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Terminal vs. Non-Terminal Master’s Degrees

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❶The Facts There are many different degrees in education, and the Ed. Ian Anderson , Sep 4,

Why a Terminal Master’s Degree?

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A Degree by Any Other Name…

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What is a Terminal Degree? Scouting out university and college programs is a process that many people find themselves engaged in. Whether you have recently graduated high school, or you're considering a return to the academic environment after many years away, new terminology has greeted you.

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When a degree is considered terminal, it means that it is the highest degree awarded in a given field. In most fields, the terminal-level degree is the doctor of philosophy, or PhD, but in some fields, it’s a professional degree, such as a doctor of medicine or law degree.

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Earning terminal degrees will generally require extensive years of learning, research work, internship experience, and at least four years of schooling beyond the bachelor’s degree to perform at the top level of the field. A terminal degree in education, as in many other disciplines, is a doctoral degree, usually called a Ph.D. In order to be called a terminal degree, it must be the highest level of instruction offered in a given field.

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A terminal degree is the highest degree you can earn in a particular academic discipline. Depending on the subject, that’s going to be either a doctorate or master’s degree. And the terminal degree for a physician's assistant is a master's degree in physician assistant studies, health science, or related graduate degree program, per the Physician Assistant Education Association.