The term master’s student is the correct way of referring to someone studying a master’s degree. E.g., “He has been a master’s student for two years.” Furthermore, the terms masters student and master student are incorrect because they do not show that the student belongs to the master’s program.
This table shows how you can refer to master’s students. You can notice that to refer to more than one master’s student, you modify the word student rather than master’s.
|Singular possessive||Master’s student|
|Plural possessive||Master’s students|
Here are some examples of how to use the two terms in a sentence:
- Harry is a master’s student at Harvard University.
- My twin daughters are both master’s students at the local college.
Please keep reading the rest of the article to learn more about how to refer to students who are in master’s programs.
The term master’s student is the correct way to refer to a single person studying for a master’s degree.
You need to put the apostrophe to show that the student belongs to the master’s program.
- Sally is a master’s student of medicine.
Furthermore, when you want to refer to more than one student, you need to add an “s” to the end of the word student, rather than moving the apostrophe.
- The master’s students in the business and finance programs said they were unhappy with the content of the programs.
The term masters student with no apostrophe is incorrect because it does not indicate that the student belongs to a master’s program.
Therefore, the following sentence is incorrect:
- Incorrect: I am a masters student right now, but I hope to do a Ph.D. afterward.
And the correct version is:
- Correct: I am a master’s student right now, but I hope to do a Ph.D. afterward.
The term master student is incorrect when referring to a student studying for a master’s degree.
- Incorrect: My son is a master student, so he is currently living with us.
- Correct: My son is a master’s student, so he is currently living with us.
However, it is possible to use the word master for this context, but you must change the word order and state the full title of the master’s degree.
- She is a Master of Biochemistry student.
The term masters’ student is incorrect, and you cannot use it to represent a plural number of students. In order to do that, you need to pluralize the word student.
- Incorrect: Most masters’ students also have jobs to help pay for their studies.
- Correct: Most master’s students also have jobs to help pay for their studies.