What is a Master’s Degree?

MastersWhat is a Masters Degree? It is an academic certification given to individuals when they complete a specific field of study. Such persons conferred with the Master’s Degree are expected to have mastered the specialized high order knowledge about the specific field.

Students, who are granted Master’s Degree, have the ability to think independently. They can solve complex problems on their own relating to their field of study. They also have advanced knowledge in their field of specialization and are regarded as experts in that particular field upon completing the required courses for their Master’s Degree.

Upon graduation, the student receives their Master’s degree certificate in their chosen field of study. Master’s degree programs are offered in almost all University areas of study. Some of the most common master’s degree certificates are Master of Art (MA), or Master of Science (MS, or MSc).

What is a Master’s Degree?

The name of Master’s Degree originated from Latin language. Some U.S. Universities do use the Latin initials to designate their Master’s degree. Master of Arts in Latin is called ‘Magister Artium’ or Artium Magister.

The Master of Science in Latin is similarly called ‘Magister Scientiae’ or ‘Scientiae Magister.’ The University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for instance, uses the acronyms of AM or SM to designate their Master’s Arts and Master of Science degrees respectively.

Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree Program

All candidates seeking admission to a Master’s Degree program must have completed a degree course in an undergraduate University program. Upon completing an undergraduate course of study, the individual receives a Bachelors Degree certificate in their chosen area of study. They may earn degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Bachelor’s Degree may also be earned in many other fields of study at the undergraduate level.

All Universities require evidence that an individual has completed their Undergraduate program before they may grant such applicant an official letter of admission to one of their Master’s Degree programs. This is the requirement in the United States.

In other countries, the requirement for admission to a Master’s degree program may be different. For instance in the British Commonwealth Nations, individuals applying for admission to a Master’s degree program are considered if they have an ‘Honors’ Bachelor’s Degree. The difference here is that the ‘Honors’ Bachelor’s Degree is granted to students who distinguished themselves with higher than normal grade point averages.

In the United States, students enrolled in Doctorate programs may also acquire a Master’s Degree along the way. This means that although such student is pursuing a doctorate program they can earn enough credit hours through their work on Doctorate program to earn their master’s degree in the process as well.

In some specialized fields, after students complete their Bachelor’s Degree program, some Universities may give credits for work experience they have acquired through their jobs. Such experience may count as earned credit hours in one of these specialized fields. The work experience credits may help to quicken the process for the student to earn their Master’s Degree.

Each University has different requirements for students seeking for admission to a Master’s degree program. Some may require that the student must have their bachelor’s degree in the same field as their intended Master’s Degree program. Other Universities may require a Bachelor’s Degree in a closely related field and others may consider admitting students to a Master’s Degree program based on their possession of bachelor’s degree in any field.

How long does it take to get a Master’s degree?

The duration to complete a typical Master’s Degree program in a University may differ from one University to another. There are some Universities that offers accelerated Master’s Degree programs that may take as little as just one year to complete. On the average most Master’s Degree programs would require anywhere from two to three years of course work. In some instances, it may take longer depending on the students’ academic credentials and course load.

How many Credit Hours is required for a Master’s Degree

The number of credit hours required to earn a Master’s degree will depend on each University’s academic curriculum. While a Bachelors degree will require about four years of work and 120 Credit hours, a Master’s degree program usually requires about one-third of the number of credit hours required by a bachelor’s degree program.

In most Universities in the United States, the average number of credit hours required to complete a master’s degree program ranges from about 35 to 45 credit hours. Each course may be assessed with a value of 3-4 credit hours depending on the University’s chosen credit-hour system. Assuming that each course taken is worth three credit hours, a typical master’s degree program may require taking 10-15 courses to complete the master’s program requirement.

One year master’s degree programs

Some universities offer one year master’s degree programs. Such programs require full-time attendance in other to complete the course within one year duration. While the course work may be completed within the designated one year period, anyone enrolled in such program would still be required to do a master’s thesis which is part of the general requirement for attaining a master’s degree. The time to complete a master’s thesis differs from one student to another. It could take anywhere from six months to one year depending on the student’s pace.

What is a Masters Degree Thesis?

A Master’s thesis is a work or academic writing to be completed by a student pursuing their Master’s Degree program. It is part of the general requirement for completing the Master’s degree program. This document is like a problem-solving plan that chooses an academic topic and discusses problems inherent in the topic area.

The thesis writer often strives to answer questions such as ‘what issues and problems are involved’ and ‘how and what ways’ could such stated problem be solved. A master’s thesis is a very detailed and thorough work requiring much research.

The student is working on their Master’s thesis often work with a team of academic advisors whose job is to guide the student through a successful completion of their Master’s Thesis.

Once the paper is completed, it has to be approved by the Academic Dean of the Department before such document is accepted. The Master’s Thesis is the final requirement a student enrolled in a Master’s program is expected to complete before finishing their master’s program.

Master’s Degree Graduation Ceremony

Once a student enrolled in a Master’s degree program has completed all the course work they will in the process earn all the required credit hours specified for that program. Upon completion of the required master’s thesis, the student will participate in the graduating ceremony. Their Master’s Degree certificate is given to such student as a testimony from the University that the student has officially completed the required Master’s Degree course.

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