In Denmark there are two forms of master's degree. The Master's Degree or candidatus is a FQ-EHEA second-cycle qualification worth 120 ECTS credits. These degrees are research-based and offered through universities (e.g. University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School). The second form is the Master Degree (no possessive) within the adult further education system, which is worth 60 ECTS credits and is taught part-time.[79] The candidatus degree is abbreviated cand. and upon completion of, for instance, an engineering master's degree, a person becomes cand.polyt. (polytechnical). Similar abbreviations, inspired by Latin, apply to a large number of fields, e.g.: sociology (cand.scient.soc), economics (cand.merc., cand.polit. or cand.oecon), law (cand.jur), humanities (cand.mag) etc. Use of a cand. title requires a master's degree. Holders of a cand. degree are also entitled to use M.Sc. or M.A. titles, depending on the field of study. In Finland and Sweden, the title of kand. equates to a bachelor's degree.
The combined MD-PhD BME program (National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)) is offered in conjunction with the Indiana University School of Medicine to train physician-engineers. The MD-PhD BME combined degree is for students committed to a career that intimately incorporates engineering design and translational research with clinical care. The curriculum is flexible, enabling students to design a program that meets their individual goals. A diverse body of engineering and clinical faculty with broad expertise in four signature research areas provide individualized training and mentoring to students. Graduates of this program have pursued careers in academic medicine, business start-ups, and industry. A typical academic plan permits most students to complete the combined degree program in seven or eight years.
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In some European countries, a magister is a first degree and may be considered equivalent to a modern (standardized) master's degree (e.g., the German, Austrian and Polish university Diplom/Magister, or the similar five-year Diploma awarded in several subjects in Greek,[76] Spanish, Portuguese, and other universities and polytechnics).[clarification needed]
Many universities award graduate degrees; a graduate school is not necessarily a separate institution. While the term "graduate school" is typical in the United States and often used elsewhere (e.g., Canada), "postgraduate education" is also used in English-speaking countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the UK) to refer to the spectrum of education beyond a bachelor's degree. Those attending graduate schools are called "graduate students" (in both American and British English), or often in British English as "postgraduate students" and, colloquially, "postgraduates" and "postgrads". Degrees awarded to graduate students include master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and other postgraduate qualifications such as graduate certificates and professional degrees.

This site presents the policies and procedures of the graduate program in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. The links at the right will guide you through the material. Mechanics that are common to all of the degrees are discussed in the Administrivia section. The rules specific to a given degree option, certificate, or program can be found under Degrees and Certificates.


There are also discipline-specific differences. A person applying for a doctoral program in Biblical studies or theology from a seminary or theological school must already hold a first professional degree in the field, known as the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.). The M.Div. is a three-year master's program, however, a thesis is usually not required before completion. The M.Div. is the entry degree for the Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min) or the Ph.D.

Research master's degrees are primarily research based, although may contain taught elements, particularly on research methods. Examples are the MLitt (usually, but not always a research degree), the Master's by Research, and the MPhil. The Master's by Research (MbyRes, ResM), which is a research degree, is distinct from the Master of Research (MRes), which is a taught degree concentrating on research methods.[60]


Although systems of higher education date back to ancient Greece, ancient Rome, China, ancient India and Arabian Peninsula, the concept of postgraduate education depends upon the system of awarding degrees at different levels of study, and can be traced to the workings of European medieval universities, mostly Italians.[2][3] University studies took six years for a bachelor's degree and up to twelve additional years for a master's degree or doctorate. The first six years taught the faculty of the arts, which was the study of the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music theory, grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The main emphasis was on logic. Once a Bachelor of Arts degree had been obtained, the student could choose one of three faculties—law, medicine, or theology—in which to pursue master's or doctor's degrees.
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