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View Full Version : Is the Swinburne online Astronomy degree reputable?



weRborg
2013-Apr-10, 01:41 PM
Hi guys,

I'm interested in signing up for the Swinburne University online Masters in Astronomy program.

Here's my deal though. I'm 29. I majored in Business back in university. About 3 or 4 years ago, I really got into space and space science. The passion for it just came later for me than some others.

I already have a job, debt, a family, and there's just no way I'm going back to undergrad school to get a traditional BA in a space science at this point. So I've been looking for a way to bypass that and I think I may have found it with Swinburne. I don't need a space related BA to be accepted, and I can take courses online, part time, and it's in my price range.

My biggest concern though is spending 2 or 3 years hammering out a degree, only to have it not taken seriously by the astronomical society. Once I'm finished, I would like to make a career change as the industry I'm in now has lost all of it's charm and I desperately want out.

Space is one of my passions and I love educating myself about it daily. I want to be able to work and support myself and my family in it.

I know Swinburne used to sponsor the Astronomy Cast, which is affiliated with Universe Today and CosmoQuest. So I'm hoping people here might be familiar with it and be able to offer an informed objective opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your responses.

StupendousMan
2013-Apr-13, 01:43 AM
The answer really depends on your future plans. I'm sure that you'll learn a heck of a lot from the program, so if that's your only goal, why not? But perhaps you have plans to use the degree in some way -- to get a job in some industry, or to serve as a springboard for further education. Can you tell us what you'd like to do? Once we know that, we may be able to give you better advice.

weRborg
2013-Apr-17, 05:54 AM
The answer really depends on your future plans. I'm sure that you'll learn a heck of a lot from the program, so if that's your only goal, why not? But perhaps you have plans to use the degree in some way -- to get a job in some industry, or to serve as a springboard for further education. Can you tell us what you'd like to do? Once we know that, we may be able to give you better advice.

Ideally, I'd like to use it to transition to a PhD program somewhere in the States.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Apr-17, 08:52 AM
Swinburne University of Technology is accredited by TEQSA, so it at least does look quite legit as a university.

StupendousMan
2013-Apr-17, 03:34 PM
Ideally, I'd like to use it to transition to a PhD program somewhere in the States.

If this is the case, then it's important to do a very good master's thesis project. Admissions committees here in the US will (in most cases) not know much about the Swinburne program, and so won't know how to evaluate your transcript. They will therefore base much of their judgement on the letters of recommendation from your teachers and especially on the quality of the thesis work (and the letter from your thesis advisor).

Oh, wait -- I just checked and see that Swinburne program includes only courses, not a thesis. Hmmm. In that case, I think that many Ph.D. programs in the US might be leery of accepting a Swinburne graduate.

Ise Batek
2014-Jul-26, 01:14 AM
Hi guys,

I'm interested in signing up for the Swinburne University online Masters in Astronomy program.

Here's my deal though. I'm 29. I majored in Business back in university. About 3 or 4 years ago, I really got into space and space science. The passion for it just came later for me than some others.

I already have a job, debt, a family, and there's just no way I'm going back to undergrad school to get a traditional BA in a space science at this point. So I've been looking for a way to bypass that and I think I may have found it with Swinburne. I don't need a space related BA to be accepted, and I can take courses online, part time, and it's in my price range.

My biggest concern though is spending 2 or 3 years hammering out a degree, only to have it not taken seriously by the astronomical society. Once I'm finished, I would like to make a career change as the industry I'm in now has lost all of it's charm and I desperately want out.

Space is one of my passions and I love educating myself about it daily. I want to be able to work and support myself and my family in it.

I know Swinburne used to sponsor the Astronomy Cast, which is affiliated with Universe Today and CosmoQuest. So I'm hoping people here might be familiar with it and be able to offer an informed objective opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your responses.

My case has certain similarities to yours, though my end result is still in question and I wouldn't point to my example as being exemplary. That being said, here is my case...

Tried other things but figured out my passion was astronomy when I was working on a second bachelor's degree in math. The first was in economics. Switched my major to physics, transferred to UC Santa Cruz, got into Yale's astronomy Ph.D. program, attended for two months until I relapsed into mental illness, became homeless for eight years. Did other things. Now I maintain a website dealing with an astronomical idea of mine. I have plenty of time to devote to it thanks to social security disability income due to my mental illness.

That's about it.

Good luck to you.

swampyankee
2014-Jul-27, 11:52 AM
I remember, from one of the Astronomy Cast podcasts, Pamela Gay answering a question about Swinburne's online master's. I think she said it was a terminal master's, so it wouldn't be a stepping stone to a Ph.D.