The degrees of master (from Latin magister) and doctor (from Latin doctor) were for some time equivalent, "the former being more in favour at Paris and the universities modeled after it, and the latter at Bologna and its derivative universities. At Oxford and Cambridge a distinction came to be drawn between the Faculties of Law, Medicine, and Theology and the Faculty of Arts in this respect, the title of Doctor being used for the former, and that of Master for the latter." Because theology was thought to be the highest of the subjects, the doctorate came to be thought of as higher than the master's.
An integrated approach to graduate study combining computation and neural systems is organized jointly by the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This curriculum is designed to promote a broad knowledge of relevant and related aspects of experimental and theoretical molecular, cellular, neural, and systems biology; computational devices; information theory; emergent or collective systems; modeling; and complex systems; in conjunction with an appropriate depth of knowledge in the particular field of the thesis research.
Graduate work in the School of Language, Culture, and Society may serve as a field of study for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree or as a minor in other advanced degree programs. The program offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the critical areas of race, class, ethnicity, and gender in American life, as well as focused study of the four major ethnic minority groups...
At English-speaking Canadian universities, both master's and Ph.D. theses may be presented in English or in the language of the subject (German for German literature, for example), but if this is the case an extensive abstract must be also presented in English. In exceptional circumstances, a thesis may be presented in French. The exception to this rule is McGill University, where all work can be submitted in either English or French, unless the purpose of the course of study is acquisition of a language.
Doctoral students generally spend roughly their first two to three years doing coursework, and begin research by their second year if not before. Many master's and all specialist students will perform research culminating in a paper, presentation, and defense of their research. This is called the master's thesis (or, for Educational Specialist students, the specialist paper). However, many US master's degree programs do not require a master's thesis, focusing instead primarily on course work or on "practicals" or "workshops." Such "real-world" experience may typically require a candidate work on a project alone or in a team as a consultant, or consultants, for an outside entity approved or selected by the academic institution, and under faculty supervision.