I am currently doing a BSc Mathematics programme with a tuition fee loan. Anyway my mathematical knowledge is far more advanced but I did not have money for a better University so I want to do self-study at the same time. I do not have money for making MSc or PhD programmes and I am not sure if loans are available anymore, but I have knowledge that helps me to study in advance for any university level, taking everything gradually by myself. My question is if I can pay only for some exams to give me the MSc, PhD and other titles if possible, and if so, what exams should I consider and prepare myself for, without attending or paying for any courses?


closed as off-topic by user299912, achille hui, JMoravitz, Roland, Adrian Oct 17 '16 at 22:02

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  • "Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances." – MathematicsStudent1122, achille hui, JMoravitz, Roland, Adrian
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  • $\begingroup$ Try posting this on academia.se. This is off topic here. You may also want to work on your grammar. Your writing is rather incoherent. $\endgroup$ – MathematicsStudent1122 Oct 17 '16 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ I wish, brother. Tuition is .... $\endgroup$ – user137731 Oct 17 '16 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ If you are asking if there is simply a test you can take that if you pass some institution will just give you a graduate degree similar to how GED's are given out, I have never heard of any such thing. PhD's in particular always have some sort of thesis requirement and require more time than simply being capable of passing tests, and most universities will require you meet a minimum number of credit hours for "residency requirements." There are such a thing as honorary PhD's, but they are very rare. $\endgroup$ – JMoravitz Oct 17 '16 at 21:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You are able to study for and take the Subject test GRE, which is used as a way of gauging prospective students' abilities. Many times also, by entering a graduate degree program, they will give you the opportunity to work as a teaching or research assistant, waiving the tuition fee and giving you money for living expenses on top of that. If you are truly skilled, money should not prevent you from acquiring a graduate degree. $\endgroup$ – JMoravitz Oct 17 '16 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ As JMoravitz pointed out, some doctorate programs offer you a Teaching Assistantship, which includes waiving your tuition. $\endgroup$ – user8960 Oct 17 '16 at 21:19

What would you need an official degree for? If you are advanced and (perhaps eventually) capable of doing Ph.D. work, then peer-reviewed publications of original research can get you a career no diploma can. (Many Ph.D.'s publish nothing or almost nothing.)

As for taking the exams without enrolling... You are asking the higher education industry to throw away its main source of income.:) In many research universities in the Western hemisphere, the quality of teaching has deteriorated. This is because for many permanent faculty, teaching is but an extra chore (added to research and grant proposal writing), a necessary evil, and the instructor just doesn't care about the quality of teaching. But, the tuition is earnings for the school. If they started awarding diplomas charging only for the exams, they would lose those earnings.

Economically, however, it seems a lot more rational to separate assessment from instruction. (Instruction has separated to an extent; e.g., you can learn on your own, on the web, from Coursera, etc.) Having your degree tested and confirmed by a central government agency would leave the schools competing for students a lot more than they do today.

What you can get (in some fields) with exams only is not a degree, but licensure or certification (e.g., Professional Engineer), but, I believe, many of these require a degree first. It would be great if that requirement could be dropped, though.


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