I really must say there isn't alot of detail on the 'specifics' of earning the degrees and it is like searching for a needle in a haystack. I just started competing 2 years ago and I finally contacted a friend who has been doing this for awhile to find out, since there isn't alot on the website. I know that for a Masters, or Master EI, you have to have 13 print merits in each and an additional 12 service merits for each. Craftsman is 13 speaking? and 12 service? I couldn't find any of this info on the website and had to ask. Fortunately, I am not shy so I had no problem with this but I do know alot of photographers hide behind their camera, and lack of ready info could be VERY discouraging to the more introverted. That is IF we want more people to enter print competitions and earn degrees (note the sarcasm).

Here are some of my questions:
#1:Can you use 'speaking' points towards your 'service' for another degree if you aren't going for Craftsman any time soon? (I know you won't be able to reuse them later)
#2: There is nothing about earning a gold bar for your Masters. I found out you have to have 25 additional merits to earn this. Are these print merits or service? If you have your Masters and are going for your Master EI, I assume you have to place the merits towards either Master EI or your bar and they can't go towards both? Do you have to have all three 'degrees' before you can earn towards your bar?
#3: The Imaging Excellence Award is for 13 loan prints. Can they be loans in both PO & EI or would that be 2 different 'Excellence"awards?

I am 2 print merits and 4 service from earning my Masters and just wondered what direction to head into next with future merits earned.