Master of Arts

Master of Arts

A Master of Arts is a graduate degree which is typically completed after a student achieves a Bachelor’s Degree. Some individuals will go on to complete a Master of Arts just after finishing their Bachelor’s Degree while others will return to school years later to complete an advanced degree in order to expand their personal horizons or promote career growth. There are tons of schools and Master of Arts degrees to choose from and the one that you select will be based on your personal interests and professional goals.

Master of Arts vs. Master of Science

In the same way that Bachelor’s Degrees are divided into two main categories – arts and science – Master’s Degrees are as well. In a bachelor’s program, an arts degree focuses more on the liberal arts, requiring extended coursework in literature, writing, foreign language and the fine arts. A bachelor’s of science degree requires more comprehensive study in the physical, social, and/or health sciences.

The Bachelor’s Degree that an individual holds typically determines whether a Master of Arts or a Master of Science is selected in a graduate degree program. For instance, those who receive a bachelor of arts in literature will go on to complete a Master of Arts in a more focused area of literary study. Likewise, a student who holds a bachelor of science in mathematics may go on to complete a master of science is economics, finance, applied mathematics or some other more focused area of study within the mathematics discipline.

Ultimately, the determination of which Master’s Degree to pursue is up to the individual student. The degree program, curriculum and the manner in which the student intends to put the degree to use in the employment world will all influence an individual’s choices regarding master’s programs.

Master of Arts

Master of Arts Curriculum

The curriculum for a master’s of arts degree will vary from school to school and from one degree to the next. In general, students should expect a Master’s Degree to consist of at least one to two additional years of focused coursework and theoretical study.

Some programs can take significantly longer to complete, with some combined bachelor’s and master’s programs taking up to six years, as they merge the requirements for obtaining both degrees in the same course of study. Additionally, there are many academic programs in which a Doctorate degree program is entered immediately after completing a Bachelor’s Degree; however, even within many of these programs, a Master’s Degree may be earned during the pursuit of the Doctorate. These Master of Arts are considered “masters in route” degrees.

While the requirements for degree completion vary based on the school and the discipline, there are similarities between all Master of Arts degree programs. For example, Master’s Degree programs are highly analytical in nature. While they do require standard coursework and lecture attendance, most studies will be in the form of seminar attendance, theoretical discussion, thesis composition and other educational pursuits in which students are able to clearly demonstrate their mastery of their field of study or professional practice.

In other words, the Bachelor’s Degree program is more focused on providing students a base knowledge in a specific discipline, while the Master of Arts is a degree program designed to enhance a student’s ability to apply mastered skills and knowledge in practical use within a professional or academic career. As such, the Master’s Degree carries significant weight in the job market and makes a candidate more impressive to prospective employers as a result.

Admission Requirements

Every graduate school sets its own admission requirements. Some requirements may be applied across the board, regardless of the discipline in which a Master of Arts degree is established. Others will vary based on the Master’s Degree program to which you are applying.

Holding a Bachelor’s Degree is one requirement which is standard for most Master of Arts graduate programs. The requirements for entering a general program such as Master of Arts in Education versus a more specific program like Master of Arts in History will vary. The Master of Arts is intended to qualify an individual as an authority in their field of study and field of work. It is typically an extension of an undergraduate educational focus or career.

In some programs, students may utilize work experience or demonstrated life experience as a criterion for admission. Professional Master of Arts degrees often allow students to submit a portfolio of “practical experience” as part of the admissions process and may allow individuals to enter a master’s program without holding a Bachelor’s Degree.

Master of Arts Degree Programs

There are literally thousands of Master of Arts degree programs from which to choose. The degree program you select will be based on your personal and professional goals. Following are fifteen of the most popular Master of Arts degrees to consider.

  • Master of Arts in Management
  • Master of Arts in Management and Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Design
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Human Relations
  • Mater of Human Psychology
  • Master of Humanities
  • Master of History
  • Master of Information
  • Master of International Affairs

Next post: