1. Marylhurst University

Marylhurst UniversityMarylhurst, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, is home to Marylhurst University a private, not-for-profit university accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, or NWCCU. As a smaller university, Marylhurst offers students a personal touch to their education with a focus on applied liberal arts studies as well as several online-only programs.

Marylhurst University has a pretty even split between its undergraduate enrollment and those pursuing master's degrees, with ~600 students in each designation, offering a unique feel and maturity for both on and off-campus students. The university does not offer doctoral programs for students seeking education beyond a master's degree.

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The Good

  • Specialized Accreditations and Memberships
  • Transfer and Prior Learning Credit
  • Applied Liberal Arts Emphasis

Specialized Accreditation and Memberships

In addition to regional accreditation by the NWCCU, Marylhurst University also holds specialized accreditation and membership with many additional organizations. These accreditations are sought out by the individual colleges and programs to further enhance their ability to provide students with additional certification, educational opportunities, and degree distinctions.

Marylhurst University's specialized accreditation organizations include the following:

  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • American Music Therapy Association
  • Council for Interior Design
  • American Art Therapy Association
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Association of International Educators
  • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities
  • Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
  • National Communication Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • The Association for Writers & Writing Programs
  • The Association of Theological Schools
  • Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs

Transfer and Prior Learning Credit

Another major perk for students attending Marylhurst University is the ability to transfer existing credit, if they have any, to the university upon admittance. These credits range from standard AP courses accepted by almost all universities to prior learning that a student may have that was not necessarily in a formal educational setting.

Prior learning credit can be drawn from both life and work experiences. Students who wish to be granted prior learning credit must submit proof is experience and can be awarded college credit towards their chosen program or degree which can greatly accelerate a student's degree completion timetable.

An additional method of earning credit at Marylhurst University by taking and passing specific, program exams, some of which may have been taken and passed before being admitted to the the university or desired program.

Applied Liberal Arts Emphasis

With an emphasis on applied liberal arts, Marylhurst focuses not only on providing students with program-based knowledge, but they also strive to ensure that liberal arts students are employable. This is done by combining liberal arts content with career-focused, professional skills.

Marylhurst's applied liberal arts emphasis allows students to buck the joke behind liberal arts students who are said to pay for a degree that won't get them a job. And this is evident with Marylhurst's above-average employment statistics for their graduated liberal arts students.

The Bad

  • Expensive Tuition
  • Limited Number of Online Programs
  • Low Graduation Rate

Expensive Tuition

Undergraduate tuition at Marylhurst University is $463 per credit hour. Whereas graduate students will pay in the area of $600 per credit hour.

Tuition can vary based on a student's program, with accelerated online programs coming in somewhat more affordable ($423 per credit hour for Online Business Management students), but overall, Marylhurst University can be an expensive school to attend in comparison to its neighboring state schools.

Limited Number of Online Programs

Marylhurst does offer several degrees that are 100% online, which is great for students who don't want to have to step onto campus to wrap up a few select courses that many universities only offer in the classroom. The programs are limited to a few disciplines, which can severely limit students seeking to study at Marylhurst but are not interested in the following programs.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

  • Business Management
  • English Literature & Writing
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

Master's Degree Programs

  • Business Administration
  • Health Care Management
  • Real Estate
  • Sustainable Business
  • Food Systems & Society

Low Graduation Rate

With a graduation rate of 38% (6-year timetable), Marylhurst University boasts a relatively low student graduate rate when compared to other regional schools.

The Bottom Line

Marylhurst University can be a great option for students who are interested in either Business Management or English Literature. Students whose interest fall outside of those disciplines will want to look elsewhere for their online degree.

Additionally, the cost of attendance can be a deterrent for some students who are unable to secure grants or scholarship funding for their degree. But with many other perks, such as their applied liberal arts focus, prior learning credit earning opportunities, and specialized accreditation from numerous discipline-specific organizations, the benefits can very well outweigh the cost of attendance.

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