Masters in Mathematics, Science & Engineering Programs (STEM) in Virginia
Earning a Masters in STEM Education
Math, Science and Engineering are core elements of STEM education. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
If you are approaching graduate school with a Bachelor of Science Degree, enrolling in one of the many Master’s Degree Programs in Math Science and Engineering might provide you with the next step in your academic and professional journey.
For the right-brained student with a passion for analysis, Masters in Mathematics, Science and Engineering programs encompass a wide variety of academic disciplines. Read on to take a look at the many potential options that lie ahead for graduate school.
Masters in Mathematics Science and Engineering Programs: Essentials
STEM degrees can be earned at the undergraduate level and students may continue their initial path or seek a more specialized sub-field. The principal type of graduate degree awarded in Masters in Mathematics Science and Engineering programs is the Master of Science Degree. Often you find it abbreviated as M.S., MS, MSc, or M.Sci. The Master of Science degree is usually awarded to students for studies in sciences, engineering, and medicine.
Distinct from the Master of Arts, the MS is usually for programs that are more focused on scientific and mathematical disciplines. (Natural sciences, math, medicine and engineering fields, such as biology, chemistry, physics, nursing or civil engineering). This may not always be the case; different universities may have dissimilar conventions and may also offer the Master of Science for fields typically considered within the humanities and social sciences.
It is common that individuals who pursue a Master of Science degree are required to write a thesis, although this ultimately depends on the program itself. This is because Masters in Mathematics Science Engineering programs tend to integrate advanced extension of undergraduate studies plus preparation for research, a huge component of the PhD.
Undergraduate to Graduate: B.S. to M.S.
Undergraduate degrees, such as the Bachelor of Science, tend to take 4 years of full-time study to complete, while Masters programs may usually be completed in two years; part-time programs may be available for working students. Usually you are getting a generalized education in a Bachelors degree program and a more specialized or career-focused one in graduate school.
In some cases, enrollment in a MS program does require an undergraduate degree in the same field, but there are exceptions. Also, sometimes a college or university might offer a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree; this is sometimes the case with Mechanical[i] and Chemical Engineering.[ii]
It is always wise to research the academic path necessary for your intended career so you can take the appropriate courses and choose a program that supports any continued education that may be required, such as a PhD. In some programs, if you complete your Master of Science before entering the PhD program, you may be able to complete your doctorate in less time.
FACT: Many colleges and universities advise or require mathematics students to take courses in a related field, such as computer science, engineering, physics, or statistics.[iii]
How to Find A Masters in Mathematics Science Engineering Program in Virginia
You are analytical, have mad math skills and love solving problems. Masters in Mathematics Science and Engineering graduate programs encompass a wide variety of topics and allow you to explore specific concentrations within your field.
We have put together a little ‘road map’ so you can literally see many of the potential choices and categories within the broader scope of ‘math, science and engineering’.
Inside Math Science and Engineering Masters Programs
- Construction Management
- Urban Landscape Design
- Cell Molecular Biology
- Genetics Genomics
- Immunology Cancer Biology
- Petroleum Engineering
- Agricultural Science Agronomy
- Botany and Plant Science
- Conservation Biology
- Marine Science
- Industrial Engineering
- Materials Science
- Mechanical Engineering
- Systems Engineering
- Transportation Eng Mgmt
- Actuarial Science financial
- Statistics Data Analysis
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
Once you have chosen your subject on GradSchools.com, all you have to do is click through and you are ready for the next step.
On-Campus or Online Masters of Science degree program?
You have narrowed down your search for Masters programs in Mathematics or Science or Engineering program and now you have other important decisions to make. Typically, your transcript does not mention how you earned your degree – whether online or on campus. In some cases you may find the decision is made for you, i.e. the program you are interested in may not be available in both formats. If it is, consider the pros and cons of either delivery system.
Campus Masters in Mathematics Science and Engineering programs allow you to:
- Study in a social learning environment
- Have hands-on experience
- Meet your professors in real time
- Access the onsite facilities (think laboratories and libraries)
- Interact- even mathematicians need communication skills
Online Masters in Mathematics Science and Engineering programs allow you to:
- Study remotely from anywhere you have internet access
- Minimize hands-on learning unless there are on campus visits
- Stay connected to professors via web technology
- Access online services (tech support, tutoring and career counseling if available)
- Interact via online tools such as group discussion boards
- May involve completing laboratory work near-by instead of on campus
GradSchools.com makes it easy for you to find Graduate Schools for Mathematics, Science or Engineering by location as well. Just use the city, state, or country tabs to browse listings in that discipline. Then, request information from each school to see if it and their masters program is a fit for you.
The accrediting body for programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology is ABET. ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
There are other discipline-specific accrediting agencies; in terms of architecture programs, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB accredits 123 schools of architecture[iv]. In 2015, 72 Urban Planning masters programs were accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.[v]
The Work Place and Your Graduate Degree
If you are aiming higher (e.g. university professor, advanced research or more technical roles), you may be required to hold a Master’s or Doctorate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics some examples where a Master’s degree might be more appropriate include:
- Mathematicians in private industry
- Survey researchers
- Medical Scientist
- Urban Regional Planners
Take the Next step
Whether you are earning a M.Sc. Degree as a springboard to your Ph.D. or you would like to enter the workforce after graduation, take the next step. From programs in an MS in Landscaping Wellbeing to Master of Science in Industrial Engineering or MS in Business Analytics, many industries rely on science, engineering, physics, statistics and mathematics. Review Masters in Math Science and Engineering graduate programs on GradSchools.com today to find the program that aligns with your goals and interests!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/mechanical-engineers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/chemical-engineers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians.htm | bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/survey-researchers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/biochemists-and-biophysicists.htm | bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm | abet.org/about-abet/
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Schools with Masters in Mathematics, Science & Engineering Programs (STEM)
GradSchools.com offers 17 Masters in Mathematics, Science & Engineering Programs in Virginia
Western Governors University
Grand Canyon University
Colorado State University Global
Purdue University Global
Southern New Hampshire University
Old Dominion University
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk State University
College of William and Mary
Virginia State University