What is the equivalent of a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma in the US?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Docere, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Docere

    Docere Member

    They're quite common in the UK, Australia and to a lesser extent Canada but they seem quite uncommon in the US? Do they just give masters degrees for it in the US?
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'd say the equivalent would be a Graduate Certificate, although you're right that a lot of people just do a Master's degree.

    I think you see fewer Graduate Certificates in the U.S. than you do PGCert/PGDip programs in other countries because many other countries are on a system of three years for a Bachelor's and two for a Master's, where the U.S. has four years for a Bachelor's and just one for a Master's.
  3. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    A one-year master's? Why didn't anyone tell me? I squished a 79-hour MA into 3 years.
  4. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking that. I managed a 3 year master's degree in 2 years and I believe Steve, but I would have loved to find a 1 year master's degree.
  5. Docere

    Docere Member

    Looking at what I've seen for PGDip's, it seems to me that if they were asked to fill out an educational attainment survey in the US they could say "Master's degree" without exaggerating at all. It seems the US definition of what constitutes a master's is less rigorous: it can range from a pretty quick teaching certification degree to a 3-year MFA.
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    A 79-hour MA? How'd that happen?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2013
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I finished my master's in 14 months.
  8. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    Same here...15 classes in 14 months

    Those were 14 rediculously busy months.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2013
  9. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    If it is not a master's degree, it is not a master's degree. Exaggerating the PGDip holder's credentials to call it a master's degree is saying the holder has something that he or she doesn't have.
  10. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Same here - 15 months for my MS and about 2 years for my MBA.
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    ... or a 3-year MDiv or a 4-year ThM.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I agree. Call it what it is, not what you wish it were.
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Would a CAGS be the same as a postgrad cert from abroad?
  14. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    In UK you have 3 year Bachelors degree and 4 Year bachelor degree with Hon.

    For example York university has a 4 year Masters in Engineering (IET accredited for CEng)
    So in 4 years one earns a Masters degree.

    Now in US some Masters degree require 36 semester credits other in the 40's or up to 60.

    On average the US Masters degree is two years program.

    Some EU 3 year Bachelor degrees have problem with respected NACES member services to get evaluated as equivalent to US Bachelor.

    ECE evaluated UK 4 years Masters MEng as US BSc equivalent.

    Post grad Certificates or Diplomas in UK are not equal, some cover more material with higher number of hours.

    EBS HWU issues a certificate after completion of one third of the MBA program. Then a Diploma after completion ob 2/3 of the MBA and final MBA degree at the end of the program.

    Also for most of the Masters degrees in US Thesis is required or a Cap Stone project etc.
  15. Docere

    Docere Member

    No, they shouldn't claim they have a masters when seeking employment etc. All I meant is if they're filling out say, the Census, a PGDip is probably closer to a masters than a bachelors. I'm pretty sure that a good deal of masters programs in the US wouldn't be considered such in other countries.

    For instance here in Ontario, people who can't get into the education faculties (where they offer a B.Ed., which is either a 5-year "concurrent" program with a degree in another subject or a 1-year second-entry program) can go to the so-called "border colleges" in New York State which offer a masters in education. I have my doubts that these programs are more "advanced" intellectually than the Ontario B.Ed.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This is an opinion, and one that is based on ? You're trying to say that people can't get into Canadian Bachelors degree programs but they can get into US Masters programs. I'm calling BS (and I don't mean Bachelor of Science) Show some verifiable facts and figures or go home.
  17. Docere

    Docere Member

    Yes, that is what I'm saying, people who can't get into the education faculties go to the border colleges:


    Hoping for a fulltime teaching job? Think again | Macleans.ca - Canada - Features

    This OECD report on education reform notes that part of the reason for Ontario's success was selectivity in its education faculties. However...

    “Everyone knew that there was a loophole—you could always cross the border to the United States. Anyone can get credentialed there.”

    A B.Ed. in Canada is a 1-year, second-entry post-baccalaureate program for most (though there is also the 5-year "combined" route).
  18. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Docere is correct and this is widely known in Ontario. Kizmet, I don't think you're accounting for the difference between bachelor's degrees in general and the outsized Ontario BEd.

    The marketplace in "border colleges" serving Ontario teaching candidates in similar to the phenomenon of "offshore" medical schools. There are many more applicants to teacher's colleges in Ontario than there are seats in Ontario, and thousands of Ontarians take their dreams of teaching further afield.

    Way too many teachers: Oversupply doesn’t begin to describe the labour-market mismatch between newly minted teachers and teaching jobs in Ontario. (Moira MacDonald, University Affairs, November 7, 2011)

    A twist here is this:

    • In most, possibly all cases, teacher training programs in Ontario grant a Bachelor of Education as the entry-level professional degree.

    However, as Docere notes, an Ontario BEd is "either a 5-year 'concurrent' program with a degree in another subject or a 1-year second-entry program." OR, we could add, a 2-year second-entry program, and this is the model the province is moving to: Ontario moves to halve number of teachers-college grads (Caroline Alphonso, Adrian Morrow and James Bradshaw, The Globe and Mail, June 5, 2013)

    • In many, possibly most cases, the teacher training programs that expatriate Ontario students pursue at the "border colleges" result in a master's degree. However, just like the Ontario BEds, these represent 4+1 or 2 postsecondary academic years. In many, possibly most cases these students would have preferred a BEd from Ontario.
  19. Docere

    Docere Member

    My reply seems to have disappeared but yes that's exactly it Jonathan. The B.Ed. is a unique animal indeed.
  20. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    A Postgraduate Diploma qualification here in Australia is short of a Masters. Most Masters programs here are articulated. After four subjects, you can leave the program with a Postgraduate Certificate, then after eight subjects you can leave with a Postgrad. Diploma. The Masters is usually a 12 subject program or an 8 subject program with a dissertation.

    There is also a Masters Program which is a terminal program i.e. no pathway to a Doctorate after it. This Masters is a lot more loaded than the usual and generally requires some form of internship in a post university environment.

    Just to complicate it a little more you have Bachelor degrees with Honours that are treated as the equivalent of masters degrees. You can go straight to a PhD from one of those. You also have a Vocational Postgraduate Diploma which is a competency based qualification usually issued by a tech college to students who have completed a degree when they complete a competency based training program.

    Here are some Australian Websites that might be useful in looking at Australian qualifications:
    Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011

    (this one is about accreditation)

    Higher education standards framework | Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency

    (this one is about the agency that sets the standards)

    Comparing across jurisdictions is extremely tricky as the quals do not necessarily compare nor designed to do so.

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