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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).

MAGISTRAND, n. Also †-an.

1. A fourth year student in a Scottish university about to take the degree of Master of Arts. Now applied in the Universities of St Andrews and Aberdeen to Honours students in Arts in their fourth year. [′mɑdʒɪstrɑnd]Sc. 1708 Acct. Govt. Ch. Scot. (Pamphlet) 22:
The next Year, which is the Fourth and Last, in order to commence Master of Arts, they remove to another School, still retaining the same Regent or Professor . . . This is called the Magistrand Class.
Sc. 1757 Lord Glenbervie Diaries (Bickley 1928) II. 364:
The second year, they are Semis, and their class, the Semi Class; the third year Tertians, and the Fourth and last Magistrands, being then, at the conclusion of that season, or term, entitled, if they are duly qualified, which however used in those days to be taken for granted, to a degree of Master of Arts.
Sc. 1807 J. Grierson St. Andrews (1838) 168:
Those [students] of the fourth year, who commonly attend the Natural Philosophy, and what other classes they please, are termed Magistrands, probably from a barbarous Latin word, magistrandus, put for a person who is about to be made Artium Magister, or Master of Arts.
Sc. 1927 A. Murray Old College Gsw. 21:
A student . . . in his fourth year [was known] as a Magistrand, as at the end of that year he was entitled to compete for the M.A. degree.
Sc. 1950–1 Abd. Univ. Calendar 186:
At the end of any Winter Session. a Student of the “Fourth” or “Magistrand” Class shall mean a matriculated student qualified to graduate at the end of that Session, who is not of more than five years' standing from the date of his first matriculation after passing the prelimmary examination.
Sc. 1961–2 St. Andrews Univ. Calendar 124:
Students: Black cloth trencher cap with tassel appropriate to the year of study: Bejant — blue: Semi — crimson: Tertian — yellow: Magistrand and upwards — black.

2. Used attrib. with class: the class in Philosophy (Natural and Moral) usually taken by students in their final year (Abd. 1825 Jam.).Gsw. 1743 J. Houstoun Memoirs 25:
The fifth and last Year they teach Physics or the Magistran Class.
Sc. 1811 W. Thom Hist. Aberdeen II. App. p. 39:
Magistrand Class. — The science of astronomy employs the beginning of the fourth year, and completes the physical part of the course. Under the term moral philosophy, which forms the principal part of the instruction of the fourth year, is comprehended every thing that relates to the abstract sciences, or the philosophy of mind.
Sc. 1862 A. Dalzel Hist. Univ. Edb. II. 10:
The Professor who had the charge of the Magistrand Class concluded the quadriennial course by having the degree of M.A. conferred upon all the students.

[O.Sc. magistrand, id., 1583, Med.Lat. magistrandus, requiring to or deserving to become a Master of Arts, gerund. ppl. of magistrari.]

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"Magistrand n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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