Topic ID #36475 - posted 12/12/2015 1:08 PM

Impact of Extension School graduate Degrees


Hello All,

I am currently looking to pursue my Masters in Archaeology but have some hangups, 1) bad undergraduate transcript (I have a learning disability and had a love of the barley drink, GOOD TIMES), and am currently working 10 hours a day doing Historic Preservation compliance review for Federally funded natural disaster recovery work, so I move around a lot. In fact, my last semester to bring up my transcript crapped out because I was deployed mid semester, telling me I cant do the standard school thing and continue to feed my family. I have had a praiseworthy and productive career in arch since graduation nevertheless

For these reasons I am looking at the Harvard Extension School program, I am wondering if this degree, being labeled HES and not HU has any real marketable value? Is it competitive in CRM or in getting into a more traditional program, that is if I excel in it will those grades even matter to say, a UVA application or will they scoff? Ultimately I want to go to Stanford because of my research interests (cognitive linguistics as applied to concrete site formation processes), not completely for the high value of these degrees, but that doesn't hurt. I am capable, and even with poor undergraduate degrees made it to the final interview stages with the MIT program last year, but I didn't have any academic letters of recommendation, I think having some stellar graduate level grades and access to academic letters of rec will boost my portfolio.

I know it ideally it isn't about prestige, but I have been in this game for a long time and know about the ceilings you hit with certain degrees, or rather the extreme extra level of work you have to do to achieve the same results as someone who went to a "better" school. I have a limited time of remaining vital and am running into being too old for my degree level and thus not appealing to firms, and have mouths to feed. I need to be an office jock so I can see my family at night. I also need to be able to negotiate a wage to pay off student loans :).

Post ID#20732 - replied 12/12/2015 10:40 PM


Academic prestige doesn't mean dick in CRM. It sounds like you are getting good experience right now so in CRM that will mean more than where your degree came from. 

As far as a degree from HES is worth, since I am not familiar with it you should make sure that it is:

1) an accredited program


2) does it meet Secretary of Interior standards for an advanced arch/anth degree


if it is a thesis program, which will allow you to get RPA qual'd is a big plus but generally not necessary

as far as how it will help you at all to get into more competitive grad programs... can't say. Applying to grad school in this field is a crap shoot with no set rubric except those they mention on their website. 


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