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

    Any degree from any institution that has any affiliation with John Dovelos or Dixie Randock. :D
  2. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Even though I'm not into engineering, those Stanford degrees have got to be at least near the top of the list. The USC degrees as well. As far as total attractiveness is concerned, I'd probably be most interested in the Johns Hopkins MPH program. I know that the Oxford Human Rights program doesn't absolutely require you to have a law degree in order to apply but I don't think I've got the background to be considered seriously for admission. MY only other idea, a contribution that hasn't yet been made, is that there are research-based PhD programs all over the world that could be considered to be quite prestigious. The University of Paris, Heidelberg, Trinity (the one in Ireland), would all be very prestigious doctoral degrees. As for Bachelors degrees, if I had to trade my own Bachelors degree for a DL Bachelors degree I might choose the University of London Bachelors in Philosophy. I think I could be very happy with that trade.
  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    It's also hard to think of prestigious DL doctoral programs. I don't know of any that are truly research productive or leaders in their fields.

    At the bachelor's level, it could be argued that it's very difficult to have a really prestigious DL program, simply because of the nature of the beast.

    The best undergraduate programs probably fit the elite liberal-arts college model. That consists of a highly selected cohort of full-time students, receiving lots of personal attention from equally elite faculty, and interacting intensely with one another. Laboratories and hands-on practical experiences will be abundant.
  4. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I don't have a trump card, or anyway not one that can be mentioned. The reason there is a "Bending the Rules" chapter in Bears' Guide is because all manner of things happen that can't be talked about, or the schools will deny them if they are talked about. But with the possible exception of a yet-unmentioned Ivy League school, I've not hard of anything that could compete with the excellent examples already offered.

    One example I've written about was the reader who wrote me to say he had done a BS in Electrical Engineering nonresidentially (100%; he was in prison) from a very prestigious university. There was nothing I could find about such a program. I wrote a person I knew there, and he phoned me (no audit trail!) to say that, yes, they did do such things on occasion, but for God's sake don't write about it, because then (a) everybody will want one, and (b) the Trustees and the accreditor will be alarmed.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Re: Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    Quite true. But knowledgeable folk are less impressed by an undergraduate ALB degree from Harvard Extension School than by an undergraduate AB degree from Harvard College.

    Yes, a Harvard Extension ALB is a real Harvard degree. And yes, the coursework involved may be rigorous. But no, Harvard Extension is not unbelievably selective, like Harvard College or Harvard professional schools. And no, it does not have the same level of prestige.

    In fact, the people who are most dismissive about Harvard Extension degrees are probably those who hold Harvard College degrees.
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member


    Qualifications for the SDM program are listed here. You need an MS + 3 years experience, or a BS + 5 years experience ("preferably combined with some graduate engineering education"). So an MS in engineering is not strictly required.
    If taken by distance learning, the tuition and fees are $ 70,550 for the 24-month program. That does seem a bit pricey. The DL option is for company-sponsored students, so presumably MIT expects your employer to pick up the bill.
  7. Denver

    Denver Member

    “In fact, the people who are most dismissive about Harvard Extension degrees are probably those who hold Harvard College degrees.”

    Not true at all. The extension school is known for its academic rigor and while many may attend – only a few graduate. The extension school participates in graduation and they are Harvard men and women just like any other school. I had two friends who attended the extension school and the quality of their work was as good or better than any I or my classmates produced. The fact that they did this after an eight hour day made their work even more impressive.

    Harvard ‘93
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    This is true.

    I know many people who have taken courses at Harvard Extension, but I only know one (our own Jack Tracey) that actually graduated.
  9. raristud

    raristud Member

    Hamilton University :D
  10. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    That is wonderful! I'm glad my site is of use. If I every finish my MS degree I'm thinking about spending more time on content. Right now its not much more than an online Word table.
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I am not questioning the legitimacy or rigor of Harvard Extension School. However, I do think that the Harvard Crimson's attitude toward Harvard Extension can be reasonably characterized as "dismissive".
  12. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    U of Durham in the UK

    I would rank Durham business MBA and DBA (Small residential periods are required) as pretigious:

  13. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Re: U of Durham in the UK

    I didn't know about these. Thanks for mentioning. There are also some other very good B-schools in the UK with distance degrees, some of them on the doctorate level. Why can't the U.S. get up-to-speed on this?
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Re: Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    Prestige quibbles aside, there is also the bigger question of whether a Harvard Extension School ALB degree qualifies as DL. I would vote no.

    Here's what the Extension School tells prospective undergraduates about DL options :

    That's only about 10 DL courses out of the 32 required -- less than one-third. So realistically, the Harvard Extension ALB is not a practical option unless you are located in the Boston area. That's why the Extension School has a page on "Moving to Massachusetts."

    Bottom line: the Harvard Extension ALB is a worthy non-traditional undergraduate degree, and it may have a DL component. But it is not a DL undergraduate degree.
  15. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    The Masters in IT is kindof sortof DL, in that it can be completed primarily online with one semester of residency. As this semester could be a Summer one, you could get a Harvard Masters remotely with the exception of just 7 or 8 weeks in residency.
  16. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Master's yes, bachelor's no

    I would also vote "no." I do not believe that there are any HES degree programs that designed to be DL in nature. That some might turn them into DL degrees changes nothing.
  17. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I'll pose a similar question within this thread...Same question but apply it towards all Bachelors offered through DL. :)
  18. Denver

    Denver Member

    “Students who do not live within commuting distance of Harvard, however, may take up to five courses via distance education before coming to campus..”

    And this is where it gets expensive. Rents in Cambridge rival central London or New York. Back in 1993 after graduation I spent a summer in Cambridge two blocks from the extension school. Everyone talked about what a “great deal” I had – a room with a single bed on the third floor of a dormitory (the former attic) at a Harvard affiliated school (EDS) with the bathroom down the hall for only $575 a month – and yes there was a waiting list. I would say the room is twice that now.
  19. Dool

    Dool New Member

    Practically none of the non-DL courses for the ALM-IT have ever been offered during the summer.

    Considering some are taught by the case method, it is unlikely that they will ever be offered during the summer session. In other words, completing the residency through a summer semester is a fallacy often known by the Latin name "Ignoratio Elenchi." AKA Red Herring.

    [Putting my education to work.]
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2005
  20. little fauss

    little fauss New Member


    It would seem there are all sorts of IT courses offered over the Summer term. Perhaps none of them fit within the "non-DL" framework. I don't know, I'm not an expert, I'm neither an IT guy nor a Harvard Extension guy.

    Also, your admonition that "Practically none...have ever been.." would seem to open the door to the Summer Session possibility. If it's just once every few years that a class pops up, then that's quite enough, isn't it? If it's really "none have ever or ever will be" (and you have the insider's knowledge to support this), then just say it and close the door. Otherwise, a crack--a single class, as far as I know--is all that the prospective DL ALM-IT student needs.

    Finally, as I'm on an ultra-defensive roll here, I might as well point out that my mention of the Summer school as a possibility for fulfilling the semester requirement may have been mistaken and may have demonstrated my utter ignorance, but it was not a red herring.

    An example of a red herring would be if we're in an argument about the strength of the lecturing in Harvard's Extension program vis-a-vis Harvard College, and I say: "Harvard Extension's better because they have students who really care about education, as most of them work full time jobs in addition to attending classes." To which you would quite rightly reply: "That may be entirely true, but what does that have to do with your argument that the quality of the lectures are better in Harvard Extension?" Now that's a red herring. An argument that may make sense, but is appropos of nothing in particular.

Share This Page