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Thread: Deciphering Academia ( Ph.D., BA, MD's, etc)

  1. #1 Deciphering Academia ( Ph.D., BA, MD's, etc) 
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    I'm a little overwhelmed by University. Where can I find a simple chart that helps me navigate and decipher all the different labels?

    Labels such as:

    * Ph.D.
    * M.A.Sc.
    * M.Eng.
    * B.Eng. (co-op)
    * B.Eng./M.A.Sc. (co-op)


    It's all greek to me


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    PhD - lost forever.
    Msc - still have a chance.


    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    B.S. = Bull Shit
    M.S. = More of the Same
    Ph.D. = Piled Higher and Deeper


    More seriously. A first degree is a Bachelor's Degree. A B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science), B.A. (Bachler of Arts), B.Eng. (Bachelor of Engineering) etc.

    A Master's degree (M.Sc. etc) may involve some minor research, or be entirely a taught degree in a specialist area.

    A Ph.D., or Doctor of Philosophy, is an advanced degree awarded for research and requiring submission of a thesis.
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks!
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    B.S. = Bull Shit
    M.S. = More of the Same
    Ph.D. = Piled Higher and Deeper


    More seriously. A first degree is a Bachelor's Degree. A B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science), B.A. (Bachler of Arts), B.Eng. (Bachelor of Engineering) etc.
    Ok, but what does it mean to major or minor in something?

    A Master's degree (M.Sc. etc) may involve some minor research, or be entirely a taught degree in a specialist area.

    A Ph.D., or Doctor of Philosophy, is an advanced degree awarded for research and requiring submission of a thesis.
    Ok, that's clear. But I'm still confused about majoring and minoring
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman solidsquid's Avatar
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    When you major in something that is the main focus of the classes you will take. Each institution has a set of requirements that you must take in addition to your field of choice. With a bachelors you'll often have to take life science requirements, english requirements, mathematics and fine arts requirements and so forth. The requirements usually take up the first two years or so of the degree. The second half is usually focused on your field (major). A minor is an area of study in which you wish to focus attention with specific classes but not as many as you would a major.

    As an example, my undergraduate major was psychology but my minor was biology so I took intro biology, zoology, botany and genetics for my minor.

    When you do masters level work classes you take will all pretty much be in your area of study. Most masters programs culminate with the defense of a thesis although some don't and end with a comprehensive exam. However, if given the option, it's best to do the thesis.

    Doctorate level study is much like masters level except more time will be spent focusing on work in support of your dissertation.
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  8. #7  
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    Hey Solidsquid,

    So let me get this straight: getting an undergraduate degree and majoring, go hand in hand?

    Is it possible to get an undergraduate degree without majoring or minoring?
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remit
    Hey Solidsquid,

    So let me get this straight: getting an undergraduate degree and majoring, go hand in hand?

    Is it possible to get an undergraduate degree without majoring or minoring?
    When you get an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree, it is in some major field. Some schools do offer a General Education major, which doesn't focus on anything in particular, but it's not really a good idea. The purpose of your undergrad bachelor's degree is to prepare you for either employment or further study within a certain field.

    Minoring and/or double-majoring is optional. People usually do it to expand their education in an area not well covered by their major. For example, let's say that you are interested in animal behavior, like I am, only your school doesn't offer a specific animal behavior major. You might then major in biology, and minor in pscyhology, or do a double major.

    Also, choosing to minor or double major may extend the amount of time you need to spend in undergrad, depending on how many and what kind of classes you will need to take to fulfill the requirements. Usually, though, a single major can easily be done in four years, and maybe even in 3 if you take a lot of classes each semester.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  10. #9  
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    Cool, thanks
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