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Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by leahyhl, Oct 27, 2008.
Can someone kindly describe the difference?
My understanding is that the difference is pretty much as the adjective "terminal" would describe -- a terminal masters is where the degree stops. That is, once you get the masters, you're done (Congratulations!); whereas, a non-terminal masters means that it's more like a checkpoint along the way to a more advanced degree (i.e., the doctorate). I believe that with the masters-on-the-way programs (non-terminal masters), you're getting a general masters degree that can be used to get such things as a masters-level counseling license in order to work outside the school during the remainder of your education. Additionally, my understanding is that if you get a masters-level license (fulfill the req'ts for masters licensure) prior to going on internship, it makes you more employable during your internship and following graduation (while you work on your doctoral licensure), since you have at least one level of licensure already (instead of having a Ph.D. or Psy.D. and no license of any kind).
This distinction is often made when schools have both PhD and MA programs within the same department. The MA is terminal when it does not lead to admission into the PhD program. Rather, the program prepares you for licensure or certification upon graduation. It doesn't mean that you can't pursue further education if you attend and graduate from a terminal MA program.
The school I'm attending offers all three: A terminal Clinical Master's, a general Master's (that is separate from the Doctoral Program), and a PsyD program. I want to end up in a PhD program because I enjoy research and want a research based program.
Why are there two Threads on a terminal vs. a non-terminal Masters degree?