I am considering getting a PhD or an MBA in the United States. I do not have a bachelor's degree, but I'm working on finishing a MSc in Computer Science from a UK university. By the time I'll be done with the degree, I will have more than ten years of experience in the IT sector in various positions and in various corporate environments (startups, corporate, government).

Do most universities in the US waive the undergraduate degree requirement if applicants have a UK master degree (without any undergraduate degree) from an accredited UK university?

  • could you clarify your past education? I find the Msc degree(how many years 1?2?) part a bit confusing. Also, do you have any other (CS-related or not) degree? – Prospects Dec 21 '13 at 16:38
  • The MSc is two years and includes a thesis. I finished high-school (got distinction award for being in the top 5% in the country for that year). I have been in senior positions as an engineer/researcher and junior positions as manager. I do not have any undergraduate degree. – Mr.X Dec 21 '13 at 16:55
  • I've tried to reword the question to be clearer and seeking answers more fact-based and less opinion-based. – earthling Dec 22 '13 at 6:57
  • I do not know the answer for my own (US CS) department, but I'll ask. – JeffE Dec 22 '13 at 21:02

The simply fact of the matter is that you have to ask each program you are interested in directly. Some schools have a specific bachelor degree requirement, some don't. Like all bureaucracies the costs of bending this rule can be quite large. Being an international student might actually make it easier since the offices that deal with international students have to do a lot of personalized evaluations anyway. What all schools do have is a contact address for exactly these kinds of questions usually it can be done by e-mail now. So my best advice is to ask directly the people who make these decisions and not the "internet."

Once you learn whether or not there is a possibility of this plan working then you can worry about funding. The resident versus non-resident price difference only applies to public run universities but can be very significant. It does vary by which state the school is in does really matter. For example in North Carolina I know of a person who work for three years as a sheriff deputy (county-wide police officer) who was not granted in-state status at their universities.

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    Note that most PhD students shouldn't have to pay tuition charges; this should be taken care of by the advisor or department. This is almost an iron-clad rule in science and engineering. It may or may not be true in humanities departments, but I can't ever recall a PhD student who actually had to pay tuition for her studies. – aeismail Dec 22 '13 at 19:01
  • @aeismail outside of science and engineering it is common for PhD students to not be funded the whole time. In pre-professional masters programs like MBA, actuary, law, anything health related funding is rare. – BSteinhurst Dec 22 '13 at 19:06
  • I know professional programs are rarely paid for (the one exception I know of is an MD-PhD program). However, I also believe that the tuition charges in many humanities programs can decrease significantly once the candidate stops taking classes and starts doing research (and teaching) more or less full time. – aeismail Dec 22 '13 at 19:15

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