Written By - Derick de Souza

Reviewed By OMC Staff

A master’s degree is a postgraduate academic degree earned after completing a bachelor’s degree (undergraduate degree). It is regarded as a higher level of education and frequently entails more specialized, in-depth study within a specific field.

What's a master's degree?

Important information about master’s degrees:


Master’s degrees are intended to provide advanced knowledge and skills in a particular field of study. They frequently include more specialized coursework as well as a research component.


The duration of master’s programs varies, but it is usually one to two years of full-time study. Part-time study is frequently available, which can lengthen the duration.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants to master’s programs are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Specific GPA and standardized test score requirements may also apply to some programs.

Thesis or Non-Thesis Options

Some master’s programs require students to complete a thesis, a research project that adds to the field’s knowledge. Others provide non-thesis options, such as comprehensive exams or a capstone project.

Master’s Degree Types

Master of Arts (MA): a common degree in the humanities and social sciences.

Master of Science (MS): a common degree in natural and applied sciences.

Master of Business Administration (MBA): a business and management degree.

Master of Public Health (MPH): a degree focusing on public health topics.

Master of Education (MEd): a degree focussing on education and teaching.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA): a degree specializing in the fine arts and creative fields.

Career Development

Many people pursue a master’s degree to advance their careers, specialize in a specific field, or transition to a new field. Some professions may require or prefer master’s degree candidates.

A master’s degree typically entails a combination of coursework, examinations, and research. It is a significant academic achievement that can serve as a stepping stone for those interested in pursuing doctoral studies or advancing their careers in various professional fields.

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

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