A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees. Those admitted to the degree typically study English, history, geography, communication, or other of the humanities, philosophy, social sciences, fine arts or nursing, museum studies or theology. The degree can be conferred in respect of passing examinations, in respect of research, or a combination of the two.
The Master of Arts degree traces its origin to the teaching license, or Licentia docendi, for the University of Paris.