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Master of Science (MS): Degree Overview

Master of Science (M.S.) programs prepare students for high-level careers or to enter doctoral programs. Students may choose from a variety of disciplines, depending on their previous experience and area of interest.

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Essential Information

Students in M.S. programs can choose from degrees in architecture, computer science, electrical engineering, public administration, biology, library science, any of the sciences, and any of the humanities or arts. Depending on the program students may be required to complete internships, mentorships, and thesis projects.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and some programs have additional admissions requirements. Programs typically take one to two years to complete. Some programs are offered entirely online.


M.S. in Architecture

Students interested in studying architecture will be able to find programs that emphasize advanced research in this field. Degree programs may allow students to focus on particular fields of study, such as building science and sustainability or history, theory and society. Students are typically required to complete a thesis, as well as classes including:

  • Integrated design
  • Architecture design theory and criticism
  • Research methods in building science

M.S. in Computer Science

Computer science master's degree programs will build on what students already know from their undergraduate studies. Students can choose from many specific areas of study, including but not limited to computational biology, computer security and network systems. Programs may require a minimum GPA for admission. Classes in this program might include:

  • Computational genomics
  • Advanced database systems
  • Computer networks
  • Programming languages and translators

M.S. in Electrical Engineering

A Master of Science in electrical engineering trains students for a career in the field or for continued study at the doctoral degree level. Many specializations are available, allowing students to craft the educational experience they want. Programs may include classes in:

  • Wireless communications
  • Stochastic processes
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Lasers

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

M.S. in Biology

Biology students will find degrees designed to prepare them for further education or for building careers. Due to the broad nature of the field of biology, students will be able to personalize their education through particular concentrations of study. There are many classes available within this degree, some of which include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Infectious diseases
  • Plant biochemistry
  • Stem cell biology

M.S. in Library Science

Prospective librarians can find training through library science degree programs. Students will learn about managing current libraries and practice looking for ways to improve library systems. Some programs offer special mentoring programs to better prepare students for their careers. Classes in these programs might include:

  • Human information interactions
  • Information resources and services
  • Resource selection and evaluation

M.S. in Public Administration

Master's degrees in public administration focus on training students to be better leaders. Distance learners will be able to find accredited programs offered entirely online. Students will hone their skills with classes like:

  • Research methods
  • Organizational behavior
  • Governmental fiscal decision making
  • Public organization and management

Career Information

Students graduating with an M.S. may seek employment or go on to study for a doctorate degree. Earning your master's degree usually results in obtaining a better job, with higher pay and better chances for advancement.

No matter your area of academic interest, it is likely that you can find an M.S. program in the field. With this degree, you can advance to a high-level career or doctoral program.

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