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Please Help: Are Online Degrees Valued?

JMM72493JMM72493 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
I am not talking about for-profit universities with no physical campus (though I am certain there are good one). I am talking about universities that offer a traditional path of gaining a degree (classroom-based) that also offer online degrees.

I am interested in applying to a few programs, but I am extremely hesitant. I was looking at Rutgers and Syracuse for a MS in accounting degree. Both universities seem well respected, but the whole online degree stigma still hits me. Their programs waive the GMAT which makes me nervous; reason being is because they both require it for degree programs that are taught in the classroom.

Even Harvard has heightened acceptance rates (from what I've read in articles) for their online programs. Does this mean they are not as good?

I feel like the "higher acceptance rate" is strictly because the online programs receive less applicants, but still....


Replies to: Please Help: Are Online Degrees Valued?

  • thetransfercoachthetransfercoach Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    edited February 7
    There isn't a stigma as long as the school is a reputable, well-known institution AND it is from a "regular" division. For example, Georgetown has an online MSF, Columbia now has an online MSW, etc. I guarantee you that no one looks down on these degrees. The problem exists when the school is a for-profit university, or a questionably-known state school, or even a great school but from a department with a notoriously low admission standard/no admission standard (example: Harvard Extension School).

    Keep in mind, too -- the reputation of schools change over time. I went to Johns Hopkins' Graduate School of Education -- which, back when I was in college, was part of their night school and combined with their (unaccredited) business program. It was also like $300/credit. It was not considered a "good" school by any means. By the time I went there, it was ranked #1 in the country, had its own school and super-distinguished faculty, and gave me tremendous career opportunities afterwards (and led to a top-tier PhD program). Unfortunately, tuition had also gone up substantially (along with their reputation!). I took at least 30% of my courses online. They were not noted as such on my transcript and no one has ever bothered to ask (nor is it relevant).

    FWIW, my best friend went to Rutgers for her online master's and she works in the executive branch at Columbia these days. No one even thinks to ask whether her master's was online (though part of it may be regional advantage; Rutgers is in NJ and she works in NYC, so people just assume it's local).
  • Popo13Popo13 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    What would you look for to recognize a legitimate on line school?
  • SophleySophley Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Campus-based programs offered online can be very affordable and convenient, but you have to know what your learning style is before investing. You definitely need to steer clear of for profits. Total joke. Also, look for programs that still require GRES and GMATS but may have flexible waiver policies for those with work experience. Ask if the school outsources curriculum development or is it done out of the college. Ask about the credentials of faculty and whether they've been trained to teach online.

    You can look at US News and World Reports rankings for online providers. Also, some schools do NOT have surcharges or higher rates for out of state students. And some colleges (like Penn State) don't indicate on your diploma or transcript that the degree was earned at a distant. You will have access to career services and can even come to campus and March at graduation.

    With the rising cost of obtaining a degree, online is quickly becoming a very viable option, if you go with a well known school.
  • JMM72493JMM72493 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Yeah, I have noticed that there are a great deal of respectable universities that offer online programs. As with my case (intended accounting major), there are great online programs at universities including Auburn, Rutgers, and Syracuse. I don't think that these universities even make any distinction on a person's degree about whether it was obtained online or not.
This discussion has been closed.