School: Have you done an unusual degree progression?

It is fairly normal for people to do e.g. a BS in Electrical Engineering and then follow that with an MS in Computer Science, do a BS in Physics and an MS in Mechanical Engineering, or do pretty much any hard-science Bachelor’s (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, or Biology), followed by an M.D. These fields are fairly closely aligned and a fair amount of the subject matter, principles, and practices align and can build off of each other.

Have you drastically changed academic paths along the progression to higher degrees, or know anyone who has? E.g. you have almost totally switched disciplines, e.g. from hard sciences to humanities. Examples of this could be doing a BA in English followed by an MS in Chemical Engineering, or doing a BS in Computer Science followed by a MA in Music followed by a PhD in Archaeology.

It doesn’t matter if you had to take remedial prerequisites before getting in.

Because it is so common for people of all backgrounds to do them, I will exclude MBA’s from this. Sorry!

I’ll allow people who have done multiple degrees at the same level, but that is not my primary question. E.g. if you have a MS in Chemical Engineering AND an MA in English Literature.

Can you give any example that don’t specifically involve switching from a science oriented degree to one that is not. Or is that the only sort of change you are interested in? Thanks.

Okay, say a BA in English Literature followed by an MA in Medieval French Literature. (though, arguably, the subject matters are more akin than you would suspect, but I don’t think many people actually DO that.). Or switching between social and hard sciences, e.g. a BS in Psychology followed by an MS in Physics. Maybe switching between humanities and social science, such as an BA in French followed by a MA in Sociology.

But it remains that switching to or from hard sciences seems the most dramatic change. Doper academics, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!

One of my professors from undergrad had an MA in English literature as well as a PhD in computer science.

Thanks for the clarification. Your MBA comment made me reluctant to reply, but I think I now qualify.

My BA was in religion with a concentration in Mahayana Buddhism. I also took more than enough economics courses for a minor.

I then went to law school and received my JD. It’s not really accurate to say I had a specialty but I did take several courses related to civil rights and liberties.

After that I received an MBA in finance. But my first job was with a law firm and then a bank. For reasons that aren’t relevant to your question, I abandoned all of my degrees and ended up going back to school for computer science. I never completed the Associates degree since my focus was on practical programming courses.

I know several people who have done a JD, then completed a master’s in library science.

(to be fair, this is often a required combination for librarians in law school libraries)

My grad school advisor got his bachelor’s in business administration with a history minor before getting his master’s and PhD in communication.

A former girlfriend got a BS in Anthropology and then got an MLS. She did it deliberately – she need a degree in Social Sciences and decided Anthropology was the most compact, easiest to avoid screwing up program. She eventually got a JD and, like Lsura’s friends ended up as a law librarian.

My first wife got a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, then started business school, then quit, and eventually wound up with a Master’s in Computer Sciences.

My daughter’s best friend got a BA in English and then went straight to law school. She just got her JD.

I first got as ABS in Computer Science, then a BA in Behavirol Science, then an MS in Electronic Commerce

I don’t really count, because both of my degrees are at the same level, but it’s still a pretty drastic change:

BSc in Biochemistry (with a short, successful but incredibly boring career as an analytical chemist)

BEng in Mechanical Engineering. I’ll let you know about the career once I get a job…!

I have a colleague at [Large State University] with an undergrad degree in journalism and a Ph.D. in hydrogeology.

My first degree was in Actuarial Studies and my second was in Law.

B.A. in French Literature

Ph.D in Marketing

B.Sc. in Biochemistry.
B.A. in Humanities.
Ph.D. in The History and Philosophy of Science.
(Subsequent research mostly in theoretical Cognitive Science.)

S.B. and Ph.D. in Materials Engineering, followed by JD (law).

BA in History, followed by an MS (knock wood) in Information Systems. Separated by 11 years, though.

I got a BSc in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, and then a BCA in Commercial Law and Marketing (overlapping by 1 year). My first year was actually 1st year Medicine, and I decided in the end science was not what I really wanted to do, hence the switch to a business degree.

I don’t think that the examples of undergrad degrees followed by law degrees count as an unusual progression, since there generally is no pre-law degree. Anything is grist to the law school mill.

I did a BA (Linguistics) and then two professional degrees in translation, and now I’m doing a qualifying year for a master’s in sexology.

Maybe. On the other hand, a significant fraction of law school applicants are coming from the social sciences, so someone who started out in engineering or the fine arts and went to law school is doing a somewhat unusual progression.