ALM same as MA degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by goofee girl, Feb 23, 2003.

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  1. goofee girl

    goofee girl New Member

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    Is there any difference between a regular MA degree and the ALM (Masters of Liberal Arts) granted by Harvard Extension? Why is it called ALM and not MA?
     
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    Probably out of Latin tradition. I believe their bachelor's programs lead to the AB, not the BA.

    I suspect you could list it however you want. Besides, it's "Harvard" that people will notice (even though it is "Harvard Extension").
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New Member

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    The ALM (= MLA) is generally seen as an interdisciplinary degree. It is NOT the same as an MA, and it would be misleading to label it as such. Some schools use the Latin-derived AM to indicate the MA (Master of Arts), SM to indicate the MS (Master of Science), AB to indicate BA (Bachelor of Arts), etc. The Master of Arts (MA or AM) is a different degree from the Master of Liberal Arts (MLA or ALM).

    Alex
     
  4. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

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    The ALM (or MLA) is offered by many universities. It's usually an interdisciplinary liberal studies degree, popular with school teachers. Other schools offer MAs for completing similar programs.

    Probably to differentiate the program from something else.

    Stanford University offers both an MA and an MLA in humanities. The MA is offered to matriculated students who survive Stanford's rigorous selection process. The MLA is offered by Stanford Extension in a program that while it isn't open admissions, is far less selective. It's less interested in preparing future scholars than in attracting an interesting mix of people.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2003
  5. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    As others have already stated, the ALM is the Latin version of an MLA. Also, an MA degree tends to be in a particular discipline (although I'm sure there are exceptions) while an ALM is, by definition, a generalist degree (although some programs will allow you to have a "concentration." BTW, Rich is correct in suggesting that the HES bachelors degree begins with the "A" part but it is also a Liberal Arts degree and so is formally known as an ALB.
    Jack
     
  6. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

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    Mine says Baccalavrei in Artibvs.

    Sounds like BA to me. Mind you, it can probably be phrased the other way around.
     
  7. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

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    Pretty much the same t'ing: Artium Baccalaureus(or the other way round)=bachelor of arts, while Baccalaureus in Artibus=bachelor in arts.
    ALM does have the worthless benefit of not being the same acronym as that of the Modern Language Association.
     
  8. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

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    I have a Bachelor in Arts not a Bachelor of Arts. You learn something every day.


    I also have an Achelorbay ofay Ommercecay. It's in English. I did the Latin translation.
     
  9. Anthony Ciolli

    Anthony Ciolli New Member

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    I'd be hard-pressed to call Harvard's ALM an interdisciplinary degree like the Master of Liberal Arts programs other schools have.

    First, there are 10 required courses for the degree: 1 proseminar (basically a research methods course) in your field, 6 courses in your concentration, 2 electives, and a thesis in your concentration. In some concentrations (such as government or history or psychology or english) you would only have 1 elective because there is an additional requirement that needs to be fulfilled. Since 8 or 9 out of 10 courses are REQUIRED to be in the field of "concentration" I don't see how this degree can be compared to the liberal studies or interdisciplinary degrees offered by other universities.

    Second, unlike other universities, the degree is repeatable since the concentrations are the equivalent of majors. For example, if you do the ALM with a concentration in government, the degree's title will be "Master of Liberal Arts in Government." It's possible (and has been done by several people) to then get a Master of Liberal Arts in History or Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology or whatever. This once again differentiates Harvard's ALM from a liberal studies or interdisciplinary degree, since by nature liberal arts or interdisciplinary degrees can not be repeated like that.

    According to the person I spoke on the phone with from Harvard Extension, the "Master of Liberal Arts" part is just there to signal that the degree came from the Extension School.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2003
  10. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    So . . . you've obviously chosen the concentration in Marketing ;)
    Jack
     
  11. goofee girl

    goofee girl New Member

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    Excellent info, everyone!
     
  12. plumbdog10

    plumbdog10 New Member

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    Is there a residency requirement on the Harvard A.L.M. ? Their web site mentions one semester. I was just wondering if that rule has been bent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2003
  13. Anthony Ciolli

    Anthony Ciolli New Member

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    Since not all required courses are available online, you have to be in residence for at least one semester in order to complete the degree.
     
  14. plumbdog10

    plumbdog10 New Member

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    Yea, just when something looks really interesting, you always find a sticking point.
     

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