University of Phoenix


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The University of Phoenix is a nationwide, accredited university, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 1976, the university has 112 campuses and has a strong online “campus” presence. The university has more than 249,000 undergraduate degree seekers, along with more than 51,000 post graduate students. There are also more than 20,000 academic staff members and 12,000 support staff. 

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The Good

  • Program offerings
  • Duration
  • Career support
  • Accreditation

Program offerings. The University of Phoenix has a massive amount of degree offerings and course programs for students. Undergraduates can major in and obtain degrees in 103 disciplines among eight programs. Graduates-both those seeking master's and doctorate degrees-have 51 degree options.

Duration. University of Phoenix courses are tailored around those who lead busy lives of work and family obligations. Thus, the courses are relatively short-nine weeks in length. Typically, a student takes two courses at once. A semester consists of two nine-week periods. Graduate degrees can be earned in two years.

Career support. For the most part, University of Phoenix students have easy access to tools and materials to help them make the transition from education to earning a living in their field of choice. The university's website is replete with tutorials, materials and helpful hints on how to interview, how to write an effective resume and how to connect with professionals in the work force. In addition, the website has ample information and statistics about job salaries, job outlooks, and what skills and experience are needed for the student's industry.

Accreditation. University of Phoenix is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students can almost always transfer to and from the school without limitations. The University of Phoenix has graduates among the fields of government, education, business, sports and other professional ranks.

The University of Phoenix has advertised itself for years as the university for working adults-perfectly geared for the man or woman who has already attained working age and/or those who have families and pressing responsibilities. With night classes and online options, the university caters to one who wants to finish a degree while still being able to meet the demands of work, family and extracurricular life.

The University of Phoenix allows credits to transfer easily, making it easy for students to start or end their careers at the institution.

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Statistics
  • Questionable marketing practices

The University of Phoenix is very expensive. Undergraduate and graduate students-whether taking on-campus or online classes-should expect to pay upwards of $55,000 for their degree. Scholarships are available, but unlike traditional universities and colleges, full-ride scholarships are not.

The University of Phoenix has a high dropout rate, as well as a high loan default rates. These concerns have brought much criticism to the university.

Because of questionable marketing practices, the University of Phoenix is currently "on notice" with its accreditation status. This means after the notice period has expired, the Board of Regents has the options of removing the university's accreditation status.

The Bottom Line

The high cost of tuition will certainly scare many prospective students away, and this is certainly a valid concern. However, working adults who would otherwise find it nearly impossible to attend school and earn a degree, will discover it much easier to take University of Phoenix classes. The courses are offered at flexible times and in ways that work well with varying situations. If getting a degree is important and cost is not, the University of Phoenix can be a good choice.

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