Master's degree can be broadly divided into two categories: master's degree in arts and sciences and professional master's degree. Master of Arts and Science includes Master of Arts and Master of Science. Due to the different usage of degrees in different schools, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two. Master's degrees in arts and sciences generally require 24-30 credits for postgraduate courses, most of which are courses in the field of specialization. A certain amount of postgraduate credits can also be transferred from other schools. The minimum period of study is one year, usually 2-3 years, and the longest is about 5 years. There are also many discrepancies in various institutions.
There are more than 600 colleges and universities that have awarded master's degrees in the United States. This degree has even different meanings in different departments of these institutions. In some institutions, students can earn this degree after 5 years of schooling. At other institutions, students are required to pass a qualifying examination, submit a dissertation and take a foreign language course. Sometimes it is a degree after completing a 2-year professional course, such as business administration or a 3-year research course, such as fine arts. It can also be a secondary professional degree, such as in pharmacology and architecture.
Some institutions regard the master's degree as a research degree, while others regard it as the middle ladder leading to a doctoral degree. The nature of the examination is such that students often bypass the master's degree and directly pursue a doctoral degree. In some institutions, especially some famous colleges, master's degrees are used to soothe those who are not enough to study for doctoral degrees.
The definition of a professional master's degree is relatively clear, and the majors are indicated before the title of the degree. The curriculum is more compact, stricter in management, and has a higher reputation, such as a master's degree in business administration, engineering, fine arts, etc. Since many state education authorities have established a master's degree as a prerequisite for coaching and promotion of secondary school teachers, the relationship between the master's degree and the education profession is increasingly close. In recent years, about half of the master's degree has been awarded to the education major, and the number of masters of education in some colleges has soared. This type of professional degree is mainly for liberal arts students who are preparing for secondary education. They do not need to specialize in pedagogy or submit a dissertation, but they must practice in school. The needs of the education profession have greatly increased the burden on graduate schools. The reduction of admission standards and the phenomenon of poor quality have also occurred from time to time, resulting in a decline in the reputation of the entire master's degree.
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