Master's Program without an Undergraduate Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by soupbone, Jan 19, 2009.

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  1. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    I saw some talk about this in another thread and found it very interesting so I feel it deserves a dedicated thread. I'd like to use it to post all schools that offer this (except for mills of course) and then debate the functionality of this as well.

    My personal opinion is that if you are in the same career for 15 years (which seems to be the requirement) and you can demonstrate your abilities in that field then why not? I can also see the argument raised about it hurting the cause of distance learning because it surely throws some doubt into the stringency of DL programs.

    Couldn't the argument be that the knowledge, expertise, and experience gained in staying in the same career for 15 years surpass any knowledge gained in 4 years of school? Surely no one would argue that hands on training prepares you better for the actual job than school does. To me it doesn't matter because by the time I hit the 15 year mark (in 2 years) I will be on my way to a master's anyway. Still it is a very interesting argument to say the least.

    So let's post schools that allow this and post your opinions about why this is a good or bad idea. :D

    Here is a thread on Hariot Watt http://forums.degreeinfo.com/showthread.php?t=28321&highlight=master%27s+undergraduate

    Oh and I am curious as to how U.S. Schools and employers view this and how it is received although I am curious about other regions of the world as well. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2009
  2. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    No. But instead of my opinion take a look at a few electronic hiring systems. Many employers (Southern Company for one) use an electronic system to qualify applicants. One of the grade out questions for some positions is "Do you hold a bachelors in XXXX". In the instance that I applied I didn't hold a bachelors in business so the process immediately rated me as unqualified. Er uhm, but I did hold an MBA. After numerous calls to the HR folks my application was accepted.

    Your choices would be to lie and state that you do have a bachelors in XXX or tell the truth and run the risk of not being qualified and having to deal with a multitude of folks to get past the qualification process. Assuming you can even get to the HR folks.

    I also don't agree that hands on training prepares one better than school. I would agree that apprenticeship is invaluable but many schools serve this role and more importantly the underpinnings of many careers require the labs, scholars, and mistakes made in a school environment rather than in real world.

    I can concede there will be exceptions to my thoughts, but in my world there is no exception when a positive education requirement exists, you either have it or you are unqualified. However, I have seen numerous civilian sector jobs that allow for experience to substitute for education and vice versa.

    My final thought, a 4 year degree should be much more than just a set of skills to become employed. For that end an associates is much better suited.
     
  3. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    Maybe it's just law enforcement but I would rather have someone who has worked the streets rather than someone fresh out of school. Yes the basic police academy is great and it does help you understand the basics but anyone who has been in law enforcement long enough will tell you that OJT is far better.

    This may apply to specifically this field and it is the only one I can give first hand knowledge of. In the field I would rather have someone with me who has hands on experience rather than the book knowledge although even more ideal would be someone with both. ;)

    I am curious what schools are accepted here in the U.S. that allow you to enter a program without an undergrad degree. Your point about the check box on an application is concerning. If you achieve your master's degree and bypass the undergrad then you should be allowed to interview at least. I guess office policies trump it all though and it might have to be argued on a case by case basis.
     
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  4. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    I think these guys do but I never called. I don't think they offer this program via DL.

    Cambridge College

    page 3:

    "MM-55 (for qualifi ed students without bachelor’s)"

    page 6

    "EDUCATION required for admission:
    MM37: Bachelor’s degree.
    MM55: Associate’s degree, professional degree (e.g. RN); or at least
    60 undergraduate credits that meet general criteria for transfer.
    Bachelor’s degree required for the following concentrations:
    Health Care Informatics, Diversity & Disparity in Health Care,
    Computer Security Management
    EXPERIENCE required for admission:
    MM37: Five years of work experience recommended.
    MM55: Five years of relevant work experience required.
    Health Care Management (MM37 & MM55): Health care
    experience required."
     
  5. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    The FBI requires a bachelors (note the regional accreditation requirement) for Special Agent applicants. Funny thing is that it can be in most any field if you have 3 years of experience in whatever.

    https://www.fbijobs.gov/111.asp

    "You must possess a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by one of the regional or national institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. You must have at least three years of professional work experience."
     
  6. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    Quite a few of the federal law enforcement agencies require a bachelor's degree. Also like you just posted the degree can be in just about any major. Matter of fact the FBI likes a variety of different types of degrees. If they didn't require regional accreditation I wonder how they would deal with someone that bypassed their bachelor's degree by obtaining their master's.
     
  7. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Am I misreading this statement?:


    You must possess a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by one of the regional or national institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. You must have at least three years of professional work experience."

    This states RA or NA accreditation will be accepted. Regional or national institutional associations (I take this to imply the accreditor, whether RA or NA). Or in other words, "recognition by USDOE and CHEA.

    Am I reading this wrong?

    Abner
     
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  8. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    Abner,

    no you are not reading wrong. My mistake. I was thinking ABA, ABET etc... but I bet they mean DETC, etc... since they mention "institutional associations". I'll get the wet noodle out so you guys can beat me....
     
  9. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Naw! It was worded kind of strangely. In State government this provision is usually added: "Recognition by the USDOE and CHEA". A much simpler wording in my opinion.

    Abner :)
     
  10. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    No Abner I misundestood. I thought the FBI required an RA degree but apparently that isn't the case. My question though is valid since I am real curious how they would react to someone possessing a master's degree without having been through the undergrad requirements. Also are there any of these programs that are NA here in the states? I would assume there aren't any RA ones.
     
  11. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    There was only one that I know of, Aspen. But that ended back in 2007 I think. I believe it was legal to do so under NA regulations, but my speculation is Aspen stopped doing it in order to prepare for RA. Although I felt it was perfectly valid to bypass a BS if one has 15 years of proveable experience, I think appearance wise the school decided to stop the practice. I do know several egg heads complained to the school about it.

    Here in the states we are used to the progression of AA, BS, MBA and PhD, for example. However, what baffels me is I once read of a famous Harvard grad that bypassed the Master level and went from BS to PhD. This just seems strange to me. But oh well, I know the person was a famous primate researcher whose name escapes me. Perhaps years of research and recognitions allowed her to bypass the Masters level.

    My personal view. An employer is going to think of it as odd if they see an AA and an MBA listed. There first question will be "No B.S. degree?". Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel employers and HR in America are conditioned to this levels of degrees and their naturally assenting levels. But in the end, whatever works for the particular person. They could always go back and finish up the B.S., and perhaps be granted some credit transfer from the masters level degree.

    Abner
     
  12. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    I think that's currently the problem Abner. Here in the U.S. we judge based on appearance all too frequently. If someone has the proveable experience then why should they not be allowed to earn a master's while bypassing the bachelor's. Also on the same point why should an employer judge simply because that bachelor's box isn't checked? I have no desire to attempt this because I'm very close to getting my associate's degree and from there will take the accelerated route to my bachelor's. Still I am only 2 years from having the time in this career and it is well documented and proveable. So why should someone in my position not be allowed to prove that I have what it takes to bypass the undergrad requirements? I know a few of my fellow employees might be interested in something like this as well. I believe though that since most of these types of programs exist only outside of the U.S. they might not attempt it due to the appearance of degrees obtained outside our borders.

    I like this discussion. I never knew this even existed until a post in one of the other threads here.
     
  13. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    This type of thinking got me interested in other alternative modes of education as well. A few years back my interest was sparked by my friend, a genius by the moniker of JLV, a Spaniard living in Holland. He no longer posts here, but he once mentioned some legitimate accredited French and Spanish schools that granted degrees mostly in part based on career experience. I may not be explaining that correctly, but it intrigued me. I checked into that, but then got side tracked. Maybe I will try to track down JLV for old times sake. I wish he still posted here.

    Abner
     
  14. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    I'm not saying I support being granted a degree for life experience per se, but I do think the whole subject is very interesting. Diploma mills are obviously well known for such practices. I agree that after 15 years in the same field you should have attained the knowledge equivalent to that of a bachelor's degree and then some. I do agree that if the experience can be well documented and proven you should be able to appeal to be accepted into a master's program. I know it will never happen in the U.S. but it is a very interesting argument.

    I agree that some people miss out on the whole higher learning experience but wouldn't they still get that if they were to go through a master's program as well? There would have to be strict guidelines for such an idea to have any real world acceptance but I think it could be done.
     
  15. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Paging Dr. Bear

    It wasn't a life experience based concept though. It was more of a cross between documented experience and passing tests, as well as a research based concept somewhat like South African research only degrees. I forget what the term JLV used. Oh well. I don't need one, but that kind of stuff interests me. You never know in life, I might end up retiring in Europe.

    As far as the 15 year admission question, I wonder if Dr. Bear will weigh in on this scenario? Dr. Bear, what other schools besides Herriott Watt allow a student to jump from an AA to MBA? Moreover, what do you think of their utility in U.S. workplace? Your opinions would be much appreciated.

    Abner
     
  16. soupbone

    soupbone New Member

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    I agree Abner. I wish more people would chime in on this issue. If such a program exists (U.S. or otherwise) what would be the utility of it here in the U.S. Plus, as I posted in my first post I would like to have a list as well of those schools offering this. :)
     
  17. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale New Member

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    A large number of universities in Australia will admit students who have experience only in their Master's Program. I was one. I later went back and got a BS from Excelsior College for the sake of completeness. Charles Sturt University, the Uinversity of Southern Queensland, the University of Central Queensland are some that will admit students without an undergrad degree. Most universities here will consider the applicants experience in the field of intended study.

    The University of London will also admit students into its external LLM degree if they have relevant experience. They do not necessarily require an undergrad degree.

    The difficulty is in the US with the acceptance of the postgrad without an undergrad degree
     
  18. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Were you able to transfer some of your grad credits to Excelsior?

    Abner
     
  19. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    Saabsrule posted this in another thread:

    #10 Today, 01:58 AM
    saabsrule
    Registered User Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Milwaukee, WI
    Posts: 58

    I believe Salem International University is a 12 month program with classes that are 4 weeks long. They also are RA and have a BM campus in WV.

    • This program only takes 12 months
    • No GMAT score required
    • A Bachelor’s in Business is not required
    • No thesis required
    • One class a month

    http://online.salemu.edu/Degrees/Masters/International-Business





    Abner
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2009
  20. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley New Member

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    Not quite; the Salem International University program is "for the person with an accredited undergraduate BA or BS degree;" the bullet-point above just meant that that prerequisite degree does not have to be in business.
     

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