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Although programs leading to a master’s degree are very diverse, they generally fall into two categories depending on overall emphasis and the nature of the culminating activity.

  • Scholarly programs emphasize research or creative activities and require a thesis that is defended formally in a public setting and made publicly accessible through the university archive.
  • Professional programs emphasize the application of advanced knowledge and skills and require a project, capstone course, series of practicums, recital, or comprehensive examination.

Both scholarly and professional master’s programs involve substantial study beyond the baccalaureate degree, impart the methodology of discovery or creation in a given discipline, and prepare students to contribute at an advanced level to the workplace and to the community.