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Master was an Earth naval term for the commanding officer of a vessel. It denoted that status in officers who did not (necessarily) hold the rank of captain. In the 23rd century, a Master's License was required in order to operate a space vessel. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

According to the Treaty of Armens, which was enacted in 2255, it was stipulated that the master of a Starfleet vessel could implement a request for assistance from a third party during negotiations with the Sheliak Corporate. (TNG: "The Ensigns of Command")

Harcourt Fenton Mudd had a master's ticket allowing him to command a merchant Class J cargo ship. The license was revoked on stardate 1116.4, forcing Mudd to impersonate Captain Leo Walsh, a master in good standing before his untimely demise. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

In the Kobayashi Maru scenario, Kojiro Vance is listed as the master of the Kobayashi Maru. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Starfleet captain Hikaru Sulu referred to himself as "master of this vessel" in his log entries on the USS Excelsior. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

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