JUST how easy is it to get a doctorate from a degree mill? To put it to the test, The Straits Times applied for a doctorate for my pet beagle Harry two weeks ago.
All I did was go to http://www.ashwooduniversity.net, fill in his name (Harry Doggy), date of birth (Nov 19), age (I multiplied his seven dog years by seven for the equivalent in human years and put down 49)and work-life experience – where I wrote ‘spent years studying the interactions between people and animals’.
I then clicked on a Doctorate in Social and Behavioural Sciences, costing US$599 (S$850), one of the cheapest in the market. I also chose his grade point average (GPA). A GPA of 3.0 comes free, but anything above 3.5 with Latin honours (summa cum laude) costs another US$60.Within 15 hours, the experience evaluation committee of Ashwood University which claimed to be in Humble, Texas, sent a congratulatory e-mail to Harry Doggy saying that the ’10-member evaluation committee’ at Ashwood University had ‘approved’ him for a doctorate in social and behavioural sciences.
The degree would be issued once payment was received, which could be done in instalment plans over a month… (article continues, subscription required)
The Straits Times carried an article today about degree mills which I found highly entertaining. Apparently it’s really easy to get your own degree from one of these organisations (which is hardly surprising really), but somehow when a dog is the recipient of a doctorate, hilarity ensues. I actually found myself vaguely tempted to order a nonsense degree myself just for fun, but US$600 ‘just for fun’ is quite ridiculous. Maybe if it were like 1/10th that price…