Master's Degrees

A Master’s Degree is generally awarded to students for the successful completion of two additional years of coursework beyond a Bachelor’s Degree by a university. Some Master’s Degree programs will take slightly longer or slightly less time to complete than others.

Generally, students enter a Master’s Degree program to further their knowledge and expertise in the field they chose to study at the Bachelor’s level. Other times, students may enter a Master’s Degree program to change careers and study an area in which they had little or no coursework as an undergraduate. In these cases, a university may require the Master’s Degree applicant to complete prerequisite undergraduate courses to prepare them for studying the subject at the graduate level prior to allowing them entrance into the Master’s program.

An advantage of obtaining a Master’s Degree is being viewed as more of an expert in your area of study when compared to those holding lesser degrees or no degree at all. Often, a graduate degree will set an individual up for higher rates of pay or management positions for which they otherwise would not be eligible for an extensive period of time. In some fields, such as counseling, a Master’s Degree is required for state licensure to practice.

Regardless of the reason for obtaining a Master’s Degree, it is important to weigh the costs and benefits. Graduate schools can be costly. Adding graduate school costs to undergraduate school costs may cause a student to consider the benefit of a graduate degree to be less than the economic gain it may afford them in their career. If scholarships or grants can be obtained, this becomes a non-issue.