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Terminal masters degree?

  1. Oct 23, 2007 #1
    most universities in US offer a terminal masters degree.
    does enrolling for this degree mean, the candidate cant further pursue any other degree in the future?
    like suppose if he/she changes his mind after the terminal degree, if he wants to do research is he barred from starting with a research masters (MS) too?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    terminal masters degree - like vulcanology with enhanced fieldwork?

    I wouldn't have thought so - although my PhD doesn't allow me to go back and do a lesser degree from the same institute.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2007 #3
    i meant terminal degree like MEngg in EE etc.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2007 #4
    in anything :surprised?
     
  6. Oct 23, 2007 #5
    a 'terminal masters degree' simply means that no other higher level degree is available for the program. An example of a terminal masters degree is the MBA (Master of Business Administration).

    It has nothing to do with whether or not you can pursue further degrees or studies.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2007 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Yes - it's a bit odd. You can do a lower degree you just can't graduate!
    I assume they would bend the rules for nice profitable MBAs.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2007 #7
    There's a joke about an MBA not being a real degree in there somewhere...
     
  9. Oct 26, 2007 #8
    Ahaha, thanks for that! :)
     
  10. Oct 26, 2007 #9
    No. For instance, UW and UCLA considers themselves to have a terminal masters degree in math. What it means is that you are not automatically considered as a Ph.D. student. Sometimes universities only have Ph.D. programs and no terminal mastrs degree that means you cannot apply to get a masters at the school only but have to apply to their Ph.D. program. From what I can tell masters degrees can improve your chances of being admitted to more difficult schools. But, you see a lot of people who never do this. I guess ideally if the school you are interested in as a five year ph.d. program you want to do that without a masters from another school. But, I have often wondered whether or not a masters degree can get one into Harvard or something.
     
  11. Oct 26, 2007 #10
    Sometimes a PhD program lets you pick up a Masters en passant, "terminal" just means you graduate and (can) leave. A Bachelors degree is (always?) terminal; if you want to study further at the same institution you have to continue in another program or as a post-bacc student.
     
  12. Oct 26, 2007 #11
    I've heard that some fields prefer to hire Masters graduates rather than Ph.D. graduates because Ph.D. graduates are too specialized and demand higher wages/positions. I was wondering, if I want to consider teaching as an option, whether it would be possible to take a Ph.D. and then do a Master's (in education or in a physics-related field).
     
  13. Oct 26, 2007 #12
    actually, when i was looking through a university website(one such is cornell's applied physics dept, i dont rememeber others now), there were 2 types of masters- one the research masters M.S and the other terminal masters M.Engg. if someone wants to do a PhD in someother university, which one of the masters degree will give them better chances?
    also, the terminal degree is self-funded while the other masters might be funded on a competitive basis.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2007 #13
    You mean start at a Ph.D. program and drop out after you get your Master's?

    I've considered it and asked my professor about it. He was baffled, because he didn't understand why I was trying to decide a priori. It's the same process to get accepted, and the same plan for like 2 years. Then after some experience, you can decide if you want to quit or not.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2007 #14
    The one with a thesis. If they both have require thesis, then I don't see a difference (it only depends on what kind of Ph.D. you want to get I guess)

    The reason to do a thesis is because you have to defend it. So, someone can write a recommendation on how you present advanced physics knowledge as opposed to a typical letter like this student took my class, worked hard, is bright, and got an A.
     
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