Online master's degrees in science encompass a multitude of options. The Master of Science, or M.S., degree, can be earned in such fields as biology, biotechnology, mathematics, fire science and wildlife & forestry.

Curriculum for science degrees online

Coursework varies depending on your academic emphasis, but most science programs share certain elements. The National Science Foundation describes a master's in science as providing a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, subjects. Science programs broaden your understanding of your chosen field of study while strengthening your general research, analytical and problem-solving skills. Most programs culminate in a thesis paper and/or project.

Opportunities for scientists

Science is an essential part of modern life, as shown by the American Institute of Physics -- for example, geologists, computer scientists and engineers are working together to offer risk assessment and insurance guidance to people threatened by earthquake damage. The AIP also describes professional master's programs designed to prepare scientists for non-academic careers; an applied physics program might focus on microelectronics and parametric testing as used in the IT industry.

Science is more than a job: Science magazine's "The Best of Science Careers, 2010" describes humanitarian projects such as the use of plant genetics in the battle against hunger. Your graduate studies could lead to traditional careers in teaching or research, or cutting-edge innovations with practical uses.