Both a Master of Advanced Studies and a Master of Science can offer graduates the ability to further develop their education, but each program directs this specialization towards a different end. Whereas a Master of Advanced Studies is a focused degree that provides students the opportunity to specialize towards a professional discipline with more practical experience, in a Master of Science program, students are focused more on theoretical or academic work. This article will outline the differing features between these programs as well as their differing admission standards.
Master of Advanced Studies vs Master of Science: What to Expect
Master of Advanced Studies
A Master of Advanced Studies, sometimes referred to as a Master of Professional Studies, is a common program selection for those students seeking an education that emphasizes independent work that will enable them to develop practical skills and knowledge they can then bring into a professional work environment. The admission requirements for a Master of Advanced Studies can vary based on the specific program, but students can generally expect to have completed a comparable degree to their desired field. Other admission requirements may include professional work experience related to the field of interest, though GRE scores may serve as a substitute for this requirement. English proficiency tests for foreign-exchange or international students are generally mandatory as well.
Master of Science
A Master of Science program orients itself toward the further study of theoretical or academic knowledge; roughly speaking, this is a more specialized version of an undergraduate degree program in science. Regarding the admission requirements for a Master of Science program, students should expect to have completed an undergraduate degree relevant to their desired program in science, or, at the least, an undergraduate degree with the necessary pre-requisite courses for the intended master's program. Transcripts from these undergraduate degrees should express a good academic standing. Furthermore, some institutions will expect GRE or GMAT test results, and international students must produce TOEFL or comparable English proficiency test results.
Master of Advanced Studies & Master of Science: Types of Degrees
Master of Advanced Studies in Data Science
A Master of Advanced Studies in Data Science will prepare students with practical skills in the field of data science by challenging them with real-world problems requiring the application of theoretical principles. Similar in nature to a Master of Science in Data Science, apart from the more independent nature of study, a Master of Advanced or Professional Studies in data science will require 1 to 2 years for program completion. Furthermore, this degree will often require an undergraduate degree relevant to data science, but an undergraduate degree indicating good standing in some other discipline may also apply depending on the program. Common courses may include versions of data visualization and analysis, as well as courses in statistics and probability.
Master of Science in Data Science
A Master of Science in Data Science will prepare students with skills ranging from statistical modeling to data analysis and management, all for the purpose of communicating and resolving problems within the growing interdisciplinary field of data science. A master's in data science can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the program, and generally requires a degree in the field of either statistics, computer science, mathematics, or engineering. Without a relevant degree, students may apply with a degree that holds relevant pre-requisite courses. Common courses may include data visualization and data analysis.
Master of Science in Physics
A Master of Science in Physics will have students study the fundamental principles of the physical world and how the understanding of those principles has evolved through time. A master's program in physics can take between 1 to 2 years depending on the school and will most likely require an undergraduate degree in physics or a related science. An unrelated degree must possess the necessary pre-requisites for admissions consideration. Common courses may include quantum mechanics and applied physics.
Although a Master of Advanced Studies and a Master of Science resemble each other in several ways, including expectations for admission requirements in some instances, they ultimately differ in the nature of the work they offer students. A Master of Advanced Study may offer similar courses to a Master of Science, but on the whole it leans towards independent, practical work as opposed to the theoretical, academic work of a Master of Science.