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    #1

    Question what is a "Masters"

    I read a book on doing research in social sciences and the author consistently adds an 's' after the word 'master':

    e.g.
    undertaking a masters level degree course
    a masters is no mountain...

    I've checked many dictionaries but still, I don't see why it has to be in the plural.

    Can someone shed light on this please?

    thanks

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    I personally write "master's degree" but you'll certainly see "masters degree" without the possessive apostrophe.

    It's a graduate degree, above a bachelor's degree and below a doctorate.


    I got my BS in '88 and my master's in '92.
    This program lets you get your bachelor's and master's degrees in five years.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 21-Jan-2012 at 01:50.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. spongie's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    "Masters" = short for master's degree, more informal.

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    #4

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    Thanks guys!
    I've never thought of the dropping of apostrophe cuz it's a published book haha

    So, since bachelor and master are nouns, we say bachelor's / master's degree
    whereas doctorate [also a noun], we need not an apostrophe ==> doctorate degree, right?

    Is it then possible to say bachelor degree / master degree then?

    Thanks

  3. spongie's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    Your question is very interesting! I've never thought about it.

    Even undergraduate degree is written without apostrophe, but master's and bachelor's has it. Why is it that way?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    Quote Originally Posted by spongie View Post
    Your question is very interesting! I've never thought about it.

    Even undergraduate degree is written without apostrophe, but master's and bachelor's has it. Why is it that way?
    There are all sorts of forms you can use.
    You can say a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, a doctor's degree (though most wouldn't say the last one).
    A baccalaureate, a doctorate. (Someone else can supply the magister form).

    "Masters" is relatively new. It probably came in with the new Masters Lite degrees, which you do by coursework and sharing assessments through email, and for which you require no prior knowledge (and little current knowledge) in the field -- rather than referring to old-style Master's degrees which were a step up from a Bachelor's degree in the same discipline.

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    #7

    Re: what is a "Masters"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    Thanks guys!
    I've never thought of the dropping of apostrophe cuz it's a published book haha

    So, since bachelor and master are nouns, we say bachelor's / master's degree
    whereas doctorate [also a noun], we need not an apostrophe ==> doctorate degree, right?

    Is it then possible to say bachelor degree / master degree then?

    Thanks
    * Not a teacher

    You will certainly hear PhD (doctorate degree).

    Most of the teachers have a PhD in English.

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