A Master of Science (M.S.) is a type of graduate degree in the United States. It is generally conferred upon graduate students at the completion of an intensive program of study. Unlike the Master of Arts, the M.S. tends to be a practical degree and few programs require a thesis. The M.S.'s practical nature and applied coursework makes it attractive to professionals looking to advance in their chosen field, but can be insufficient on its own when seeking an academic position.