+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    BertGBach is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    5

    General Studies with Concentration Degrees

    I'm wondering if a B.S. in General Studies with a concentration in Biology from Charter Oak State College would be taken the same as a B.S. in Biology from any number of other colleges. Also would an M.A. in General Studies concentrating in History from FHSU be equivalent to an M.A. in History ? I'm not asking about how credible these institutions are, just if the General Studies with concentration are taken the same way as an actual major.
    CLEP US History I-65

  2. #2
    AV8R is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,744
    It really depends on what you intend to do with the degree. For example, if you are planning on going on to pharmacy school, it probably won't matter whether you have a concentration or a major. You will just need to make sure you meet their prerequisites.
    BS Excelsior College 1997 (Sociology)
    BS Peru State College 2009 (Accounting)
    MBA Regis University 2002

  3. #3
    TonyM is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    376
    Quote Originally Posted by BertGBach View Post
    I'm wondering if a B.S. in General Studies with a concentration in Biology from Charter Oak State College would be taken the same as a B.S. in Biology from any number of other colleges. Also would an M.A. in General Studies concentrating in History from FHSU be equivalent to an M.A. in History? I'm not asking about how credible these institutions are, just if the General Studies with concentration are taken the same way as an actual major.
    A general studies degree will work fine in most cases, with the exception of situations that require a specific degree. In most cases the requirements are a specific number of credits in a subject or a list prerequisite classes. Still, a general studies degrees are not the exact equivalents of similar traditional degrees. What are your goals?
    AS and BS, Excelsior College, 2001-2002
    Master of Criminal Justice, Tiffin University, 2003

  4. #4
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia & Dominica, West Indies
    Posts
    7,371
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    Still, a general studies degrees are not the exact equivalents of similar traditional degrees.
    Aren't they? A major is 36 credits, and so was my concentration. A major requires some lower division courses and some upper division ones, and so did my concentration. Anyway, in five years this issue has never come for me, even when I was applying to higher level programs based on my degree from Charter Oak . I think it's a non-issue.

    -=Steve=-
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://hiresteve.com

  5. #5
    TonyM is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    376
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    Aren't they? A major is 36 credits, and so was my concentration. A major requires some lower division courses and some upper division ones, and so did my concentration. Anyway, in five years this issue has never come for me, even when I was applying to higher level programs based on my degree from Charter Oak . I think it's a non-issue.

    -=Steve=-
    No...they are titled differently, which makes them different for some situations. If a licensing agency or employer specifically requires a BS in Biology and your degree is a BS in General Studies with a Biology Concentration or if they want an MA in History and you have an MLS with a History Concentration then you have extra hurdles. I've seen plenty of ads for history teaching positions that are very specific, and want an MA in history with focuses in European or American history , for example. The same is true for lab jobs or k12 teaching in science. They will state a BS or BA in the required science. I agree that in most situations it's not an issue, but it could come up. My undergraduate degree is a BLS with a 30-hour history focus, and I've also had no trouble with graduate admissions, but I haven't tested it out in every situation.
    Last edited by TonyM; 04-07-2010 at 03:47 PM.
    AS and BS, Excelsior College, 2001-2002
    Master of Criminal Justice, Tiffin University, 2003

  6. #6
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Illinois--> North Carolina
    Posts
    2,924
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    No...they are titled differently, which makes them different for some situations. If a licensing agency or employer specifically requires a BS in Biology and your degree is a BS in General Studies with a Biology Concentration or if they want an MA in History and you have an MLS with a History Concentration then you have extra hurdles. I've seen plenty of ads for history teaching positions that are very specific, and want an MA in history with focuses in European or American history, for example. The same is true for lab jobs or k12 teaching in science. They will state a BS or BA in the required science. I agree that in most situations it's not an issue, but it could come up. My undergraduate degree is a BLS with a 30-hour history focus, and I've also had no trouble with graduate admissions, but I haven't tested it out in every situation.
    >>


    eeechhhhh there are quite a few differences between a degree titled MLS and MA - why? For one, the department. An MLS degree isn't going to come from a science department, where the MA/MS is. So, sometimes that's the issue. As to undergrad- 36 credits in any anything is a concentration-a major-an area of focus or whatever you want to call it, but your degree is in THAT. I *think that the COSC degrees are titled the way they are because they are a liberal arts college and don't have departments that issue majors- now I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure. That might be a state accreditation thing re the titles. If it's a 12 credit area of focus- that's something else entirely. That's NOT a major. I'm with Steve on this one. A 36 credit major is a major is a major.

    If I can be presumptuous for a second, please be sure your biology credits include labs- be assured that no matter what COSC says or requires for the degree, any graduate program that has a science undergrad prereqs is expecting you to have significant lab credit. If your Gen 1 and 2 don't have labs, you'll have to retake them. (meaning credits in multiples of 4, never 3) I have no idea what your graduate plans are. However, if your plans include science, medicine, or heath occupations, you'll need to plan carefully.

    If you need undergrad resources for online lab sciences, try New England University's College of Osteopathic Medicine - all online. Also, Harvard University's College of Continuing Education (Extension) offers online non-lab biology for other fillers. And rockin interesting biology subjects if I may say.
    Last edited by cookderosa; 04-07-2010 at 07:07 PM.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

  7. #7
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia & Dominica, West Indies
    Posts
    7,371
    Quote Originally Posted by cookderosa View Post
    As to undergrad- 36 credits in any anything is a concentration-a major-an area of focus or whatever you want to call it, but your degree is in THAT.
    Interestingly, nowhere on my diploma or my transcript does it refer to a major in General Studies. The diploma is simply a "Bachelor of Science", and the transcript refers only to a concentration in Information Systems Studies, the word "major" does not appear on it.

    I *think that the COSC degrees are titled the way they are because they are a liberal arts college and don't have departments that issue majors- now I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure. That might be a state accreditation thing re the titles.
    My shadowy understanding is that it's NEASC, their regional accreditor, who's the source of this, not the state. But that's a half-remembered factoid from several years ago. I'll go ahead and ask our alumni relations guy, since it seems to be a point of interest.

    If it's a 12 credit area of focus- that's something else entirely. That's NOT a major. I'm with Steve on this one. A 36 credit major is a major is a major.
    Even if it's a concentration? That which we call a major by any other name would smell as sweet? ;)

    -=Steve=-
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://hiresteve.com

  8. Advertisement

  9. #8
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    7,568
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    Interestingly, nowhere on my diploma or my transcript does it refer to a major in General Studies. The diploma is simply a "Bachelor of Science", and the transcript refers only to a concentration in Information Systems Studies, the word "major" does not appear on it.

    -=Steve=-
    This is so old. The degree and/or transcript do not state General Studies. Review this old thread where I posted pictures of my transcript-
    http://forums.degreeinfo.com/showthr...ght=transcript

  10. #9
    TonyM is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    376

    The transcript isn't the only place for an employer to look

    The COSC website faq clearly states:

    10. What majors do you offer?

    The College has no “majors”. Instead, we enable students completing a bachelor's degree to concentrate in a specific discipline or combination of subjects. By far, the most popular choice of “Concentration” is Individualized Studies which follows an interdisciplinary approach allowing students to customize their plan of study to better fit their background and goals. We also offer traditional fields of study such as Business Administration , Child Studies , Healthcare Administration, Public Safety Administration and many others.

    Regardless of your area of concentration, your diploma will simply state that you have earned either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Information about your concentration is provided only on your official transcript. Please see Concentrations/ Fields of Study or Concentration Basics for more information.


    If COSC says it doesn't offer majors then it's not a major...even if it's the equivalent. Probably it would never matter, but it is a real distinction.
    AS and BS, Excelsior College, 2001-2002
    Master of Criminal Justice, Tiffin University, 2003

  11. #10
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Illinois--> North Carolina
    Posts
    2,924
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    The COSC website faq clearly states:

    10. What majors do you offer?

    The College has no “majors”. Instead, we enable students completing a bachelor's degree to concentrate in a specific discipline or combination of subjects. By far, the most popular choice of “Concentration” is Individualized Studies which follows an interdisciplinary approach allowing students to customize their plan of study to better fit their background and goals. We also offer traditional fields of study such as Business Administration , Child Studies , Healthcare Administration, Public Safety Administration and many others.

    Regardless of your area of concentration, your diploma will simply state that you have earned either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Information about your concentration is provided only on your official transcript. Please see Concentrations/ Fields of Study or Concentration Basics for more information.


    If COSC says it doesn't offer majors then it's not a major...even if it's the equivalent. Probably it would never matter, but it is a real distinction.

    At COSC (and TESC/EC), they allow you to use any classes you want as your concentration. *which is why I mentioned to the OP about labs* In some other schools you have a prescription of courses from within a dept. and all X-majors do the same series. So, that's a difference....but it's "tomatoe" "tomahto." Again, COSC is saying why they don't call what they do "major." That's not to assume there are real definitions of these words. There are sweeping assumptions- one being that a degree with 36 credits in something is a degree in THAT.

    An employer will see a number (36) of credits in an area (IF and that's a big IF) they are looking for specific credit, dates, or grades.
    They have no way of knowing what the student's graduation requirements were/are. (a prescribed course of study or indi options)
    Even if you go to the college's website, the student's rules are for when the student attended- and the web site is for incoming students. A transcript is all that's left- that is the official document. Period.

    A grad school will look to see if the student meets the entrance requirements, has a degree in whatever they should from the type of school they should, and then start down the list (letters, GRE, etc). They will also look at other factors which are probably a lot more relevant than what COSC calls its major.

    People are looking at this in reverse. Don't say "here is my degree, why doesn't it meet the requirements of X?" A students must ask "If the requirements of X are Y, how can I build my degree to fit the requirements?"

    I can't emphasize enough that the
    content of
    prefixes of
    credits of
    distribution of
    lack of
    etc.

    are what can disqualify this degree from meeting the entrance requirements to a program...not what COSC calls it.
    Last edited by cookderosa; 04-08-2010 at 06:55 AM.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

  12. #11
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    1,221
    I worry a little about senselessly strict interpretations of "major" or "degree in" where senselessly strict interpretations are possible, say in state certification of teachers .

  13. #12
    Tim D is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    245
    It depends.. If an employer is looking for a BA/BS in Basket Weaving then if you have a bs or BA in general studies with a concentration in Basket Weaving. It is possible if they are being specific that they will not over look the fact you do not have the required degree. Essentially you may never get the chance to explain yourself in an interview(i.e. you have 36 credits in basket weaving). In a competitive job Market sometimes the small stuff can easily disqualify you. Particularly if someone in HR is just checking off boxes to weed out potential candidates.
    The Village Idiot

  14. #13
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    punoɹɐ ƃuıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ
    Posts
    5,478
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim D View Post
    It depends.. If an employer is looking for a BA/BS in Basket Weaving then if you have a bs or BA in general studies with a concentration in Basket Weaving. It is possible if they are being specific that they will not over look the fact you do not have the required degree. Essentially you may never get the chance to explain yourself in an interview(i.e. you have 36 credits in basket weaving). In a competitive job Market sometimes the small stuff can easily disqualify you. Particularly if someone in HR is just checking off boxes to weed out potential candidates.
    Would it be appropriate to list the coursework you completed on your resume?

    BA - Concentration in Basket Weaving (36 Credit Hours)
    Charter Oak State College

    OR

    BA - Individualized Studies
    History of Baskets (18 credit hours)
    Manual Weaving (18 credit hours)
    Charter Oak State College
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

    Anything can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you choose to deal with it. -Ted Heiks
    "The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What's our excuse?" -Neil Degrasse Tyson

  15. #14
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Illinois--> North Carolina
    Posts
    2,924
    Quote Originally Posted by Maniac Craniac View Post
    Would it be appropriate to list the coursework you completed on your resume?

    BA - Concentration in Basket Weaving (36 Credit Hours)
    Charter Oak State College

    OR

    BA - Individualized Studies
    History of Baskets (18 credit hours)
    Manual Weaving (18 credit hours)
    Charter Oak State College
    >>

    I would list it exactly as it is conferred. Check your transcript and diploma. Also, make sure you are not adding words. I wouldn't add 36 credits because if I were an idiot HR newbie, I might wonder why you have a 36 credit hour bachelor's degree when I had to earn 120 lol. :)

    I also like the redundancy of writing the abbreviation "BA" and the words "Bachelor of Arts" plus even including the word "degree" since I'm not leaving anything to chance or their key word software.

    (No disrespect to the HR folks, I just know a few of them who need my help explaining what my credential is)

    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Individualized Studies (Basket Weaving)
    or
    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Basket Weaving
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

  16. Advertisement

  17. #15
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    7,568
    Quote Originally Posted by cookderosa View Post
    >>

    I would list it exactly as it is conferred. Check your transcript and diploma. Also, make sure you are not adding words. I wouldn't add 36 credits because if I were an idiot HR newbie, I might wonder why you have a 36 credit hour bachelor's degree when I had to earn 120 lol. :)

    I also like the redundancy of writing the abbreviation "BA" and the words "Bachelor of Arts" plus even including the word "degree" since I'm not leaving anything to chance or their key word software.

    (No disrespect to the HR folks, I just know a few of them who need my help explaining what my credential is)

    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Individualized Studies (Basket Weaving)
    or
    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Basket Weaving
    I agree - unless it is your first job no one may care (depending on the field). I have review 1,000's of resumes and a degree is a "checkmark" and I look for experience. I had have people with degrees from UF, USF, FMU, ITT , UM (University of Miami), UCLA, USC , DeVry , ...etc. The experience is what wins. The positions were IT positions and management positions.
    I list mine as a BS - Individualized Studies (Technology and Business) even though tech/bus are not indicated anywhere. Then again I have not looked for a job in 10 years except for adjunct stuff.

  18. #16
    BertGBach is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    5
    Well thanks, this has helped quite a bit, and at this point I have no worries about getting a particular job with the concentration in Biology, the MLS in History is a different story (I had planned to get that so I could have the credentials to teach History in my state). One more question that brings up is, what would my chances be finding work in a community college History department with the MLS?
    CLEP US History I-65

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15