The M.Phil. Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Asymptote, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Columbia awards the M.Phil. on the way to the Ph.D.

    Like everything else, it works differently in different places.

    I have seen school programs where you get a Masters degree once you complete your coursework and before you defend your dissertation, generally only if you apply for it (by this, I mean like Scranton. You can take all of hte courses you want. But you don't automatically graduate. You fill out a form to apply for graduation from a program on the basis of completing the requirements). For others, you don't get the Masters unless you leave the program without the PhD. Outside of the U.S., there are nuanced meanings to all of these things. An M.Phil differs from an M.A. which differs from a Master of Studies etc.

    In the U.S., there are four levels; Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate. That's all the government cares about and, for the most part, all accreditors seem to see as well. At the first CC where I taught the convention was an A.S./A.A. was designed to transfer to a four year school where we had articulation agreements. An A.A.S. was designed so you could go out and get a job. They were still academic credits and could be transferred, but the curriculum was not aligned with an outside four year program. to the rest of the country, none of this mattered, they were all just associates degrees. The CC where I most recently taught does not make this distinction and their articulation agreements include A.A.S. -> Bachelors programs.

    All DoE sees is a Masters degree. Coursework only, thesis, comprehensive exams, no exams, field study, clinical externship, it doesn't matter. It's a Masters. It might matter for a license. It might matter for a specific industry. It might matter for the program you want to apply to to continue your studies. But in the U.S., generally speaking, a Masters is a Masters. The result is that NYU can offer an LLM in Taxation while another law school treats the LLM as nothing more than a bridge degree to allow a foreign attorney to practice in the U.S. Same degree. One reflects advanced studies. One seeks to remedy a deficiency in previous study.

    We don't do nuance so well in this country. We are keen to borrow stuff from other traditions but we don't actually ensure it makes sense in our context. As much as I'm no fan of the JD (in particular, it's history), it's true that it made no sense in the U.S. In the UK where the doctor and the dentist also had bachelors degrees, it made sense. Here, the lawyer and the pharmacist kind of got screwed by receiving a second bachelors while their cousin the optometrist got to be a doctor for a comparable amount of study.

    So you can look at how the UK and other commonwealth countries do it. And that's good info to have. But don't be shocked if you see it not being applied that way in the U.S.
    Asymptote likes this.
  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Let's see. In the UK: There's the Oxbridge MA for staying alive and on the books for four years (or whatever), the "taught" MA which takes a year and is sometimes called a bachelor of whatever but is a graduate degree, the M.Litt. which is a higher master's research degree and the M.Phil. which is a bit shy of a doctorate. Four, count them, FOUR master's degrees and they're all different.

    There will always be an England!;)

    Then again, SOME people call an LL.M. a "post-doctoral" degree. :rolleyes:
    Johann likes this.
  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    But the LL.M. really is a taught Master's. Nothing more. In tax, most U.S. programs don't even ALLOW a thesis.
    JoshD likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    To split hairs, (I have hardly any left to split), one could argue that there are SIX:

    (1) The Oxbridge MA for staying alive (Well-put, Nosborne!)
    (2) The taught Master's
    (3) The combination Master's - fourth year of a program - bachelor's at end of year 3, master's at end of year 4
    (4) The Research Master's with a thesis
    (5) The M. Litt. type of "Higher Master's"
    (6) The near-doctoral M. Phil.

    Yes, Nosborne. There will always be an England. Like the Stock Market and the Canadian Senate - no matter what happens, it would still be needed for psychological reasons!
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's where we keep all the extra rain.
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  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    In fact, I think that Scottish universities award a master's as the first degree?
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Aye. Saves the cost o' th' bachelor's diploma. Sometimes, the dampt English insist on a bachelor's after a three-year course. Och, sich heidcases! We'll gie 'em one, but we preferrr tae call it "A Master's wi'oot Honours."
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Excellent transliteration of a thick Canadian accent!
    Johann likes this.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Aye. Thick as moose crrrraaaap.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    As to the Canadian Senate, I can't imagine a monarchy without SOME form of a House of Lords. Where else would the Governor General sit during the Speech from the Throne?
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    And besides...that's what keeps Canadians from turning into Americans. You wouldn't want THAT!:eek:
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Why does the Canadian Senate building look like Beaux Arts railroad station?
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Hm. Wow, so it is. A better use of the building might have been to turn it into a train station. That's what they did with Washington D.C.'s Union Station.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Better still - transform it into the world's most impressive degree mill.
    Université des Beaux Arts et Technologie?
    nosborne48 likes this.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Une véritable Lou-Lou!
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A "real Lulu" is what I meant- trying to be funny.. But it turns out Loulou means a Spitz. (The dog.)

  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    "Third base!"
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I just came across this dissertation which has an MPhil from Walden listed among the writer's qualifications.
    I did some digging and found this:

    Earn Your Master of Philosophy Degree Along the Way

    Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation.

    Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
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