This is in reference to holding an MLS degree. Am I a "Master"? Would it be correct to say

When I become a Master of Library Science, I would like to...

That sounds somehow kooky, but I can't think of a better way to say it.

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    I certainly wouldn't say "When I become a Masters of Library Science", that just sounds ridiculous. – JakeParis Oct 14 '11 at 1:24
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    No. To be a master, you have to catch all 150 pokemon. – Jordaan Mylonas Oct 14 '11 at 1:54
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    yeah, I guess I'm older than you - I was thinking of He-man. – JakeParis Oct 14 '11 at 1:54
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    I didn't even know they offered degrees in "The Universe" – Jordaan Mylonas Oct 14 '11 at 2:23
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    Unless you are a girl, and then it's Mistress of Library Sciences! – Nathan Oct 14 '11 at 2:35

Yes. If you graduate with a BSc or BA, you are a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts respectively. Similarly if you graduate with a master's, you are a master, and if you graduate with a doctorate you're a doctor.

But it's almost unheard of nowadays for people to routinely refer to themselves by their academic title for qualifications lower than doctorate level (and that's becoming rarer too in my experience), so something like "After I graduate with my master's, I would like to..." might be better.

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    It's not unusual for people who have doctorates. – Dan Oct 15 '11 at 18:26
  • This may be technically correct, but it's misleading, given that in modern usage (as Dan indicated) those with doctorates are commonly referred to with special honorifics, whereas those with master's or bachelor's degrees never --at least within my experience --are. I do realize you called it "fairly unusual" but I don't think that goes far enough. (Note: My experience is with American usage, perhaps it is different in the UK or other English-speaking countries.) – Chris Sunami supports Monica Apr 13 '15 at 17:18
  • @ChrisSunami You're totally correct - it's just an example of classic British understatement. I'll amend the answer. – Waggers Apr 14 '15 at 10:12
  • I remember at least in german there is a difference between holding a degree (bachelor, master, diploma) and a title (doctorate). For historic reasons, the doctorate level gives you a title, but everything else is a degree or a status (professor is also quite often not regarded as a title). – skymningen Apr 14 '15 at 12:04

What about simply:

When I receive an/my/the MSL degree, I would like to ...

  • Thanks. That does work... but I guess I would like the text to a little more punchy/personal. To my ear, "becoming" something sounds more dramatic than "receiving" something. – JakeParis Oct 14 '11 at 1:43
  • More than one PhD has been started because of that. – Optimal Cynic Oct 14 '11 at 5:05
  • @JMCCreative When I earn or achieve, then. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 21 '12 at 17:32

Instead of "When I become a Master of Library Science, I would like to..." you could write, "As a Master of Library Science, I will..." (or "will want to" instead of "will") or could write "When I attain my advanced degree...".

For advice on writing in "punchy/personal/dramatic" modes, post questions in writers.stackexchange.com, where such questions are more on topic than here in ESE.


I'm afraid you don't become anything after obtaining a master's degree other than "Someone who has a Master's." When this is relevant, you say "I have my Master's in ". To talk about it in the future, you'd say "After I get my master's, I would like to..."

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    Obtaining a master's degree in a field, particularly one with practical applications, an internship, etc. you do become something. You become credentialed for attaining a defined level of expertise. I remember laughing with my friends when we were graduated with Master of Science in Engineering degrees, saying, "I am now a MASTER of Science", though we didn't feel like the master of ANYTHING then! But in a letter to a prospective employer, or an application essay for graduate work, it is necessary to use this sort of stilted language. – Ellie Kesselman Oct 14 '11 at 9:21
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    +1 - When I got mine, I tried to tell my wife and kids that my title was now "Master". I can assure you, it did not fly. – T.E.D. Oct 14 '11 at 13:30

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