Degree completion (very, very unusual case)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by NWLearner, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. NWLearner

    NWLearner Member

    I am considering a BA degree completion program and have been researching some options. But my situation is rather unusual, and I am not even sure where to start.

    I am originally from Germany and came to the US on a graduate exchange program as a non-degree seeking graduate student. At that time, Germany didn't have any BA programs. The standard degree in my field ("Magister") was somewhere in between a BA and a MA, but considered in the US equivalent to a MA I was far enough in my studies in Germany to be considered a graduate student in the US even though I didn't have an undergraduate degree.

    Long, I ended up staying in the US, got a MA here and then a graduate certificate followed by a MEd. So now I have two masters degrees but no BA. I have no German degree at all, and the courses I took were ~10 years ago. I would love to get a BA from a US school, just for "closure," but I am not sure where to start.

    One problem is that German universities don't have the general education classes that American freshmen and sophomores takes. Plus, it would be a major pain to get my German transcript. So I don't have the usual so-and-so many undergraduate credits. My favorite solution would be a school that says, "Wonderful, you have all this graduate education. Just complete X number of credits and we'll give you a shiny BA." Oh, and it would have to be a reputable B&M university.

    Sorry - I obviously don't even know what my specific questions are. Do you think there is a possibility I can find a school that will just place me based on my degrees rather than specific undergrad credits I have? What are some good B&M programs I should check out? I don't care much what the degree would be in. Liberal something would be fine.
  2. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    Consider 'finding' all your transcripts from your German Unis, send them to an org. to get it evaluated, Wes.Org or something.
    Then approach a B&M Uni that offers online degrees, tell them what you have etc etc and see what they say about doing an undergraduate degree.
    best case scenario, they have you take 30-45 credits to complete a 'second undergraduate degree'
    Worse case scenario, they have you do all 120 credits again, of which, you can start looking at the big 3. TESC, COSC, and Exc.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Closure" seems like a thin reason to go through all the effort. Is the lack of a Bachelor degree actually hindering your career in any way?
  4. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    That's my question too. An undergraduate degree is 120 credits, most masters are in the 30's. It's a considerable amount of work to complete (less so if you employ testing and distance learning, but still). What is your first MA in?
  5. NWLearner

    NWLearner Member

    Thanks for your replies! nvrem, you're right, my first step should probably be to have my foreign credits evaluated. I think I still have a sealed list of my credits and the certificates I got for each class (No such thing as a unified record system back then).

    Steve & cookderosa: My first matser's degree is in applied linguistics, the second in adult education and training. My German coursework was mainly in linguistics and literature. The lack of a BA is no hindrance because here in the US, I do have a BA (well, equivalent), at least for the purpose of applying for schools and jobs. What attracts me about a BA is that it would allow me to try something new without the pressures of studying for an advanced degree. I can't possibly do a third master's and I am not ready for a Ph.D.
  6. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    It appears that your Magister degree is considered at least a bachelor degree (Wikipedia!!!) so why bother getting a BA.

    So if you insist on getting a BA you might be able to find a second bachelor degree program where you would have to earn at least another 30 semester units. (The kicker here is that most colleges require you to meet all degree requirements) - maybe you could earn a BS in liberal studies from Excelsior College as a second degree.
    Excelsior College | Second Degree
    I specify this particular degree because it is very flexible because it allows 50 units of electives that can include professional electives such as education, business, engineering, criminal justice, programming.
  7. muaranah

    muaranah New Member

    In addition to getting your German university credits evaluated (I'm assuming that none were used to earn either of your US degrees), get your Abitur evaluated as well; since you earned it under the G9 system, it should garner you 30 general education credits.
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I'll be more blunt, but say essentially the same thing as those before. Why in the world would you want a bachelor's? It will do you no good, but you will spend a fair amount of time and money to earn it. Closure? Unless it's driving you nuts, it's not worth the effort. Move on, look forward; not backward. To me, it's like driving a Maserati and feeling like you don't have closure because because you never got to own a Chevy Malibu. :smile:
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Heh, very well said.
  10. NWLearner

    NWLearner Member

    I don't actually have that degree. I have the coursework and exams that separate the "undergraduate" from the "graduate" portion of the program, plus some some the "graduate" coursework. That's enough to be considered a BA equivalent by US universities, but it's not a degree.

    I should. That's what would give me a lot of the general education credits. Unfortunately, my high school grades were pretty horrific. How I managed to get into my German university program I have no idea. ;) That's why I would prefer if a university just let me get in at a certain level based on my degrees rather than looking at specific credits.

    Okay, let me be a little blunt as well: I want to get a BA because I can. :cool: That's pretty much the only reason I have. You may have seen that I am also inquiring about Ph.D./Ed.D. programs in another thread, but realistically that's not going to happen for another few years. So until then, I'd like to do some studying. I could do that just own my own or outside of a degree program, of course, but I love getting shiny diplomas for my efforts. If there was a way to do another master's I'd do that, but I am a) concerned that three master's degrees would look weird on my resume and b) my wife would axe-murder me.
  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Actually "because I can" or "because I just want to" is a very good answer than nobody can refute. It would work with the Chevy Malibu analogy too: "Because I just want a Chevy Malibu." If you want it just to make yourself happy, go for it.

    Earning a doctorate is several orders of magnitude more expense, effort and pain.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    A Malibu? Really? At least give the guy a Corvette.:doh:

    To the op - I don't usually tell people what to do but since you seem so determined to make this mistake I think you should enroll in the most expensive program available.:kidding:
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    LOL. That was my example of a boring car so a Corvette would not work.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Loving my Civic :drive:

    If you want a BA, no one here can stop you. Personally, I'd prefer to spend the time working on the lofty goal of 25 consecutive pull-ups or mastering the game of Gomoku. Ladies love Gomoku. And reliable, reasonably priced cars.

  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hmmm. I have played Gomoku but I still like my Jeep Wrangler.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Time to update the Venn diagram. :cool:
  17. RBTullo

    RBTullo Member

    You mentioned that you had completed the undergraduate portion as well as part of the graduate credits for the Magister, Is it possible to complete the Magister on-line? If you could, the WES evaluation would reflect that the degree is a hybrid of undergraduate/graduate and is equal to the BA.
  18. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Okay, so I have a suggestion if you opt to go forward with a BA. TESC has a degree in humanities that you can apply GENEROUS language arts credit to. You can take the New York University Foreign Language exam in German. TESC will award anywhere between 16-24 humanities credit for that one event. In addition, if you are fluent in any other languages, x2. It's possible that you'll have undergraduate credit you can transfer in, but if not, you can test out of all the general education courses and probably work incredibly quickly through the humanities portion of the degree. There are upper level exams that could be used to take your major (language, art, literature, journalism, religion, theater, music, etc.) and there are multiple options for free/cheap/fast free elective credits.

    EDIT: sorry, forgot to link you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  19. Afterhours

    Afterhours Member

    Look into Goddard College in Plainfield Vermont. They have few if any general education requirements.
  20. NWLearner

    NWLearner Member

    Unfortunately, the Magister Artium is dead. :( Replaced by BAs and MAs to "keep up" with the rest of the world. My preferred solution would be a German university knocking on my door and offering me a BA for my glorious coursework, but so far that hasn't happened.

    Thanks for the college recommendations! However, those of you who have been concerned about my financial/academic/etc. wellbeing, rest easy - I don't want a BA anymore. My wife teaches full-time in the Oregon University System, and I just learned that I can take up to 8 quarter credits of classes per term at the faculty-discounted rate at any of the schools and including online classes. Only took me several years and an out-of-state degree to find that out. ;) Anyway, this should keep me busy for a while.

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