Getting a masters degree without bachelors is definitely possible, which may sound strange to you, although it is pretty rare and many universities expect you to get a bachelor’s degree first. But in this article, I will walk you through the steps to get a master’s degree without a bachelor’s.
The typical requirement to apply for a master’s degree program at any higher institution is that the applicant must have completed and earned a bachelor’s degree. Students who want to enroll in a master’s degree program without a bachelor’s degree must fulfill it by going for a bachelor’s program if they haven’t already.
However, very few people know that certain schools offer certain programs that allow you to obtain a master’s without the traditional prerequisite of having a bachelor’s. If you are part of the populace that believes it is not possible or never even knew it existed, this blog post will clear your doubt and provide you with clarity as we have always done.
Instead of making use of your bachelor’s degree to consider you for master’s study, these schools will instead take into account your work or professional experience and certain certificates and/or diplomas you may have. With this, you can be considered to enroll in a masters degree program without bachelors.
Note that there are very few universities and programs that accept students for this as many universities still follow the normal way of getting a bachelor’s degree first before a master’s degree.
Before we dive into the main article, we have other guides that may be helpful to you or your loved ones like how to get a JD degree online in 2 years and how to pass the hardest exams in the US. Without any further ado, let me guide you into how you can get a masters degree without bachelors.
Steps to Get Masters Degree without Bachelors
Here is how you can get a masters degree without bachelors;
Step 1: Taking Advantage of Your Work Experience
Experiential learning is one of the most effective methods of learning, and several universities are recognizing this. There will be concepts covered in a master’s program that you may have encountered in your professional life. You may not be aware of them as educational theories.
However, having come from a place of experience and seeing those principles in reality, whether they succeed or fail, offers you a significant advantage. That expertise is easily comparable, if not superior, to that of someone who has completed a bachelor’s degree and is applying for a master’s degree immediately after graduation.
If you have work experience in the field, whether it is in business, sales, or as a computer programmer, those years can be useful in a university application. You can describe your experience in your application whether you were employed or self-employed.
Universities such as Southern Cross University will evaluate your background while considering applications, depending on the major. They will usually consider you for a postgraduate degree without an undergraduate degree if you have 5 years of experience in a relevant field or other qualifications (such as an associate’s degree or other certification).
They also consider your professional experience, which should be at least seven years, to see if you qualify for credit or “Advanced Standing” toward a postgraduate degree. The University of Essex is another university that will take into account your work experience rather than your undergraduate degree.
Students without a bachelor’s degree are accepted into their online MBA program if they can demonstrate at least 5 years of relevant managerial experience.
This is a proven step to study for a masters degree without bachelors and even though examples of some universities that utilize the method are already given here, you should do further research to see other universities that do the same thing.
Step 2: Professional Certificates/Other Forms of Education
There are a variety of reasons why a person may not have a bachelor’s degree. Maybe you couldn’t afford four years of schooling, or you started but couldn’t finish. Around 40% of students drop out of college, leaving a sizable minority with only a certificate or diploma. Dropping out of college is a normal occurrence that must be justified.
Students may feel compelled to work for the time being because they need money, or they may have started a family, or they simply got bored with their curriculum. Regardless of the reasons, failing to obtain a bachelor’s degree is by no means the end of the path. Other options for obtaining an education exist.
A professional certificate or credential from a community college is a popular choice among many people. An associate’s degree, which may usually be completed in 2 years, is another option. It is a short-cycle degree program designed for working students who want to advance their professions but can’t afford to take a year off to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Depending on your field of study, an associate’s degree can lead to either a bachelor’s or a master’s. If you have maintained your education by earning certificates, this can help you apply for master’s programs. When universities assess an applicant’s past without a bachelor’s degree in their transcript, they will look at post-secondary expertise and experience.
If you want to apply for a masters degree without bachelors this is another step or option you should consider going for and do your research on schools that will accept you with just these credentials.
Step 3: Using Your Degree in a New Field
Many students face the conundrum of having an undergraduate degree that is unrelated to the master’s program they want to pursue. This isn’t always the case, though. Many degrees accept an unrelated bachelor’s degree. The ability to get a graduate degree without having completed a relevant undergraduate degree can open several options for individuals.
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 an MBA, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, a Master’s in Human Resources, a Master’s in Social Work, a Master’s in Journalism, and a Master’s in Nursing.
If any of these programs interest you, then you can study masters degree without bachelors.
Step 4: Getting a Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree
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 Integrated Master’s Program.
As 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:
So, these are the 4 steps on how to get a masters degree without bachelors and they are options that work just fine. However, check in with your host institution if they offer it in the program of your choice.
Schools Offering Masters Degree without Bachelors
I have provided you with the steps on how to get a master’s degree without a bachelor’s degree and since it might be difficult for you to find schools that offer a master’s degree without bachelors, I am proceeding to list these schools and the particular programs they offer without bachelors.
There are different names used for master’s degrees without bachelor’s by graduate schools, they may use terms such as:
- Bachelor / Master Combined Programs
- Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees
- Integrated Bachelor / MBA
- BA / BS / MAT / 5th Year Master’s Degree
- Accelerated Degree Programs (E.g. 4+1, 3+1)
- Dual Bachelor’s / Master’s Degrees
So, these schools that offer masters degree without bachelors usually offer the bachelor/master combined programs, so you study a single longer program instead of taking them one by one. Upon completion, you earn a master’s degree and you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to apply.
The schools offering master’s degrees without bachelor’s include:
- South University
- Loyola University
- Penn State University
- American University
- Boston University
- Regis University
- Stockton University
- Kent State University
- Arizona State University
- The University of South Carolina
- Central Michigan University Global Campus
- West Virginia University
- Pacific Lutheran University
1. South University
At South University, you can study masters in Nursing without bachelors but you need to have an associate’s degree to pursue the degree but you don’t need a bachelor’s.
2. Loyola University
The Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Applied Statistics at Loyola University is one of the masters degree without bachelors. The program takes 5 years to complete upon which you will earn a master’s degree without the provision of a bachelor’s.
3. Penn State University
At Penn State University, you can earn an integrated Masters in Accounting (MAcc) program (Bachelor of Science in Accounting and MBA program) in just five years. It is the only master’s degree program without bachelor’s in the university.
4. American University
The American University offers a number of combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, which means you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to enroll in any of the programs and get a master’s degree upon completion. The programs are Anthropology, Art History, Biology, Statistics, Political Science, and Chemistry.
5. Boston University
For the current students of Brandeis, the BA/MACH program is available. In order to select a customized course plan that covers 30 program areas, applicants should consult with their primary advisor. The school also allows students to undertake 5-year Bachelor’s/Master’s programs in biotechnology, computer science, mathematics, public health, chemistry, and economics.
6. Regis University
Regis University offers many accelerated combined master’s programs that you do not need a bachelor’s degree to apply for. The programs are:
- Software Engineering
- Health Services Administration
- Organizational Leadership
- Environmental Biology
7. Stockton University
Founded in 1969 and recognized as one of the schools that offer masters degree without bachelors, Stockton University offers a number of dual degree programs during which you will receive both a bachelor’s and master’s upon completion. Some of the programs are available via online or in-person teaching formats.
The programs are Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Physician’s Assistant, Environmental Science, Literatur & American Studies.
8. Kent State University
Kent State University offers a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program that allows exceptional, well-prepared Kent State University undergraduate students early admission into a graduate program. Students in a combined degree program take graduate-level coursework as undergraduate students, thus enabling courses to be applied toward both degree programs.
Students in a combined degree program must meet the minimum requirements for each degree earned. Undergraduate requirements must be fully satisfied before a bachelor’s degree will be awarded. Until that time, students continue to have undergraduate student status and are charged undergraduate tuition and fees.
9. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers a number of accelerated master’s degree programs that can be completed in 5 years instead of 6 and you get both the bachelor’s and master’s upon completion. You originally won’t need a bachelor’s to enroll in any of the programs. The programs offered are:
- Global Health
- Public Administration
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
10. The University of South Carolina
Want to earn a master’s degree in teaching without bachelors? Here is your chance. At the University of South Carolina, you can earn a BA or BS/MT in teaching in just 5 years instead of 6 and graduate with both degrees.
11. Central Michigan University Global Campus
At Central Michigan University Global Campus you can enroll for an online or on-campus accelerated masters degree without bachelors in the following programs:
- Community Development
- Integrated Leadership Studies
12. West Virginia University
West Virginia University is among the rare universities in the world that offer masters degree without a bachelor’s degree requirement. In fact, the university offers 9 different master’s degree programs. These programs are:
- Literacy Education
- Civil Engineering
- Integrated Marketing Communications
- Higher Education Administration
- Public Health
- Nutrition and Food Science
- Business Administration
- Coaching and Sport Education
You can enroll in any of these masters programs above without a degree with the requirement that you have experience, at least, 5 years of experience in the field before applying for the program.
13. Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Lutheran University has 5 master’s degrees that don’t require bachelor’s degree rather prior professional experience in the field is required for you to be accepted into the master’s program without a bachelors degree. The programs are:
- MSc in Kinesiology
- MA in Education
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- MSc in Marketing Analytics
This is the list of schools that offer masters degree without bachelors and if you want to get an accelerated MBA without bachelors, you may want to refer to the schools below:
- Columbia State University
- Walden University
- Florida Tech
- Northcentral University
- The University of Delaware
- Oregon State University
- Purdue University Global
- George Mason University
- The University of Maryland
Masters without Bachelors UK
Unfortunately, there aren’t any schools in the UK that will admit you into their masters degree without bachelors. However, during the course of my research, a number of people claimed you can be admitted directly into a master’s degree program in the UK if you have relevant work or professional experience in the field you are applying for.
Although no schools were mentioned, if you have up to 5 years of experience in a particular field of interest, such as tourism, and would like to pursue a master’s degree in it without a bachelor’s degree, it can be possible. You simply need to talk to the admissions officer of your preferred UK school and present your case, it might work out, or you might just need to try first to be sure.
If your preferred school rejects your proposal, you can always try other schools, there are over a hundred universities and colleges in the UK offering master’s degree programs in a wide variety of subjects and you just might get lucky.
Masters Degree without Bachelors Canada
Unfortunately, this is the same as above, no school in Canada will admit you into a master’s degree without a bachelor’s. To apply for a master’s in Canada, it is mandatory to have a total of 16 years of education, that is, 12 + 4 years of education. Failure to meet this criterion won’t get you into any master’s degree program.
Masters Degree without Bachelors Australia
In Australia, if you meet the requirements which include 7+ years of professional work experience, you can get admitted into any program to pursue a masters degree without bachelors.
The schools in Australia offering masters degree without bachelors are:
- The University of Queensland
- Kaplan Business School
- Australia Institute of Business
- Southern Cross University
- Swinburne Online
This brings an end to the steps to get a masters degree without bachelors and schools that offer master’s without bachelors. If you can, you can further research and learn more about the requirements to apply for the programs.
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