What Is A Terminal Master’s Degree

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What Is A Terminal Master’s Degree – (from Latin: master’s degree) is a graduate certificate awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course, indicating an overview of a master’s or higher degree in a particular field of study or area of ​​professional practice.

A master’s degree usually requires previous study at the bachelor’s level, either as a single degree or as part of an integrated course. In the field of study, master’s degree graduates are expected to have advanced knowledge of specialized theoretical and applied topics; Strong skills in analysis, critical evaluation or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think critically and independently.

What Is A Terminal Master’s Degree

What Is A Terminal Master's Degree

The master’s degree dates back to the beginning of European universities, with a 1233 papal bull that stated that anyone accepted for a master’s degree at the University of Toulouse must teach at another university for free. The original meaning of master’s was that whoever was admitted to a master’s degree (i.e. teaching degree) in one university should be admitted to the same degree in other universities. Gradually this was formalized as a lectiya dosya (teaching license). Originally, there was no distinction between masters and doctors, but in the 15th century it became customary in English universities to call teachers in the lower faculties (arts and grammar) masters and those in the higher faculties doctors.

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Initially, a bachelor’s degree (BA) was awarded for studies in the trivium and a master’s degree (MA) for studies in the quadrivium.

From the late Middle Ages to the 19th century, academic degrees included bachelor’s and master’s degrees in lower faculties and bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in higher faculties. In the United States, the first master’s degree (Magister Artium, or Master of Arts) was awarded at Harvard University shortly after its founding.

In Scotland, the pre-Reformation universities (St Andrew’s, Glasgow and Aberdeen) developed the Scottish Master’s degree as their first degree, while at Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin, the Master’s degree was awarded to undergraduates. given to It stood without further research until the end of the 17th century, the main purpose of which was to grant full membership to the university.

At Harvard, regulations dating back to the 1700s require that candidates for master’s degrees must pass a public examination,

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The 19th century saw a significant increase in the types of graduate degrees offered. At the beginning of education, the only graduate degree was the master’s degree, which was usually awarded without further studies or examinations. The degree of Master in Surgery was introduced in 1815 at the University of Glasgow.

In 1861 it was adopted throughout Scotland, as well as at Cambridge and Durham Colleges and Dublin University in Ireland.

When the Philadelphia College of Surgeons was founded in 1870, it also awarded a master’s degree in surgery “as in Europe.”

What Is A Terminal Master's Degree

However, there are serious doubts about the quality of Scottish degrees from this period. In 1832, Lord Brougham, Lord Chancellor and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, told the House of Lords that “after a long residence in the universities of Ghent, after doing great work, the degrees were conferred, and if they were. The side is not as strict as the laws require of the universities, although it cannot be said that the Master of Arts courses in Oxford and Cambridge, as in Scotland, are made without any residence or any examination. Universities that imposed conditions for awarding academic degrees were a dead letter.”

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It was not until 1837 that separate examinations for the master’s degree were resumed at the newly founded University of Durham (although, as in the earlier English universities, this was by full membership) and In 1840, similar new tests were carried out. was introduced University of London, which was authorized by this Act to grant degrees by examination.

By mid-century, however, the MA as a second-class examiner was once again under threat, and Durham began to award it automatically to those who had obtained a BA in 1857, at Oxbridge. MA followed suit, and Edinburgh followed suit. Scottish universities began awarding the MA as a first degree in place of the BA from 1858.

At the same time, new universities along the lines of London were established around the British Empire, including those examining for master’s degrees: the University of Sydney in Australia and the University of Ireland in the 1850s, and the Universities of Bombay (now University of Mumbai), Madras and Calcutta in India in 1857.

In the United States, the revival of the master’s degree as an exam qualification began in 1856 at the University of North Carolina, followed by the University of Michigan in 1859.

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However, the idea of ​​a master’s degree as a secondary degree did not become fully established until the 1870s, alongside a doctorate as a terminal degree.

Sometimes it was possible to obtain a master’s degree by examination or internship at the same institution; In Michigan, for example, the master’s degree “by examination” was introduced in 1848 and was last awarded in 1882, while the master’s degree “by examination” was introduced in 1859.

Perhaps the most important master’s degree introduced in the 19th century was the Master of Science (MS in the US, MSc in the UK). At the University of Michigan, it was introduced in 1858 in two forms: “in the course”, first given in 1859, and “by examination”, first given in 1862. The last Master’s degree was awarded in 1876 “in the course”.

What Is A Terminal Master's Degree

However, in the UK it takes a while to graduate. When the Faculty of Science was established in London in 1858, the university received a new charter that authorized it to “award the several degrees of Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate in Arts, Law, Science, Medicine, and Music.” “.

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The same two degrees, followed by a master’s degree, are awarded in Edinburgh, although the master’s degree is the standard arts degree in Scotland.

In 1862 a royal commission recommended that Durham award master’s degrees in theology and science (with the proposed abbreviations MT and MS, as opposed to the later British practice of using MTh or MTheol and MSc for these degrees).

But his recommendations were not implemented. In 1877, Oxford introduced the degree of Master of Natural Science with the Bachelor of Natural Science, which was equivalent to the MA and BA degrees and awarded to students who obtained degrees in natural sciences from the Honors School. were

But in 1880 the proposal to grant the degree of Master of Science was rejected and the proposal to grant the Master of Science degree to Masters of Science so that they could become full members of the University was rejected.

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The program seems to have been quietly abandoned, and Oxford began offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the natural sciences.

At the University of Victoria, both the MA and MA degrees follow the lead of the Durham MA, requiring further examinations for those with ordinary undergraduate degrees, but not for those with honours.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were four different types of Masters in England: the Scottish Masters, awarded as a first class; Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin), awarded to all graduates for one term after obtaining a first degree without further study; A master’s degree, which can be obtained through further study or an honors degree (which at the time included further education beyond a regular degree in England, as it still does in Scotland and some Commonwealth countries) available in); and Master’s degrees that can only be obtained through further study (including all Master’s degrees in London). In 1903, the London Daily News criticized the practice of Oxford and Cambridge, calling their master’s degrees “a stupid academic fraud” and “false degrees”.

What Is A Terminal Master's Degree

“A Scottish master’s degree is at best only equivalent to a Polish bachelor’s degree,” the lawsuit states. and called for common standards for degrees, while supporters of the old universities claimed that “the Cambridge master’s degree does not appear to be a reward for learning” and that “compared with other modern universities It is absurd to describe them as a fake grade, giving the same grade for different reasons.

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In 1900, Dartmouth College introduced the Master of Commercial Science (MCS) degree, first awarded in 1902. It was the first master’s degree in business and the forerunner of the modern MBA.

The idea quickly spread across the Atlantic, and in 1903 a business school was established in Manchester, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business.

In the first half of this century, the automatic master’s degree awarded to honors graduates disappeared as the honors degree became the standard university qualification in England. In the 1960s, the new Scottish universities (except Dundee, which inherited the BA from St Andrews) re-introduced the BA as a Bachelor of Arts, returning the MA to its position as a graduate degree. .

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