2nd Undergraduate Degree / 2nd Bachelors Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bceagles, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    I've posted this question within a handful of threads but thought it best to start a dedicated thread for this topic. I'm looking to create a list of all the B&M (Non Big 3, non UOP,Non Devry, etc.) colleges/universities that:

    Have 100% online Undergraduate Programs
    A decent B & M presence, nothing obscure like "University South Africa"
    Willing to work with 2nd degree students
    Transfer policy allows 90 credit hours (semester based)
    Offer online programs with a specific focus (not General Studies, interdisciplinary studies, Liberal Arts (my current BS with EC), etc.)
    Not ridiculously expensive

    My particular situation, as i've posted in the past:

    The B.S. Liberal Arts with a focus area of Admin/Mgmt that I completed thru Excelsior College was a great accomplishment for me. I had a great experience with Excelsior, if not for their flexibility and structure I would most likely not have an undergraduate degree. Excelsior did everything they promised, I encourage anyone working on an undergraduate degree to consider Excelsior College. For my situation, my primary objective was to gain entrance into an RA local B&M MBA program. My BS from EC granted me access to a surprising number of MBA programs, mission accomplished! Now that I'm headed down the home stretch of my MBA program, I have a bit of a dilemma.

    My EC BS of Liberal Arts looks, for lack of a better word, "Weird" on a resume/ linkedin profile. I'm shopping around for options to remedy this predicament. My hope was that the B&M school that I will have an MBA from would let complete an Undergraduate degree with some "considerations". I was thinking that I could make the argument that I could transfer in 90 credits from my EC degree and apply 15 MBA program credits into a undergraduate degree. Leaving me with roughly 15 credits in house to complete. I contacted an advisor last week and they did an evaluation for me and they will only transfer in about 60 credits, zero MBA course work could be applied to an undergraduate degree, even if they were taken from the same institution. So much for leveraging the MBA /Alumni angle.

    All that being said, I am considering a second bachelors degree and the UMass-Lowell BS IT so far seems to be the best option. 30 credits, 9-10 courses all online seems like a great set up. Are there any other options I should consider? Should I consider a different approach? Am I missing anything? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    I reached out to Antioch Online this past week and their program doesn't seem to be a good fit (Only 70 credits can be transferred in and they don't seem to want to work with 2nd degree seeking students)
  2. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    I would think on this some more...I really don't believe there is much advantage to be gained with a second post masters bachelors degree.

    The majority of schools are going to require 24-30 new credits at a minimum...might as well pick up a second masters at that point, from a better known school I suppose (if your really bent that way).

    Have you considered a graduate level degree from a better known university? Maybe something that can be parlayed into a full masters if you choose? PENN State online and Harvard University Extension come to mind.

    Several Public Colleges and Universities in Florida fit most of your criteria, UF has several such programs, FSU has some.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2015
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    As for creating that list, someone did that once. I believe it was called Bear's Guide to Non-traditional Degrees.
  4. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    Some of the cheaper options that allow up to 90 credits to be transferred in that I asked about before ;

    1) Indiana U Browse Programs :: IU Online

    2) U Mass Online Degrees and Certificates | www.umassonline.net

    3) Mizzou Online Current Degree & Program offerings | Mizzou Online | University of Missouri

    4) U Cumberlands Online Graduate Programs in KY - University of the Cumberlands

    5) U South Dakota USD Online Programs - USD

    6) Colorado State Online Degrees, Distance Degrees, Classroom Instruction - CSU Online Plus

    7) U North Dakota Online & Distance Education

    8) Dakota State Distance and Online Education | Dakota State University

    9) U of Illinois Online - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS

    10) Open U (Australia) Courses & units - Open Universities Australia

    **Open U (Australia) has partnered with afew Universities in Australia to offer undergraduate degrees. The minimum requirement is to complete '8 residency' modules from a program. Each module cost about $1,000 USD. So a second degree would cost about $10k USD.

    The US school's that I've listed have multiple programs. My concern back when I was researching was the cost, all of which are between $200++ - $350.

    But maybe you should consider Harvard's MLA program if you wish to get an IT qualification ?
    They have concentrations in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Info Sys. and they only need a basic degree to get started.
  5. novadar

    novadar Member

    I posted to about this when you asked before. You gain virtually nothing from earning another Bachelor's degree. You are finishing an MBA and in 99.9999999% of the circumstances where having ANY degree matters the first and only thing people will look at is your MBA. If you work in IT you are way ahead of most folks simply by having an MBA.

    Having been an IT Professional for 16 years now with a BA in History and an MPA I can tell you my managers have been pleased more about my work ethic and tenacity more that what my degrees were in. A few were pleased to see that I had a Masters degree at hiring and it being in a Management discipline helped but I let my work speak for itself. Honsetly, your MBA is realy all you need.

    If you must do something -- go higher not "backwards"
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Generally I agree with this philosophy. Even if you don't want to jump into a full-blown Masters degree program you could collect a few certs or a grad diploma and it would be at least as effective as earning a second Bachelors, and probably cheaper too.
  7. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    Thanks for all the feedback! First off, I don't work in IT, I work in finance. The BSIT is appealing because you get the UMass name, only have to take 30 credits, and the per credit cost is reasonable. A BA in Mgmt, BS in Business, BA in Communications, or something similar would all work for me. My assumption is that the BSIT at UMass would be relatively easy compared to a hard science degree.

    I also agree with those who feel that going backwards for another undergraduate doesn't make sense. It is definitely a strange approach from my standpoint. I guess I'm trying to get around the possibility of being put in the position of have to explain what Excelsior College is. Maybe I would consider a second masters degree as an attempt to push EC lower / bury on a resume. I don't mean to bash EC in any way here, just being realistic about the perception of colleges/universities that don't have a basketball team in the tournament every year. What are some interesting and reasonably priced online masters programs that I could compliment an MBA with?
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This is not my thing but there's always a lot of talk around here about the value of accounting degrees. To me it's more a matter of deciding what it is that you want to do. How do you want to spend your time? Then figure out how to get there.
  9. novadar

    novadar Member

    I glanced at the BSIT at UMass. There seems to be some intense project work. If you don't work in IT it might be a struggle.

    You really have no reason to "push" Excelsior down. It is a fine school. I think far too often that many people overthink things. You earned a Bachelors degree and are on the verge of earning a Masters. Only 11.57% of Americans have a Masters Degree or higher, (31.66% for a Bachelors). To me I think you can feel proud in what you have accomplished. If you don't want to change careers any MBA will suit you just fine in Finance. Have you considered getting your Series 7 license? With your background to me that seems to make the most sense and would likely have quite strong ROI.
  10. dfreybur

    dfreybur New Member

    I haven't had to explain my BSL from Excelsior in many years. I list it as "Excelsior College, State University of New York". It's a campus of a long established state system. It's fully accredited RA, not on anyone's top 10 list and that's that. It checks the Bachelors degree box. A potential employer can look them up in the RA lists and that's all that matters. I do list my minors math and CS as they are in my field but as folks point out in IT having any RA degree in anything checks off the box once you're a few years into a career.

    Once you have a Masters, getting a Bachelors in a field related to your current work is something to be done for fun not for profit. I remember a PhD in orbital mechanics who got an Associates in theater arts. That's an extreme example of doing a degree for fun.

    Is management the goal? An MS/MA in Management would be good. Or since you already have a Masters then getting a certificate would work.
  11. foobar

    foobar Member


    It's confusing, but Excelsior was never part of the "State University of New York." The State University of New York (SUNY) is New York State's public university system. Empire State College is part of SUNY - Excelsior and its predecessors were not.

    Excelsior was part of the "University of the State of New York" which interestingly enough, is the legal name of the New York State Education Department. The University of the State of New York is the sole institution listed on my diploma and transcripts from the late 80's. Subsequently, "Excelsior's" degrees were awarded by Regents College of the University of the State of New York, which eventually became the private and totally separate Excelsior College.

    To add to the confusion, all colleges and universities in New York State operate under the authority of the University of the State of New York, which once again is simply the NYS Education Department. I haven't looked at this in quite a while but years ago many of the NYS private colleges represented themselves as part of the University of the State of New York. In this context, Excelsior is still part of the University of the State of New York.
  12. major56

    major56 Active Member

    One of my brothers earned his undergraduate degree from Regents College-USNY. :smile:
  13. jumbodog

    jumbodog New Member

    I've never understood the prejudice against 2nd BA degrees but as this thread shows it remains a pestilence. First, there are simply some fields where a 2nd BA is required. Want to go from an English major to becoming a doctor? You need a second degree or the course work that is functionally the same as a second degree. Second, even in many fields like IT where a second BA is not strictly required it remains a great idea. If one plans on going on to a master's in IT then the lack of undergraduate coursework in IT eliminates all the good schools and most of the mediocre ones from your list. Moreover, there is also something to be said for being well-prepared in a comprehensive manner that a BA degree offers that simply studying for some certs is not going to give one. I've heard about too many "cert babies" who have all the right credentials but don't understand anything about how the IT business actually works.

    When I was much younger I thought about doing a career in HR and so did some informational interviews with HR managers, including two at Fortune 500 companies in my area. I'll never forget how one of them told me he went from making 150K a year a salesman to making 35K a year when he got started in HR. Sometimes one has to take a step back in order to get ahead. That doesn't mean that a second BA is always the best approach, but it doesn't deserve the hostility it gets, either.
  14. novadar

    novadar Member

    No prejudice here, I am probably one of the most pragmatic individuals on the board. I can only comment on a the IT field since that is where I work. For all intents and purposes if you want to understand the Business of IT you should get a Masters in Business Administration or a Management discipline. Aside from a very narrow slice of IT-related Masters that focus on Management concepts (Project Management is borderline) most are Technically oriented. IT degrees in and of themselves are good but if one really aspires to be truly "Technical" they need to study Computer Science or Computer Engineering, not IT. IT programs are focused on implementing and maintaining Information Technologies, CS/CE build those systems. I do not equate UI/UX work with building systems. I am a certified DBA but work in BI/DW, I implement and configure systems. There will always be people with excellent academic credentials who don't know a thing about the business or selling and on the other the hand you will find a History major who can explain the value proposition of a software implementation with superb clarity. Based on my experience it's a mixed bag and not matter what you "study" you will likely gravitate to what you know and do best.

    In regards to bceagles (I am guessing Boston College Eagles, Go Hokies!) he/she already has a Bachelors and is almost complete with an MBA. He/She does not even work in IT so there is little sense in completing a second BS in IT. My best advice for bceagles is to take the excellent ingredients you have a bake a masterpiece.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2015
  15. NWLearner

    NWLearner Member

    My question to bceagles would be whether this is really about the resume or a matter of personal pride/satisfaction. A degree from a non-traditional school is a great accomplishment, but to some people that sense of belonging (for a lack of a better word) that comes with a pretty campus, NCAA tournaments, etc. is really important. I think that's a perfectly legitimate reason to get another degree, but in that case, bceagles, I'd maybe plan to go for a second master's and make it something that you simply enjoy doing. If it is about career, on the other hand, I agree with most others here: Get some certificates or certifications. e-learningpundit.com has an old but still very useful "resume booster" list of for- and non-credit certificates from brand-name schools.
  16. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    Thanks for all the feedback! A few follow up questions:

    For those who think pursuing a second masters degree is in my best interest, any interesting online masters degree programs that u recommend I take a look at?

    For those who feel strongly about going down the Cert path, please share some recommended Certs I should look at.

    And those in favor of a 2nd undergraduate degree, any programs out there I should consider?

  17. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    First if you aren't happy with your Bachelor's degree from Excelsior College, it is a legitimate feeling and you shouldn't ignore those feelings.

    I'd find out why I have ill feelings about Excelsior College and I think it is more to do with planning and a sense of the unknown. There are no certainties in life, but in most cases going forward is better for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2015
  18. GeeBee

    GeeBee Member

    University of Illinois at Springfield has a number of undergraduate degrees that can be completed entirely online. I'm looking at the current Catalog and I'm not sure how these requirements align with your requirements:

    "Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree and seek a second one from UIS must complete all hours toward the major that are required by the academic program. A minimum of 30 semester hours toward the second degree must be completed at UIS. Students who earned the first degree at UIS must complete only those general education hours required by the academic program as prerequisite or foundation courses for the second baccalaureate degree. If the first degree was earned at another institution, the student must meet requirements in the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE). Credit from a previous degree may not be used for the degree in progress."

    It sounds like you only need to complete the 12 hours of ECCE courses and the required courses in your major. There's no limit on the number of hours you can transfer in, except that you can't apply courses that have already been applied towards a degree, and you have to take at least 30 hours at UIS.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    If I was in that situation I'd take another course or two and earn a Masters degree rather than spend all that time (30 hrs) and money earning another Bachelors.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If a person needs a bachelor's degree in computer science to get into a master's program in computer science, then I'd say go for it. If a person needs a bachelor's degree in engineering to become a licensed engineer, then I'd say go for it. Medical school prerequisites aren't even close to being a second bachelor's, though. They are mostly a mix of lower-level/introductory science, math, English, and social science courses.

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