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 BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright   Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004











I’d like to know if there are any accredited online master degree without bachelor requirement?





Yes, for all practical purposes, admission to the Heriot Watt University EBS MBA requires no undergraduate degree.


The Edinburgh Business School of Heriot Watt University, offers a distance learning Master of Business Administration degree, which is conferred after passing nine 3-hour exams (9 exams if no exemptions or waivers granted, and as few as 7 exams with waivers). No attendance, midterm paper, thesis, or other rites required. Just turn up for and pass the exams. You get seven years to complete the program, and a nominal two shots at each exam (you may get yet another shot if other circumstances warrant, IIRC). The cost of the program has risen significantly since I bought a "course" in 1995. I can tell you that the self-study courseware is second to none.


Heriot-Watt is a Royal Chartered, state funded, British university situated in Edinburgh, Scotland. I've been on campus, it is quite real and quite well regarded.


I said no undergraduate degree or studies are required for admission to the program; this statement requires further refinement. For full time and part time residential students, an honors degree and two years "appropriate" work experience are normally required in addition to an acceptable GMAT score. Distance learning students are NOT ADMITTED TO THE DEGREE PROGRAM WITHOUT AN UNDERGRADUATE HONOURS DEGREE OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF SUITABLE ACADEMIC ATTAINMENT.


However, anyone can take the individual course modules. If they should pass any two of the compulsory courses, this will provide "evidence of suitable academic attainment" and they will then be admitted to the MBA degree program. The two modules passed prior to admission will count as full credit toward the degree. I truly admire the thought that went into that one.


Effectively, not so much as a high school diploma is required to enter the program, yet the bachelor degree requirement rules for admission to the graduate school and to the MBA program, are still technically enforced. The MBA can be earned without ever completing even one undergraduate course.









After finishing the General Business BA at Excelsior next year, I want to complete a MBA program; I've also have already a particular university in mind that offers a decent and inexpensive MBA program; it is the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).


The only drawback is, it seems it is difficult to have a thesis/dissertation as part of the USQ MBA program; A dissertation again, could be important for me if I decide to do a PhD later. So, which options would you, as someone who has profound knowledge of the subject of education, suggest to me in order to be able to do both, the USQ MBA and a dissertation?





The MBA is ostensibly a terminal trade degree in applied management and is unsuitable, in my view, as a foundation for PhD study. It may, however, depending upon content, be ideal preparation for the DBA degree. There are exceptions, but as these various degrees are traditionally conceived, this admonition applies.


If the ultimate goal is to earn a PhD in Business, it seems to me transparent that the optimum track would be to pursue a degree in Management; either MSc (MS) or an MA. This route would afford you the widest range of choices of PhD programs. The MSc or MA, if not earned exclusively by research, should culminate in a substantial thesis/dissertation (appropriate nomenclature dependent upon your side of the Pond).



During several weeks immersed exclusively in Australian DL graduate program survey research three or four years ago, I seem to recall documenting opportunities for thesis-based master degrees in Management. Further, it seems to me more than one was offered by USQ. See the current USQ student handbook.




Optimally, eschew the MBA and pursue a master’s with thesis. Note, there are some very good MBA programs that incorporate substantial theses, but you may still encounter the ‘degree title bias’ upon application to many PhD programs (“He has a trade degree (MBA), not a true academic degree”). 









Is there a gpa with this type of testing? And how do transfer credits work?








Letter grades are awarded for many exams (at the discretion of the receiving college) from which a GPA may be derived, Two of the Big Three assessment institutions featured in BA in 4 Weeks, award grades other than a simple pass.


GPA is “conveyed” in the transcript since it is implicit in the “course” grades enumerated therein. When quoting GPA it is important to detail the kind and quantity of banded credit from which it is derived.




For example, normally, in respect of qualifying for entry into graduate programs, U.S. admissions officers look for a minimum GPA of 3.0 based on the last 60 hours (20 courses) of earned, graded, credit. This makes sense when you think of it, to place emphasis on the quality of the work completed in the last two years of college (junior and senior years). However, some may deem it necessary or appropriate to use some other method of calculation.


Truth is that a GPA can be calculated on the basis of any amount of letter or numerically graded credit (“pass” credit is disregarded). The issue of the validity and *relevance* of the derived GPA is a matter for those assessing the candidate, and her degree. This is likely the reason neither Charter Oak or Excelsior College include a GPA number in the degree transcripts.



How GPA is derived at the assessment colleges.



This is of a standard form used pretty much everywhere.


. Grades are assigned numeric values A=4; B=3; C=2; D=1; a pass grade = 0 and is ignored

. Individual numerical course grades are multiplied by the number of semester hours applicable to that course

. The products of these calculations are added together

. The cumulative total of the products is divided by the total number of semester hours yielding the GPA




Titus Flavius Vespasianus has completed three 3-credit courses with grade A, two 3-credit courses grade B, one 6-credit course grade C, and four 6-credit courses at pass grade. What is his GPA?






= (3x3x4+2x3x3+1x6x2+4x6x0)/(3x3+2x3+1x6+0)

= (36+18+12+0)/(21)

= 66/21

= 3.14






Summa Cum Laude ... >= 3.90

Magna Cum Laude .... >= 3.75 < 3.90

Cum Laude ...............>= 3.50 < 3.75



In calculating GPA, Excelsior requires that at least 30 hours of the total of the degree credit hours be letter graded, if honors are to be awarded.









For information on the mechanics of credit transfer, read the text of BA in 4 Weeks, the issue is covered there in depth.















Website © Lawrie Miller 2004