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OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Old Oct 19th 2010, 4:53 pm
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Default OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Hi,

Wondered if anyone could help with these questions.

I currently have 270 credits with the OU. I plan to take a level 3 30 credit course this year to give me 300 credits. I am told this will give me an "ordinary" bachelors degree. (The 'honors' degree is 360 credits)

-I live in the USA and I want to start a nursing degree here to qualify as a Registered Nurse. I also want to be able to put that I have a "bachelors degree" on my resumes.

In the US - they don't seem to care about "honors" and such. so I thought I'll take the OU ordinary bachelors degree and run - LOL.

The nursing colleges here have an accelerated nursing degree (normally 4 years but (cut down to 14 - 24 months) for students that already hold a degree in a different subject. They will accept foreign degrees so long as it's certified by the W.E..S as being equivalent to a US bachelors degree.

Also the usa colleges require a GPA of between 2.0 and 2.75 in the degree you already have in order to be accepted on the accelerated nursing degree.

so

1. Is an OU ordinary bachelors degree equivalent to a US bachelors degree?

2. Any idea on how GPA's are calculated? Are the different levels of courses weighted like they are in the UK? I.e. the OU didn't take my high scores in the level 1 course into consideration when giving me my grade.
so how are exams, assignments, levels weighted in the GPA system?

3. How do my 300 credits translate into US credits i.e. 1 US college credit = how many OU credits?

4. I've contacted the OU to see if I can get a detailed transcript. I've looked at samples of academic transcripts and they want a lot of detail. Probably my TMA (tutor marked assignments) scores and exam results - or at least a grade per module. The information I have right now is just too broad. All I have is the following:

1993 credit transfer .................................................. .............................................120 points (from 1st year of a business degree at a UK university. ) This university has told me they can give me my individual grades (about 12 modules I think) and number of credits. At level 1

1997 M205 Fundamentals of Computing level 2 grade 2 pass........................................60 points

2000 M358 Relational Databases level 3 Grade 3 pass.............................................. .....30 points

2000 M206 computing an object oriented approach level 2 grade 3 pass...........................60 points

Then I plan to take 30 point level 3 course in statistics to give me the 300 credits.

These UK courses are graded as level1 level 2 and level3. My level one courses I got at least a gpa of 2.75 (which is around 65% - correct?). My level 2 courses I got very high scores on my tma's but the exam brought the overall grade to a 2 (but I know I was just shy of a grade 1 pass). The level 3 course - again I know I got very high scores on my TMA's but I did horribly on the exam which brought my overall grade down to a 3 (but again I think it would have been a 'high' 3)

I've looked at the WES website but I need to know FIRST - IF they would rate the Ou ordinary bachelors degree as equivalent to a US bachelors degree and how they would assess my GPA. Because i haven't actually attained the 300 credits (still have 30 credits to do this year) it seems they won't do anything until I've actually been awarded the degree - but I need to know now!

If I need to do another 90 credits with the OU this year then I need to know . The 90 credits that I choose could then be geared around the prerequisites I need for the Nursing degree.

If I only need 30 credits then I can do my prequisites elsewhere.

I searched on the internet all day yesterday and made calls but couldn't get any answers to a lot of these questions and I need to choose my courses now.

Another option would be to take my 270 credits and transfer them to a US college - but that would probably mean a lot more study hours and higher costs before they would give me the bachelors degree certificate - do you agree?.

Nursing programs here have very long waiting lists. Right now the earliest I could get into the associates degree program is 2012. With the bachelors degree in nursing - I could possibly start late 2011 - PLUS I get a much better qualification.

Also has anybody ever successfully applied for financial assistance with a either a nursing degree or other degree in the US? (I have permanent resident status)

So this is so complicated I've got emails into various people waiting for replies - I just thought it was worth asking if anyone here has been through anything similar.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

I think an ordinary degree risks being considered equivalent to an Associates Degree (3 yr city college degree) rather than a Bachelors Degree (4 yr degree).

I think your best bet might be to talk face to face with the admissions tutor at the nursing college you intend going to.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by bix17 View Post
I live in the USA and I want to start a nursing degree here to qualify as a Registered Nurse.
In most states, you only need an associate degree to become an RN.


In the US - they don't seem to care about "honors" and such. so I thought I'll take the OU ordinary bachelors degree and run - LOL.
A US bachelor's degree is 4 years. If yours is less than that, all you'll end up doing is misrepresenting yourself. But hey... it's your career!


They will accept foreign degrees so long as it's certified by the W.E..S as being equivalent to a US bachelors degree.
And the problem is... ?


1. Is an OU ordinary bachelors degree equivalent to a US bachelors degree?
No.


2. Any idea on how GPA's are calculated?
GPA (Grade Point Average) is usually calculated on a 4.0 scale. An "A" is 4 points; a "B" is 3 points; a "C" is 2 points; a "D" is one point. No points if you fail the course. You add up all your A's, B's, C's, and D's, and divide by 4 x the total number of courses. Then you take that number and multiply it by 4. What you end up with, is your GPA.

Ex. You successfully complete 5 courses. You get 2 A's, 2 B's, and 1 C. The total number of points is 16 (4+4+3+3+2). The total number of courses is 5, so 4x that number = 20. 16 points divided by 20 = 0.80. Then 4 multiplied by 0.80 = 3.2... and that's your GPA.


3. How do my 300 credits translate into US credits i.e. 1 US college credit = how many OU credits?
A US 4-year degree is roughly 96 credit hours (roughly 24 per year). So, your 300 credits will translate to roughly 72 credit hours.


I searched on the internet all day yesterday and made calls but couldn't get any answers to a lot of these questions and I need to choose my courses now.
Why not just contact W.E.S. and find out for sure!

Ian
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Ian and Sir Eccles,

Thanks very much for sharing what you know!.

I'm on hold waiting to speak to the WES as I type (didn't realize I could phone them - ) duh - I was having a 'wood for the trees moment'

I'll let you know how I get on ...still holding....
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
A US 4-year degree is roughly 96 credit hours (roughly 24 per year). So, your 300 credits will translate to roughly 72 credit hours.
Most universities require 120 semester credits for most programs to get a bachelors degree.

Typically but not always, 1 credit is given for each hour of class attended each week during the semester. Typically a student can be expected to spend 2 to 3 hours per credit of outside class work (study, labs, etc.) per week. So a student that carries 15 credits should expect to spend a total of 45-60 per week on school work in and out of class.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Most universities require 120 semester credits for most programs to get a bachelors degree.
Ah... well then, my bad. I didn't do any undergraduate work in the US so I was trying to estimate. Too bad for the OP then... that makes things a tad harder for him.

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Old Oct 20th 2010, 1:43 am
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

so a normal Bachelors degree which is typically 3 years in the UK wouldn't count as a bachelors degree in the US? or only if it was an 'hons'?

I guess im lucky in that I did a 4 year bachelor of science degree in the UK so they will have less issues with that.

I was talking to a HR recruiter for a major bank in the US last week and she had no clue what the (hons) in my Bsc (hons) was let alone the 2(i). She told me to amend my resume to say Bsc Graduated with honors as this would (in her words) sound very impressive to the americans.
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 8:53 am
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
A US 4-year degree is roughly 96 credit hours (roughly 24 per year). So, your 300 credits will translate to roughly 72 credit hours.
What is a "credit hour?" Just curious. Most US schools use "units" -- usually either "semester hours" or "quarter hours" -- roughly equivalent to weekly instruction hours. [quarter-hours are also known as "tri-mester" hours. University of California had long ago contemplated having a summer quarter and one would attend 3 of the 4 quarters per year. This never materialized except that the terminology of "quarters" still exists. Go figure.]

It generally works out to 30 semester hours per year or 45 quarter hours per year. To be considered "full time" -- one needs at least 12 units in any given term.
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 9:12 am
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
What is a "credit hour?" Just curious. Most US schools use "units" -- usually either "semester hours" or "quarter hours" -- roughly equivalent to weekly instruction hours. [quarter-hours are also known as "tri-mester" hours. University of California had long ago contemplated having a summer quarter and one would attend 3 of the 4 quarters per year. This never materialized except that the terminology of "quarters" still exists. Go figure.]

It generally works out to 30 semester hours per year or 45 quarter hours per year. To be considered "full time" -- one needs at least 12 units in any given term.
The term "credit hour" is pretty ubiquitous in many US universities, and is usually a colloquialism that is synonymous with a semester hour or quarter hour. I've never heard the term "unit" used to refer to the quantity of a particular class in the US system.

As already indicated, a relatively standard UNIVERSITY minimum in a semester system is 120 semester hours (s.h.), which you COULD complete in 3 years (15-18 s.h. per semester, with some summer school added). Theoretically, you could complete in less than 3 years if you max out 18 s.h. per semester plus 12 s.h. over 2 summer sessions, for example = 48 s.h. per year. You could be done in 2 years and 8 months (or even less if you bring in AP credits from High School).

Also, specific DEGREE PROGRAMS may require > 120 semester hours (the one I was course director for required > 126 s.h., for example).

I seem to recall from my days at UGA that a "5-hour" class in the quarter system was roughly equivalent to a "3-hour" class in the semester system.

And I also agree with others that fewer than 360 CR in an English university might be considered to not be a bachelor's. Scottish universities are a different animal entirely and I don't know how the translation companies would translate a Scottish 3-year (unclassified)/4-year (Honours) degree.

(CAPS are for emphasis, not shouting at anyone).
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Old Oct 21st 2010, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by bix17 View Post
Hi,

Wondered if anyone could help with these questions.
<snip>
Yes, I can. PM me if you need more info.

An OU degree w/honours will be considered by WES to be equal to a US degree. Not sure about without honours, but I honestly doubt they'll care; WES and the like are all private companies, they just want your money.

I heard about someone on here who complained to WES after receiving less than they thought their UK degree was "worth", and WES just bumped it up. WES is the same institution Harvard uses to translate degrees.

WES will give you a GPA too. This is more useful for continuing education than job applications, but if you have a high one it certainly doesn't harm your resume.

Don't trust a university's own "international admissions" department with your UK qualifications, they usually have no idea and might well just add up the number of classes you've taken and assign 4 credits to each (which, for the OU at least, tends to look bad when you took one "class" per year.)
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Old Oct 21st 2010, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

anotherlimey, thanks for the information and thanks for the PM offer - very nice of you!

I too 'suspect' that once I get awarded the degree (because the certificate will say Bachelor of Science (open) - the only difference being the missing 'hons' designation) That WES will equate it to a US degree.

But I just wanted to be SURE and WES absolutely will not tell me in principle if the ordinary degree will be rated as equivalent until I've passed this final course. So I don't know how I'm supposed to plan my studies accurately.

And the US nursing college wants to see confirmation from WES that my studies are equivalent (or at least will be) to be considered for the accelerated nursing degree course..arghh!

I just paid for the WES online "Evaluation Preview" ($25) and the only UK degree designations that were available for selection were Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts etc. There was no mention of the 'Honours' system. So all I could do was select Bsc and then the Open University as the institution. My preview evaluation did come out as equivalent to a US bachelor degree - but that was all automated and didn't take into account the 'non-honours' aspect. Arghhh again!

Also just wanted to share some things I've found out.

The first year of a US degree is not considered by UK universities as being at 'college' level. In other words the first year of a US degree is considered to be high school level and UK universities (including the O.U.) will give you zero credit transfer (say if you transfer from the US to study in the UK) . Year 2 of US degree is considered the same as year 1 of a UK degree.

If you attended a UK high school until age 18 then, in terms of credential evaluation, it is recognized as 13 years of schooling whereas US students only have 12 years of schooling. (UK Kids start formal schooling one year earlier than the US).

'A' levels are considered to be equivalent to US degree credit. I have one A level in english so I'll throw that in for the evaluation too.

I did find out that an ordinary degree equates to NARIC level 9. An Honours degree is naric level 10 and an HND is Naric level 8. I also found out that the ordinary degree is adequate for admission on to many post graduate courses.
But could find no information on if NARIC 9 equates to US Bachelor degree!Every organization I contact points me right back to the WES or similar evaluation service who won't tell me!

Oh well, I guess this year I'm just going to have to take a chance and do the 30 point level 3 OU course together with my nursing prequistes etc. at another college (cell biology etc) and keep my fingers crossed.

Last edited by bix17; Oct 21st 2010 at 4:20 pm.
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Old Oct 21st 2010, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

It will be much cheaper to finish the OU honours degree, and have WES translate it to the US equivalent, than to finish the degree in the US at almost all universities (good ones anyway.)

WES et al are all self-regulated private companies.
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Old Oct 22nd 2010, 2:01 am
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Default Re: OU degree US equivalencey and GPA?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Ah... well then, my bad. I didn't do any undergraduate work in the US so I was trying to estimate. Too bad for the OP then... that makes things a tad harder for him.

Ian
Not really, because you can't do a straight swap.

Grades and credits in England don't fall into a nice A-D pattern for a GPA scoring. Anyone that did lab type courses in the UK would be stuffed when you get classes that are worth 80 credits for instance.
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