A Master of Applied Science and a Master of Science can both include a broad variety of subjects. However, a Master of Applied Science is usually meant to be used in professional work, whereas a Master of Science might have multiple applications. Below is a more detailed comparison between the two.
Graduate Degree Comparison
Master of Applied Science
A Master of Applied Science degree often involves the practical application of engineering or other types of knowledge in professional or civic work. You might receive a Master of Applied Science if you are pursuing engineering as a field of study but did not receive an undergraduate degree in engineering. You might also receive a Master of Applied Science in Engineering if your bachelors is in engineering, but you want to pursue a different kind of engineering or physical science for your Master. Master of Applied Science programs can also cover a variety of other subjects, from agriculture to geospatial information technologies.
Master of Science
Master of Science programs can cover a wide range of subjects. They include sciences such as biology, chemistry, or astronomy. You might also study health-related subjects such as pharmaceutical sciences or nursing. There are also master of science degrees in engineering. A Master of Science could prepare you for professional work, for teaching at the high school or college level, or as preparation for earning a PhD.
Master of Science and Master of Applied Science Degree Programs
Master of Applied Science: Engineering
A Master of Applied Science might be a good option for you if your bachelor's degree was in a subject besides engineering, or if you are interested in a more research-based program, as opposed to coursework-based. You will need to complete a research thesis. Your coursework will vary depending on your specialization but will include mathematics and engineering sciences. You will complete a total of 30 credit hours (24 hours for coursework and 6 for your thesis), and the program should last two years. This program can help you prepare for a career in civil engineering or other engineering careers.
Master of Applied Science: Agriculture
A Master of Applied Science in Agriculture is designed for people working in a professional setting relating to agriculture, food, or natural resources. There are a number of different areas of study you can take, such as Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, Animal Science, and Entomology. There is a lot of flexibility in your coursework; your advisor will help you create a curriculum and you will complete a research project related to your area of study. This program could help prepare you for careers such as agricultural pest control, business management of agricultural enterprises, or similar agricultural careers.
Master of Science: Biology
You might pursue a Master of Science in Biology if you are interested in a career in research, in continuing on to a Biology Ph.D., or interested in teaching Biology. Both thesis and non-thesis routes are available. Some non-thesis programs can be completed online. The program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours and will include core courses in general biology, with additional courses depending on your specialization and route.
Master of Science: Nursing
You might pursue a Master of Science in Nursing if you have a non-nursing related bachelor's degree and want to become a registered nurse. You will take courses such as FOundations of Nursing Practice or Professionalism for Nursing in Health Care that will help you learn what you need to succeed as a nurse. You also might pursue it if you are already a nurse and want to advance in your field. A Master of Science in Nursing will allow you to specialize in fields like Pediatric Care, Adult Gerontology, or Nursing Education.
There are a large number of subjects you can study if you want to pursue a Master of Applied Science or a Master of Science. To decide which is right for you, consider what your career goals are, for example; do you want to work in a professional setting as a teacher, or be a researcher?