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What is a terminal degree?

Why a Terminal Master’s Degree?

❶The Future of Terminal Degrees If you're wondering whether you need a terminal degree, the answer depends on both your particular field of study and on your professional goals.

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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate.

December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The College Art Association. Retrieved 2 March Levels of academic degree. Bachelor's degree Honours degree. Doctorate Candidate of Sciences Magister degree.

Honorary degree Ad eundem degree. Retrieved from " https: Doctoral degrees Academic degrees of the United States. SDN Members do not see this ad. Jan 1, Messages: My understanding is that the difference is pretty much as the adjective "terminal" would describe -- a terminal masters is where the degree stops. That is, once you get the masters, you're done Congratulations! I believe that with the masters-on-the-way programs non-terminal masters , you're getting a general masters degree that can be used to get such things as a masters-level counseling license in order to work outside the school during the remainder of your education.

Additionally, my understanding is that if you get a masters-level license fulfill the req'ts for masters licensure prior to going on internship, it makes you more employable during your internship and following graduation while you work on your doctoral licensure , since you have at least one level of licensure already instead of having a Ph.

Feb 25, Messages: This distinction is often made when schools have both PhD and MA programs within the same department. About 30 said yes, and about 15 said no, because they regard any MBA as a terminal degree and don't accept terminal degrees for that purpose; they suggested, for instance, a MA or MS in Economics, which is not a terminal degree.

And a handful said they judge each case on its own merits. Last edited by a moderator: John Bear , Aug 31, Bruce , Sep 1, Ian Anderson , Sep 4, I can think of at least three definitions for 'terminal degree': A degree that isn't intended to be preparation for a subsequent degree.

I've seen part time MA programs at prestige universities described as 'terminal masters programs' , because their graduates aren't typically admitted to the doctoral programs. UCSB has a terminal masters degree in religious studies as I recall, intended for people like journalists who need a broad background in religions and religious issues, but who aren't planning to become high-powered research scholars.

A degree that is suitable academic preparation for practicing a profession at its highest levels. By that definition, a J. This would be true even if there are "higher" degrees available, provided that those degrees aren't necessary or expected from top-level scholars and practitioners. The most advanced degree available in a subject, even if only a tiny handful of top-level practitioners ever earn one.


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What is a Terminal Degree? Scouting out university and college programs is a process that many people find themselves engaged in. Whether you have recently graduated high school, or you're considering a return to the academic environment after many years away, new terminology has greeted you.

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When a degree is considered terminal, it means that it is the highest degree awarded in a given field. In most fields, the terminal-level degree is the doctor of philosophy, or PhD, but in some fields, it’s a professional degree, such as a doctor of medicine or law degree.

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Earning terminal degrees will generally require extensive years of learning, research work, internship experience, and at least four years of schooling beyond the bachelor’s degree to perform at the top level of the field. A terminal degree in education, as in many other disciplines, is a doctoral degree, usually called a Ph.D. In order to be called a terminal degree, it must be the highest level of instruction offered in a given field.

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A terminal degree is the highest degree you can earn in a particular academic discipline. Depending on the subject, that’s going to be either a doctorate or master’s degree. And the terminal degree for a physician's assistant is a master's degree in physician assistant studies, health science, or related graduate degree program, per the Physician Assistant Education Association.