Master's Degree - A Mixed Bag

by James V. Parcher, (F.ASCE), Prof. and Head; School of Civ. Engrg., Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, Okla.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 227-231

Document Type: Journal Paper


It is common present practice to grant the same degree title to all students who complete master's degree programs in civil engineering. This group often includes students who have not completed baccalaureate programs in civil engineering or, indeed, in any branch of engineering. There are substantial differences among these students in respect to the soundness of their total preparation for civil engineering practice. Evaluation of these differences places an unnecessary burden on the public. Reasons are given for the failure of advanced level accreditation criteria and professional school concepts to alleviate the problem. It is suggested that two distinct master's degree titles, carefully controlled in usage, can provide the desired distinction. Adoption of these titles throughout engineering education would require neither advanced level accreditation nor acceptance of professional school concepts.

Subject Headings: Students | Accreditation | Professional societies | Failure analysis | Licensure and certification

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