Degree titles and majors
What degree will I earn, and
what will appear on the diploma and in the transcript?
I am often asked this in relation to the degrees
conferred by all of the big three assessment institutions (Excelsior,
TESC, and COSC).
Note that three degree plans are featured in BA in 4 Weeks:
A bachelor of science accelerated degree (without major)
A bachelor of science degree in Business Administration
A second bachelor degree with an example major in Psychology
In a break with convention as of Jan 1 2003,
degrees earned in the Lib Arts program may be conferred with a named major.
For instance the former BS degree with a concentration in Physics, is now
conferred as a, Bachelor of Science in Physics,
and appears as such on the degree diploma and in the graduate’s transcript.
No material changes in degree requirements accompanied this
reclassification. All that has change is the degree title, and perhaps with
that, the degree's utility. Would you prefer a BA with a concentration in
Chemistry, or a BS in Chemistry? A resume
that presents a
. . . BS in
There are many former
concentrations that are now major options in the program, to include:
Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Mathematics; Economics; Philosophy; Political
Science; Psychology; Sociology; Geography, Geology; History; Communication;
Criminal Justice; Literature; Music.
Excelsior also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology. Many
specializations are available, but the major is Technology. There is also
available a named major in Computer Information Systems (BS CIS). This is a
popular degree choice. Unlike other degrees to be featured in the series,
it requires prior formal academic training and/or experience in
the relevant disciplines, in my opinion, if competencies are to be
successfully demonstrated in a reasonable time (within one year or so).
The degrees offered in Business are diverse
and come with a named major. The degree is not a BS in Business
Administration, with a number of available concentrations, but (for
example) a BS in Finance, a BS in Management Information Systems, a BS in Accounting, and on. The Business degree
guide in BA in 4 Weeks features the generic major in General Business.
Thomas Edison State College
(TESC) offers a bachelor of arts degree program in the lib arts. As
previously noted, traditionally, such degrees do not have majors (unless
you consider the major, lib arts/Liberal studies), but concentrations, or
“areas of focus”, or “areas of study”, or even, confusingly, “areas of
major study”. For the sake of clarity we may call them all,
Usually, the degree diploma
awarded makes no reference to any major, and the title of the award
appearing on the diploma is “Bachelor of Arts” or “Bachelor of
Science” (in the case of TESC awards in the lib arts, the degree conferred
is exclusively the bachelor of arts degree). The graduate’s transcript will
note the degree title and (somewhere) the concentration. The usual notation
in CVs or resumes would declare a BA degree (or BS as applicable) with a
concentration in (say) Computer Science.
The reason for distinguishing
a concentration from a major, has to do with the required number,
character, and distribution, of the credits comprising a concentration. The
requirements of a concentration are traditionally more flexible and not as
comprehensive as those of a major. It is certainly the case that the
student in a lib arts degree program has the option to so construct their
concentration that it approximates or even apes the requirements of a major
in the chosen discipline. However, the degree awarded is still a degree in
the lib arts with a concentration in the chosen discipline, not a degree
with a declared major.
With respect to the TESC Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology,
the very title announces the major – that is: a BS degree with a major in Applied
Science and Technology. While the student may within that degree,
opt to concentrate a portion of the credit in some specific area of focus,
this occurs within the requirements of the Applied Science and
Technology major. The degree diploma then, should declare a, “Bachelor of
Science in Applied Science and Technology”, and the transcript would, in
addition to the foregoing, note a concentration in the area of focus.
TESC BA program in the liberal arts delivers a bachelor of arts degree
with a concentration
concentration is noted on the degree diploma but is listed in the
other degree programs offered by TESC deliver degrees with a named
named major is the bit after “in” in the degree title, as in, BS in
Applied Science and Technology
concentration/area of study/area of specialization/focus, comprises a
component within the major, is not the major itself.
The possible majors are: Applied Science and
Technology (BSAST); Business
Administration (BSBA); Health Sciences
(BSHS); Human Services (BSHuS); Nursing (BSN)
Charter Oak State College
(COSC) only confers degrees in the lib arts, and with a sole major in General Studies. However, there are many
concentrations on offer within that construct. The degree diploma notes the
award of a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts Degree. No
mention of the General Studies major, or any specialization or
concentration appears on the diploma. The transcript lists the degree (BS
or BA), the major, and the specialization.