What Spaniards think of the Titulo Propio

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by smartdegree, May 7, 2021.

  1. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I was reading through the comments on a Spanish forum and it gives me the impression that Spaniards themselves do not believe that the Titulo Propio Masters are equivalent to "real" masters but rather to "certificates" or "specializations". Many comment that the title "master" does not represent the true nature of Propios and is misleading.


    There are other interesting comments. Like how in some cases, a Titulo Propio can be considered like graduate credits. WES, according to one of the posters, evaluated his Titulo Propio Masters from Complutense Madrid (a top public Spanish university) as equivalent to US graduate credits.
  2. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Let's just be careful and understand that in the same way Americans misunderstand and get information very wrong about nationally accredited and unaccredited degrees, people can do the same with Propios. For instance, one person in the comments named "Pelocha" who is considered an authority in that group stated:

    "WES is not going to recognize it (in the USA), I tell you that in advance... and the information of WES (and the equivalent or similar in the rest of the countries) bases its information on what each country recognizes or not."

    However, Pelocha is incorrect. WES did in fact recognize one as a Master's degree and the proof was posted a while ago now. I'm sure they have recognized others.

    Further, the idea some presented that a Propio is by nature some kind of certificate-level training compared to an official Master's is nonsense and contradicts the position many top Universities in Spain take when offering Propios. If any of that were true, they wouldn't offer them and people wouldn't enroll into them. A propio often times does not include a thesis (some do include it), and all do not give access to Government work or Doctoral programs in Spain, but that's it. The coursework per class is not inferior in nature.

    The other issue was the idea that a Master's can't be done before a undergrad anywhere, but that's untrue. It's been done in many places including (rarely) here in the United States.

    The Complutense Madrid comment is very interesting. But hey, in evaluations, stuff happens. Degrees from well-regarded foreign schools do sometimes get unfavorable evaluations. You never know how the evaluation will shake out no matter--with some exceptions--where the foreign degree is from.

    One last point: You can see the location data for each poster. Of all the people who posted in that thread, only one (nougat) is actually located in Spain. Give that some thought. That person is also incorrect. WES has recognized a Propio as a Master's degree. The proof has already been posted here and on the other board.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
    Rachel83az likes this.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think we need to differentiate between propio masters degree offered by the University or through a third party. In general, a propio degree carries ECTS credit but you don't get an official certificate by the minister of education so it can be considered as a post graduate diploma in general as you completed graduate credits. I completed one from the University and was given ECTS credits by a recognized Canadian Evaluation service.

    The gray area is when you complete a propio degree through a private company. The problem is that the transcript and diploma states that the diploma was delivered by a company and not the university (at least this is the case of my ENEB diploma). Some evaluation services will not recognize it because the training was provided by a non accredited provider so they considered unaccredited.

    The main issue here is cost. Private providers provide propio degrees at a very low cost (sometimes few hundred dollars) so it is appealing to do them as you get a diploma from a real University but the diploma clearly states the name of the company.

    Propio degrees are legal and recognized by companies but one should be careful if you want it to use it outside Spain as they lack official recognition so you are subject to the criteria of the employer. Not everyone needs a WES certificate, many just need to put in a CV (MBA from an accredited University in Spain) and nobody would ask questions.
    The problem is if you need it to immigrate, work permits, teach, licesing, etc.

    The other issue is that although these are ECTS credits, most Universities would only take 15% maximum of credit transfer so a propio degree is not so easy to transfer to a University for an official degree.

    As official degree from Spain is about 5-10K, I think that it would be safer to invest the money if you need universal recognition.
  4. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Wow. Well, one big takeaway is that since an official Master's from Complutense was evaluated by WES as a mere semester of grad credit while the propio from ENEB was evaluated as a Master's degree by WES, that's a pretty damn huge win for ENEB and its degree holders. That's one helluva shock. It's definitely like you said, you never know how these evaluation will go.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    NACES evaluation services might change criteria over the time and among them selves. Titulo propios are relatively new so it is possible that WES gave you recognition for this masters 10 years ago but maybe is not the case now. Also, one NACES evaluation service might give recognition while other not.

    I wanted to evaluate my propio degree with WES but I was not able. The main issue is transcript. My propio degree has no transcript as it is printed in the back of the diploma. WES needs transcripts to be sent by the University. I was able to evaluate by another NACES services that only needed certified copies of transcripts, service evaluated as 30 US academic credits post graduate diploma.

    To make things more complicated, some propio degrees in Spain have official recognition in Mexico. So here you have a complex situation, would WES recognize a degree that is registered in Spain but recognized in Mexico? Normally, WES goes with the place of origin. Globalization brings these problems, a school is located in one country but recognized in another, a school is recognized by one country but training delivered by a company in another country, etc, etc.
  6. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Relative to official degrees, sure. But just so everyone is aware, propios in Spain have existed since 1983, so we're quickly approaching 40 years of existence.
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The Spaniards in the forum recommend to list the Propio degree like a certificate to avoid confusion. I would list it like a post graduate certificate.

    To be quite honest. My masters propio required mainly multiple choice questions and a final project. I worked for it but I cannot compare it to my traditional Masters degree that required final exams, assignments, thesis, etc. A graduate certificate describes well the effort that I put into it.
  8. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Define "traditional". There are quite a few Master's degrees around the world that are entirely project-based, have no exams or exams that don't count toward the final grade. Many more (particularly in the United States), don't have a thesis requirement.
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, but the partnership between companies and universities seem to be relatively new. I don't recall 200 dlls degrees in the 80s. Also the internet is making these programs very cheap.
    To add to the list, Latin American Universities are joining the club. I have seen degrees from Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, etc for sale at very low prices but without official recognition.
  10. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    I disagree. The best way to avoid confusion is to list it as written on the diploma. If you claim it to be anything other than that, and an employer asks to see it, you're potentially screwed even if your intent was to be "modest". If the holder needs further validation to feel okay listing it as written, get an evaluation.
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    A traditional Masters degree in Canada is on campus, two year program with a thesis or an industrial project. There are some distance programs but not as many as in the US.

    The propio degrees from Spain are normally based on multiple choice exams
    OK, so the ethical way would be "Non officially accredited Masters degree certified by University X but delivered by company X".
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I list it as says in my evaluation report, "Graduate work for 30 credits". To be quite honest, in my case it doesn't make a difference, it is just ice on the cake. Nobody has asked me about it in about 5 years since I earned it. The diploma I got is really nice and looks better than my traditional degree.

    I tried using it to adjunct some classes in the area but it did not work so it jus stayed in my resume as another certificate.
  13. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Fair enough. I just look at this from the U.S. perspective given that most members here are either U.S. students or interested in U.S. programs.

    A valid way of assessment used even for licensing in health professions in most states.

    Yes, ethical, but overdoing it to the point of ridiculousness to where nobody would hire that person, hahaha.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    To be fair, the same University where I graduated offered me an upgrade to an official Masters with some extra work but also wanted 3K. Some Universities might have the same deal so it might be perceived as a milestone and it could lead to an official masters degree but I would ask to the University where I enroll first to make sure that you could upgrade later if needed.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think if you do it through the University might have better value, you can try to transfer the credit and earn an official masters later if you need to. The problem is that degrees offered through Universities are thousands of dollars. I paid for mine about 3K USD. You can get it through a company but the credit transfer is limited as most of these programs are not aligned to official degrees.
  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes but people list their foreign degrees to their convenience in the US and Canada so an HR person might want to see an evaluation report if the degree is an important part for the hiring decision. If it doesn't matter, they will just take your word. Some people from Europe, Spain or Latin American list their engineering degrees as Masters degrees in the US arguing that these are 5 year degrees with a thesis while in the US 4+1 is a MAsters degree. You can list your engineering degree as a Masters degree but it doesn't mean that it is equivalent. I have a friend that works as a programmer and always list his Engineering degree as a Masters degree, nobody has asked him an equivalent report as he has more than 20 years of experience.
  17. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Well, it would be unethical to list a Bachelors degree as a Master's, unless the holder gets a U.S. evaluation that determines it's equivalent to a Master's and even then you'd be operating in a gray area. It goes back to my earlier position: list your credential as written. Everything else is just creating a ticking timebomb.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Not to mention that everything else is needlessly overthinking this.
  19. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Let's think of an analogy to this Propio situation. The problem of mutual recognition of qualifications, in any case, extends way beyond just Propio and Spain.

    If you had an MSc from LSE that was 9 months, that is not considered equivalent to a masters in many European countries that are part of the Bologna process. LSE itself admits to that fact.
    https://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calendar2017-2018/programmeRegulations/taughtMasters/Bologna Process.htm

    In such cases, do you list your LSE degree as a MSc, graduate credits, or a diploma/certificate? Would it make a difference because it is LSE vs ENEB for example?

    Don't the best universities in the world (like LSE) have more reputation/experience at credentials than the credential evaluators? Shouldn't they be allowed to then confer degrees based on their reputation as the unicorns of academia? If you say yes to these questions, then isn't the concept of Propio (own masters) justified if the institution issuing it is reputable?
  20. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That's pretty much at the foundation of what evaluators consider, and it often separates the degrees from schools that are on their approved list from the degrees from schools on the blacklist. For some however, that's not good enough to gauge foreign programs. Well, actually it is, but not if they've decided they don't like that particular school, because then no amount of positive evaluations will ever be good enough.

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