Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 150-163

First online:

Acceptability of online degrees as criteria for admission to graduate programs

  • Margaret H. DeFleurAffiliated withCollege of Communication, Boston University
  • , Jonathan AdamsAffiliated withCollege of Communication, Florida State University

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THIS PAPER PRESENTS the results of a nationwide survey of deans, associate deans, and directors who make recommendations concerning the admission of applicants to graduate programs in their colleges and universities. A questionnaire was sent to a sample of academic officers in public and private institutions describing three different types of applicants. Each of the three applicants had a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject, good grades, similar GRE scores, and strong letters of recommendation. However, one applicant had studied in the traditional classroom and laboratory settings on campus. A second applicant had taken half of the required courses for the bachelor’s degree online and half on campus. The third applicant had taken all courses for the degree over the Internet. The question addressed by the project is whether a bachelor’s degree earned partially or fully online is equally acceptable to those who recommend students for graduate admissions. The findings indicate clearly that they are not.


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