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Melissa Bennett
Graduate and Pre-Professional School Advisor

Melissa Bennett

Graduate & Pre-Professional School Advisor

Types of Degrees

Before planning the next step in your educational journey, it is helpful to know what type of program would benefit you the most.

Below are common degree types to pursue after earning a bachelor's degree:

  • Master's: Most academic fields award master's degrees, with the most common being the master of arts (MA) and master of science (MS). Master's degrees usually take two years to complete full-time and provide further specialization in particular disciplines.
  • Doctorate: Doctorates are terminal degrees (meaning they are the highest-level college degree that can be achieved and awarded in a specific academic or professional field). The most common research doctorate is the doctor of philosophy (PhD). PhD programs can last anywhere from three to seven years or more, and involve training that results in original research in the form of a book-length dissertation. The PhD is the primary credential to teach and conduct research at the university level.
  • Education: Master's and doctoral degrees in education prepare students for careers in education, from primary to the university level. In many cases, master's degrees in education (MEd) or teaching (MAT) are required for teacher certification in various states or to gain additional specialization areas such as counseling, special education, and administration. Education doctorates (EdD) are often required for executive positions in higher education.
  • Business: The master of business administration (MBA) is a terminal professional degree that gives students training in all aspects of business and management. MBAs are key degrees to progression into management roles, and many programs often require incoming students to have several years of professional experience before enrolling.
  • Professional Master's: A professional master's degree is a sign that the recipient has developed a specific skill set needed to practice a profession. Examples include master of public policy (MPP), master of social work (MSW), master of library science (MLS), and master of public health (MPH) degrees.

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