But Equivalent


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Panama College of Cell Science Certificate of Equivalency to regionally accredited US college or university


(1) Accreditation

The concept of “accreditation” is applicable only to US colleges and universities and does not apply to international educational institutions, such as the Panama College of Cell Science.  We offer a true PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree acceptable worldwide, and we have students from many different countries, including USA and Canada.

The College has been operating continuously since 2005. As to the USA, our PhD is a foreign degree which has been deemed equivalent to a PhD from a regionally accredited US college or university by California University Foreign Credential Evaluation Service (CUFCE), a professional evaluation service which determines the credibility of foreign education and foreign issued degrees.

Are we accredited? No, and we don’t have to be. Even the United States Department of Education agrees, stating in their December 2018 report “Rethinking higher Education-Accreditation Reform”:

“Postsecondary accreditation is a voluntary process in that a college or university need not be accredited in order to provide instruction or confer academic degrees”. [Reference at Page 1: US Dept of Education 2018:Rethinking Higher Education: Accreditation Reform]

(2)  Acceptability of our PhD degree for USA Federal Government Employment Due to Equivalency

Most employers do not require any special paperwork, including most State employers, and will accept your degree from the Panama College of Cell Science. Most employers review your credentials, review your course work, investigate the institution website and make their own judgment as to the qualifications of an applicant.

Some students ask about whether our degree can qualify for USA federal government jobs.

For USA Federal Government jobs, the main US Jobs website states:Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website for additional information on this topic.”

The Office of Personnel Management states on their website:

“Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment”…. “For Federal employment, education received in foreign colleges or universities will be considered acceptable provided…the candidate submits an evaluation of the coursework from a private professional organization specializing in interpretation of foreign educational credentials”….

[CUFCE is listed as an Evaluator by the prestigious American Evaluation Association as being engaged in “Credential Evaluation and Assessment” being therefore a “private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials” as required for US federal employment jobs.]

If the requested evaluation shows the foreign education to be legitimate and comparable to that expected of a candidate with U.S. credentials, it may be accepted at the discretion of the agency.

As now specified on the US Department of Education website: “The U.S. government does not recommend or endorse any individual credential evaluation service or group of services. To find a credential evaluation service you can use the Internet’s search engines. You can also refer to the U.S. Network for Education Information (USNEI) , a Department of Education-administered Web site and public-private partnership, that provides a list of possible credential evaluation services.”

Because our program requires 72 trimester credits of study, the minimum required for a regionally accredited USA college or university doctoral degree, our program has been pre-approved by such a foreign credential evaluation service.  Consequently, graduates of our program are qualified for most state and federal jobs based on our degree being equivalent to a USA doctoral degree. Graduates can for a nominal fee receive a certificate from CUFCE and other foreign credential evaluation services to the effect that the program of coursework leading to the PhD degree issued by the Panama College of Cell Science is equivalent to a PhD curriculum of a regionally accredited USA college or university.  

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Does this mean everyone will accept your credentials?? No. There is a lot of educational snobbery and arrogance in the halls of academia. Sometimes even online degrees from USA accredited colleges are not accepted.  Whether or not your prospective employer accepts your credentials depends on many factors. However, many employers now understand and see the value in alternative, non-traditional education, and if they feel you can contribute to their operation and success, you will be hired.

If you are already employed, why not show your employer our curriculum and the essentials of the program, web site etc., and see what they think?? We know what we have and are proud to show it.