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Session 58 - Masters Programs: Ones that Work & Plans for the Future.
Oral session, Thursday, January 08
We describe the Master of Science degree in astronomy offered by the University of Iowa. From 1984 until the present, 20 such degrees have been awarded. Of those receiving this degree, 7 went on to receive a Ph.D. at Iowa or elsewhere, and an additional 2 are presently senior doctoral students. The remaining 11 used the M.S. as a terminal degree and sought employment. Positions obtained by the latter students include teaching positions at junior colleges, work at educational and research institutions such as planetariums, and technical positions with industry. We consider the Master's degree as a substantive degree in itself, either as an important milepost in pursuit of a Ph.D., or as a terminal degree preparing a student for scientific or technical employment. Degrees always include a thesis project, which in about half the cases results in a paper in a refereed journal (e.g. Ap.J. 295, 134; Ap.J. 318, 852; Ap.J. 430, 824). We have recently encouraged another option for the thesis project, which consists of development of hardware or software instrumentation for our automated optical telescopes or small radio telescope. Such a thesis project does not result in a published journal paper, but provides experience which could be useful for acquiring industrial employment.
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