[Air-l] something totally different

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Tue Mar 5 06:12:31 PST 2002

it seems somewhat arbitrary here at vt where we have certain social 
science/hum programs that have msc.  unrelated to language requirement. 
 I think the difference should be based on the discipline or 
interdiscipline as it may be.  a master of arts is from the liberal arts 
background, a master of science is from a scientific and applied 
science/engineering background.  one can have a master of arts and a 
master of science in the same discipline, i frequently find this in 
economics, math, statistics, but occasionally also in sociology and 
psychology.  the difference seems to focus on the difference between 
those who are researching in a scientized, experimentalist, modeling,... 
context and those who are perhaps doing a more scholarly liberal arts 
enquiry.   The methods one learns and uses in each type of degree may 
differ also, one might learn advanced 
historical/comparative/analytic/etc. methods in a sociology m.a. versus 
advanced statistical methods and modelling in a sociology m.s.  of 
course none of this really holds much at all across programs and 
systems, but it seems to hold alright in generality.

Sally J. McMillan wrote:

>As I understand it, the tradition in the US is that it's a master of arts if
>it requires a foreign language competence, otherwise it's a master of
>science.  That seems somewhat arbitrary, and I may be wrong.  But that's the
>way the distinction has been described to me.

jeremy hunsinger		http://www.cddc.vt.edu/jeremy
cddc/political science		http://www.cddc.vt.edu
526 major williams hall 0130	http://www.dromocracy.com
virginia tech			-under construction
blacksburg, va 24061
this email was sent from my office

More information about the Air-l mailing list