Master's Degree Without Bachelor's?

  • Last Post 31 October 2016
wreckalearn posted this 26 September 2016 - Last edited 31 October 2016

Hello! I've researched this, but am having some trouble finding the info I need, so I'm hoping you can help. 

In the mid-90s, I dropped out of college with a little more than 60 credits earned in order to take a once-in-a-lifetime job. It turned out to be the right decision, as that started me on a path to professional success. Twenty years later, I'm lucky to have an extremely strong resume and unquestionably strong experience. 

A few life changes have led me to want to go back to school to get a Masters in Counseling or a similar field.

I've heard that there are some schools that will admit you to a program without undergrad if you have tremendous experience, and IMHO, I qualify. 

Is this true, and if so, can someone point me in the right direction on specific schools to speak with? I'm open to online, but would prefer something in or near to Chicago. Thanks!

Kayleigh posted this 31 October 2016

Hi wreckalearn!

First question, do you have experience related to counseling and psychology?

Second question, did any of the undergraduate credits you completed cover any topics related to the master's degree you hope to earn?

The short and sweet answer is yes, some schools will allow you to enroll in a master's program without having completed your bachelor's degree. The issue is that you will have to put in the legwork to figure out which schools are willing to work with you through the admissions process and which are, unfortunately, not. Because you have almost a full bachelor's degree and a whole-lotta experience, I think you have a good chance of convincing your chosen school to admit you.

Start here: Online Counseling Degree Programs

Click 'more' below each degree to view additional information including the estimated cost of tuition (including fees) as well as verified student reviews. On this page you can also submit your information if you'd like the school to contact you. This would be an easy way to get in contact with someone in admissions so that you can ask if they would consider you.

If cost is a major concern, consult our list of the most affordable online master's in psychology. Check back soon to this page. We're in the process of updating these rankings and may also publish a separate cost rankings of online counseling degrees.

If you go through all of this and find that the school you have your heart set on will not accept you without a bachelor's degree, you may be able to turn your life and work experience into valid undergraduate college credit via challenge or equivalency exams. These are available at a few online schools and allow adults to earn real credits by demonstrating a proficiency in a certain subject. You would still have to take some of your upper level coursework at the online school but would be able to test out of the majority of your general courses which would save you time and money.

Good luck!

Online Education Expert