Find Postgraduate Degree in the US

Master’s Degrees – Postgraduate Academic Degrees

More than 50,000 students in the US obtain a Master’s degree each year. Nearly every degree program offers the option to earn a Master’s degree, although the most common are available in science and the arts. A Master’s degree gives students the opportunity to take specialised classes and gain extensive knowledge in a specific field of their desire. For example, someone who wants to work in the health field may earn a Master’s degree in health science, or health administration. Master’s programs open up many new opportunities for those who complete them.

What Is a Master’s Program?

The goal of a Master’s program is to help students gain new skill sets and specialised knowledge in their chosen fields. Each program will vary depending on its field, with some programs requiring internships and others requiring thesis papers. Some parts of Master’s programs in the US remain consistent:

  • Types of programs: There are two types of Master’s programs in the US. Professional programs prepare students to go directly into a career once they earn their degree. Academic Master’s programs prepare recipients to go on to earn a doctoral degree.
  • Time to earn a Master’s degree: The time it takes to earn a Master’s degree varies. Typically, it takes between one and two years. However, some people choose to accelerate their courses in an attempt to earn the degree within a year. Other people opt to take the classes on a part time schedule and earn the degree in three or more years. Depending on the field of study, students may be able to choose what works best for them, or they may be required to stick to a strict schedule.
  • Requirements to enter the program: To earn a Master’s degree in the US, students must take exams to demonstrate their capabilities. In some cases, the exams are the ones individual professors give at the end of the course. In other cases, students may have to take a cumulative exam about everything they learned while earning their Bachelor’s degree. Students must earn a Bachelor’s degree before going on to get a Master’s. Before graduation, students may need to present and defend an academic thesis to a board of professors and peers.
  • What the program includes: Master’s programs often include taking between six and eight specialised courses. Some of them will be required, but others could be elective courses. Depending on the field of study, a special project or internship may be required in addition to a thesis paper.
  • How classes work: Master’s degree classes are generally much smaller because only about 3 percent of students go on to earn one. The smaller student-teacher ratio allows for more individualised teaching, which also allows students to take a more creative approach to their education.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s?

Getting a Master’s degree in any field offers several benefits. One reason many students choose to earn a Master’s degree is because of the financial reward. People who have a Master’s in the US often earn thousands of dollars more per year than those who only have a Bachelor’s degree. The employment opportunities are often greater. Many careers now require a Master’s degree. In addition, students who want to advance in their field once they graduate will usually need a Master’s to be eligible for promotions and other career advancement opportunities. Many people enjoy the credibility and recognition that having a Master’s degree earns them. When others see that someone has gone above and beyond the norm in their schooling, they are more likely to listen to their opinions and ideas. Finally, some people choose to earn a Master’s degree simply because they enjoy the sense of personal growth and accomplishment they get after graduating.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s?


The types of careers a person can get after earning a Master’s degree are quite broad and will vary depending on the field of study. Some people will find they have more opportunity to plan and execute large projects or programs for multi-national corporations. Others find themselves leading teams of their peers. Those who wish to teach must receive a Master’s degree to teach in a college or university. Even some high schools are requiring Master’s degrees now. Regardless of the field of study, those who have a Master’s degree are more likely to get job interviews and be hired simply because the degree shows they take initiative to be the best they can be.

more