When writing formally, it’s a good idea to include relevant titles. If someone is a doctor, you should highlight it, for example. You might also want to know about the titles used for someone with a Master’s degree. This article will help you with that.
The preferred titles are M.A., MBA, and MSc. There are plenty of specific choices you can use for a Master’s degree. They are entirely dependent on the course of research or study that someone carried out for their Master’s. Most of the time, they are not used.
M.A. is a good choice if you want a formal title for someone with a Master’s degree. It means “Master of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.” This is a very large term that includes a lot of different disciplines and mediums.
M.A. tends to cover the largest area when it comes to Master’s degrees. It works well for people who have earned their degree by studying one of the subjects mentioned in the abbreviation.
When using formal titles like this, you must always include them after the name.
Unlike other titles, like Mr., Mrs., or Dr., M.A. and all similar credential titles come after a name. You should not include them before the name because they are not used as a title like that.
Here’s how it might look to use M.A. in your writing:
- Thomas David, M.A.
- Steven Grant, M.A.
- Sarah Walker, M.A.
MBA is another great choice that has a specific group of disciplines surrounding it. MBA means “Masters of Business Administration.” This relates to anything to do with economics or business administration, which is a common subject choice for people going into the workforce.
You will often find that this one is used in resumes and CVs. It can look good when you’re trying to show potential employers that you have earned a Master’s in a field relating to the business that you might be undertaking if they were to hire you.
Just like before, you should only include this one after the name. It never makes sense to include it beforehand.
You can use MBA like so:
- John Walters, MBA
- Missy Perkins, MBA
- Julia Roberts, MBA
MSc is another great term you can use. This time, it means “Masters of Sciences.” It’s an umbrella term that relates to any science-based discipline that one might take on as a Master’s degree. You should use it if this relates to you.
Many people study the sciences. You will find that MSc is one of the more common choices for a formal title when it comes to Master’s degrees.
Of course, you have to know that someone has studied the sciences before you use this one. They might choose to include it with their name, which helps you to learn about the things they studied.
It might not be wise to use a title like this (or any of the other Master’s titles) unless you know for sure what field they studied. For example, saying MBA when they studied science is not going to work very well for anybody.
MSc comes after the name, and it works like this:
- Harriet Parker, MSc
- George Bright, MSc
- Martin Carry, MSc
MPhil is a more specific Master’s title. You will only find it when you are referring to “Masters of Philosophy.” It isn’t all that common, as it is more specific in the subject and field it refers to. Still, it works well if you’re looking for a suitable title for somebody.
If you know that someone has studied an aspect of philosophy at university or college, then MPhil might be the answer for you. It shows that someone has spent time working toward their Master’s in this case.
As before, it only ever comes after the name. This is always going to be the case when using a Master’s formal title.
Here are some examples to show you how it might look:
- Harrison Harding, MPhil
- Taylor Atkins, MPhil
- Danielle Brandon, MPhil
MRes is even less common than MPhil. It means “Masters of Research.” While this isn’t a particularly common formal title for a Master’s degree, it works well if it relates to the subject or field that someone might have studied at college.
Generally, MRes is awarded to anyone studying in a field that promotes individual research. If a student spends a lot of time compiling information and researching new ideas, it’s likely that the MRes title will apply to them.
You can use it in the following ways:
- Peter Parish, MRes
- Amy Harmer, MRes
- Gabrielle Harlow, MRes
LLM is reserved for anybody that has studied law. If you have achieved a Master’s in law, you will use LLM (which means “Masters of Law”). LLM is a Latin acronym for “Legum Magister.”
It’s very common for lawyers to use this formal title. Again, it will only ever come after their name. It is also entirely up to them to decide whether they want to include it as part of their name.
All of the formal titles so far are optional. There are no specific etiquette rules that say you have to use formal Master’s titles like these. It’s up to the person with the Master’s and the person addressing them.
Nevertheless, here’s how you can use it:
- Michael Wells, LLM
- Tommy Abraham, LLM
- Michelle Bryant, LLM
Mr. and Mrs. are also perfectly suitable titles. Since there are no official formal titles for someone with a Master’s degree, you can simply refer to them as Mr. or Mrs. (or Miss and Ms.), depending on their gender.
If you’re going to use Mr. or Mrs. before someone’s name, you cannot use one of the formal titles for a Master’s degree after that. You must choose to place one title either before or after the name.
For example, you can have:
- Mr. White
- Mrs. Black
But you can’t write:
- Mr. White, M.A.
- Mrs. Black, MBA
The extra title is seen as a redundancy when the initial title comes before the name. It’s best to avoid using it in most cases to show that you know how titles work.
“Magister” is an archaic term that can be used to refer to someone with a Master’s degree. It is rarely used today, but it was very common in the past to show that someone has achieved a Master’s in a particular field.
“Magister” is Latin for “teacher.” It was used in the Middle Ages to refer to anyone viewed as a “master” of a craft or field. Since then, it has been common to use “Magister” as a title to refer to someone who has achieved their Master’s degree.
While it’s not common today, it can still be used. You might find it useful to include before someone’s name, as it is treated similarly to titles like “Mister” or “Missus.”
If you want to see some examples of how “Magister” might work as a formal title, you can refer to the following:
- Magister Mary Worthing
- Magister Pete Heritage
- Magister Sandra Breem
You might also find “Magister” shortened to “Mag.” in some cases:
- Mag. Darren Tonbridge
No Formal Title
You do not need to include a specific title at all. There are no rules that say you must include a title or a way to address someone who has earned a Master’s degree. You can address them formally in the same way you would address anybody else.
While it is clearly an impressive feat for someone to achieve a Master’s degree, that doesn’t mean that they get special treatment. It isn’t the same as a Ph.D., where someone can be called a Dr. after achieving one.
Master’s degrees take a bit of extra time at university, but there is no specific name you can use to refer to them. Titles do not need to apply when you are referring to a master of any kind.
Standard titles are always the best practice. If you don’t have any better ideas, or you’re not sure which title will work the best, you’ll be better off saying something like this:
- Dean Thomas
- Mrs. Sarah Millican
- Sir Craig Winters
Realistically, your choice of title depends on the age or appropriate title of the person you’re speaking to. It has nothing to do with their chosen subject of study or whether they decided to pursue further education at university.
If You Have a Master’s Degree, Are You a Doctor?
You are not a doctor if you have a Master’s degree. You only become a doctor when you have gone on to do a Ph.D.-level course. A Master’s degree is the one that comes before Ph.D. It’s not correct to call someone a doctor with only a Master’s.
“Doctor” should only be reserved for people who have their Ph.D.s. They will often refer to themselves as a doctor, which should help you to know whether the title applies to them.
It’s best to stick to one of the available options on this list to make sure you are getting the formal title for somebody correct.
You may also like:
10 Better Ways To Say “I Have A Degree In”
“Pursuing A Degree” – Meaning & Correct Usage (Helpful Examples)
“A MA” or “An MA” – Full Explanation (Helpful Examples)
DSc Degree vs. PhD Degree – What’s the Difference?
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.