HES students appeal to have "Extension Studies" removed from degree title.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    If we're doing analogies, we may as well go all the way.

    I think the issue is that people already saw "BRANDNAME DISCOUNT EDITION" on the shelves, had time to think about it, then bought it knowing fully that the label was a negative. They still chose it because it had the "BRANDNAME" even though there were non-branded options or slightly less prestigious brands that are just as good in quality. Now these buyers are complaining about the label and are asking the store to change the label so that they now look like they have the regular "BRANDNAME" product. Both the store and the buyer knew what they were selling/buying.

    The sad part is most of the people complaining are snobbish types who want to be considered equals with the "elite" who wear the regular "BRANDNAME" product. If they get their wish, they will make sure everyone in town knows they own the BRANDNAME product. I cringe when I meet these types of people.

    There are other buyers who are satisfied with the product and are wearing it everyday to work/school and are proud of their purchase because they know the quality is good and not because it had the BRANDNAME. These are the people I respect regardless of the BRAND.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  2. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I hate snobs too, but I still think a petition to change the branding isn't really a problem. It's also a bit clunky because they used to expect the degrees to be listed, IIRC, as:

    ALM in Extension Studies, Management
    Harvard University, Extension School

    It's almost meant to be degrading. The actual degree says Extension Studies, which is what I'd put on my resume, but if I ever went to HES, I'd go grab a graduate certificate which says,

    Harvard University
    Extension School
    something something graduate certificate in [Area of Study]

    I'd probably just list it as a Graduate Certificate in X from Harvard University, since no official guidelines exist and I am opposed to writing "Extension School" when it isn't required. I also wouldn't be shoving it in everyone's face by claiming "Yeah, I'm proud of my education. My alma mater is Harvard, where did you go to school?" rather it would just exist on my resume as one of my credentials.
  3. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I guess you also have to think what you want out of that Grad Certificate.

    Is it the brand? There are cheaper and more respected options within Harvard for certificates that grant alumni status (see HBS and HKS executive programs). Some HKS alumni status certificate programs are <3K while the Extension school offers Grad Certs at around 13K. Also, you might have to check with HES if they are ok with leaving out Extension on your resume - I don't know but I am guessing they will be a lot more lenient for certificates. I also don't have any issues on leaving out Extension for certificates. I would think Extension Grad Cert students did more real work than HBS executive program participants (who got the certificate for paying the fee and showing up). Grad certs aren't really viewed as degrees by hiring managers (they get lumped with all other non-degree certificates) and everyone and their mother has some type of Ivy MOOC certificate on Linkedin.

    Is it the education? At that price, you might be able to afford a cheap masters like Georgia Tech / UT Austin / etc. Or even some cheap state school options. That "Average" masters might be better for a CV than an "elite" certificate.

    The only compelling reason to get a Grad Certificate at the Extension school (over other options I mentioned) is to use it as a stepping stone towards an ALM. But if so, you then become part of this never-ending discussion on Extension studies.

    Only you can decide if it's worth buying the "BRANDNAME DISCOUNT EDITION". But please don't complain once you buy it. LOL.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
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  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think people get hung up on the name Harvard believing the university is the best at everything. If you really want the best education available in one's field, then you need to research which schools have the best professors and best research output in that field. Why pay so much money for a CS-related degree at HES when Georgia Tech and UT are cheaper and better in this area?
    smartdegree likes this.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I knew a cop who bragged about getting into Harvard. He was working full-time in Texas while completing his degree, so I knew he was at HES. LOL
    smartdegree likes this.
  6. dbadribbler

    dbadribbler New Member

    The comment section of that Crimson page is quite a read.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

  8. NMTTD

    NMTTD Active Member

    I don't know. I have degrees from Arizona State University, University of Florida, and University of Southern California. All completed online and none have online or extension or virtual in the name of the degree itself. Nobody but Harvard does that. Nothing wrong with having Extension School in the name of the school, obviously. But to have it in the degree itself is weird. A Masters in Liberal Arts in Economics (for example) sets it apart from a Masters in Economics, but nobody is studying extension studies. What even is that? How do you study extension studies? You don't. You're studying a liberal arts degree from the school of extension studies. You aren't studying extension studies itself. That's why the actual degree name is so odd. No other school does that with their online degrees.
    TTS, Jahaza, TEKMAN and 2 others like this.
  9. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member

    Havard University can make its own policies and choose what they want on their degrees. Unforuently that's the reality of it and if the students who attend or graduate don't like it they should choose or chosen another institution simply. Many are happy, others are crying because they want to feel like they are actual Harvard graduates and should be entitled to the prestige of joining the club of other "Harvard University" graduates. They want to be able to say I attended Havard University... When in fact they attended the extension school of Havard University... You can't claim it to be the real Havard University when talking in conversations or even on a resume or job interview. I think they placed it to identify the degree which is fair because there is no law or rule they can't do that. Yes, it is a school on the campus but it's not the same admission standards, student talent poll, or work required. Yes, your degree is a master's in liberal arts it's on the diploma just like an MBA or MPA, they are indicating the studies are in extension studies which are extension courses that are not the same as the regular Havard University courses in that subject matter. Havard University themselves the actual campus does not accept extension school credits which should be a red flag to some... The courses are not the same although both colleges are accredited and I'm sure many other schools will accept the courses for transfer.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Of course you can. Harvard University consists of twelve schools, one of which is Harvard Extension School.
    NMTTD likes this.
  11. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member

    Saying I went to Harvard University to use it as a prestige when going for an interview or on a resume is not seen well. You should include the name... My sister when she interviews states she went to St.Johns University Toben Business School indicating which school she went to at the University. Some schools with the school are more prestigious than others... For example, look at Touro University's law school they are a Tier 4 law school which is a low-ranking law school. But if we look at their medical school its an excellent program. Are they are same school yes but different schools based on specialization. Just generalizing and saying hey I went to Havard University when in fact you attended the "Havard University Extension School" which is an easier version of Havard University based on the syllabuses database I found and other students testimony about the program leads me to believe most people want to feel full of themselves but get mad when they get called out... It's more of an Ego thing for a lot of people hence why they attend the school because there are tons of colleges out there that offer better tuition rates, have better rankings, more competitive programs, and offer different degrees that actually have the degree name in it rather than a degree in liberal arts. I'm not trying to clown anyone here because a regionally accredited master's degree is a master's degree but if you go to any other school there usually are no issues like this because students are happy with the choices they made. I think it's non-sense to cry over their degree having Extension Studies included when they studied extension courses at the Extention School of Harvard University which many consider a less competitive school vs. The real Havarard University where students have to compete to get in and stress over the amount of work they have.
  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    If they're not really Harvard, then somebody needs to tell them that.
    HES isn't like Purdue Global or UMass Global. HES is an actual Harvard school, albeit not one that is well known.

    There's a big BUT here. Even if it's accurate to say "I went to Harvard University..." you'll still be left with the fallout from people who disagree. It might not be worth the trouble of omitting that pesky "extension school" detail even if you have every right to do so.

    Back on the subject of the degree title- it's absolutely horrible and I understand why the students want it to be changed. Yes, what in the blue heck is "Extension Studies" anyway?!?? However, I think you can safely omit this detail and not have blow up in your face in the same way.

    Resume could look like this-


    Harvard University - Harvard Extension School

    Master of Liberal Arts (ALM)
    Field: Political Science

    Many types of degree have "concentrations" or "areas of focus" or "fields of study". I think the meaning is clear, accurate and isn't hiding anything in bypassing the entirely superfluous and confusing "in Extension Studies" part.

    Unless you actually took courses in "extensionology", in which case I'd kindly ask you what in the blue heck it means.
    NMTTD, TTS, innen_oda and 2 others like this.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Indeed, this non-issue really seems to bring out the nomenclature pedants.
  15. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Had a friend recently post on facebook, "Bought my first Porsche".

    I was so impressed then on another post I saw his Porsche:

    Still impressive. But not the first thing that comes to mind when I think "bought my first Porsche". He was obviously just joking around, but this shows you how adding one word changes the context. And even if it legally the truth (it is a real 100% Porsche), it is not what the general public has in mind when they hear that phrase. Some might even say perhaps, that the statement is misleading. However, others might also argue he is 100% telling the truth and he is entitled to call himself a Porsche owner. You decide I guess.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  16. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    Which syllabi are different? I'm taking courses there and I've been in quite a few classes with HC students. The syllabi have been the exact same in the courses. HC is giving away free courses at the Summer School for full credit this year, so anyone who signed up for Summer School is probably in a class with a bunch of HC students. Next semester I'm taking a course at HBS as well.

    Within Harvard, there is a bit of intra-university rivalry as well. HBS belittles HKS, HKS thinks less of the Dental School, almost everyone shits on the Divinity School, and HC shits on all the grad schools. It's all just egotistical nonsense. HES is a school within HU, and its alumni are almuni of the University. IF we're going to play the "what does the general public assume" game, then the only "real" Harvard grads are people from the College.
    Rachel83az likes this.
  17. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member


    Check for yourself. There is no way these are the same courses they are giving their students at HBS or any other school within the system.
  18. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Welcome to the degreeinfo forum a_feineis! Nice to hear your thoughts. Very interesting. Hope you share your experiences here while you work on your degree.

    A lot of the claims regarding Extension programs/courses come from Extension students themselves. Here are the thoughts/testimonials of a popular Extension alumni blogger:


    "In short, while a Harvard Extension Degree is issued by Harvard University, it is not the same degree that is issued to graduates of other schools at Harvard such as a Harvard College AB degree, a Harvard Business School MBA degree, or a Harvard GSAS AM degree. The Harvard Extension School has a rigorous process that makes students prove they can do the work before they are admitted, but the others are among the most highly selective undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States. Students are in classrooms with other high-achievers, which raises the level of discourse and focus. Yes, HES gets some high achievers as well (including graduates of Ivies and other competitive programs) but the classrooms are also filled with casual class-takers.

    The curricula and graduation requirements are also completely different. The most obvious is the Extension School’s use of distance education for course credit and for many of the professional programs, the fact that there is no requirement to take classes taught by faculty with actual teaching appointments at Harvard.

    What this means is McKinsey or Bain won’t regard an HES ALB or ALM in Management grad the same way they will treat a recent Harvard College AB or HBS MBA recipient."
  19. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    I'm not sure what your point is here. "Chocolate, Culture, and the Politics of Food" is taught by a lecturer from the College. It uses a live recording of AAAS 119x, the version of this course that's taught at the College. I've taken four courses with students from the College. The syllabi were identical, and the students from the College were always a bit surprised to find out Extension students were there.
  20. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    Maybe this depends on the program. The finance courses I've taken are all filled with industry professionals with 10-15 years of experience. I've had two professors independently comment that they enjoy teaching Extension courses better than College courses because the experience of the students lends itself to better discussions. There are a few "casual course takers" but they're a small minority that are mostly international students who simply don't contribute during discussions.

    MBB and BB don't recruit from the Extension School, which is fine, they don't recruit from any other part time programs either, and only a handful of HBS students even get recruited. If you goal is to change industries, a part time MBA program or a degree from the Extension School is rarely a good idea anyway. The degree is aimed at working professionals looking to get promoted within their company.

    I've read the post you linked several times over the last 4 years. I don't think the comment you posted is representative of the overall sentiment of either the blog post or the comments.

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