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What do Master of Science (M.S.) Designations Involve

Higher Education Articles December 2, 2015

Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs are available to those majoring in the sciences. Various subjects are in the program, such as zoology to atomic energy.

Master of Science (M.S.) Designations

A Master of Science (M.S.) degree differs from a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in that the latter aims at students studying fine arts, English, history, philosophy, and theology. The former covers subject areas relevant to engineering, biology, physics, and chemistry. Theory and supporting research are often in scientific studies. Within master’s degree programs, advanced teaching is offered in a specific subject area, whereby students can avail either career advancement or continued education through enrollment in a Ph.D. program.

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Programs Contrasted with Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs

Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs differ in many ways. Full-time students take four years on average to complete a bachelor’s degree program; they can complete most master’s programs within two years. Part-time options are often available for working students.

Admission criteria related to master’s level programs do not always require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in the same field though some schools may insist upon such criterion. The teachings of introductory courses covered in undergraduate programs often find enhancement in master’s programs. For instance, the principles of federal taxation may be taught in a bachelor’s program in accounting while partnership, corporate and stockholder tax laws are in a master’s level course. A basic foundation in a field of study is in standard undergraduate programs. Enrollees in master’s programs are often allowed to choose a specific concentration for specialization.

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Programs Contrasted with Doctorate Programs

Preparation for research and an advanced continuation of undergraduate coursework are usually both in master’s programs. Master’s programs often allow students to begin a research focus. They may pursue continuing education by earning a doctorate. While doctoral students are still required to complete coursework, programs mostly consist of seminars, independent studies, and workshops. Two to three years of core coursework are often augmented in a Ph.D. program by two to three years of advanced dissertation research; students usually complete it in about five years. Doctoral studies are also often accompanied by fellowships, grants, and stipends; consequently, advanced-level students find funding less burdensome.

Science Organizations

Scientific fields comprise of many non-profit organizations. The educational support and sponsored events they provide may benefit graduate students. Graduate-level science majors may find many to be a source of financial aid options, career assistance, and research publications. Some instances of these organizations are as under:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – members and the public are educated by nutrition professionals

American Association for the Advancement of Science – scientific research and education are advanced worldwide by this international organization

American Physical Society – physics professionals comprise this non-profit society

National Academy of Sciences – engineering, scientific, and technology research are sought to be furthered by this scholarly society

Pacific Science Association – life and the environment find improvement through science by this research organization

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  • Various forms of financial aid are available to students who are eligible
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