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Thread: Masters

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Masters

    I have two questions about the second sentence below.

    "When we turn to postgraduate studies in law in Switzerland, the place of English in teaching appears to be quite different. Several universities run Masters programs where English features prominently in the course description."

    Should "Masters" really be capitalized? I don't think so. If one were referring to a specific "master," such as in the sentence "I earned a Master in Criminal Science from the University of X," then yes.

    Shouldn't "Masters" be "Master's" or "Master"? In informal English I might say that I have a "masters," but in formal English I would go with "master."

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by Allen165; 18-Apr-2011 at 22:03.

  2. #2
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    Re: Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    I have two questions about the second sentence below.

    "When we turn to postgraduate studies in law in Switzerland, the place of English in teaching appears to be quite different. Several universities run Masters programs where English features prominently in the course description."

    Should "Masters" really be capitalized? I don't think so. If one were referring to a specific "master," such as in the sentence "I earned a Master in Criminal Science from the University of X, then yes.

    Shouldn't "Masters" be "Master's" or "Master"? In informal English I might say that I have a "masters," but in formal English I would go with "master."

    Thanks a lot!
    The Cambridge admissions website uses Master of Science and Masters programs, while Harvard business school uses Master and master's and the Guardian style guide recommends master's.

    So when you name the degree as in your example, you use Master.

    When you talk about the degree but not as a title, you can use master's or master's degree.

    But apparently when you talk about more than one title, you pluralize the adjective? As written on the Cambridge admissions page: In the Graduate School of Life Sciences these comprise a year of research training, normally involving laboratory rotations leading to the refinement of a research proposal and a Masters degree (MPhil or MRes), followed by a three-year PhD.

    My guess is that it's an archaic use that's stuck around but maybe someone else knows why it's done.

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