Graduate degree programs (meaning anything after a bachelor’s degree) offer advanced instruction in one subject area.
Graduate programs are split into two distinct degrees: the master’s and the doctorate. A master’s degree, either in a professional or academic field, typically requires one to three years of study or demonstrates mastery of coursework in a specific subject area.
- The professional master’s degree is the most common advanced degree for students looking to advance in their career and can be awarded in the following subject areas: the fine arts (Master Fine Arts), education (Master of Education), nursing (Master of Science in Nursing), business (Master of Business Administration), or public health (Master of Public Health). Many professional master’s programs follow the same format for instruction: you will first choose a concentration of study along with your coursework, participate in an internship or professional experience, complete a special project and capstone, and take a final assessment.
- The academic master’s degree is a close relative to the professional master’s degree because it also demonstrates mastery in one subject area, but often with a research or theory focus. These programs are often awarded as a Master of Arts or a Master of Science and follow a similar format to professional master’s program, with the exception of a dissertation proposal and defense.