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Master of Science

A Master of Science (Latin: Magister Scientiae; abbreviated M.Sc., MSc, M.Sci., M.Si., Sc.M., M.S., MS) is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically granted for studies in the sciences or engineering or medicine, and is usually for programs that are more focused on scientific and mathematical subjects. While it ultimately depends upon the specific program, individuals that pursue a Master’s of Science degree typically require a thesis.


  • Algeria 1
  • Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay 2
  • Australia 3
  • Bangladesh 4
  • Canada 5
    • Quebec 5.1
  • Czech Republic and Slovakia 6
  • Egypt 7
  • Germany 8
  • Guyana 9
  • Iran 10
  • Israel 11
  • India 12
  • Italy 13
  • Netherlands 14
  • Norway 15
  • Pakistan 16
  • Poland 17
  • Russia 18
  • Spain 19
  • Sweden 20
  • Syria 21
  • United Kingdom 22
  • United States 23
  • See also 24
  • References 25


Algeria follows the Bologna process for higher education in Europe.

Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay

In Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay, the Master of Science or Magister is a postgraduate degree of two to four years of duration.[1] The admission to a Master's program (Spanish: Maestría; Portuguese: Mestrado) in a Brazilian, Argentine, Colombian or Uruguayan University requires the full completion of a four to five years long undergraduate degree, or a Licentiate's degree of the same length.


Australian universities commonly have coursework or research based Master of Science courses for graduate students. They typically run for 1–2 years full-time, with varying amounts of research involved. Research based Masters degrees are usually accompanied by an extensive thesis before completion.


In Bangladesh, all universities, including Dhaka University, University of Chittagong, Jahangirnagar University and Rajshahi University, have Master of Science courses as postgraduate degrees. After passing Bachelor of Science, any student becomes eligible to study in this discipline.


In Canada, Master of Science (MSc) degrees may be entirely course-based, entirely research-based or (more typically) a mixture. Master's programs typically take one to three years to complete and the completion of a scientific thesis is often required. Admission to a master's program is contingent upon holding a four-year university bachelor's degree. Some universities require a masters degree in order to progress to a doctoral program (PhD).


In the province of Quebec, the Master of Science follows the same principles as in the rest of Canada. There is one exception, however, regarding admission to a master's program. Since Québécois students complete two to three years of college before entering university, they have the opportunity to complete a bachelor's degree in three years instead of four. Some undergraduate degrees such as the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Engineering requires four years of studies. Following the obtention of their bachelor's degree, students can be admitted into a graduate program to eventually obtain a master's degree.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are using two Master Degree systems. Both award a title of Mgr. or Ing. to be used before the name. The older system requires a 5-years programme. The new system takes only 2 years, but requires a previously completed 3-year bachelor programme (a Bc. title). It is required to write a thesis (in both master and bachelor programme) and also to pass final exams. It is mostly the case that the final exams cover the main study areas of the whole study programme, i.e. a student is required to prove his/her knowledge in many subjects he attended during the 2 resp. 3 years.


The Master of Science (M.Sc.) is an academic degree for a post-graduate candidates or researchers, it usually takes from 2 to 3 years after passing The Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree. Master programs is awarded in many sciences in the Egyptian Universities. A completion of the degree requires finishing a pre-master studies followed by a scientific thesis or research. ِِAll M.Sc. degree holders are allowable to take a step forward in the academic track to get the PhD degree.


The Master of Science (M.Sc.) academic degree has been recently introduced in Germany, as the once common Diplom or Magister programmes typically lasting four to five years were replaced by separate three-year bachelor and two-year master programs. It is awarded in all sciences. The completion of a scientific thesis is required. All Master's degrees in Germany are designed to certify an equal level of education and qualify for a doctorate program only if approved by the Kultusminister and a local university. And now that is a rule.


In Guyana, all universities, including University of Guyana, Texila American University, American International School of Medicine have Master of Science courses as postgraduate degrees. Students who have completed undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree are eligible to study in this discipline


In Iran, similar to Canada, Master of Science (MSc) or in Iranian form Karshenasi-arshad degrees may be entirely course-based, entirely research-based or sometimes a mixture. Master's programs typically take two to three years to complete and the completion of a scientific thesis is often required.


In Israel, Master of Science (MSc) may be entirely course-based, or include research. The program is most commonly a two-year program and a thesis is required only for research based degrees.


In India, all science universities offer MSc programs. However few technological Universities does offer MS degrees alongside the conventional MTech or ME degrees. Generally speaking, in India, post graduate technological courses lead to MTech while engineering courses lead to ME. For example, a masters in automotive engineering would normally be an ME, while a masters in physics would be an MS or an MSc. This is in contradiction with universities in UK and the USA which usually offers MS or MSc degrees for all science, technology and engineering programs.


Similar to Germany. The degree Master of Science is awarded in the Italian form, Laurea Magistrale (formerly Laurea specialistica; before the introduction of the Laurea the corresponding degree was Laurea quinquennale, or Vecchio Ordinamento).


Similar to Germany. A graduate who is awarded the title Master of Science may still use the previously awarded Dutch title ingenieur (abbreviated as ir.) (for graduates who followed a technical or agricultural programme), meester (abbreviated as mr.) (for graduates who followed a law programme) or doctorandus (abbreviated as drs.)(in all other cases).


For engineering, the Master of Science academic degree has been recently introduced, and has replaced the previous award forms "Sivilingeniør" (engineer, a.k.a. engineering master) and "Hovedfag" (academic master). Both were awarded after 5 years university-level studies and required the completion of a scientific thesis.

"", is a protected title exclusively awarded to engineering students who completed a five-year education at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (

Master of Science in Business is the English title for those taking a higher business degree, "Siviløkonom" in Norwegian. In addition there is for example the 'Master of Business Administration' (MBA), a practically oriented masters degree in business, but with less mathematics and econometrics, due to its less specific entry requirements and smaller focus on research.


Pakistan inherited its conventions pertaining to higher education from United Kingdom after independence in 1947. Master of Science degree is typically abbreviated as M.Sc. (as in United Kingdom) and which is awarded after 16 years of education. Recently, in pursuance to some of the reforms by the Higher Education Commission (the regulatory body of higher education in Pakistan), the traditional 2-year Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree has been replaced by the 4-year Bachelor of Science degree, which is abbreviated as B.S. to enable the Pakistani degrees with the rest of the world. Subsequently, students who pass 4-year B.S. degree that is awarded after 16 years of education are then eligible to apply for M.S. degree, which is considered with Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree.


The Polish equivalent of Master of Science is "magister" (abbreviated "mgr", written pre-nominally much like "Dr"). Starting in 2001, the MSc programs typically lasting 5 years began to be replaced as below:

  • 3-year associates programs (termed "licencjat". No abbreviated pre-nominal or title.)
  • 3.5-year engineer programs (termed "inżynier", utilizing the pre-nominal abbreviation "inż.")
  • 2-year master programs open to both "licencjat" and "inż." graduates.
  • 1.5-year master programs open only to "inż." graduates.

The degree is awarded predominantly in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, economics, as well as in the arts and other disciplines. Those who graduate from an engineering program prior to being awarded a master degree are allowed to use the "mgr inż." pre-nominal ("master engineer"). This is most common in engineering and agricultural fields of study. Defense of a research thesis is required. All master degrees in Poland qualify for a doctorate program.


The title of "master" was introduced by Alexander I at 24 January 1803. The Master had an intermediate position between the candidate and doctor according to the decree "About colleges structure". The master degree was abolished since 1917 to 1934. Russia follows the Bologna process for higher education in Europe since 2011.


The Master of Science (MSc) degree is an officially recognized program by the Spanish Ministry of Educations. It usually involves 1 or 2 years of full-time study. It is targeted at pre-experience candidates who have recently finished their undergraduate studies. A MSc degree can be awarded in every field of study. Some universities require a MSc degree in order to progress to a PhD. MSci, MPhil and DEA are equivalent in Spain.


The Master of Science academic degree has, like in Germany, recently been introduced in Sweden. Students studying Master of Science in Engineering programmes are rewarded both the English Master of Science Degree, but also the Swedish equivalent "Teknologie masterexamen" and "Civilingenjör".


The Master of Science is a degree that can be studied only in public universities. The program is usually 2 years, but it can be extended to 3 or 4 years, the student is required to pass a specific bachelor degree to attend a specific master of science degree program, the master of science is mostly a research master (except for some types of programs held with cooperation of foreign universities), The student should attend some courses in the first year of the master then he/she should prepare a research thesis. Publishing two research papers is recommended and will increase the final evaluation grade.

United Kingdom

The MSc is typically a postgraduate degree, involving lectures, examination, and a project. The masters programmes usually involve a minimum of 1 year of full-time study which can sometimes be extended to 2 years of full-time study (or the equivalent period part-time). Some universities also offer research MSc programmes, where a longer project or set of projects is undertaken full-time.

Until recently, both the undergraduate and postgraduate masters degrees were awarded without grade or class (like the class of an honours degree). Nowadays however, taught masters degrees are normally classified into the categories of Pass and Distinction, with some universities also using an intermediate Merit category.[2] The MSc by research and thesis, a purely research degree with no formal taught component, remains ungraded.

The more recent MSci degree, now offered by UK institutions, is an abbreviation for Master in Science. It is equally reputed and acknowledged by employers within the UK and internationally. According to the UK National Qualifications Framework, an MSci and other such masters degrees (MPhys, MChem etc.) are termed integrated masters and are classed as level 7 qualifications—the same level as a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree.[3] Many research universities are now demanding MSci degrees for entry to PhD research programmes.

This education pattern in United Kingdom is also followed in Hong Kong SAR and in some Commonwealth Nations.

United States

The Master of Science (Magister Scientiæ) degree is the primary type in most subjects and may be entirely course-based, entirely research-based, or, (more typically), a combination of the two. The combination often involves writing and defending a thesis or completing a research project which represents the culmination of the material learned.

Admission to a master's program is normally contingent upon holding a bachelor's degree, and progressing to a doctoral program may require a master's degree. In some fields or graduate programs, work on a doctorate can begin immediately after the bachelor's degree. Some programs provide for a joint bachelor's and master's degree after about five years. Some universities use the Latin degree names, and due to the flexibility of word order in Latin, Artium Magister (AM) or Scientiæ Magister (SM) may be used in some institutions.

See also


  1. ^ "CONEAU: Graduate Courses". Ministerio de Education Republica Argentina. Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 2008". QAA. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
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