What's the most prestigious DL degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by little fauss, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Taking nominations for the most prestigious degree in the world offered by DL.

    My vote?

    Oxford University's Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law

    It's a Master of Laws (LL.M) equivalent. Obtained by combination of short residencies and online studies. Very low admit rates, very high name recognition.
  2. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    Ecole Supérieure Robert de Sorbon

    No wait, that's the wrong Sorbonne ...

    Never mind.
  3. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Since this thread is flying about as well as a lead zeppelin, I'll throw in another nominee and bump it up.

    Stanford University - Masters in various types of Engineering
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Alternative nominee...

    Believe it or not, I was apparently typing the post below at the same time as little fauss was posting the one above...

    A Master's degree in engineering or applied science from the Stanford University Honors Cooperative Program (HCP).

    Stanford has the same expectations for HCP and on-campus students. Prospective HCP students must apply through the normal graduate admissions process, and compete with all other applicants. Once admitted, HCP students are tested and graded to the same standards as on-campus students.

    There are a couple of reasons for regarding Stanford HCP degrees, rather than the Oxford MS in International Human Rights Law, as "the most prestigious DL degrees":

    1. The Oxford degree will doubtless impress international human rights lawyers, but that's probably a rather small and specialized group, even among law professionals. In contrast, the Stanford HCP degrees cover a broad range of major disciplines in engineering and applied sciences. So the Stanford degrees will impress much larger audiences than the Oxford degree.

    2. The Oxford degree apparently requires short residencies, so it is not a true DL degree. But some of the Stanford HCP degrees, including those in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science, can be completely entirely online.

    The only apparent drawback to the Stanford degrees is that they are only available to the employees of certain cooperating companies. You can't participate unless your employer is a member of the Stanford Center for Professional Development.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2005
  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Well, when you ask a good question, and then provide the best answer(s), the zeppelin is already flying as high as it can go.

    PS: Arthur D. Little got a lot of publicity when he actually made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I have read that he later tried to make a lead zeppelin, but did not succeed.
  6. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Re: Alternative nominee...


    Thanks for the info.

    I've had that happen also, when I was typing in a message, pushed submit, and found out that someone stole my thunder a minute or so before.

    I take only one exception, but it's a semantic one about which reasonable minds can disagree. For my money, if a program has an online or correspondence component and requires such short residencies that it can be obtained without career interruption (Oxford's degree applies here), then it's DL. However, as I said reasonable minds can differ, I'll admit that not everyone would consider a couple residencies around a month in length over two years to be the makings of a "true" DL. It would at the very least be a significant disruption. Though if you're an affluent attorney, not a bad place to spend a couple Summer vacations.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2005
  7. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    I'll see your Stanford MS degree and raise you MIT's System Design and Management program which offers a MS in Engineering and Management. If I remember correctly, this degree requires a MS degree in Engineering for admissions and it is REALLY expensive.
  8. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    I had no clue MIT did DL. But that's your expertise. By the way, when encountering people looking for DL information for tech degrees on other forums, I've often steered them to your webpage. It's a fine resource.
  9. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Good point, but if anyone here is qualified to chime in here, it's you, Dr. Bear. So what think you?

    What's the best degree in the world available DL that hasn't already been mentioned? We have offerings from MIT, Stanford and Oxford on the table.

    If anyone holds a trump card, it's you!

  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Yet another nominee...

    A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University.

    The JHU School of Public Health is, without a doubt, extremely prestigious in its field. For example, it is rated #1 in the current U.S. News and World Report ranking of public health programs (ahead of Harvard). It's reasonable to suggest that a MPH degree from JHU has more prestige than any other MPH degree in the country, and it must be a serious contender for #1 in the world.

    JHU offers a "Part-time / Internet-based" MPH degree. Students can reportedly complete 80 % of the degree requirements over the Internet. The remaining 20% can be flexibly scheduled to prevent career interruption, so it appears to qualify as DL under the little fauss definition above.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2005
  11. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    You know what's neat about this?

    It's how far DL has come.

    We've come up with a who's who of world universities: Stanford, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Oxford--and all of them have offerings for the DL learner.

    Any more top-flight ones out there?
  12. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Re: Yet another nominee...

    And I am pretty much the final authority on such matters. As well as many others. Or so I tell myself.
  13. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    Columbia and Duke have DL programs discussed here in the past.
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Master's yes, bachelor's no

    Yes, but the list also shows the limitations (real or perceived) of DL. All the impressive DL degrees that we've listed are Master's degrees. For whatever reasons, prestige DL is a non-starter at the Bachelor's level.
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    I think many schools (not just prestige) don't want the headache of offering general education courses.
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    Harvard Extension offers ALM and ALB degrees.
  17. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    The University of Southern California has a large number of DL masters programs in engineering.

    Unlike Stanford, they take applications from anyone, not just individuals recommended by certain employers. But applications from DL students are treated the same as applications from B&M students and admission is selective.
  18. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Here's probably the world's best source of DL programs in its own very exotic specialties: the Naval Postgraduate School. It requires that students be military officers (or civilian employees of the alphabet agencies) and that they have security clearances and access to secure networks as required, but hey, it's still DL.
  19. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    Good point, but the University of London offers a bazillion Bachelor's degrees at a distance. You can get a bachelor's in Economics, Accounting, Finance, et. al. from none other than THE London School of Economics. But that said, they stand kind of alone as far as prestige institutions offering DL bachelors.
  20. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    I think we should instead name the least prestigious degree in the world offered by DL.

    We have more experience and expertise at that end of the spectrum! :p

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