master's degree

A master's degree is a university degree that's awarded after several years of graduate study. After you get a bachelor's degree, you may want to also earn a master's degree.

When you get a master's degree, you focus on one subject — the goal of a master's degree is mastery, or expertise, in that area. The term has been around since the fourteenth century, when a master's degree was required to teach in a university. This has changed over the years, and now a PhD, an even more advanced degree, is usually needed to be a professor. The Latin root of master, magister, means "teacher."

Definitions of master's degree

n an academic degree higher than a bachelor's degree but lower than a doctor's degree

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MArch, Master of Architecture
a degree granted for the successful completion of advanced study of architecture
AM, Artium Magister, MA, Master of Arts
a master's degree in arts and sciences
MALS, Master of Arts in Library Science
a master's degree in library science
MAT, Master of Arts in Teaching
a master's degree in teaching
MBA, Master in Business, Master in Business Administration
a master's degree in business
MDiv, Master of Divinity
a master's degree in religion
MEd, Master of Education
a master's degree in education
MFA, Master of Fine Arts
a master's degree in fine arts
MLitt, Master of Literature
a master's degree in literature
MLS, Master of Library Science
a master's degree in library science
Master in Public Affairs
a master's degree in questions of public concern
MS, MSc, Master of Science, SM
a master's degree in science
Master of Science in Engineering
a master's degree in engineering
Master of Theology, ThM
a master's degree in theology
Type of:
academic degree, degree
an award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study

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