What is a Master’s of Applied Science Degree? (Plus FAQs)

An overview of the MD/MAS degree in Clinical Research at UCSF (2021 update)

What is a Master of Applied Science degree?

Students who pursue a Masters of Applied Science degree at the graduate level learn how to put scientific principles to use in the real world. Many universities divide their degrees into more specialized fields, such as food science, biomedical engineering, or applied physics, while some institutions have specific Masters of Applied Science programs. Unlike graduate degrees in pure science, MAS programs put more of an emphasis on preparing students for careers than for a career in academic research.

What is applied science?

The study of applied science focuses on using scientific and mathematical principles to solve real-world issues. Numerous subfields of applied science are used in many different industries, such as manufacturing, engineering, medicine, and technology. When compared to traditional science majors, applied science students place a greater emphasis on applying science to the development of products and solving practical problems.

Areas of focus in a Master of Applied Science degree

There are many different subfields in the field of applied science, and many master’s degrees in applied science go by different names. The following are a few concentrations you might come across when looking for an MAS program:

Benefits of earning a Master of Applied Science degree

Many of the same career advantages as other masters degrees can be obtained by earning an MAS. It also provides some distinctive employment opportunities given that it is a STEM degree. Some of the main advantages of earning a Masters in Applied Science are as follows:

FAQs about Master’s of Applied Science degrees

Explore these responses to frequently asked questions about master’s degrees in applied science if you want to learn more:

How long does it take to earn a Masters of Applied Science Degree?

A master’s degree in applied science typically takes two years to complete for most full-time students, similar to other master’s degrees. This can vary based on what your research requirements are. Some students need one or more additional years, particularly if they work a job.

Some schools offer accelerated programs that include summer classes if you have an open schedule and want to finish your degree faster. Find a hybrid or online program if you intend to work while pursuing your master’s if you can. You can make a more flexible schedule using these programs and study whenever you have free time.

What jobs can you get with a Masters of Applied Science degree?

For those with a Masters of Applied Science degree, there are numerous job opportunities, but your choices will vary depending on your area of specialization. It might be helpful to decide which careers you are interested in before selecting a degree program. You can use this to organize your research and find the best program.

For instance, you might think about majoring in computer science, applied statistics, nanotechnology, or data science if you want to work in the technology sector. You could find a program that offers a good applied chemistry or agriculture program if you want to work in the field of food science. Consider speaking with a professional in the field you are interested in before deciding on a program. They might be able to recommend a degree for you and direct you toward a reputable institution.

What is the difference between an MAS and an engineering degree?

Engineering and applied science are closely related fields with frequent overlaps. Similar to professionals in applied science, engineers design solutions to everyday problems using scientific and mathematical principles. The primary distinction is that applied science encompasses some fields that engineering has traditionally avoided, including pharmaceuticals, statistics, and data science. Although less so than with pure science degrees, many applied science degrees also place a small amount more emphasis on research.

Engineering and applied science programs are closely related in many universities. Some universities might categorize their engineering programs as applied science or award applied science degrees through their engineering department. It might be preferable to obtain an engineering degree rather than an MAS if you want to work in a traditional engineering field like civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or chemical engineering.

What is a PSM degree and how does it relate to an MAS?

PSM stands for Professional Science Masters. These degrees teach students scientific principles that are applicable to the business world and are closely related to MAS degrees. Additional coursework not found in MAS programs, such as business, communication, and administrative skills, are frequently found in PSM degrees. Because of this, they sometimes have less intensive science requirements. Data science, cybersecurity, sustainability, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and engineering management are popular areas of study for PSM degrees.

What are the requirements to enter a Masters of Applied Science program?

A Masters of Applied Science’s entrance requirements are very similar to those for other graduate degrees. A bachelor’s degree in a related field is crucial. For students majoring in applied science, this might entail a degree in engineering or a major in a pure science such as chemistry, physics, or biology. Depending on the concentration you choose, there may be different requirements. Other relevant majors include computer science, pharmacy, or mathematics.

Like other masters students, MAS candidates must obtain a passing score on the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) in order to be admitted. Most masters programs also call for applicants to keep a respectable GPA—typically a 3—during their undergraduate studies. 0 or higher. Letters of recommendation, academic records, and occasionally professional experience are additional requirements.

What are the requirements to graduate with a Masters of Applied Science degree?

Students pursuing Masters of Applied Science degrees typically have to meet similar graduation requirements to those of other masters students. High-level math and science courses are taught in the classroom as part of their degree program. The specific number of credits needed to graduate can vary by school and these courses can vary by concentration. Most universities demand that master’s students complete 30 to 40 credits.

The completion of a comprehensive research project or thesis is the most crucial requirement for MAS students. These initiatives represent an original research contribution to their field and show the students’ mastery of their field of study. Especially in their second year of study, a student’s thesis frequently takes up the majority of their time. Students collaborate closely with a departmental professor known as a thesis advisor throughout the course of their thesis. Students write a lengthy research paper summarizing their work in their second year and submit it for review to the department’s faculty.


What does MAS stand for degree?

A simple way to comprehend the degree of variation among statistical data points is to measure mean absolute deviation.

What is the difference between MAS and MS?

Beyond what is taught in a bachelor’s degree program, a master’s degree can be earned in either the arts or sciences. The two degrees’ main distinction is that the former emphasizes the arts and humanities while the latter is more geared toward scientific and technical fields.

Is an MAS a terminal degree?

Some master’s degrees are regarded as terminal if the field does not offer a degree above a master’s degree, though PhDs and doctorates are the majority of terminal degrees.

Is someone with an MA a doctor?

In a similar vein, if you earn a master’s degree, you are a master, and if you earn a doctoral degree, you are a doctor.

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