The master of science degree entails a research-based thesis (6-12 credits of thesis research) in addition to 18-24 credits of graduate coursework (including special research topics and at least three seminars) for a total of at least 30 graduate credits. Students earning a M.S. degree find a much wider range of job options that have greater responsibilities and pay compared to jobs that require only a B.S. degree. Many jobs at the M.S. level require an ability to perform research. Students interested in research-type positions in government, non-profit organizations, and academic and industry settings should pursue a M.S., rather than M.P.S. degree. Additionally, although not required by many graduate schools, a M.S. degree is often a key step toward earning a Ph.D. The M.S. student presents a thesis proposal to the major professor and committee who will guide completion of the research and writing of the thesis. A capstone seminar and defense of thesis are required.