skipping the bachelor

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by cdhale, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. cdhale

    cdhale New Member

    In looking at various opportunities out there (both for myself and for family and friends), I have noticed several programs that allow one to enter directly into a MBA program without a bachelors degree.

    Of course, I was curious so I tried to search for more in the archives. No luck. I tried google and got a couple of hits that both said it had been discussed in other threads, but I couldn't find those other threads...

    So I am still curious. What programs out there allow one to enter directly into a Masters level program without benefit of a bachelors?

  2. stock

    stock New Member

    I am not sure you can enter any masters programme without a bachelor. but then strange things have happened always..
  3. vinodgopal

    vinodgopal New Member

    In the site you find the following info

    Heriot-Watt University

    MBA Student Services
    Pearson Plc
    1330 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10019
    Web site:
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: (212) 390 5030 • (800) 622 9661
    Fax: (212) 344 3469
    Year established: 1821
    Ownership status: Nonprofit, state
    Residency: None
    International MBA from a respected British university entirely through home study and proctored examinations--no entrance exams or bachelor's degree required. Also offers a bachelor's in management.

    ( )

    So this is one of the few prestigious MBA's without a bachelors.

    I know there are a few more out there but cant seem to find them at the moment.
  4. cdhale

    cdhale New Member

    Well, I knew about the Heriot-Watt MBA program already mentioned, but I thought I recalled some others as well.

    So it is possible...

  5. Dan Cooper

    Dan Cooper New Member

    I remember reading something about Henley Management College's MBA. It is possible to enter without a Bachelors degree if you first complete the Diploma in Management which is the first two parts of their MBA program.
  6. kkcheng

    kkcheng New Member

    Yes, it is possible. You can check out Leicester U's Centre for Labour Market Studies at:

    They offer the Diploma in Human Resources Development/Training and once you completed this diploma you can then continue with their MSc in Training, and then the DSocSc in Human Resources.

    I know Leicester U has a number of these similar programmes where you will only have to take a 1 year diploma (they used to call this "Access Diploma") and then go straight into their Master's programmes. No bachelor degree is required.

    Good Luck.

  7. Dan Cooper

    Dan Cooper New Member

    A few other ones that allow you to complete a diploma first then tranfer into their mba program:
    Univ of Durham, University of Northumbria, University of Southern Queensland, and University of Surrey. I'm sure there are others, and some may require you to have some business related work experience.
  8. cdhale

    cdhale New Member

    Cool, thats interesting. I really am not looking for myself or anything. I already have a BA and am working on two Masters right now.
    This was partly for curiosity and if anything applicable came from it, for a friend.

    I appreciate your help.

  9. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    You have to read the fine print in many university catalogs, they don't just advertise on their websites "Hey, you can join us even if you don't have a bachelors!"

    Look for magic words like, "conditional admission", "articulation courses", and my personal favorite, "or equivalent."

    I have found that even UF will do it provided you agree to work towards your bachelors during the master's program, if you have permission directly from the dean, if you do well on the GRE, and they will only accept 1 person a year like this. But after all this trouble, what's the point? You might as well just get the bachelors first anyway.

    I have also found other private and state schools to accept top management into their executive MBA programs without a bachelors.

    And I also know other EBS MBA students who went back and got their bachelors after getting the MBA, and where able to have a lot of courses transfer over.
  10. horne

    horne New Member

    Aspen niversity ( offers a MBA degree without a Bachelor degree provided you have extensive work experience in a business environment and have references of which at least one must be a professional reference.
  11. Casey

    Casey New Member


    In my opinion, this should not be permitted. Anyone who wants to earn a Master's degree should be required complete an undergraduate degree program first. If someone wants the MBA bad enough, they can complete a distance education BA/BS program and then apply to graduate school.

    People put off careers so that they can go to college and earn undergraduate degrees. They sacrifice. Aspen should not reward those who put off college by allowing them to directly enter MBA programs. DETC should put an end to this tomfoolery.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  12. cdhale

    cdhale New Member

    Re: Nonsense....

    Well, apparently it isn't really just DETC. The majority of schools seeming to offer the opportunity (at least in this thread) are British universities.

  13. Dan Cooper

    Dan Cooper New Member

    Re: Nonsense....

    Most of the schools that allow this require the person to complete the Post-grad Diploma prior to being enrolled in their MBA program.

    A Post-Grad Diploma is graduate level work therefore superior to an undergrad degree. If one proves they can do the work I don't see why they shouldn't be admitted. The people that fail to complete the diploma are screened out, so only people who are truly at the grad level are allowed to enter the MBA.
  14. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member

    "DETC should put an end to this tomfoolery."

    Your case for this draconian advice is based on what? Are you quoting research that shows that undertaking a MBA is 'easy', or 'easier' than a bachelor's degree, or that going to college is a rite of passage which must be undertaken whatever the person's circumstances and if they miss their chance they have had it?

    "People put off careers so that they can go to college and earn undergraduate degrees. They sacrifice. Aspen should not reward those who put off college by allowing them to directly enter MBA programs."

    It may surprise you that not everybody's circumstances permitted them to 'go to college' - not everybody could afford it, they were in difficult domestic circumstances (young marriage, domestic stress, divorce, wrong choices, and so on). Not everybody at 18 has the self-confidence to have thoughts of a career. Do you ever meet people other than from your own social set?

    Almost all universities - including many in the US - allow individuals on a case by case basis to undertake postgraduate degrees without first acquiring a bachelors, if they can establish their capabilities for such work. Some require Gmat, others other evidence.

    We have a lot of experience of non-bachelor admittance to our courses. Our research shows that prior qualifications were not a perfect predictor of completion or of passing. Most of our students have bachelor degrees, though with an average age of 38, some of them are a long way from their first degree experiences. About 22 per cent have higher degrees at MSc and PhD level. Of the 14 per cent without a bachelor degree, they have to pass three of our MBA exams to gain admittance to the programme. It is 'pass or perish'.

    All students sit the same 3-hour, closed book, no choice of questions, exams whatever their prior qualifications so dirrect comparisons are possible. About half the 'no first degree' DL students pass through to the nine passes required for their MBA.
    With a 25 per cent failure rate per separate course, it follows that many with first degrees (or higher) fail too, reducing the prediction value of having a prior qualification other than work experience and commitment (while holding down their full time employment).

    If you want to see 'sacrifices' you should meet our 'no first degree' students. The 'hazy, happy days' of first degree campus life are not open to them. They have fulltime jobs and family commitments. That many 'no first degree' students graduate with distinctions - there is no 'grade inflation at EBS' as the distinction pass remains steady around 7 per cent - suggests that even excellence is not predictable from previous qualifications.

    Our research sample is 9,500 MBA graduates since 1991. Upon what size of sample are you basing your certainties about education policy?

    That you consider this option 'tomfoolery' is sad.
  15. Casey

    Casey New Member

    No free passes ...

    What makes you think I was quoting research? Did you happen to see the words “in my opinion”? They were right at the beginning of my post. I don’t know what it is like where you come from, but here in the greatest country on earth, we are allowed to have opinions.

    Also, I never said that MBA programs were ‘easy or ‘easier than’ undergraduate programs. I am sure your school’s program is quite demanding.

    Yes. In many ways college is a "rite of passage". More importantly, it is preparation for the rigor of graduate school. I have no confidence in any research showing than non college graduates, who have missed all of the foundation courses in, are equally qualified for entry into an MBA program.

    I never said that. If they miss there chance right out of high school, they can complete an undergraduate degree program before entering graduate school. Many people who post here missed there initial chance (like me), but they didn't look for shortcuts or make excuses. They hit the books and did it the right way.

    Stop making excuses for a half baked policy. I'm not well off, and I am finding a way to get it done. If someone wants it bad enough, they will find a way. If someone chooses to get married and make babies before college, that is fine by me. However, when they suddenly decide they want an MBA, they should be required to complete undergraduate degree programs first. No free passes, Professor.

    Sound demanding. But really, though, it’s still a free pass. A three hour closed book exam is nothing compared to 4 years of undergraduate study. I take 4-5 extremely demanding 3 hour exams every semester at law school. You just can't fit four years in to three hours. It is hard enough to fit a semester’s worth of contract law into that short amount of time.

    Academic excellence is a better indicator than no academic history whatsoever. It is also an indicator of dedication, motivation, and an ability to overcome life’s obstacles.

    A policy that allows someone without the proper ‘undergraduate’ qualifications to take ‘graduate’ school seats from those who have worked for it, most certainly is tomfoolery.

    Would you consider it tomfoolery for someone without a PhD or other proper academic qualification to take a professor position equal to yours, with equal pay and benefits?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2005
  16. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member

    Hi Busho4

    Welcome to the academic world where opinions are everybody's entitlement but evidence requires a higher standard if they are to be taken seriously. I gather from your response that you are basing your views on a sample of one, i.e., youself, which is all very well for an inconsequential discussion among friends but completley inadequate in the real world of education.

    You hint that you have been studying law where elementary rules of evidence apply. My rebuttal of your stance is based on the experience of running a Business School's programmes for over 9,500 MBA graduates, to which over 1,000 are now graduating per year, i.e., about one tenth of the world's MBA graduates and of which about 14 per cent have no first degree.

    This latter group have to pass three full MBA subject exams, blind graded (no positive discrimination here, folks) along with the others from first degree backgrounds but whose exam papers are not identified according to their first degree status or lack of it. Those that pass three may move onto complete the nine examinations everybody must pass to be awarded an MBA. If they can pass the same examinations as those with first degrees, why on Earth would you assert they do not deserve the award?

    Given their age (average 38+) and mostly senior work experience, why should what they did in their late teens be important? Studying by distance learning is a hard enough test of their commitment. In total over an average of 3 -5 years they sit 27 hours of closed book, no choice of questions, invigilated by independents and graded by our Faculty (subject to External Examiners in the British system) and its 'pass or perish' - one resit only allowed. Some 'free pass'!

    Maybe you missed the point of Distance Learning at a bricks and mortar university (founded as a School for Mechanics in 1821), but no distance learning MBA students deprives anybody of a seat at a class room. Distance learning is scalable - we have 10,000 DL students spread round over 100 countries. Campus courses require a rationing system and they use the easily applicable but scientifically dubious criterion of restricted entry requirements - in DL we do not need them.

    And in science we deal with predictions from data. The data show unabiguously that previous qualifications are not reliable predictors of future performance. If this conflicts with your opinions you may stick with your opinions (a wholly unscientific stance) or reconsider them (?).

    You state: "I don’t know what it is like where you come from, but here in the greatest country on earth, we are allowed to have opinions."

    Please reflect on this sort of statement. While I am a great and longstanding admirer of the Constitution of the United States, I do not think that the Framers were hostile to evidence in favour of opinions.

    The right to freedom of opinions would not benefit your country if it meant policy was determined by any old opinion anybody happened to think of. But then, being a British subject, I have accumulated a trifle more humility about the status of the being the 'greatest country on earth', given the many errors our rulers made and our people believed in.

    It may be, though it is not for me to suggest, that you and your country might reflect in future on similar considerations, starting with resisting the habit of stating opinions on the basis of a sample of one.
  17. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Re: No free passes ...

    As someone who has done both, I can assure you the closed book exams are much more rigorous, and there is one for each course.

    As for doing an MBA without a bachelors, you are making the assumption that a person with an undergraduate degree (that might not be even business related) is more qualified than someone with years of business and managerial experience. Perhaps an entrepreneur who started his business from scratch, and now wants to maybe improve it through MBA study.

    I find it ironic now how many business schools teach courses on entrepreneurship, yet at the same time tell true entrepreneurs they can't be admitted because they spent too much time building their business. EBS was the first to stand up and say how ridiculous this was.

    We are after all only talking about an MBA, a terminal degree that is vocational in nature. If it were MScs in nuclear physics, chemistry, or engineering, then I could see the need for a bachelors. Those degrees assume you have some very specific technical knowledge.
  18. Casey

    Casey New Member

    Professor: The only thing your experience and data show is that some of the non-degreed MBA students at your school have the ability to complete the program. I don't doubt that. But that is not my argument. I am sure there are people smart enough to directly enter medical school and pass, but here in the United States at least, that is rarely ever permitted.

    My argument is that students who wish to enter graduate schools should be required to complete their undergraduate education first. This is my opinion, my personal belief. What data can I possibly provide to support it? I can say that, based on my beliefs, 100% of the non degree MBA students you admit are being given a free pass. Their lack of dedication to do it the right way has been rewarded by you. I can also say that your program seems to be an exception to the norm. There must be good a reason for that. If your way was the right way, most graduate schools would be following your lead.

    Also, professor, I don't care how hard you exams are. I don't care if they are pass or perish. You are still giving students an opportunity to entirely skip college and enter graduate school directly. This is unnecessary given the existence of so many distance education undergraduate programs. But it is especially unfair to those applicants who complete undergraduate work, but lose spots to non degreed students. You wouldn't like it if you lost your job to someone without the proper academic credentials, would you?
  19. Casey

    Casey New Member

    Re: Re: No free passes ...

    You make a good point. However, there still many skills you learn in an undergraduate setting, regardless of the discipline studied.

    Also, I wouldn't necessarily put an MBA in the terminal degree category. It seems that quite a few schools offer DBA programs. If a no Bachelor's MBA qualified the graduate for DBA admissions, this would be unfair to applicants with MBA and 4 year degrees.
  20. vinodgopal

    vinodgopal New Member

    Sorry to lurk in. Here is my opinion. No slamming/slandering please. Because I have the right to come out with my opinion.

    IMHO for an Executive MBA degree, a routine enterence test and adequate work experience should suffice. A bachelor's degree requires 4 long years to ride through and for those who are in supervisory positions may not have the luxury to spend 6 years(4 for bachelors and 2 for the MBA) to finally show an MBA printed next to their names.

    I have a cousin who is a born leader. He joined as a mere Sales agent and climbed up the ladder to make it as the vice-president of a multi-national company. He recently went through an MBA course. Surpricingly most of what he had implemented to reach the position he is today, is listed as theory content and case studies. Business theories do not work well in real life sometimes.

    But most of the MBA contents would be revolving around how best to apply common sense in business. So I totally agree with a program that presents people with the opportunity to graduate even without their bachelors. Also like Albert Einstein once quoted "Of what is significant in one's own existance, one is hardly aware. But it certainly should not bother the other fellow.". Most of these types of programs get the opposition from bachelor's degree holders who cant seem to take things easy and blame the policy on how a candidate is selected even without a 4 year study. Pre-requisites may differ for a case to case basis and from university to university. As we have known in the past that some of the universities award a Phd to polititians owing to their life-time achievements. Now, gentlemen, would you consider this sort of a thing to be a shame considering a genuine Phd is earned by intense research and dissertation/thesis. Also Aspen University(in Colorado) is an American university and therefore I dont believe only British universities offer that kind of admissions.

    As for the remark "Greatest country", might I ask on what basis/parameters did you benchmark and come to such conclusions? Come to think of it, in a public forum where people from different countries view such comments, this might potentially initiate latent hatred and dislike but to be appriciative of your patriotism toward your country, I strongly urge you to come up with good deeds of what America has done to the world or for its people rather make such blunt statements.

    Be good. And God bless.


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