Master's degree

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Master's degree

Postby Anna-Maria on June 9th, 2017, 11:27 am 

Is a Masters degree a scientific degree, like a Ph.D, or not?
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Biosapien on June 9th, 2017, 11:41 am 

My answer to your question is no
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Biosapien on June 9th, 2017, 11:46 am 

In master degree you may read about your subject of interest with some more details, but in PhD you have to create an hypothesis through scientific questioning and conduct experiments to prove your hypothesis.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Anna-Maria on June 9th, 2017, 11:49 am 

So it's not. Why do people want to get this Master's degree? Is Bachelor's degree is not enough for work?
I always thought that Master's degree is for those who want to be a scientist.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby zetreque on June 9th, 2017, 2:44 pm 

I learned a couple years ago that a person can get a PhD in just about anything and I don't remember how but I recall being shown that there are people who have a PhD in Harry Potter novels for example.

I'd think about it more as continuing education that refines your area of expertise more and more in a particular area all the way up to being a world expert in that area and having people around the world working in that field contacting you regarding it.

Hypothesis testing is a scientific element used for research.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby BioWizard on June 9th, 2017, 3:49 pm 

In simple and very broad terms (and at the risk of overgeneralizing), a masters gives you a level of mastery in a given specified subject that you don't get with the more general bachelors degree. So you become a more proficient user of the knowledge and techniques within that discipline (I'm much more likely to hire someone with a masters degree over someone with just a bachelors). A phd goes a little further in that you presumably become someone who is more focused on generating new knowledge within the discipline. So it all depends on what your goals are. For example, if you want to conduct business, you would go for for a masters in business. If you want to study how business is conducted, come up with theories about it, do research, and publish your findings, then you go for a phd.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby someguy1 on June 9th, 2017, 9:09 pm 

Anna-Maria » June 9th, 2017, 9:27 am wrote:Is a Masters degree a scientific degree, like a Ph.D, or not?


You can get a Masters degree in social science, social justice, theater, nursing, English literature, and any other university subject.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Biosapien on June 10th, 2017, 12:01 am 

Also there is something called integrated PhD. A long ago I ve heard people can do their masters and PhD in a single course. May be you can try such kind of course.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Biosapien on June 10th, 2017, 12:21 am 

Anna since you mentioned that you want to be a scientist may I know what is your focus of interest or subject. For eg i focus on how particulate matter interacts with our complex biochemical system and causes various health outcome. To answer this simple question I must have a profound knowledge on Biology which includes Human anatomy and Physiology to understand how respiratory system works. I should know Histology of Respiratory system to understand how lung works at microlevel. Physics - helps me to understand the aerodynamics of the particles, chemistry - helps me to understand the chemicals presents on the particle. Pharmakokinetics and Toxicology - to understand how particle get metabolized and removed from our body. Mathematics to understand modelling and finally Epidemiology, Statistics and Data analysis without a knowledge on that we all remain as a data collecting person rather than a scientist. So before you do PhD you should Master you subjects. Hope I explained a valid reason on why one should do Master degree.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby zetreque on June 10th, 2017, 12:33 am 

Biosapien » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:21 pm wrote:Anna since you mentioned that you want to be a scientist


I don't think Anna explicitly said that she wanted to be but I am curious too.

You gave a good example of what BioWizard outlined quoted below.
Thanks for sharing.

BioWizard » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:49 am wrote:In simple and very broad terms (and at the risk of overgeneralizing), a masters gives you a level of mastery in a given specified subject that you don't get with the more general bachelors degree.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby mitchellmckain on June 11th, 2017, 2:05 pm 

Anna-Maria » June 9th, 2017, 10:27 am wrote:Is a Masters degree a scientific degree, like a Ph.D, or not?


First of all, Bachelor's and Master's degrees come in two varies each.
BS Bachelor's of Science
BA Bachelor's of Arts
MS Masters of Science
MA Master's of Arts

However, this really has very little do with with it being scientific or not as people usually understand it. That has more to do with what subject you get your degree in. The exact difference between the BS and BA or MS and MA depends on the school but it is my impression that the typical differences are that the Arts degree is a little more general, includes competence in another language and is intended to be a final degree rather than preparation for something further studies.

The PHD certainly isn't more scientific in the usual sense, since you can get a PHD in nearly any subject or even awarded and honorary PHD for some contribution to the world. Usually, it is about satisfying a group of peers that you have made a contribution to the field. There is little in the way of guarantees when you go after one of these. Some have an easy time getting one of these and others don't get one after doing twenty times as much work. Nor do I think this is just about succeeding in making a contribution. Being recognized as making a contribution is a bit trickier and depends on a few things out of your control. But in general it means writing a scientific paper -- a dissertation -- which is reviewed and critiqued by a group of peers. Though there is something to be said for the role of determination enabling you to push through whatever obstacles you face.

P.S. I have a BS and an MS. I worked on a couple of PHD projects but eventually decided to pursue a personal project (a relativistic flight simulator) rather than the second of these projects. For me it was never about a career or status but rather about simply learning for its own sake. So when I lost interest in my second PHD project, it was very much in character for me to simply pursue what did interest me instead.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby eagle on June 12th, 2017, 3:33 pm 

BioWizard » June 9th, 2017, 3:49 pm wrote:In simple and very broad terms (and at the risk of overgeneralizing), a masters gives you a level of mastery in a given specified subject that you don't get with the more general bachelors degree. So you become a more proficient user of the knowledge and techniques within that discipline (I'm much more likely to hire someone with a masters degree over someone with just a bachelors). A phd goes a little further in that you presumably become someone who is more focused on generating new knowledge within the discipline. So it all depends on what your goals are. For example, if you want to conduct business, you would go for for a masters in business. If you want to study how business is conducted, come up with theories about it, do research, and publish your findings, then you go for a phd.


I think that's an effective summary of the distinction. As to whether or not it's a "science degree", that seems like a question of definitions. Both degrees can involve science, so it just depends on what you mean...
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Anna-Maria on June 13th, 2017, 5:22 am 

To be honest, I asked this question because I have a Master's degree. When I started my MA, my academic advisor told me that since master's degree is a scientific degree I must make my own investigation in my thesis. Since I worked with texts, I made my own philological analysis for many pages. Based on my Master's diploma thesis I wrote lots of articles in scientific magazines. And recently I was asked whether I have a scientific degree or not, I told that Yes, I have a Master's degree, I was told that Master's degree is not a scientific degree. Now I have feeling that I was deceived.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby NoShips on June 13th, 2017, 9:53 am 

As far as I can see, the only way to solve this is a lengthy, protracted (say 2000 years?) analysis of the demarcation problem: that which distinguishes science from non-science.

If not, can't you just buy a fake Ivy League PhD in Bangkok like any normal, respected SPCF contributor?
Last edited by NoShips on June 13th, 2017, 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby Braininvat on June 13th, 2017, 9:58 am 

Just remember the principal pastime of Bangkok is to be found in its name.
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Re: Master's degree

Postby eagle on June 13th, 2017, 10:11 am 

Asians pursued rational and empirical investigations long before westerners had the word "science"... So did westerners for that matter, although it really took off as a field of its own recently...
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Re: Master's degree

Postby NoShips on June 13th, 2017, 10:15 am 

eagle » June 13th, 2017, 11:11 pm wrote:Asians pursued rational and empirical investigations long before westerners had the word "science"... So did westerners for that matter, although it really took off as a field of its own recently...


I live in Asia. These days they pursue Pokemon.
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