Foreign Degree accreditation equivalent?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Cody Thompson, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    Hey y'all,

    If someone has graduated with a foreign accredited degree (BS, Master's, PhD, etc) and it is evaluated by a private org as acceptable for work/academia in the US, is it considered the equivalent of Regionally Accredited, or Nationally Accredited?

    I can't find this on Google.....

  2. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    If RA schools accept the degree then de facto RA, no?
  3. Cody Thompson

    Cody Thompson Member

    I don't know. Thats what I'm wondering. Is it possible that it would be up to the hiring institution? That they could consider it whatever they want?
  4. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Dunno. Others here have experience with this and they will hopefully weigh in.

    And there's the one guy who will laugh at you. And me. ;)
  5. msganti

    msganti Active Member

    My experience with evaluation is - if the degree is properly accredited in the country of origin, it will be evaluated as the equivalent of an RA degree.
    Most countries do not have a complex accreditation system like USA. For example in India, every University has to be approved by UGC/AICTE to be able to grant degrees. There are no other legitimate options.
  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Not at all. Because foreign degrees are no laughing matter.

    But seriously, no academic institution, employer, or other entity is obligated to take the word of a so-called foreign credential evaluation service. Period. And just as there are foreign degree mills, there are also credential evaluation mills.

    I have often wondered why any American in his or her right mind would want to get a foreign degree in the first place. Because they're cheaper? Be careful - you get what you pay for. There are, as always, exceptions to every rule, but I would always find suspect an American who pursues a degree from UNISA (or any other African institution) without actually visiting the school at some point, even if only to buy a t-shirt. Ditto schools in most of Europe and Asia - you're blaring out that it's a totally non-residential degree (and y'all know how I feel about that, especially at the doctoral level). Ditto business schools in Europe like Herriott-Watt's EBS, recently discussed in another thread - business there ain't the same as business here.

    To all those who advise people in the U.S. to consider degree programs in foreign countries, my response is what it usually is on such questionable advice: bullshit.

    The mere notion that that the credential evaluation question was brought up is merely one more example of the type of roadblock that graduates of foreign programs will run into. Remember that I am not speaking of foreigners in the U.S. who graduated from programs in their native countries, but of Americans pursuing programs in foreign countries. An Indian who graduated from a credible university in India and then moved to the U.S. will have less of a problem justifying his education than an American who graduated from a credible Indian university without ever having shown up there.

    Am I being provincial? Perhaps. But I say that when it comes to cars and education, buy American, y'all.
  7. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Do you live in Europe?

    The reason why I ask is that in the European Higher Education Area, there's going to be some government "NARIC" office that decides on degree equivalence. (By all accounts some of them can be quite anal about it.)

    The United States isn't part of this and doesn't have any national policy on degree acceptance. Whether or not to accept foreign degrees, and what to accept them as, is up to individual employers, universities or licensing bodies.

    Many American employers don't distinguish between RA and NA degrees, and will simply throw foreign degrees in the same 'degree' category. That's what typically happens if having a degree is simply a check-the-box requirement.

    At the other extreme, when it comes to PhD hiring in academia or in things like the biotech industry, employers will often be looking for the right person with the right background. So in that case, what they will be looking at is the candidate's dissertation topic, who he or she worked with, and the awarding department's reputation in the research area in question. Accreditation might not ever come up in those highly selective situations.

    If a graduate school or a licensing body does distinguish between RA and NA for admissions or for licensing, they will typically have some written policy on foreign degrees as well. So an applicant will have to inquire with them. University catalogs typically have a section addressing foreign educated applicants. So do licensing bodies' websites.

    The United States welcomes hordes of foreign educated individuals, so it's become rather routine.
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Living in immigrant communities for a long time, I saw friends and relatives, including myself, getting equivalencies reports.
    Majority of US NACES member foreign credentials evaluation services are only evaluating against RA standard.
    If the degree is not equivalent to RA they may reject the evaluation or state in the evaluation report that the degree is not equivalent to the US RA university degree.

    Now also if the degree is Bologna standard, that means it may be 3 year BA/BSC degree so some degrees may be evaluated as BA/BSC and some may not.
    One way to check on your degree equivalency is to use WES website. Its high-level free service that is unofficial but helpful.
    Try Degree Equivalency Tool

    Also, keep in mind that the employer/university or organization that requires the evaluation in the USA provide the list of acceptable evaluation services.
    Usually, NACES member agencies enjoy a higher level of acceptance.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    The only equivalent would be regional accreditation or otherwise they will say it's not equivalent to a U.S. degree. Most, if not all, NACES evaluation agencies have samples of their report on their websites.

    I used ECE to evaluate my MBA and it was found to be equivalent to a Bachelor's in Business with a major in Management and a Master of Business Administration. The additional notes also included "this coursework is the U.S. equivalent of study completed at an institution that has regional academic accreditation."

    I have never had any issues with an institution or employer not accepting my evaluated MBA. I was admitted to 7 doctoral programs prior to earning my MSCJ. I also teach college prep business courses full-time.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I had my foreign degree evaluated by WES and also never had any issues with acceptance of the evaluation.
    Initially, I was reluctant to send my original documents but it turned out to be fine. If documents get lost it's very hard to obtain replacements.
    I found WES evaluations closer to my degree, I never used ECE because some of my colleagues had their degree major changed by ECE evaluator. While similar evaluations by WES and ESRF appeared to
    retain the original degree and major. Since the Russian degree of Specialist is a 5 year FT program, most of NASES agencies evaluate as Masters degree but ECE as bachelors and Graduate certificate in some cases. What I share is anecdotal and only of a number of persons so it may not be the common practice as the statistical sample is too small.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Especially, when you know going in that Dr. Steve Levicoff won't hire you. Now, who wants to risk that? :eek:
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think some foreign degrees might be regarded as superior - e.g. a degree in Sanskrit earned from an Indian school, a degree in Russian Literature earned from Moscow - a degree in system penetration and hacking from Pyongyang, North Korea -- lots of possibilities. Then again, some foreign governments don't think much of their people earning American degrees. Xenophobia cuts two ways. Education or otherwise, domestic-brew isn't always best. I have fond memories of German beer...
    chrisjm18 and Maniac Craniac like this.
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    That was funny!!!

    But there is also other reasons, such as UNISA highly affordable degree. One gets RA equivalent degree but not the college loans that come with it.
    Or some young people get an opportunity to study and live in other countries and then coming back home.
    Johann likes this.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Certainly. Extremely good reasons, all of them. And if you go to certain countries, you might bring back a nice car, too - thereby sending Dr. Levicoff into a paroxysm. In my free advice brochure from the now-closed Trump University, Donald Trump (before he was President Trump) advised: buy a Mercedes if you could afford to - a Honda if you couldn't. Then again, I think some Japanese-designed Hondas are built in American plants these days. But the absence of "Buy American" rhetoric was noticeable. Perhaps an "ideological conversion" took place at some point.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  15. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Before there was a difference between European and U.S. cars, you could get a virtually free vacation in Germany if you took a package that included buying a Mercedes while there. IIRC, you had to put 400 miles on the car while in Germany for it to be considered used and exempt from U.S. Customs duties.
    Johann likes this.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And if you went to Sweden, you could get a new Volvo, drive it for a two-week vacation and come back smelling of lingonberries - car and vacation at less than the US price of the car itself. Similar mileage deal to be exempt from US duties.
  17. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    That looks right. Mercedes was then established here as a quality car while Volvo was somewhat exotic.

    Until... [​IMG]
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Way back when - maybe. But this Volvo deal was still available maybe 6 years ago. I'm sure the cars were made for export - compliant with US standards. I know an American who has bought them this way - twice.
    That's only 3 hours on the Autobahn! :)

    Maybe they could make a triple-package: Mercedes, Black Forest vacation and an iron-clad German "ACCSB oder die Autobahn" business degree!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    John Bear, didn't you take advantage of Volvo offer at one point?
  20. mintaru

    mintaru Member

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