the time in the UK involved further study beyond the ordinary degree, as it still does in Scotland and some Commonwealth countries); and master's degrees that could only be obtained by further study (including all London master's degrees). In 1903, the ''
London Daily News The ''London Daily News'' was a short-lived London newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray backgr ...
'' criticised the practice of Oxford and Cambridge, calling their MAs "the most stupendous of academic frauds" and "bogus degrees". Ensuing correspondence pointed out that "A Scotch M.A., at the most, is only the equivalent of an English B.A." and called for common standards for degrees, while defenders of the ancient universities said that "the Cambridge M.A. does not pretend to be a reward of learning" and that "it is rather absurd to describe one of their degrees as a bogus one because other modern Universities grant the same degree for different reasons". In 1900,
Dartmouth College Dartmouth College ( ) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...
introduced the Master of Commercial Science (MCS), first awarded in 1902. This was the first master's degree in business, the forerunner of the modern
MBA A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America) involves learning and studying for Academic degree, academic or profession ...
. The idea quickly crossed the Atlantic, with Manchester establishing a Faculty of Commerce, awarding Bachelor and Master of Commerce degrees, in 1903. Over the first half of the century the automatic master's degrees for honours graduates vanished as honours degrees became the standard undergraduate qualification in the UK. In the 1960s, new Scottish universities (except for Dundee, which inherited the undergraduate MA from St Andrews) reintroduced the BA as their undergraduate degree in Arts, restoring the MA to its position as a postgraduate qualification. Oxford and Cambridge retained their MAs, but renamed many of their postgraduate bachelor's degrees in the higher faculties as master's degrees, e.g. the Cambridge LLB became the LLM in 1982, and the Oxford BLitt, BPhil (except in philosophy) and BSc became the MLitt, MPhil and MSc. In 1983, the
Engineering Council The Engineering Council (formerly Engineering Council UK; colloquially known as EngC) is the UK's regulatory authority for registration of Chartered and Incorporated engineers and engineering technician, holding a register of these and providi ...
issued a "'Statement on enhanced and extended undergraduate engineering degree courses", proposing the establishment of a four-year first degree (Master of Engineering). These were up and running by the mid 1980s and were followed in the early 1990s by the
MPhys A Master of Physics honours (or MPhys (Hons)) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperat ...
for physicists and since then integrated master's degrees in other sciences such as
MChem A Master of Chemistry (or MChem) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of ...
,
MMathA Master of Mathematics (or MMath) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of ...
, and MGeol, and in some institutions general or specific MSci (Master in Science) and MArts (Master in Arts) degrees. This development was noted by the
Dearing Report The Dearing Report, formally known as the reports of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, is a series of major reports into the future of Higher Education in the United Kingdom Universities in the United Kingdom have generally ...
into UK Higher Education in 1997, which called for the establishment of a national framework of qualifications and identified five different routes to master's degrees: * Four year (five in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
) first degrees such as the MEng * Conversion degrees, sometimes below the standard of undergraduate degrees in the same subject * The honours arts degree of the
ancient universities of Scotland The ancient university, universities of Scotland () are medieval universities, medieval and renaissance universities which continue to exist in the present day. The majority of the ancient universities of the British Isles are located within Scotl ...
* Specialist postgraduate programmes, such as the MA and MSc * The Oxbridge MA, awarded without additional work This led to the establishment of the
Quality Assurance Agency The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also ...
, which was charged with drawing up the framework.


Twenty-first century

In 2000 renewed pressure was put on Oxbridge MAs in the UK Parliament, with Labour MP Jackie Lawrence introducing an
early day motion An early day motion (EDM), in the Westminster system, is a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countri ...
calling for them to be scrapped and telling the
Times Higher Education ''Times Higher Education'' (''THE''), formerly ''The Times Higher Education Supplement'' (''THES''), is a British magazine reporting specifically on news and issues related to higher education. Ownership TPG Capital acquired TSL Education from ...
it was a "discriminatory practice" and that it "devalues and undermines the efforts of students at other universities". The following month the
Quality Assurance Agency The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also ...
announced the results of a survey of 150 major employers showing nearly two thirds mistakenly thought the Cambridge MA was a postgraduate qualification and just over half made the same error regarding the Edinburgh MA, with QAA chief executive John Randall calling the Oxbridge MA "misleading and anachronistic". The QAA released the first "framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland" in January 2001. This specified learning outcomes for M-level (master's) degrees and advised that the title "Master" should only be used for qualifications that met those learning outcomes in full. It addressed many of the Dearing Report's concerns, specifying that shorter courses at H-level (honours), e.g. conversion courses, should be styled Graduate Diploma or
Graduate Certificate A graduate certificate is an educational credential representing completion of specialized training at the college or university level. A graduate certificate can be awarded by universities upon completion of certain coursework indicating mastering ...
rather than as master's degrees, but confirmed that the extended undergraduate degrees were master's degrees, saying that "Some Masters degrees in science and engineering are awarded after extended undergraduate programmes that last, typically, a year longer than Honours degree programmes". It also addressed the Oxbridge MA issue, noting that "the MAs granted by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are not academic qualifications". The first "framework for qualifications of Higher Education Institutes in Scotland", also published in January 2001, used the same qualifications descriptors, adding in credit values that specified that a stand-alone master should be 180 credits and a "Masters (following an integrated programme from undergraduate to Masters level study)" should be 600 credits with a minimum of 120 at M-level. It was specified that the title "Master" should only be used for qualifications that met the learning outcomes and credit definitions, although it was noted that "A small number of universities in Scotland have a long tradition of labelling certain first degrees as 'MA'. Reports of Agency reviews of such provision will relate to undergraduate benchmarks and will make it clear that the title reflects Scottish custom and practice, and that any positive judgement on standards should not be taken as implying that the outcomes of the programme were at postgraduate level." The
Bologna declaration The Bologna declaration (in full, Joint Declaration of the European Ministers of Education convened in Bologna on 19 June 1999) is the main guiding document of the Bologna process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreem ...
in 1999 started the
Bologna Process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
, leading to the creation of the
European Higher Education Area The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Bologna Process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and a ...
(EHEA). This established a three-cycle bachelor's—master's—doctorate classification of degrees, leading to the adoption of master's degrees across the continent, often replacing older long-cycle qualifications such as the (arts), (sciences) and state registration (professional) awards in Germany. As the process continued, descriptors were introduced for all three levels in 2004, and ECTS credit guidelines were developed. This led to questions as to the status of the integrated master's degrees and one-year master's degrees in the UK. However, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutes in Scotland have both been aligned with the overarching framework for the EHEA with these being accepted as masters-level qualifications.


Titles

Master's degrees are commonly titled using the form 'Master of ...', where either a faculty (typically Arts or Science) or a field (Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Business Administration, etc.) is specified. The two most common titles of master's degrees are the
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
(MA/M.A./A.M) and
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
(MSc/M.Sc./M.S./S.M.) degrees, which normally consist of a mixture of research and taught material. The title of
Master of Philosophy Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles * Ascended master, a term used in the Theosophical religious tradition to refer to spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans * Grandmaster (chess), National Master, ...
(MPhil) indicates (in the same manner as
Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Throug ...
) an extended degree with a large research component. Other generically named master's programs include the
Master of Studies The Master of Studies (rendered M.St. or MSt) is a postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford , mottoeng = Psalm 27, The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (as of 31 July 2019) , b ...
(MSt)/
Master of Advanced Study A Master of Advanced Studies or Master of Advanced Study (MAS, M.A.S., or MASt) is a postgraduate degree awarded in various countries. Master of Advanced Studies programs may be non-consecutive programs tailored for "specific groups of working prof ...
(MASt)/
Master of Advanced Studies A Master of Advanced Studies or Master of Advanced Study (MAS, M.A.S., or MASt) is a postgraduate degree awarded in various countries. Master of Advanced Studies programs may be non-consecutive programs tailored for "specific groups of working prof ...
(M.A.S.), and Professional Master's (MProf). Integrated master's degrees and postgraduate master's degrees oriented towards professional practice are often more specifically named for their field of study ( "tagged degrees"), including, for example,
Master of Business Administration A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of seve ...
,
Master of Divinity In the academic study of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The ...
,
Master of Engineering A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an Academic degree, academic or Professional degree, professional master's degree in the field of engineering. International variations Australia In Australia, the Master of ...
, Master of Physics, and
Master of Public Health The Master of Public Health or Master of Philosophy in Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), Master of Medical Science in Public Health (MMSPH) and the Doctor of Public Health A Doctor of Public Health (abbr. DrPH, Dr.P ...
. The form "Master in ..." is also sometimes used, particularly where a faculty title is used for an integrated master's degree in addition to its use in a traditional postgraduate master's degree, e.g. Master in Science (MSci) and Master in Arts (MArts). This form is also sometimes used with other integrated master's degrees and occasionally for postgraduate master's degrees (e.g. Master's in Accounting). Some
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...
use
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
degree names; because of the flexibility of syntax in Latin, the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees may be known in these institutions as and or reversed from the English order to and . Examples of the reversed usage include
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
, the
University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an abse ...
, and
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private land-grant research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, hi ...
, leading to the abbreviations A.M. and S.M. for these degrees. The forms "Master of Science" and "Master in Science" are indistinguishable in Latin. In the UK, full stops (periods) are not commonly used in degree abbreviations. In the US,
The Gregg Reference Manual ''The Gregg Reference Manual: A Manual of Style, Grammar, Usage, and Formatting'' is a guide to English grammar and style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a buildin ...
recommends placing periods in degrees (e.g. B.S., Ph.D.), while
The Chicago Manual of Style ''The Chicago Manual of Style'' (abbreviated in writing as ''CMOS'' or ''CMS'', or sometimes as ''Chicago'') is a style guide for American English published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Its 17 editions have prescribed writi ...
recommends writing degrees without periods (e.g. BS, PhD). Master of Science is generally abbreviated M.S. or MS in countries following United States usage and MSc or M.Sc. in countries following British usage, where MS would refer to the degree of
Master of Surgery The Master of Surgery (Latin: Magister Chirurgiae) is the most advanced qualification in surgery. Depending upon the degree, it may be abbreviated ChM, MCh, MChir or MS At a typical medical school A medical school is a tertiary educational i ...
. In Australia, some extended master's degrees use the title "doctor":
Juris doctor The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is ...
and Doctors of Medical Practice, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Optometry and Veterinary Practice. Despite their titles these are still master's degree and may not be referred to as doctoral degrees, nor may graduates use the title "doctor".


Types

* Postgraduate/graduate master's degrees ( MA/M.A./A.M., MPhil/M.Phil., MSc/M.S./SM, MBA/M.B.A., LLM/LL.M., MAsc, etc.) are the traditional formal form of master's degree, where the student already holds an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree on entry. Courses normally last one year in the UK and two years in the US. * Integrated master's degrees (
MChem A Master of Chemistry (or MChem) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of ...
,
MEng Meng may refer to: * Meng (surname) (孟), a Chinese surname * Master of Engineering (MEng or M.Eng.), an academic or professional master's degree in the field of engineering * , "M with hook", letter used in the International Phonetic Alphabet ** ...
,
MMathA Master of Mathematics (or MMath) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of ...
, MPharm,
MPhys A Master of Physics honours (or MPhys (Hons)) degree Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperat ...
, MPsych,
MSci MSCI Inc. is an American finance company headquartered in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ...
, etc.) are UK degrees that combine an undergraduate
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
course with an extra year at master's level (i.e. a total of four years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland). A 2011 survey of UK Higher Education Institutes found that 64% offered integrated master's course, mostly in
STEM Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...
disciplines, with the most common degrees being MEng, MSci and MChem. 82% of respondents conferred only a master's degree for the course, while 9% conferred a bachelor's degree at the end of the bachelor's-level stage and a master's degree at the end of the course and a further 9% conferred both bachelor's and master's degrees at the end of the course. *Non-master's level master's degrees The ancient universities of the UK and Ireland have traditionally awarded MAs in a different manner to that usual today. The
Scottish MA The degree of Master of Arts (MA; , ) in Scotland typically refers to an undergraduate degree. The degree can be either a three-year general or four-year ''Honours degree'' in humanities or social sciences, awarded by one of several institutions. ...
is a bachelor's-level qualification offered by the
ancient universities of Scotland The ancient university, universities of Scotland () are medieval universities, medieval and renaissance universities which continue to exist in the present day. The majority of the ancient universities of the British Isles are located within Scotl ...
. The
Oxbridge MA In the universities of Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London London is the capital city, capital and Li ...
is not an academic qualification; it is granted without further examination to those who have gained a BA from
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...

Oxford
or
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
Universities in England, and the MA of
Trinity College Dublin , name_Latin = Collegium Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis Reginae Elizabethae juxta Dublin , motto = ''Perpetuis futuris temporibus duraturam'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Ital ...

Trinity College Dublin
in Ireland is granted to its graduates in a similar manner. The UK
Quality Assurance Agency The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is the independent body that checks on standards and quality in UK higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also ...
defines three categories of master's degrees: * Research master's degrees are primarily research based, although may contain taught elements, particularly on research methods. Examples are the MLitt (usually, but not always a research degree), the Master's by Research, and the MPhil. The Master's ''by'' Research (MbyRes, ResM), which is a research degree, is distinct from the Master ''of'' Research (MRes), which is a taught degree concentrating on research methods. * Specialised or advanced study master's degrees are primarily taught degrees, although commonly at least a third of the course is devoted to a research project assessed by dissertation. These may be stand-alone master's courses, leading to, e.g., MSc, MA or MRes degrees, or integrated master's degrees. * Professional or practice master's degrees (see also
professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hol ...
) are designed to prepare students for a particular professional career and are primarily taught, although they may include work placements and independent study projects. Some may require professional experience for entry. Examples include MBA, MDiv, LLM and MSW as well as some integrated master's degrees. The name of the degree normally includes the subject name. The
United States Department of Education The United States Department of Education (sometimes shortened to the ED, ED or DoEd) is a United States Cabinet, Cabinet-level department of the federal government of the United States, United States government. It began operating on May 4, 198 ...
classifies master's degrees as research or professional. Research master's degrees in the US (e.g., M.A./A.M. or M.S.) require the completion of taught courses and examinations in a major and one or more minor subjects, as well as (normally) a research thesis. Professional master's degrees may be structured like research master's (e.g., M.E./M.Eng.) or may concentrate on a specific discipline (e.g., M.B.A.) and often substitute a project for the thesis. The
Australian Qualifications Framework The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) specifies the standards for educational qualifications in Australia. It is administered nationally by the Australian Government's Department of Industry Department may refer to: * Departmentalizat ...
classifies master's degrees as research, coursework or extended. Research master's degrees typically take one to two years, and two thirds of their content consists of research, research training and independent study. Coursework master's degrees typically also last one to two years, and consist mainly of structured learning with some independent research and project work or practice-related learning. Extended master's degrees typically take three to four years and contain significant practice-related learning that must be developed in collaboration with relevant professional, statutory or regulatory bodies. In Ireland, master's degrees may be either Taught or Research. Taught master's degrees are normally one to two year courses, rated at 60 - 120 ECTS credits, while research master's degrees are normally two year courses, either rated at 120 ECTS credits or not credit rated.


Structure

There is a range of pathways to the degree with entry based on evidence of a capacity to undertake higher level studies in a proposed field. A dissertation may or may not be required depending on the program. In general, structure and duration of a program of study leading to a master's degree will differ by country and university.


Duration

Master's programs in the US and Canada are normally two years (full-time) in length. In some fields/programs, work on a doctorate begins immediately after the bachelor's degree, but a master's degree may be granted along the way as an intermediate qualification if the student petitions for it. Some universities offer evening options so that students can work during the day and earn a master's degree in the evenings. In the UK, postgraduate master's degrees typically take one to two years full-time or two to four years part-time. Master's degrees may be classified as either "research" or "taught", with taught degrees (those where research makes up less than half of the volume of work) being further subdivided into "specialist or advanced study" or "professional or practice". Taught degrees (of both forms) typically take a full calendar year (180 UK credits, compared to 120 for an academic year), while research degrees are not typically credit rated but may take up to two years to complete. An
MPhil The Master of Philosophy (MPhil; Latin ' or ') is a postgraduate Academic degree, degree. An MPhil typically includes a taught portion and a significant research portion, during which a thesis project is conducted under supervision. An MPhil may be ...
normally takes two calendar years (360 credits). An ''integrated master's degree'' (which is always a taught degree) combines a bachelor's degree course with an additional year of study (120 credits) at master's level for a four (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or five (Scotland) academic year total period. In Australia, master's degrees vary from one year for a "research" or "coursework" master's following on from an Australian
honours degree Honours degree has various meanings in the context of different degrees and education systems. Most commonly it refers to a variant of the undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education Secondary educat ...

honours degree
in a related field, with an extra six months if following on straight from an ordinary bachelor's degree and another extra six months if following on from a degree in a different field, to four years for an "extended" master's degree. At some Australian universities, the master's degree may take up to two years. In the Overarching Framework of Qualifications for the European Higher Education Area defined as part of the
Bologna process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
, a "second cycle" (i.e. master's degree) programme is typically 90–120 ECTS credits, with a minimum requirement of at least 60 ECTS credits at second-cycle level. The definition of ECTS credits is that "60 ECTS credits are allocated to the learning outcomes and associated workload of a full-time academic year or its equivalent", thus European master's degrees should last for between one calendar year and two academic years, with at least one academic year of study at master's level. The Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ) in England Wales and Northern Ireland level 7 qualifications and the Framework for Qualification of Higher Education Institutes in Scotland (FQHEIS) level 11 qualifications (postgraduate and integrated master's degrees, except for MAs from the ancient universities of Scotland and
Oxbridge MA In the universities of Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London London is the capital city, capital and Li ...
s) have been certified as meeting this requirement. Irish master's degrees are one to two years (60–120 ECTS credits) for taught degrees and two years (not credit rated) for taught and research degrees. These have also been certified as compatible with the FQ-EHEA.


Admission

Admission to a master's degree normally requires successful completion of study at bachelor's degree level either (for
postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, u ...
degrees) as a stand-alone degree or (for integrated degrees) as part of an integrated scheme of study. In countries where the bachelor's degree with honours is the standard undergraduate degree, this is often the normal entry qualification. In addition, students will normally have to write a personal statement and, in the
arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
and
humanities Humanities are academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

humanities
, will often have to submit a portfolio of work. In the UK, students will normally need to have a 2:1. Students may also have to provide evidence of their ability to successfully pursue a postgraduate degree to be accepted into a taught master's course, and possibly higher for a research master's. Graduate schools in the US similarly require strong undergraduate performance, and may require students to take one or more standardised tests, such as the
GRE The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and Canada and few in other countries. The GRE is owned and administered by Educational Testing Serv ...

GRE
,
GMAT The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT ( ())) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management ...
or
LSAT The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test A standardized test is a test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abil ...
.


Comparable European degrees

In some European countries, a ''magister'' is a first degree and may be considered equivalent to a modern (standardized) master's degree (''e.g.'', the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
n and
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...

Polish
university ''
Diplom A ''Diplom'' (, from grc, δίπλωμα ''diploma'') is an academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. T ...

Diplom
/
Magister Magister is Latin for "master" or "teacher". It may refer to: Positions and titles * Magister degree, an academic degree * Magister equitum, or Master of the Horse * Magister militum, a master of the soldiers * Magister officiorum (''master of off ...
'', or the similar five-year Diploma awarded in several subjects in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
, and other universities and polytechnics). Under the
Bologna Process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
, countries in the
European Higher Education Area The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Bologna Process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and a ...
(EHEA) are moving to a three-cycle (bachelor's - master's - doctorate) system of degrees. Two-thirds of EHEA countries have standardised on 120 ECTS credits for their second-cycle (master's) degrees, but 90 ECTS credits is the main form in Cyprus, Ireland and Scotland and 60-75 credits in Montenegro, Serbia and Spain. The combined length of the first and second cycle varies from "3 + 1" years (240 ECTS credits), through "3 + 2" or "4 + 1" years (300 ECTS credits), to "4 + 2" years (360 ECTS credits). As of 2015, 31 EHEA countries have integrated programmes that combine the first and second cycle and lead to a second-cycle qualification (e.g. the UK integrated master's degree), particularly in STEM subjects and subjects allied to medicine. These typically have a duration of 300 – 360 ECTS credits (five to six years), with the integrated master's degrees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland being the shortest at 240 ECTS credits (four years). * In
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
there are two forms of master's degree. The Master's Degree or ''candidatus'' is a FQ-EHEA second-cycle qualification worth 120 ECTS credits. These degrees are research-based and offered through universities (e.g.
University of Copenhagen The University of Copenhagen ( da, Københavns Universitet, abbr. ''KU'') is a public university, public research university in Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the second-oldest university in Sca ...

University of Copenhagen
and
Copenhagen Business School Copenhagen Business School ( Danish'': Handelshøjskolen i København'') often abbreviated and referred to as CBS (also in Danish), is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownershi ...
). The second form is the Master Degree (no possessive) within the adult further education system, which is worth 60 ECTS credits and is taught part-time. The candidatus degree is abbreviated cand. and upon completion of, for instance, an engineering master's degree, a person becomes cand.polyt. (polytechnical). Similar abbreviations, inspired by Latin, apply to a large number of fields, e.g.: sociology (cand.scient.soc), economics (cand.merc., cand.polit. or cand.oecon), law (cand.jur), humanities (cand.mag) etc. Use of a cand. title requires a master's degree. Holders of a cand. degree are also entitled to use M.Sc. or M.A. titles, depending on the field of study. In
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
and
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
, the title of ''kandidaatti/kandidat'' (abbreviated kand.) equates to a bachelor's degree. * In France, the master's degree ('' diplôme de master'') takes two years and is worth 120 ECTS credits. The two years are often called the master 1 (M1) and master 2 (M2), following the Bologna Process. Depending on the goal of the student (a doctorate or a professional career) the master can also be called a "Master Recherche" (research master) or a "Master Professionnel" (professional master), each with different requirements.
A French '' diplôme d'ingénieur'' (postgraduate degree in engineering of ''
grandes écoles Grandes may refer to: *Agustín Muñoz Grandes, Spanish general and politician *Banksia ser. Grandes, a series of plant species native to Australia * Grandes y San Martín, a municipality located in the province of Ávila, Castile and León, Spain ...
'') is also the equivalent of a master's degree, provided the diploma is recognised by the
Commission des titres d'ingénieur Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration)Commissions are a form of variable-pay remuneration for services rendered or products sold. Commissions are a common way to motivate and reward salespeo ...
, as are qualifications recognised at Level 7 of the '' répertoire national des certifications professionnelles'' (national register of professional certificates). * In
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
the master's degree is equivalent to the two-year '' Laurea magistrale'', which can be earned after a ''
Laurea In Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are ...
'' (a three-year undergraduate degree, equivalent to a bachelor's degree). In particular fields, namely law, pharmacy and medicine, this distinction is not made. University courses are therefore single and last five to six years, after which the master's degree is awarded (in this case referred to as '' Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico''). The old ''Laurea'' degree (Vecchio Ordinamento, Old Regulations), which was the only awarded in Italy before the
Bologna process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
, is equivalent to the current Laurea Magistrale. * In the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
the titles ''ingenieur'' (ir.), ''meester'' (mr.) and ''
doctorandus Doctorandus (; ), abbreviated drs., is a Dutch academic title according to the pre-Bachelor A bachelor is a man who is not and has never been married.Bachelors are, in Pitt & al.'s phrasing, "men who live independently, outside of their parents' ...
'' (drs.) may be rendered, if obtained in the Netherlands from a university, after the application of the Bologna process, as: MSc instead of ir., LLM instead of mr. and MA or MSc instead of drs. This is because a single program that led to these degree was in effect before 2002, which comprised the same course load as the bachelor and master programs put together. Those who had already started the program could, upon completing it, bear the appropriate title (MSc, LLM or MA), but alternatively still use the old-style title (ir., mr. or drs.), corresponding to their field of study. Since these graduates do not have a separate bachelor's degree (which is – in retrospect – incorporated into the program), the master's degree is their first academic degree. Bearers of foreign master's degree can use the titles ir., mr. and drs. only after obtaining a permission to bear such titles from the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs. Those who received their mr., ir. or drs. title after the application of the Bologna process have the option of signing as A. Jansen, MA or A. Jansen, MSc, depending on the field in which the degree was obtained, since the ir., mr. and drs. titles are similar to a master's degree, and the shortcut MA or MSc. may officially be used in order to render such title as an international title. * In
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, the old
Licence A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
or Diplom (4 to 5 years in duration) is considered equivalent to the master's degree. * In
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
and
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
, during the pre-Bologna process education, all
academic degree An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including Bach ...
s were awarded after a minimum of four years of university studies and a successful defence of a written thesis and are considered equivalent to the master's degree. After the completion of that first cycle of the pre-Bologna higher education, the students obtained
professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hol ...
s with the titles of Professor (abbreviation "prof.") for educational studies, Engineer (abbreviation "ing.") for technical studies, or
Licensed A license (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...
professional of their field of expertise (abbreviation "dipl." with a reference to the profession) for other studies. The title of Magister Scientiae (abbreviation "mr. sc.") was awarded to students who completed a postgraduate university programme (and therefore qualified for a doctorate programme), while the title of Scientiae Doctor (abbreviation "dr. sc.") was awarded to students who completed a postgraduate
doctoral A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...

doctoral
programme. Slovenia is a full member of the Bologna Process since 1999 and Croatia since 2001. * In
Baltic countries The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid, Baltimaad; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės), also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the ...

Baltic countries
there is a two-year education program that offers a chance to gain a master's degree in interdisciplinary issues. The system offers an education in different areas, such as humanities, environmental and social issues, whilst paying specific consideration to the Baltic Sea area. It is a joint-degree program, which is part of a team effort with four universities. There is for example the
University of Tartu The University of Tartu (UT; et, Tartu Ülikool, la, Universitas Tartuensis) is a university in the city of Tartu in Estonia. It is the national university of Estonia, and the only classical university in the country, and also its biggest and ...
in Estonia,
Vytautas Magnus University Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) ( lt, Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas (VDU)) is a public university in Kaunas Kaunas (; ; also see other names) is the second-largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin D ...
in Lithuania and the
University of Latvia University of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Universitāte, shortened ''LU'') is a state-run university located in Riga, Latvia established in 1919. The ''QS World University Rankings'' places the university between 801st and 1000th globally, seventh ...

University of Latvia
. The educational programmes allow students to be mobile within the system, for example one semester may be taken in a confederate school without paying additional membership or tuition fees. Subsequently, after passing the qualifications provided, people may procure teaching qualifications and continue their scholastic research around doctoral studies, or carry on studying within their career in the private or public sector. Graduates of the program, within the Baltic Sea area are also given the chance to continue onwards with their studies within the postgraduate system if they have studied the social sciences or humanities field. * In
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
, the ''metaptychiako'' (μεταπτυχιακό) which literally translates as ''post-degree'' (...''programme'' or ''title''), lasts normally from one to, more often, two years, and can be studied after a, at least, four-years undergraduate ''ptychio'', which means ''degree''.
Also, the five-year ''diploma'' (δίπλωμα) awarded in all Polytechnics (schools of engineering) and the
Athens School of Fine Arts The Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA; el, Ανωτάτη Σχολή Καλών Τεχνών, ΑΣΚΤ, literally: Highest School of Fine Arts), is Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
is considered equal to a graduate degree plus a master's degree. * In
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
master (''магистр'') degree can be obtained after a two-year master course (''магистратура'') which is available after a four-year bachelor or a five-year specialist course. A graduate may choose a master course completely different from his/her previous one. During these two years master students attend specialized lectures in chosen profile, choose a faculty advisor and prepare their master thesis which is eventually defended before certifying commission consisting mostly of professors, leading by the professor from another university. * In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, first degrees in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science are considered equivalent to master's degrees despite, for historical reasons, often having the titles of bachelor's degrees. * The old
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
degrees of ''Licenciado'' (Licenciate), ''Arquitecto'' (Architect) and ''Ingeniero'' (Engineer) are also equivalent to master's degrees. They were integrated programmes of study that combined first and second cycles and led to a second cycle qualification. The Spanish government issued a royal decree in 2014 establishing the official equivalences between the Spanish pre-Bologna degrees and the
European Qualifications Framework The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. The EQF ai ...
(EQF) levels. Most (if not all) ''Licenciado'', ''Arquitecto'' and ''Ingeniero'' degrees were placed in level 7 (Master) of the EQF. These programmes have been phased out and replaced with the new Bologna programmes of ''Máster'', to be completed after completion of a programme of ''Grado'' (Bachelor's).


Brazil

After acquiring a Bachelor's or
Licenciate A licentiate (abbreviated Lic.) is a degree similar to a Master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-orde ...

Licenciate
Degree, students are qualified to continue their academic career through Master's Degree ("mestrado", in Portuguese, a.k.a. ''stricto sensu'' post-graduation) or Specialization Degree ("especialização", in Portuguese, a.k.a. ''lato sensu'' post-graduation) programs. At the Master's program there are 2–3 years of graduate-level studies. Usually focused on academic research, the Master's Degree requires, on any specific knowledge area, the development of a thesis to be presented and defended before a board of professors after the period of research. Conversely, the Specialization Degree, also comprehends a 1–2 years studies, but does not require a new thesis to be proposed and defended, being usually attended by professionals looking for complementary training on a specific area of their knowledge. In addition, many Brazilian universities offer an MBA program. However, those are not the equivalent to a
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
MBA degree A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America) involves learning and studying for Academic degree, academic or profession ...
, as it does not formally certify the student with a Master's degree (''stricto sensu'') but with a Specialization Degree (''lato sensu'') instead. A regular post-graduation course has to comply with a minimum of 360 class-hours, while a M.B.A. degree has to comply with a minimum of 400 class-hours. Master's degree (''stricto sensu'') does not require a set minimum of class-hours, but it's practically impossible to finish it in less than 18 months due to the workload and research required; an average time for the degree is 2.5 years. Specialization (''lato sensu'') and M.B.A. degrees can be also offered as distance education courses, while the master's degree (''stricto-sensu'') requires physical attendance. In Brazil, the degree often serves as additional qualification for those seeking to differentiate themselves in the job market, or for those who want to pursue a Ph.D. It corresponds to the European (Bologna Process) 2nd Cycle or the North American master's.


Asia


Hong Kong

M.Arch., M.L.A., M.U.D., M.A., M.Sc., M.Soc.Sc., M.S.W., M.Eng., LL.M. *
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
requires one or two years of full-time coursework to achieve a master's degree. For part-time study, two or three years of study are normally required to achieve a postgraduate degree. M.Phil. * As in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, M.Phil/MPhil/Master of Philosophy is the most advanced master's degree and usually includes both a taught portion and a research portion which requires candidates to complete an extensive original research for their thesis. Regardless of subject, students in all faculties (including sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences) may be awarded the Master of Philosophy.


Pakistan

In
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
i education system, there are two different master's degree programmes: * 2 years master's programmes: these are mostly
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
(M.A.) leading to M.Phil. * 4 years master's programmes: these are mostly
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
(M.S.) leading to Ph.D Both M.A. and M.S. are offered in all major subjects.


India

In the
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n system, a master's degree is a postgraduate degree following a
Bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
and preceding a
Doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Doctorate
, usually requiring two years to complete. The available degrees include but are not limited to the following: *
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
(M.A.) *
Master of Social Work The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a spec ...
(MSW) *
Master of Business Administration A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of seve ...
(M.B.A.) *
Master of Engineering A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an Academic degree, academic or Professional degree, professional master's degree in the field of engineering. International variations Australia In Australia, the Master of ...
(M.Eng.) *
Master of Philosophy Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles * Ascended master, a term used in the Theosophical religious tradition to refer to spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans * Grandmaster (chess), National Master, ...
(M.Phil.) *
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
(M.Sc.) *
Master of Science in Information Technology A Master of Science in Information Technology (abbreviated M.Sc. IT, MSc IT or MSIT) is a type of postgraduate academic master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon co ...
(M.Sc. IT) *
Master of Technology A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an academic An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning, research, or honora ...
(M.Tech.) * Master of Statistics (M.Stat.) * Master of Laws (LL.M.) * Master of Commerce (M.Com.) * Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) * Master of Veterinary Science (MVSc)


Indonesia

In the Indonesian higher education system, a master's degree ( id, magister) is a postgraduate degree following a
Bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
and preceding a
Doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Doctorate
, requiring maximum of four years to complete. Master's student is required to submit their thesis ( id, tesis) for examination by two or three examiners. The available degrees include but are not limited to the following: * ''Magister Administrasi Bisnis (M.A.B)'' (
Master of Business Administration A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of seve ...
) * ''Magister Manajemen (M.M)'' (Master of Management) * ''Magister Sains (M.Si)'' (
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
) * ''Magister Teknik (M.T)'' (
Master of Engineering A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an Academic degree, academic or Professional degree, professional master's degree in the field of engineering. International variations Australia In Australia, the Master of ...
) * ''Magister Hukum (M.H)'' (Master of Laws) * ''Magister Pendidikan (M.Pd)'' (Master of Education)


Israel

Postgraduate studies in Israel require the completion of a bachelor's degree and is dependent upon this title's grades; see Education in Israel #Higher education. Degrees awarded are the M.A., M.Sc., M.B.A. and LLM; the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Technion awards a non-thesis M.Eng. There also exists "a direct track" doctorate degree, which lasts four to five years. Taking this route, students prepare a preliminary research paper during their first year, after which they must pass an exam before being allowed to proceed, at which point they are awarded a master's degree.


Nepal

In Nepal, after bachelor's degree about to at least three or four years with full-time study in college and university with an entrance test for those people who want to study further can study in master and further Ph.D. and doctorate degree. All doctoral and Ph.D. or third cycle degree are based on research and experience oriented and result based. Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and all law and medicine related courses are studied after completion of successful bachelor towards doctoral degree. M.B.B.S. is only a medical degree with six and half years of study resulting medical doctor and need to finish its study o 4 years of period joining after master degree with minimum education with 15 or 16 years of university bachelor's degree education. The most professional and internationalised program in Nepal are as follows: *
Master of Business Administration A Master of Business Administration (MBA; also Master's in Business Administration) is a graduate degree Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of seve ...
(M.B.A.) * Master of Computer Applications (M.C.A.) *
Master of Engineering A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an Academic degree, academic or Professional degree, professional master's degree in the field of engineering. International variations Australia In Australia, the Master of ...
(M.Eng.) *
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
(M.Sc.) *
Master of Science in Information Technology A Master of Science in Information Technology (abbreviated M.Sc. IT, MSc IT or MSIT) is a type of postgraduate academic master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon co ...
(M.Sc.I.T.) * Master of Business Studies (M.B.S.) * Master of Education (M.Ed) *
Master of Arts A Master of Arts ( la, Magister Artium or ''Artium Magister''; abbreviated MA or AM) is the holder of a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a ...
(M.A.) * Master of Agriculture, Master of Science in Agriculture (M.Sc.Ag.) * Master of Laws (LL.M.) * Master of Management (M.M.)


Taiwan

In Taiwan, bachelor's degrees are about four years (with honors) and there is an entrance examination required for people who want to study in master and Ph.D. degrees. The courses offered for master and PhD normally are research-based. Programs are entirely in English and tuition is less than would be paid in North America, with as little as US$5000 for an M.B.A. As an incentive to increase the number of foreign students, the government of Taiwan and universities have made extra efforts to provide a range of quality scholarships available. These are university-specific scholarships ranging from tuition waivers, up to NT$20,000 per month. The government offers the Taiwan Scholarship ranging from NT$20,000–30,000 per month for two years. (US$18,000–24,000 for a two-year program)


See also

* Associate's degree *
Bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
* British degree abbreviations * Diploma mill *
Doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

Doctorate
* Educational specialist * Engineer's degree * Euromaster * European Joint Master degree in Economics * Graduate school * Licentiate (degree), Licentiate * List of master's degrees * Magister (degree) *
Master of Advanced Studies A Master of Advanced Studies or Master of Advanced Study (MAS, M.A.S., or MASt) is a postgraduate degree awarded in various countries. Master of Advanced Studies programs may be non-consecutive programs tailored for "specific groups of working prof ...
*
Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin) In the universities of Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London London is the capital city, capital and Li ...
* Master of Arts (Scotland) * Master of Education *
Master of Engineering A Master of Engineering (abbreviated MEng, M.E. or M.Eng.) is either an Academic degree, academic or Professional degree, professional master's degree in the field of engineering. International variations Australia In Australia, the Master of ...
* Master of Laws *
Master of Science A Master of Science ( la, Magisterii Scientiae; abbreviated MS, M.S., MSc, M.Sc., SM, S.M., ScM or Sc.M.) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon comple ...
* Master's degree in Europe * Master's degree in North America * Master's degree non-Euroamerican * PSM degree, Professional Science Master's degree * Terminal degree


Notes


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Master's Degree Master's degrees, Academic degrees of the United States