In Australia, master's degrees vary from one year for a "research" or "coursework" master's following on from an Australian honours degree in a related field, with an extra six months if following on straight from an ordinary bachelor's degree and another extra six months if following on from a degree in a different field, to four years for an "extended" master's degree. At some Australian universities, the master's degree may take up to two years.
Master's candidates undertaking research are typically required to complete a thesis comprising some original research and ranging from seventy to two-hundred pages. Some fields may require candidates to study at least one foreign language if they have not already earned sufficient foreign-language credits. Some faculties require candidates to defend their thesis, but many do not. Those that do not often have a requirement of taking two additional courses, minimum, in lieu of preparing a thesis.
Nurses who choose an online ASN-to-MSN program often continue working while earning their degree. Many programs offer flexible schedules, including asynchronous courses with no set login times. Nursing students can choose a full- or part-time option, depending on the program. Some programs also offer accelerated options, in which nurses with an ASN complete their MSN within two years.
In the US, the revival of master's degrees as an examined qualification began in 1856 at the University of North Carolina, followed by the University of Michigan in 1859, although the idea of a master's degree as an earned second degree was not well established until the 1870s, alongside the PhD as the terminal degree. Sometimes it was possible to earn an MA either by examination or by seniority in the same institution, e.g. in Michigan the "in course" MA was introduced in 1848 and was last awarded in 1882, while the "on examination" MA was introduced in 1859.
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Master's degrees. These are sometimes placed in a further hierarchy, starting with degrees such as the Master of Arts (from Latin Magister artium; M.A.) and Master of Science (from Latin Magister scientiæ; M.Sc.) degrees, then the Master of Philosophy degree (from Latin Magister philosophiæ; M.Phil.), and finally the Master of Letters degree (from Latin Magister litterarum; M.Litt.) (all formerly known in France as DEA or DESS before 2005, and nowadays Masters too). In the UK, master's degrees may be taught or by research: taught master's degrees include the Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees which last one year and are worth 180 CATS credits (equivalent to 90 ECTS European credits), whereas the master's degrees by research include the Master of Research degree (M.Res.) which also lasts one year and is worth 180 CATS or 90 ECTS credits (the difference compared to the Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees being that the research is much more extensive) and the Master of Philosophy degree which lasts two years. In Scottish Universities, the Master of Philosophy degree tends to be by research or higher master's degree and the Master of Letters degree tends to be the taught or lower master's degree. In many fields such as clinical social work, or library science in North America, a master's is the terminal degree. Professional degrees such as the Master of Architecture degree (M.Arch.) can last to three and a half years to satisfy professional requirements to be an architect. Professional degrees such as the Master of Business Administration degree (M.B.A.) can last up to two years to satisfy the requirement to become a knowledgeable business leader.