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Master's degree without a Bachelor's degree

Can you do a Master’s degree without a Bachelor’s degree

You might be wondering if this question should be asked, “can you do a Master’s degree without a Bachelor’s degree?”. But the truth is that it should and the answer will interest you. So why not get to see the fact.

Getting a masters degree without having a bachelor’s degree is possible though it’s rare because few institutions of study accept that.

You might be arguing now how can it be possible since having a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite to gaining admission to study masters in most fields. Yes, you said “most fields”, that means there are some majors in a Master’s program that you don’t necessarily need to have a bachelor’s degree.

Whether or not you can study a master’s without a bachelor’s largely depends on the type of master’s you want to study and the University you choose to study. As you know, during your undergraduate degree period, you were taught most of the basics and advanced information on your course of study and this was supposed to be the foundation on which your master’s will be built on. But now, you want to acquire a masters degree without undergoing a bachelor’s, how will this be possible?

Now let us look at some of the things that will make it possible or reasons while some Universities will accept you into their masters degree program without having a bachelor’s degree.

How to get a Masters degree without having a bachelor’s degree

We will be discussing things that will serve as a prerequisite for your masters degree when you don’t have an undergraduate degree. As you know, to be able to be accepted into any undergraduate program, there are some prerequisites you must possess or have to be accepted. So let us see what is needed here in postgraduate admission.

Professional / Work Experience

You might think that having a bachelor’s degree is the only necessity for admission to a master’s degree, but in most cases it does change. Some universities will accept you into a master’s degree without a bachelor’s degree, Instead of a bachelor’s degree, they will accept relevant work experience and allow you to study what they called a “post-experience master”.

One thing to note here is that this totally depends on the university as well as the field of study. Some universities who don’t believe in the traditional way may be more willing to accept work experience rather than qualifications because this is part of their overall vision and philosophy. 

For example, they may simply be an institution that prefers work experience over academic qualifications. There are also certain master’s degrees that do not necessarily require a bachelor’s degree due to the nature of the program. An example of this is the Master of Science in Nursing at Simmons University, which accepts registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree in the program.

This means you can be accepted to get a Master’s degree without a bachelor’s degree with your work or professional experience

Professional Certifications

There are many reasons why someone might not have a bachelor’s degree. Maybe you didn’t have the financial means to pay for undergraduate schooling or perhaps you started but weren’t able to graduate. Having to dropout of college or not starting at all is not common place and must happen for a reason. 

Some Students may feel as though they have to earn money for the time being, or they started a family, or there are those who simply got bored by their program.

Whatever the reason might be, not earning a bachelor’s isn’t the end of the road by any means. There are other ways you can get a quality education. An alternative to acquiring a bachelor’s degree is a professional Certificate. Many people choose to earn a professional certificate or diploma from a community college. 

Others also consider an associate’s degree which is typically completed within two years. It’s a short-cycle degree program that is beneficial for working students on the path of developing their careers but aren’t able to stop everything and earn a full bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree can either lead to a bachelor’s or master’s, depending on your field of study.

So you can easily get admitted to study masters programs without having a bachelor’s degree if you have the professional Certificate or diploma required by the University or department you want to study in.

Undergraduate degree in different course from Masters program

Some cases might come up that you have an undergraduate degree that is unrelated with the masters programs you want to pursue, how can this be done. In the traditional settings, a masters degree program is to help you become more experienced or have advanced knowledge in your undergraduate course, so a degree in that course at undergraduate level is necessary.

But that is not the case now, there are needs that one can cross board to get knowledge in an unrelated course of study.

Perhaps you have changed your mind about what you want to study or what career you want to pursue, or maybe you know you want to get an MBA but don’t want to study business for four years. Popular master’s programs that do not always require a relevant bachelor’s degree include MBA, Master’s in Counseling Psychology, Master’s in Human Resources, Master’s in Social Work, Master’s in Journalism, and Master’s in Nursing.

So in this kind of situation, you can get a Masters degree without having a bachelor’s degree.

Integrated Masters program

Integrated Master’s Program is another option you may want to consider to get a masters degree without bachelors is to get a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree at the same time, this is commonly known as the.

Like I mentioned earlier, one method to go about is to apply for a master’s program without a bachelor’s degree and rely on your personal and professional experience. A dual degree is also an option, which is a masters degree without bachelors, combining both degrees into one. In this case, students won’t need a bachelor’s degree in these programs to apply for the MBA or other master’s programs such as Nursing, Engineering, Humanities, Accounting, Finance, Education, Psychology

The above steps are how to get a Masters degree without having a bachelor’s degree. So if you are in need of it, choose anyone that suits your situation.

The next thing we want to consider now are those Universities or institutions that accept students into masters programs without a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite.

Universities that accept a masters degree program without having a bachelor’s degree

As we have discussed above, we have seen that it is possible to get a Masters degree without having a bachelor’s degree and also seen how someone without a bachelor’s degree can be accepted to do masters. This can happen even if you have a different degree during postgraduate days.

Below are some of the schools that can accept admission into masters programs without asking for a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite.

Brenau University

Brenau University is one of the universities that offer a masters degree without bachelors . 

Program offered: Accelerated program for master’s and bachelor’s degree in the Interior Design program.

For more information, Visit school

Central Michigan University Global Campus

You can study either online or offline at Central Michigan University Global Campus 

Courses offered: Accelerated master’s degree program in;

  • Administration
  • Community Development
  • Integrated Leadership Studies

For More information, Visit school

Arizona State University

Arizona State University is one of the few institutions that offers a number of accelerated master’s degree programs that you get both the bachelor’s and master’s upon completion within 5 years. 

Courses offered: Accelerated master’s degree programs in;

  • Global Health
  • Public Administration
  • Accountancy
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice

For More information, Visit school

University of South Carolina

At the University of South Carolina, you can earn a BA or BS/MT in teaching without a bachelor’s degree.

Courses offered: BA or BS/MT in teaching

For more information, Visit school

Excelsior College

Excelsior College offers a number of different options in integrated Masters degree programs, that is, masters degree without bachelors.

Courses offered: Accelerated master’s degree program in

  • Accounting
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Information Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Visit school

For more information, visit School

Stockton University

This one of the top Schools that offer masters degree without bachelors, that is dual degree programs during which you will receive both a bachelor’s and master’s upon completion. 

Courses offered

  •  Business Administration, 
  • Criminal Justice, 
  • Physician’s Assistant, 
  • Environmental Science, and 
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering.

For more information, Visit school

Boston University

This school also allows students to undertake 5-year Bachelor’s/Master’s programs

  Courses offered:

  •  Biotechnology,
  • Computer science, 
  • mathematics, 
  • public health, 
  • chemistry, and 
  • economics.

For more information, Visit school

California University of Pennsylvania

The California University of Pennsylvania also offers a masters degree without bachelors.

Courses offered:

  • Arabic, 
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and 
  • Criminology.

For more information, Visit school

There are other universities and Colleges that accept admission into masters programs without you having a bachelor’s degree in Canada, UK, US, Australia and other countries.

There are other questions you need to know the answers about getting a masters degree. Let’s get to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the student’s Bachelor degree have to be in the same field as the Master’s degree

No! A student bachelor’s degree must not be in the same field as the master’s degree program. If a student wants to acquire more knowledge about something else, he or she can apply for a Masters degree in that program. This is always advisable if you want to venture into business, have an MBA will always be a plus to you as this will enable you run your organization effectively.

How difficult is it to obtain a master’s degree unrelated to your undergraduate degree then find a career?

Some people might think that it will be difficult for you to pursue or succeed in your career if you did a masters degree in a totally different field from your undergraduate degree. But this is not always so. Most of the Master’s degree programs that you can do without having a bachelor’s degree or you can get with an undergraduate degree from a different field do not depend on your first degree.

So a master’s degree will help you improve in your present profession, be it related or not. It will not hinder your career or be a problem to you. 

It will not be difficult to to find a career with your Master’s degree that is not related to your first degree since many professions require such knowledge and experience.

Can a quality master’s degree fix the poor bachelor’s degree?

A quality Master’s degree is a plus to anyone whether you have a good bachelor’s degree or not. But can a quality Master’s degree fix the poor bachelor’s degree? No but it will improve it. The more knowledge you will get from having a master’s program will help improve your knowledge of your field and help you perform better than before but with a sound bachelor’s degree, you will be better.

Though some people who have a poor undergraduate degree that perform well doing their post graduate degree program are doing very well and it fixed their bachelor’s degree poor results in their resume.

Is it better to work after your bachelor degree or go for masters immediately?

Some people do get in a dilemma as to whether they should go into a master’s degree program immediately after finishing with first degree or wait for some time and work. 

Anyone you choose to do is good. It all depends on you.

If you choose to stop for some time and get to work, it is ok. One thing is that you will get on field experience when you are working and this will help you understand many things you never knew before. Such experience will definitely help you in choosing research you will carry out when you eventually want to do your Master’s.

Again, another thing that will determine whether you should go into a postgraduate program immediately after obtaining a bachelor’s degree is your financial strength. If you can’t afford it at that time, it will be nice to first work for some years and make some savings that will sustain you in the future while at school.

On the other hand, there are still benefits of getting admission into masters programs immediately after undergraduate degree if you can find it. One of the benefits is that you get your second degree at a young age. And being fresh from school, your brain is still fresh from what you have read and will pick fast whatever you will be taught during lectures.

Should I get a master’s degree? Why or why not?

Yes, anyone who can should get a masters degree. Why so?

You should pursue a master’s degree if you wish to become a master. A bachelor’s degree is a broad exposure, but shallow. A master’s degree is narrowly focused, but deep in detail.

Many people think that when you get your bachelor’s degree, you become smart. When you get a master’s, you get even smarter. Then, when you got a Ph.D., you were more knowledgeable. That is not how it works.

If you want to be an expert in something, you should get a master’s degree. That makes you a master in your field. You can also teach with a master’s degree. Community colleges and undergraduate programs often use instructors with a master’s.

A PhD doesn’t go much into the field. It is a research degree that gives you the tools to research and create knowledge. You should already be a master.

With a master’s degree, you will be at the top of your field in professional knowledge. It will also give you an edge in jobs and salary

Do you really need a master’s degree to get a good position and a good salary?

No, you do not really need a postgraduate degree to get a good position or earn a high salary at work. In any establishment, there are different positions that put to the successful running of it’s business, so everyone working there is valuable. Also some jobs don’t require you to have a masters degree before you work there and so you will still get paid well.

For some professions also, the level of your education is used while determining your salary. For example, in universities, a lecturer with a PhD is expected to have more knowledge about what he or she is teaching and be able to impact more to the students when compared to a master’s degree holder or bachelor’s, and as such get to be paid higher. The same thing goes to a bachelor’s degree holder and someone who has a Master’s degree.

In all, having a master’s degree doesn’t mean you will earn higher, it totally depends on your first experience, field of study and organization you are working.

Do you need a masters degree to be successful?

Depending on what you call success, or what you see as being successful. In reality you don’t need a postgraduate degree to be successful.

Some people are school dropouts and some didn’t see the four walls of a university and they are still wealthy, if you see wealth as being successful.

One thing to note also is having a master’s degree will help to succeed in an educational environment. If you want to be a researcher, you need in-depth knowledge and a master’s and PhD program will be of great benefit.

So in general, you don’t need a postgraduate degree to be successful, if having a good job or wealth is what you see as success.

Which is more important: a master’s or work experience?

Both experience and the master’s program are important, but which is more important?

If you are a craftsman or a technician, you don’t need a masters degree but experience. Most companies look for Craftsmen and technicians who have experience on the job. These people will do a good job.

But companies that want researchers to develop new products or projects will be looking for people with master’s degrees because they are good at doing research.

So both experience and a master’s degree are very important depending on the position you are working or expected to work.

What is the fastest way to get a Masters degree?

The fastest way to get a master’s degree is undergoing  what we call an integrated Masters program. Like I have said earlier when answering the question ” can you get a master’s degree without having a bachelor’s degree”, which is yes. You can go straight to a masters degree without acquiring a bachelor’s first. 

With the integrated Masters program, you will combine both the undergraduate studies with the post graduate one at the same time but you will not be issued a bachelor’s degree in completion but a master’s degree.

So an integrated Masters program is the fastest way to get a master’s degree because the numbers of it takes to graduate is smaller when compared to getting a bachelor’s degree first before gaining master’s.

Is a master’s degree becoming less valuable?

To some people, getting a masters degree is a must for them because of what they want in life. It is not less valuable for anyone who wants a career as a lecturer, teacher or researcher. 

Also, for people with the aim of just getting a living, a masters degree is becoming less valuable to them. This is so because they can still get a well paying job without a master’s degree.

In all, whether you need it to succeed in life or not, getting a master’s degree is still worth it.

What is the best master’s degree to get if you want to change careers and that doesn’t require a particular bachelor?

Even Medical School doesn’t require a particular Bachelors like “Pre-Med”, Biology, etc. so I think you’re constricting your options more than need be. Graduate degrees are often quite unrelated to undergraduate degrees exactly to change your opportunities, correct an ill-fitting first choice, or try a more serious and challenging degree than the first one was.

A Masters in Business Administration is one of the best master’s degrees to get if you want to change careers and that doesn’t require a particular bachelor, it’s more like a sampler of many business topics too quickly to gain real depth or expertise.

So MBA opens a lot of doors as a generalist degree that sounds specific and impressive, a great save for a liberal arts undergrad degree that’s been unattractive to employers so far. People with an MBA assume the one or two courses in a huge field make them experts or ready to manage that function in an already established job/department/company. 

You might look at the University of Phoenix’s online MBAs as they offer meaningful specialties in the MBA’s (unlike most others) and those are tied to actual jobs being created rather than ideal for the 1970’s-1980’s world of big consulting to big firms. ) See Duff McDonald’s history of Harvard Business School, “The Golden Passport”, and you’ll see I’m being too kind.

Information Technology Master’s degrees are often one of the best master’s degrees to get if you want to change careers and that doesn’t require a particular bachelor. It is on top of some of the degrees that are common both for opening new doors and building on skills and interests with computers and software many people accumulate just getting the work done or providing tech support to office mates as the only available human to help them. 

The Masters programs for liberal arts school topics only make you a more narrow and proficient specialist, ideally to get a PhD and teach that to other people who don’t think to ask “what does this lead to?” and “is it worth it by any measure other than revenue for grad school faculty?” 

People enjoy the programs a lot generally, until they graduate and the student loan payments start while they work at jobs that both their undergrad and grad degrees are completely irrelevant to (that’s actually the norm for most degrees) so going to culinary school would have been a better choice.

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