Difference Between MSc and MA

Several postgraduates are available in recent years. But choosing the best is still confusing for many people.

The MSc and MA are the two most common postgraduate degrees taken by the students. The closer you look, you get the difference between them.

MSc vs MA

The main difference between MSC and MA is their subject focus. The MSc focuses on STEM-based subjects, whereas the MA focuses on humanities subjects. MSc indicates a low-level degree, and the MA denotes the highest level of a postgraduate degree.
As a part of the degree, you get a degree apprenticeship in MSc degree, and it doesn’t happen in MA. MSc has a less subject-focused degree, but MA has a broader focus on subjects to transfer to Ph.D.

MSc vs MA

MSc stands for Master of science. The MSc focuses on technology, engineering, and mathematic subjects. MSc has no extent in social related subjects.

In MSc, the knowledge has an extent in a specialized subject. This post-graduation enhances your skills more particularly in the field you take.

Many subjects are available in the master of science graduation. Master of science is a two-year degree program. You can expertise your technical and non-technical skills.

MSc is available in both a part-time and full-time degree program.

MA stands for Master of Arts. Master of arts is also a two-year degree program. You take one major subject from your undergraduate degree program.

Depend on the subject you choose the assessments and projects time will vary in MA program. No particular evaluation theme is followed here instead it depends on the subjects.

Master of arts is a research-oriented degree program. In MA, you need to submit a dissertation with the help of the supervisor in the final examination.

Comparison Table Between MSc and MA

Parameters of comparisonMScMA
DefinitionMSc is a science-oriented degree programMA is a research-oriented degree program.
Stands forMSc stands for Master of ScienceMA stands for Master of Arts
Level of studyMSc is low level when compared to MAMA is the highest level in specialized subjects.
Subject focusMSc focuses on STEM-based subjectsMA focus on humanities and social subjects.
Degree typeMSc is a professional degreeMA is an academic degree.

What is MSc?

The Master of Science (MSc) is abbreviated in various forms, namely MS, MSc, SM, ScM. It is a master’s degree program and needs two years to complete.

The master of science degree is applicable for studies in science, mathematics, and engineering. Mostly MSc focuses on scientific and mathematics subjects.

The ultimate aim of the Master of the science degree program is to achieve the skills in one specified subject. It typically notes your writing thesis.

The University of Michigan introduces the degree Master of science in 1858. Devolson Wood is the one who received the degree of Master of science first in 1859.

To need to pursue a master’s degree, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree program. It is a prerequisite for pursuing a master’s degree.

If you chose your domain, then go with the same subject in your master’s degree to improve your skills. It is advisable to study the same subject from your bachelor’s degree program.

Depends on the course you take and the university you admitted the course duration may vary. The degree program is available both part-time and full-time.

You can pursue the degree based on your convenience. It takes two years to complete the subject you take and get the degree certificate.

The full-time programs will be completed in two years, and the part-time programs may vary at your own pace. The duration may also vary with the universities.

What is MA?

Master of arts is a two-year post-graduate degree program. The term is originated from the Latin word. It is a degree contrast to the degree of master of science.

In MA, the subjects included are humanities, social science, and diplomacy. Depends on the universities the conventions and syllabus may vary.

Since MA is a research-oriented degree program, you need to submit a thesis and projects at the end of the program to improve your internal marks.

In some universities, MA comes with natural sciences and mathematics subjects. The University of Paris designed the MA degree program and got its license called degree of master of arts.

In the MA degree program, the students get in-depth knowledge in that specialized subject. Like MSc, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree program.

You need to get 55% at the bachelor’s degree level. After completing the master of arts degree program you can easily find a job with your degree certificate. The investment of your hard work is never failing.

Many universities conduct entrance exams for joining the master’s program. You need to pass the entrance exam to join the degree program.

These entrance exams will help to get direct admission to the institute. Popular MA Entrance Exams are TISSNET, IPU CET, PU CET, CUCET, TUEE, MGU CAT, AUCET, ITM NEST, JNUEE, CPGET (OUCET).

The MA has a wider range of subjects.

Main Differences Between MSc and MA

  1. MSc is a science-oriented degree program, and MA is a research-oriented degree program.
  2. MSc stands for Master of Science, and MA stands for Master of Arts.
  3. MSc is a low level when compared to MA, and MA is the highest level in specialized subjects.
  4. MSc focuses on STEM-based subjects, and MA focuses on humanities and social subjects.
  5. MSc is a professional degree, and MA is an academic degree.


Many higher degree programs available in recent years. The Master of Science and Master of Arts are two different and popular post-graduate degree programs.

In MSc, you develop your skills in mathematics, science, and engineering. In MA, you can develop your skills in humanities and social science.

Both the post-graduate degree programs have unique skills and syllabus. Both of them are two-year degree programs and are available in both part and full time.

MSc is a science-oriented degree program, and MA is a research-oriented degree program. The best post-graduate degree depends on the subjects you need to develop your skills.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/016555158801400206
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1035719X0200200104
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