I want to know details about university degrees in U.S. and Canada.
February 8, 2007 5:54 AM   Subscribe

I want to know details about university degrees in U.S. and Canada.

In my country (Brazil), we have some types of degrees: bachelor (4 to 6 years course), associate (3 years) and technical college (2 years). I'm finishing a technical college degree, and at the same time I'm pursuing an associate degree in Business Management.

All those degrees allow you to go to for a master's degree when you finish them, therefore making it possible for me to jump from a technical college (2 years) to a master's course directly, provided I take an exam to prove I'm at the same level as the other candidates (who can have different degrees) are.

That said, I'm planning to move to the U.S. or Canada in the 2-3 years time, so what I'd like to know is: will my associate and technical degrees have any value in those countries? Will I be able to go for a master's degree or I'll have to finish a tradicional bachelor degree in a north american college?
posted by dcrocha to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You will most likely need a bachelor's degree as it is a prerequisite for almost any Master's degree.
posted by chlorus at 6:29 AM on February 8, 2007

According to my university, the admission requirements vary depending on the graduate program you want to go into. Generally, though, it looks like you need to have a bachelor's degree "or equivalent".

I think the best thing for you to do is contact the universities that you're interested in attending and explain your situation to them. University's are generally very willing to help people get in. Some universities may be more lenient about bachelors degree requirements than others.
posted by DrSkrud at 6:30 AM on February 8, 2007

Most universities and colleges have web sites that state their admissions requirements, so it shouldn't be too hard to check specifics for any given institution (here are the MBA admission requirements for a school near me). In general, though, a bachelor's degree is required for graduate school but you may well get credit toward a bachelor's for the work you have done. Transferring credits can be tricky, however, so you will need to work closely with the admisssions departement and be ready to document your work beyond a simple transcript in order to get the most credit. This will be even harder as you are coming from outside the US. I do not know about Canadian schools.
posted by TedW at 6:33 AM on February 8, 2007

In Ontario, we have two types of bachelor's degrees, three years and four years. To get into most graduate course you need a four year degree. However, the phrase "bachelor's degree or equivalent" is really important. Your degree may count as an equivalent, alternatively, if you get your degree and take the test that would qualify you for grad school in Brazil, that may count as equivalent. Finally, students with three year Canadian degrees can usually just take one more year. That might be possible for you as well, if they don't accept your degree as equivalent.

The only way to know for sure is to contact the school once you have an idea of where you want to go. In my experience, there is often a lot of flexibility in rules if you know what you want and how to achieve it. So, get as much info as you can now by contacting a few admission departments at promising universities.
posted by carmen at 7:35 AM on February 8, 2007

Colleges vary a bit on what they'll accept and what they won't. You should contact the admissions office at the schools you're interested in attending and explain your situation. They'll likely want you to send in transcripts and will spend some time evaluating them. But that will be the only way to get a sure answer. If your degrees don't add up to a bachelor's degree, they will, at least, count for some transfer credit toward one. How much they count is, again, different from school to school. Most have a person (or persons) in charge of evaluating transfer credit. And most all have caps on the number of hours they will allow to be transferred in.
posted by wheat at 8:56 AM on February 8, 2007

I went to college in the US with a lot of international students. My college was well aware that different countries had different requirements for things with the same names. For example, I got no credit for my Indian college classes, nor should I have, because in the state where I lived, those were actually US high school equivalent classes.

Probably most US colleges will be aware of the Brazilian educational system, know who to talk to. If you don't know which college you want to go to, just e-mail the admissions office at a few asking, or find some Brazilian ex-pats.
posted by QIbHom at 9:14 AM on February 8, 2007

Some of universities in the United States have Internation Students centers, with staff that can help you contact the right person to get your questions about credit transfers/equivalent degrees answered.
posted by muddgirl at 9:20 AM on February 8, 2007

For Canada, a credit evaluation service may be helpful. However, I'm not sure if you have to pay. I was trying to find the one run by BC's Open Learning Agency, but the names seemed to have changed and I can't find it. This Canadian International Credit Evaluation Service might help.
posted by acoutu at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2007

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