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What Are the Types of Master Degree ?

Universities and other educational institutions offer different types of master’s degrees, depending mainly on the field of study, duration and intensity of the classes. As a graduate, if you are looking for the perfect master’s program, you should consider what type of master’s degree is most suitable.

Generally speaking, there are two main types of master’s degrees: course-based (taught) and research-based.

Course-based masters degrees are based on structured course modules that are delivered through lectures, seminars, laboratory work, or distance learning.

Research-based masters degrees, on the other hand, require students to carry out their own research projects in a specialized field of study. Research-based masters degrees usually take a little longer than taught masters degrees to complete.

It is also possible to classify master’s degrees in terms of subject matter, level of specialization, type of courses, and entry requirements. Note that naming conventions vary and some universities, such as Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and MIT, use Latin names.

For example, the master of arts is known as magister artium or artium magister and the master of science is known as magister scientiae or scientiae magister. Since there is no single standardized system, you may find variations among institutions in terms of nomenclature and course content.

Different Types of Master’s Degrees Based on the Most Common Courses in University Lists

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Science (MS, MSc)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master’s Degree in Research (MPhil)
  • Master of Studies (MSt)
  • Specialized and professional masters
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Library Science (MLS, MLIS, MSLS)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MA, MALS, MLA / ALM, MLS)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Master of Music (MM / MMus)
  • Master of Education (MEd, MSEd, MIT, MAEd, MAT)
  • Master of Engineering (MEng)
  • Master of Architecture (MArch)

Master’s Requirements

Finally, master’s degrees also vary in terms of the entrance requirements that applicants must meet.

To meet the requirements for a master’s degree, it is usually (but not always) necessary to have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, and some programs require a certain amount of professional experience. See below for the most common requirements for the different types of master’s degrees.

Master’s Degree (MA, MSc, MLA, MSW, etc.)

These master’s degrees are generally open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. (See above for the names of the different types of graduate master’s degrees.)

Master of Business Administration (MBA, MSc, MIM, MSM, MA, MEM)

A master’s degree in management (MSc, MIM, MSM) generally requires a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, while a master’s degree in management is more likely to accept candidates from all backgrounds. The Master of Engineering Management (MEM) is specially designed for engineering students.

Executive Master’s (EMBA, EMS)

Designed specifically for mid-career executive professionals, executive master’s degrees require candidates to have gained significant professional experience.

Postgraduate Research Master’s

Research Master’s programs are designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree with a significant research component and/or have several published research papers.

Integrated Master’s (MEng, MMath, MSci, etc.)

These are master’s degrees that follow directly from a bachelor’s program, most commonly available in science and technology subjects.

Studies in Different Academic Levels

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