Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Is it UMUC –Europe or Bowie State University and What if We Go Back to the States Before I Finish?

There were a couple things I wondered about as I went through the application process to pursue an MA in Counseling Psychology. The first was what school my degree would actually come from. The application process was through University of Maryland University College-Europe. Any on-site courses are offered at UMUC-Europe on post, but I kept seeing Bowie State University in reference to the counseling program. So, which would it be? I was able to find a FAQ page that answered this question. The diploma will state I have graduated from Bowie State University, part of the University System of Maryland. While UMUC-Europe will request the first one on my behalf, any future transcripts would be requested directly from Bowie State University.

With the military there is never a guarantee of being in one place very long. While I hoped I would be able to finish the degree while we were in Europe, I also wondered what happened if we went back to the States before I finished. There are only three courses which require being on site, so I wondered if I might be able to stay with UMUC-Europe/BSU since I could do everything else distance education and the practicum and internship wherever we would end up. Unfortunately, I found out that due to UMUC-Europe’s contract with the government, only those residing in Europe who have a U.S. military ID card may take UMUC-Europe classes. So, if we moved back to the States, I would have to transfer.

I checked my options in Texas, which might be a state my husband would request if we went back. Unfortunately I found few universities that offered a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and most were not close to where we were likely to end up. Most of the information I found about transferring applied to undergraduate rather than graduate students, and most of what I saw related to transferring credits toward a Master’s indicated a cap of 9 credits. I was likely to be more than half done. Also, I would be paying about $320 a credit hour through BSU which is less than the tuition at many schools (even less than BSU’s out of state tuition is Stateside).

Fortunately, UMUC’s FAQ said if I have completed at least 27 credits, they can usually assist in developing a way to complete degree requirements utilizing transfer classes from another university but to contact them as soon as we know we’ll be leaving Europe since individual circumstances differ. Once I started taking classes, a professor said that the practicum, internship, and capstone are really the only three classes that can be taken Stateside. Ideally, I’ll get done while we’re here and won’t have to worry about it, but it is nice to know that as long as I’m most of the way done, there should be a way to finish, regardless of where I am.

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2 Thoughts on “Is it UMUC –Europe or Bowie State University and What if We Go Back to the States Before I Finish?

  1. Bummer that they don’t have BSU in the US. I hope you guys will be deployed to Asia because I think they have the same school system they do in Europe… 😉
    Well, that surely explains why no one knows the term UMUC in the States… Guess you just have to be very fast in completing your Master’s if you don’t want to go through the hassle of switching.

    • Yeah if I were taking a UMUC program I think I could switch that over to UMUC Stateside but the BSU partnership is only here. I checked UMUC Asia and it doesn’t look like they have it either which is a bummer, because I wouldn’t mind going over there 🙂 Hopefully we’ll stay in Europe so I won’t have to switch, and ideally we’ll stay here or near where we are as I would love to be able to do my practicum/internship at Landstuhl.

      I know they do still have a military discount (which spouses and dependents qualify for) at UMUC stateside, but I guess if you’re stateside there are other options so maybe people don’t look into it much. I know I hadn’t heard of them until we came over here, and it was several months after we got here that I learned about it.

      I am taking three summer classes now, and if I haven’t found a job by fall I’ll either do the same or add on another one if I get brave. Since they do have different sessions, I may be able to take 6-8 classes in one semester that way. After this semester I still have 21 credits to do (not counting the 9 for practicum/internship and capstone) and another 12 if I want to try to knock out a 60 credit program instead of 48 to cover myself in case we end up in a state that requires 60 credits for licensure. So I have a ways to go.

      I’m sure it’ll work out either way. If we get to stay and I get to finish, excellent. If we don’t, I will have to see what my options are stateside. The other thing I’m considering if we find out we’re leaving is just seeing if I can get into a Ph.D. program with an incomplete master’s since I am planning on a Ph.D. anyhow (and the programs I’m looking at I’d earn an MA along the way too). It would just be nice to be able to finish what I started so I have job options if our next place is overseas or not near a program, and so I have more experience to be more competitive in Ph.D. applications.

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