Can Life Experience Get You Into an MBA Program?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sonny_jr, May 2, 2007.

  1. sonny_jr

    sonny_jr New Member

  2. bing

    bing New Member

    Take a look at Heriot-Watt

    From what I have heard you don't always need an undergrad degree to get into an MBA program. Years back, when I was looking at MBA programs, I believe that Heriot-Watt was not requiring an undergrad degree for their MBA program. Such is still the case, as I read this "Heriot-Watt does not require the GMAT or even an undergraduate degree.", on .

    I am not quite certain what the degree completion rate is for those not having an undergrad degree is, though. That may be an important question to ask, too.


  3. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    In Australia, it is not so unusual. It usually requires a good resume indicating industry experience that demonstrates an equivalency to an undergrad. qual. in the area.

    I received my Masters in Public Policy & Administration from Charles Sturt University without an undergrad. I had substantial industry experience and some other non university qualifications. I later finished an undergrad degree in another area because I wanted to go in a different direction, and it was outside my industry knowledge base.

    A fellow I work with studied for his MBA with the University of Southern Queensland without an undergrad qual. He,again, had substantial and verifiable industry experience.

    Some UK Master's Degrees can also undertaken on a similar basis without an undergrad qualification. The University of London's LLM is an example. Although, I have little doubt that admission is very difficult without the undergraduate qualification.

    Why not acknowledge that people with substantial professional experience have sufficient skills to undertake an MBA? It would be entirely different if they were asking admission to a postgraduate qualification outside their professional expertise. It is then up to employers if they want people with only a professional education or want people with a broader base of education.

    What reason can there be for "backsquading" very experienced and industry qualified people in their area of expertise?
  4. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    Aspen University allows offers an MBA without requiring a BA, under the condition that the applicant has 15 years documented professional experience.
  5. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    I looked into the idea several years ago...

    Before I finished my Bachelors, I looked into the idea myself. At the time I only found the Edinburgh School Of Business (what Heriot-Watt?) and a very few other schools mentioned in Bear's guide which allow people to waive undergraduate academic work. I was frankly surprised that this is a possibility since every school I've been to and every employer I've had seemed fixated on getting the most credentials possible out of me. But then I remembered an old public service rule I heard of down South where I grew up: It is possible to substitute experience for education (or vice-a-versa) on a year for year basis. Throughout my career I've run into several variants along this theme including two years of experience for every year of education and 1/2 years of experience for every year of education. I don't see a reason why you should be stopped if you can actually do graduate-level work. With that said, I believe it is in your best interests as well as the schools to award a dual bachelor/masters degree after completion of this kind of program. You and the school would face less scrutiny, the school would make slightly more money under the assumption that a few extra credits can fill out your degree, and you will now be a full "college boy (or girl, as the case may be)".

    I agree, I've heard that Aspec was doing that thing with 15 years of professional experience versus a bachelors. I thought that was smart. If you run the numbers on that you'll see between 3 and 4 years of experience per missing year of education (which is in line with traditional hiring practices but a little on the high side). I'm not actually sure of the way the rule is phrased, you might get it to work better for you than others have.

    Other than that, it's perfectly acceptable, allbeit nontraditional.
  6. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    This is exactly what I have done. I just officially began my coursework with Aspen University yesterday. I am enrolled in the MS in Information Management, and I do NOT have a Bachelor's degree. I do have the requisite 15+ years of work experience however. In addition, I have 41 undergraduate credits, however this fact didn't even come up when I applied! The only requirements for admission to Aspen were a resume, a statement of goals and three letters of recommendation. In reality, I'm not even sure a High School diploma is required in this case! Of course, I did graduate High School and that fact is listed on my resume. Just making a point.

    I do agree that a combination Bachelor's/Master's degree would be desirable, and I certainly would have pursued that option if Aspen had offered it. However, I am quite busy as it is with taking my first graduate level courses! Aspen Univ. is certainly no Harvard, but they do know how to pile on the work! :)

    - Tom
  7. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Not anymore. Policy has changed.
  8. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Heriot-Watt still will allow people to take classes without an undergrad, but you are not officially matriculated until you pass 4 classes. UF, on occasion has taken a student without an undergrad.

    I knew someone in the MBA program at Temple University without an undergrad. I asked him how he got in, and he said because of industry experience, good interview, etc. And then he added, "Along with my application I submitted a company check for $30,000 to prepay the tuition."
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    What is the policy now?
  10. Dave C.

    Dave C. New Member

    I am halfway through a Distance Learning MBA with Henley Management College (Oxfordshire, UK).

    I do not possess a bachelors degree. Outside of the US business schools are less preoccupied with regimented entry requirements.

    All the best,

    Dave C.
  11. rtongue

    rtongue New Member

    Some top Executive MBA programs do not require an undergraduate degree. One that comes to mind is Kellogg who will consider applicants without an undergraduate degree if they have acceptable GMAT scores. However, the tuition is over $120,000.
  12. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the coursework is challenging! I have been having a heck of a time getting through Strategic Management, I'm on module 6 of 8 though. Just two more modules to go. When I am done with this class, I will have 2 down, and 9 to go. No easy task, but I am plugging away.

    Congrats on starting at Aspen! Especially if you got that limited time offer of $3k! I don't think that will ever come around again.

    Take care,

    Abner :)
  13. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    My understanding is that an accredited undergrad degree is now required.
  14. CargoJon

    CargoJon New Member

    the poster in post #6 might beg to differ with you...
  15. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    This is not my understanding at all. From what do you base your understanding?
  16. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Well, yes I would, but PaulC might be technically correct.

    I applied and was accepted into the MSIM program (without a Bachelor's degree) on April 19th. However, I am no longer able to locate any reference to this policy on Aspen's website. A search on Google found the cached Admissions Requirements page with the "No Undergraduate Degree?" statement. The current page ( no longer has this info. The page that described this policy ( no longer exists on the site, and is only available via the Google cached page.

    I'm guessing they pulled the plug on 5/1/07. Not sure why, but maybe their policy was getting a little too much attention and they decided it wasn't the type of publicity that they were looking for! I'm just glad that I got in under the old policy! Phew, talk about cutting it close!

    - Tom
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2007
  17. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    I just emailed them to inquire. I'll let you know what I learn. I sure hope they just stopped publicizing it. I was planning on enrolling in a couple of months whn my AA was complete!

  18. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Bing, re the Edinburgh Business School of Heriot-Watt University: "I am not quite certain what the degree completion rate is for those not having an undergrad degree is, though. That may be an important question to ask, too."

    John: During the years that I was doing the US/Canada marketing for this MBA (1991-98), about 40% of the people who signed up did not have a Bachelor's. I cannot speak to completion rate (those data were unavailable to us), but the exam pass rate was very similar for the two groups.

    As an aside, I am fascinated with people who test the limits, and succeed. We had one client (senior VP of a Fortune 500 company) who came in to our Bay Area office on March 31 (the last day to sign up for exams), bought all nine courses, and immediately signed up for all nine exams. In the first week in June, he took and passed all nine exams, thus earning his MBA in 68 days. Of our 5,000+ other US/Canada clients, only one other came close: a CPA, for whom two courses were waived, passed the other seven at one sitting. A dozen or so tried all nine at once, one passed 5, the others less, a few zero. The university actually seemed a bit embarrassed by that one person; they wouldn't allow us to mention it to prospective students.
  19. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    I think WGU was slightly embarrased about me too...

    Though their perspective is preportedly one of competency by examination and thesis, WGU seems to play down the possibility of finishing a bachelors and a masters in less than 2 years. I'd bet they would act slightly embarrased if questioned about my degrees earned within that span of time.

    If someone complained or asked questions of the sort, I would gladly have WGU hand out all my papers, projects, and thesis to the questioner. My work stands on its own as being completely to the rubric and above expectations. I expect this would be the same for any university. My recommendation for administrators is to keep all records, documents, projects, thesis and have the student waive right of privacy for accreditation matters.

  20. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

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