General Studies with Concentration Degrees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BertGBach, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. BertGBach

    BertGBach New Member

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    I'm wondering if a B.S. in General Studies with a concentration in Biology from Charter Oak State College would be taken the same as a B.S. in Biology from any number of other colleges. Also would an M.A. in General Studies concentrating in History from FHSU be equivalent to an M.A. in History? I'm not asking about how credible these institutions are, just if the General Studies with concentration are taken the same way as an actual major.
     
  2. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

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    It really depends on what you intend to do with the degree. For example, if you are planning on going on to pharmacy school, it probably won't matter whether you have a concentration or a major. You will just need to make sure you meet their prerequisites.
     
  3. TonyM

    TonyM New Member

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    A general studies degree will work fine in most cases, with the exception of situations that require a specific degree. In most cases the requirements are a specific number of credits in a subject or a list prerequisite classes. Still, a general studies degrees are not the exact equivalents of similar traditional degrees. What are your goals?
     
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Aren't they? A major is 36 credits, and so was my concentration. A major requires some lower division courses and some upper division ones, and so did my concentration. Anyway, in five years this issue has never come for me, even when I was applying to higher level programs based on my degree from Charter Oak. I think it's a non-issue.

    -=Steve=-
     
  5. TonyM

    TonyM New Member

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    No...they are titled differently, which makes them different for some situations. If a licensing agency or employer specifically requires a BS in Biology and your degree is a BS in General Studies with a Biology Concentration or if they want an MA in History and you have an MLS with a History Concentration then you have extra hurdles. I've seen plenty of ads for history teaching positions that are very specific, and want an MA in history with focuses in European or American history, for example. The same is true for lab jobs or k12 teaching in science. They will state a BS or BA in the required science. I agree that in most situations it's not an issue, but it could come up. My undergraduate degree is a BLS with a 30-hour history focus, and I've also had no trouble with graduate admissions, but I haven't tested it out in every situation.
     
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  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    eeechhhhh there are quite a few differences between a degree titled MLS and MA - why? For one, the department. An MLS degree isn't going to come from a science department, where the MA/MS is. So, sometimes that's the issue. As to undergrad- 36 credits in any anything is a concentration-a major-an area of focus or whatever you want to call it, but your degree is in THAT. I *think that the COSC degrees are titled the way they are because they are a liberal arts college and don't have departments that issue majors- now I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure. That might be a state accreditation thing re the titles. If it's a 12 credit area of focus- that's something else entirely. That's NOT a major. I'm with Steve on this one. A 36 credit major is a major is a major.

    If I can be presumptuous for a second, please be sure your biology credits include labs- be assured that no matter what COSC says or requires for the degree, any graduate program that has a science undergrad prereqs is expecting you to have significant lab credit. If your Gen 1 and 2 don't have labs, you'll have to retake them. (meaning credits in multiples of 4, never 3) I have no idea what your graduate plans are. However, if your plans include science, medicine, or heath occupations, you'll need to plan carefully.

    If you need undergrad resources for online lab sciences, try New England University's College of Osteopathic Medicine - all online. Also, Harvard University's College of Continuing Education (Extension) offers online non-lab biology for other fillers. And rockin interesting biology subjects if I may say.
     
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  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Interestingly, nowhere on my diploma or my transcript does it refer to a major in General Studies. The diploma is simply a "Bachelor of Science", and the transcript refers only to a concentration in Information Systems Studies, the word "major" does not appear on it.

    My shadowy understanding is that it's NEASC, their regional accreditor, who's the source of this, not the state. But that's a half-remembered factoid from several years ago. I'll go ahead and ask our alumni relations guy, since it seems to be a point of interest.

    Even if it's a concentration? That which we call a major by any other name would smell as sweet? ;)

    -=Steve=-
     
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    This is so old. The degree and/or transcript do not state General Studies. Review this old thread where I posted pictures of my transcript-
    http://forums.degreeinfo.com/showthread.php?t=12091&highlight=transcript
     
  9. TonyM

    TonyM New Member

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    The transcript isn't the only place for an employer to look

    The COSC website faq clearly states:

    10. What majors do you offer?

    The College has no “majors”. Instead, we enable students completing a bachelor's degree to concentrate in a specific discipline or combination of subjects. By far, the most popular choice of “Concentration” is Individualized Studies which follows an interdisciplinary approach allowing students to customize their plan of study to better fit their background and goals. We also offer traditional fields of study such as Business Administration, Child Studies, Healthcare Administration, Public Safety Administration and many others.

    Regardless of your area of concentration, your diploma will simply state that you have earned either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Information about your concentration is provided only on your official transcript. Please see Concentrations/ Fields of Study or Concentration Basics for more information.


    If COSC says it doesn't offer majors then it's not a major...even if it's the equivalent. Probably it would never matter, but it is a real distinction.
     
  10. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    At COSC (and TESC/EC), they allow you to use any classes you want as your concentration. *which is why I mentioned to the OP about labs* In some other schools you have a prescription of courses from within a dept. and all X-majors do the same series. So, that's a difference....but it's "tomatoe" "tomahto." Again, COSC is saying why they don't call what they do "major." That's not to assume there are real definitions of these words. There are sweeping assumptions- one being that a degree with 36 credits in something is a degree in THAT.

    An employer will see a number (36) of credits in an area (IF and that's a big IF) they are looking for specific credit, dates, or grades.
    They have no way of knowing what the student's graduation requirements were/are. (a prescribed course of study or indi options)
    Even if you go to the college's website, the student's rules are for when the student attended- and the web site is for incoming students. A transcript is all that's left- that is the official document. Period.

    A grad school will look to see if the student meets the entrance requirements, has a degree in whatever they should from the type of school they should, and then start down the list (letters, GRE, etc). They will also look at other factors which are probably a lot more relevant than what COSC calls its major.

    People are looking at this in reverse. Don't say "here is my degree, why doesn't it meet the requirements of X?" A students must ask "If the requirements of X are Y, how can I build my degree to fit the requirements?"

    I can't emphasize enough that the
    content of
    prefixes of
    credits of
    distribution of
    lack of
    etc.

    are what can disqualify this degree from meeting the entrance requirements to a program...not what COSC calls it.
     
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  11. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley New Member

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    I worry a little about senselessly strict interpretations of "major" or "degree in" where senselessly strict interpretations are possible, say in state certification of teachers.
     
  12. Tim D

    Tim D New Member

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    It depends.. If an employer is looking for a BA/BS in Basket Weaving then if you have a bs or BA in general studies with a concentration in Basket Weaving. It is possible if they are being specific that they will not over look the fact you do not have the required degree. Essentially you may never get the chance to explain yourself in an interview(i.e. you have 36 credits in basket weaving). In a competitive job Market sometimes the small stuff can easily disqualify you. Particularly if someone in HR is just checking off boxes to weed out potential candidates.
     
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator

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    Would it be appropriate to list the coursework you completed on your resume?

    BA - Concentration in Basket Weaving (36 Credit Hours)
    Charter Oak State College

    OR

    BA - Individualized Studies
    History of Baskets (18 credit hours)
    Manual Weaving (18 credit hours)
    Charter Oak State College
     
  14. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    I would list it exactly as it is conferred. Check your transcript and diploma. Also, make sure you are not adding words. I wouldn't add 36 credits because if I were an idiot HR newbie, I might wonder why you have a 36 credit hour bachelor's degree when I had to earn 120 lol. :)

    I also like the redundancy of writing the abbreviation "BA" and the words "Bachelor of Arts" plus even including the word "degree" since I'm not leaving anything to chance or their key word software.

    (No disrespect to the HR folks, I just know a few of them who need my help explaining what my credential is)

    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Individualized Studies (Basket Weaving)
    or
    BA, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Basket Weaving
     
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    I agree - unless it is your first job no one may care (depending on the field). I have review 1,000's of resumes and a degree is a "checkmark" and I look for experience. I had have people with degrees from UF, USF, FMU, ITT, UM (University of Miami), UCLA, USC, DeVry, ...etc. The experience is what wins. The positions were IT positions and management positions.
    I list mine as a BS - Individualized Studies (Technology and Business) even though tech/bus are not indicated anywhere. Then again I have not looked for a job in 10 years except for adjunct stuff.
     
  16. BertGBach

    BertGBach New Member

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    Well thanks, this has helped quite a bit, and at this point I have no worries about getting a particular job with the concentration in Biology, the MLS in History is a different story (I had planned to get that so I could have the credentials to teach History in my state). One more question that brings up is, what would my chances be finding work in a community college History department with the MLS?
     

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