If you are considering a counseling master degree, there’s a bit of learning curve that you’ll encounter before you even set foot in the classroom. Anytime a person enters a new field—be it a new educational endeavor, a new job, or even a new hobby—there are a fresh set of facts, definitions, and concepts to grasp. One of those nuggets of knowledge needed to get around is a working knowledge of acronyms. Acronyms, words that are formed from the first initials of other words, form a considerable part of our daily life. When considering a counseling master’s degree, here are some of the acronyms you’ll need to know.
- MA—Master of Arts: The MA degree is the standard post-graduate degree for most pursuing an advanced counseling degree. The MA can be understood by contrasting it with the MS, the Master of Science degree. The MS focuses on the scientific underpinnings of counseling, whereas the MA often focuses on the technique and practice of counseling. Many MA degrees require that the graduate complete a written or oral thesis.
- MEd—Master of Education: The MEd degree is a counseling masters degree that prepares the graduate for a career in educational counseling. Educational counseling is a specialized type of counseling work, consisting of counselors who work in schools—usually in the elementary, middle, or high school levels. An educational counselor helps students with learning disabilities, social difficulties, or more commonly, provides advice and direction in choosing a college or career.
- MS—Master of Science: The MS counseling degree is a well-rounded counseling masters degree with a focus on psychology. In content, the MS is a lot like the MA counseling master degree. Like most MS degrees, the MS in counseling does not require the completion of a master degree thesis.
- MSW—Master of Social Work: The MA, MEd, and MS degrees are degrees common to most educational fields. (For example, there is a MA degree for music, theology, literature, etc.). The MSW however, is a counseling master degree that is unique to the counseling field. This degree is designed to equip the counselor to deal with common societal or community problems such as abused children, rape victims, alcohol and drug abuse, and other such issues.