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My MBA at the University of Phoenix Online, Part 1: The Decision

This article was written by in Education. 60 comments.


University of Phoenix LogoIn August, I completed my Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with the University of Phoenix Online. I’m putting together a series about the entire experience.

When I started working for my current employer in 2002, I decided to take advantage of the practically free education they were offering, 90% reimbursement for any work-related classes passed. (Later on, the conditions for 90% reimbursement changed to only courses passed with a “C” average or above.) The MBA seemed to be a good fit for me, and the curriculum would be general enough for me to take it with me wherever I end up going — and whatever I end up doing — in the long run. But what about the “online” component?

As an undergraduate at the University of Delaware in 1998, I had my first experience with online learning. I took a 600-level course, “Multimedia Literacy,” with the professor who developed the distance learning system for the University. This system was one of the first envinronments to incorporate learning over the internet. When considering schools for my graduate degree, I was — and still am — convinced the internet will be a great tool for distance education. The technology wasn’t perfect yet, as I would find out later, but I had heard good things from reliable sources about the University of Phoenix’s online program.

Back to my current company in 2003, I had many different commitments competing for my attention, and I liked the idea of not having to travel to a classroom. It was never a question that I would be comfortable with an online learning environment. After all, I had been involved with the development of websites since 1994 and with the general internet since the latter part of the 1980s.

I didn’t see a need to go to a high-powered, top ten business school. I don’t love business. In fact, most of the time, I don’t even like business. I know people who make “business” their life, and I do not want to be one of them. I did not want to surround myself with people who live and breathe “business.” The University of Phoenix Online, who in 2003 wasn’t the spammer and pop-up ad king it became, was a good fit.

I did have a concern. The University of Phoenix is a for profit, public business, meaning they might put the needs of their shareholders ahead of the needs of their students. In reality, every school has this attitude to varying extents. They may not have shareholders per se, but universities must keep happy those who give money to fund laboratories, new construction, and competitive programs. All colleges must devise ways to generate as much money as possible, from alumni, benefactors, and students. No institute of higher education can function without finding ways to raise money.

In August 2003, I weighed my options and made the decision to attend the University of Phoenix Online, clearly the leader in online learning at the time. I began the admissions process, which I will write about in a following post.

This is Part 1 of a series about my experiences with the University of Phoenix Online. Here is what has been published so far.

Updated May 22, 2011 and originally published September 21, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Chuck

I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience there. In recent years I kind of think of it as one of those “mail-in degree” places the way the advertising sounds, but hopefully you can shed some light on this.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

The University of Phoenix is definitely not a “degree mill” as some people seem to think. I plan on addressing that in a future post.

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avatar Hana L

thank you for your comment..I was gonna start on January!!!

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avatar VENKATRAMAN

Just completed MBA in University of Phoenix and as I was pondering about options, your article caught my attention. Some of the teachers were extra-ordinary and some not as great.
MBA at the University of Phoenix was no easy joke, and took hard work, sleepless nights coping with posts and submissions. Due to illness at the time of Final Exam my grades falls short and trying to take the last class again to improve the standing of years of work.

Rumor mill is definitely wrong if it tried to degrade the value of UOP.

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avatar ib

glad you are doing this. i have been interested in hearing more details on your experience and thoughts.
thanks.

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avatar Jason

I am eagerly awaiting the next posts on this. I hadn’t taken online degrees that seriously but I have had more than one person ask me if I knew much about them in the last few months. It will be interesting to hear how your experiences with it compares to traditional universities.

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avatar Oliver

I am looking forward to reading your take on the UoP experience. I completed my undergraduate degree online. I am considering a bricks and mortar institution for my next journey but only because I am considering a dual MBA/JD program. Though if I could find a reputable online Law School program I would consider it.

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avatar klauss

I looked at a friends MBA course material from U of P and I was rather impressed. She went to actual classes one night a week too, so it might be a little different. It also appeared that many of the professors work in the field, rather than primarily academia lifers. They do need to stop the pop up advertising though.

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avatar Todd

Great to hear that you finished up your degree. I have been wondering about online schools for a while now. I look forward to the rest of your posts about it.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

Thanks for the comments; I’m glad I have a few readers interested in reading more. I’ve completed Part 2, and it will be posted on Monday. Hopefully I’ve have more written over the weekend!

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avatar prlinkbiz

U of P has a stadium now…
http://www.azfamily.com/

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avatar The Plastic Guy

I share your enthusiasm about an online MBA degree from UoPhx. I have 4 classes left in my program there and have been doing most of it online.

I find it to be tremendously applicable to my worklife and satisfies my need for balance with home.

As with anything in life, the more you put into it – the more you get out. I took the program to learn and gain knowledge for ME not because it would get me promoted or earn me more money ( unlikely in either case). I am totally satisfied so far. Great for my needs.

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avatar toni

what I would like to know is do you know of anyone in the phoenix area that teaches classes on vintage costume jewelry? thank you toni gelazin

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avatar Mike

First, let me say that I am huge fan of education in any form. Second, I should probably mention that I recently obtained my MBA from a top 25 school. Some might say that this would make me biased, however, I would argue that this is evidence of me ‘putting my money where my mouth is’ as I certainly could have chosen the online degree route if I had chosen.

While an online degree can certainly provide you the same nuts and bolts education that traditional schools provide, you are also missing out on a lot of other qualities that go along with a formal education. You are not immersed in the curriculum. Your opportunities to learn from fellow students (a huge factor is an MBA education) is very limited. I greatly question learning from an instructor who has a suspect day job (although you get some of these at any university) versus an instructor who is at the top of his field/Noble prize winner, etc.

Learning how to employ an options strategy or about WalMart’s logistics or whatever the case may be is just one part of business school. Is sitting in the front row, behind home plate at a baseball game the same as watching it on a 13″ TV? Is going out on a blind date the same as chatting with a stranger on AOL IM?

As I said, I applaud your taking the steps to educate yourself. The major draw of an MBA education for many is for a bump in salary and access to better jobs. I seriously doubt any employer would grant these for an online degree. A online degree seems more akin to adult education classes on Tuesday nights at the local community college. Sure, that’s great that you’re learning something, but to then take the step and pretend that its the same as a graduate degree, I find that a little bit naive.

That being said, you seemed to indicate that you didn’t want it to become a ‘business person.’ it seemed to be more for your own benefit rather than for a resume builder/career advancement/networking, etc. If that’s the case, then I think an online degree was perfect in your situation. Let’s just not pretend that it’s something it isn’t.

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avatar Shazam

Mike-

I am a student at U of P, and currently need 3 classes to graduate. I have earned a 3.78 GPA thus far. The points you made are invalid, and not true.

At U of P, I spend 20-25 hours per week on class work. This is more work then ALL other MBA programs in our nation according to U.S. news and world reports survey in 2008. During those 20-25 hours per week online I spend a great deal of time posting on the class forum. I usually post about 4-6 posts per day, each of which are about as long as this post, only I am required to include an APA formatted reference to a text book or other academically acceptable source within the body of the text. In addition, my last professor for example, commented on all of my posts, giving me personal indebt lectures on the material at hand.

You mentioned that learning from other students is very limited, how would you know this? By allowing students to calmly put their thoughts in order and express them succinctly on a forum, we distill out many of the conversational dribble that has to take place in face to face communication, and all of our ‘words’ are saved on the forum for us to review and reread at our pleasure. We are required to ‘participate’ 4 out of the 7 days of the week, and this participation includes posting substantial posts on each others work/assignments. The average age of U of P MBA students is 36, and the age/maturity shows up in our class forums, with articulate and insightful posts.

Also, we have 2 team assignments per class.

The material as you pointed out is similar from school to school. What I found to be the negative aspect of U of P you eluded to is the respect and or almuni network. Hopefully the repuation of U of P will change as more alumni demonstrate thier ability and level of education.

I am financing my MBA with my own money, and its a huge investment on my part. So far I am extremely satisfied with my education. I have relatives and friends that currently attending and/or graduated from traditional MBA schools. Comparing course work and requirements my classes are proving to be more comprehensive, challenging, and educational. Most of my professors have 30+ years experience in the field they are teaching.

-Shazam

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avatar MARCIA

Thank you for your post Shazam. I recently completed my MMPA at UOP, I found it to be an intense, difficult program. I had some great instructors who were insightful, knowledgeable and direct with their instructions. I graduated with my BSM (on ground) and I found the on-line program to be more difficult and challenging. What I like most about the MBA program were the classroom discussions with other experienced students. As you said because we are not face to face, we cut out the personal stuff and deal with each other on a straight forward, professional and respectful level.
I have spent a lot of money on mine and my education and I believe I have gotten my money’s worth at University of Phoenix…. I am continuing with my PhD. Prior to making the decision to return to UOP, I researched many schools. Most schools are converting to on-line programs at the doctorial level because it makes more sense at that level. University of Phoenix offers a high end education. It was a difficult program to get into although I am an alumni. Although I am almost in the program, I will spend the next three months qualifying to be in the program.
What I like about the school is the attention and the service , time and attention I get from the academic counselors, teachers and management. In addition I like the fact that my program requirements are part of the written contract when I start the program. I have friends in traditonal univesities who have had to wait out a term because a necessary class was full or cancelled. (do you have any idea how that delays your education?). I have never had that problem at UOP.

When an employer sees that your transcript is from UOP they know that you have worked hard and have a developed ability for presentations, research, developing and applying concepts and that you have been studying and solving realy life organizational issues. Although a great part of it is, it is not all textbook.

So actually Mike, what I have to say to you although I would never insult your education, hard work and determination to be educated, I believe that you are missing on the awesome experience of on-line learning and a wonderful school such as UOP. I won’t go there because I am a PHOENIX.

Congraduations on your detrmination SHAZAM

Peace

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avatar greg

I seriously doubt future employers will look at a degree from UOP like you described. In fact, I believe that they would look at it at all. As a former student, I believe I know what I am talking about. I wish I could reply to every post here, but I do not wish to waste that much time. It seems as if every poster here must work for UOP in some capacity. UOP is a scam, the curiculum is a joke, and the advisers are fast talkers who do not know the answers to half of the questions they are asked.

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avatar Constance

What year did you graduate?

avatar Constance

May 2011, MBA UOP
May 2007, BA UC Berkeley

avatar Bill

Fellow UOP students and Alumni,

I’m just about finished with my doctoral program in DM/IST (Information Systems Technology). It’s been quite the ride…lots of sleepless nights, all nighters, research, write, research, write, and on and on. You think the Bachelors and Masters programs are tough I challenge any of you to go after your doctorate. Only 1.8% of the population holds doctorate degrees, 18% hold masters, and 25% hold bachelors degrees. There is a reason only 1.8% of the population hold a doctorate. Plain and simple – you work your tail end off. I’ve been in the program since Nov 2009 and took one break from June to August in 2012. I’m back in school again and learning more than I could ever imagine. I have had excellent professors and the ones I thought were too tough they were actually pushing you to exceed your own self-limiting boundaries. It’s been a great experience and I look forward to finishing the program. I have about 3 or 4 classes remaining and I am nearly ready to begin the research project. It’s an exceptional feeling when all of your effort converges to a focal point that indicates you’ve reached the pinnacle of intellectual fulfillment. I can’t explain it any better than that.

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avatar Nick

Bill
I concur.
The UOP doctoral program is hard work indeed!

avatar Chuck

Mike – I completed my MBA through online classes @ Univ of Phoenix. My wife completed her MBA at a well-respected traditional school (Lewis Univ). Here’s some differences:

Number of classes –
UoP: 16
Lewis: 13

Attendance requirement –
UoP: 2 posts per day, minimum 200 words, 5 days per week, in response to a list of questions from the professor. This was in addition to all the individual & group research projects & presentations.
Lewis: 1 class per week. Student groups tended to have their meetings in conjunction with the classes.

Skill tests –
UoP: Yes, there were tests to evaluate students’ skills at the graduate level. The accounting tests were a b1+c#!!!
Lewis: None – apparently that was considered an undergraduate activity.

Professors –
UoP: all my professors also taught at other universities, from Berkeley to South Carolina. No Nobel laureates that I remember, but they all still had a long list of awards & credentials that I found to be impressive. UoP selects some tough people. They have to in order to keep the naysayers in check.
Lewis: all the professors were Lewis faculty.

Student Groups –
UoP: Regarding projects & presentations, I had to coordinate with group members in several time zones, and even across the planet (one of my classmates was in Abu Dhabi). This is a critical business skill for the modern world that you cannot get in a traditional school where everybody’s in the same place, at the same time.
Lewis: Again – student groups tended to have their meetings in conjunction with the classes.

Work evaluation –
UoP: The quality of your work and class contribution is judged solely on merit. If you don’t belong – then it will show and you won’t make it. If you don’t contribute to assigned groups, other group members will complain and, again – you won’t make it. You cannot smile at the professor in an online class, and online professors have no time for “friends”.
Lewis: While the curriculum was rigorous, my wife often wondered how some of her classmates could possibly still be in the program after the shoddy work they did.

Mike – I’m not impressed with your evaluation of UoP’s online MBA. I would put my skills & knowledge up against yours any day because, quite frankly, I’ve been in settings with graduates from top-20 programs and I was not impressed in the least. While you top-20 types are busy patting yourselves on the back, the rest of us are busy fixing your disasters. Your baseball analogy really doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t apply well to this situation, and you should come up with something better. The world is changing, and education methods must change right along with the times. Welcome to the future.

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avatar Constance

Yes you are biased = ).

I know at your school they told you that their graduates were the best and the brightest. That’s what they say in all the top schools. I did my undergrad at UC Berkeley. I heard it for 4 years.

We all know that it doesn’t necessarily take a degree to become “business person”. In the real world it’s a different game. Besides, with this economy and job market, there are a number of people with MBAs out of work; top schools or otherwise.

In my opinion, it just depends where you are in life. I did my undergrad at age 36 and after I graduated, I needed to go back to work. Brick and Mortar wasn’t an option. Besides, B-School at the one of the top 25 was too expensive. If I was a young kid with no work experience, why not get the degree from the top school? You will need something to break into the market.

Most of the students in my MBA classes were managers, owned companies and I have even met a few SVPs and VPs. This is the case of most students in the UOP MBA program.

Now is UOP the best MBA in the world in terms of public opinion? no…but it will serve it’s purpose. It certainly did for me. I actually learned something and networking is available as I made a lot of contacts. To that end, it is what it is…an MBA. I worked hard to get it and I am proud of it.

Congrats on your MBA, I pray that it does all that you want and need it to do for you.

- C

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avatar MBA Holder

In his comments above, “Mike” summed it up beautifully. You ask any HR director what U of P does to a resume and he will tell you “nothing.” In fact, for a position requiring a higher degree, U of P will get the resume put in the circular file. Unfortunately, U of P is not, and most likely will not, equate to a true graduate degree. I would not have even considered U of P when I earned my MBA.

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avatar Chuck

That attitude is from ignorance – period.

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avatar Constance

Spoken like a true top school snob…I had to say it…

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avatar Robin Langston

I have to say that I have been at UOP for 2 1/2 years getting ready to graduate with my BA in Human Services/ Management and it has been the best experience ever. I have attended on ground in class setting then transfered to online and I love it. I will continue on to get my Masters in Criminal Law. There is commencement that everyone can attend in an Arena to walk with cap and gown and that to is a great experience. So this is not just an online paper in the mail hoax, it is a true accredited degree system that is proven to work. Many of the teachers have experience in the field you are in and have a degree to support their professional teaching. I’d rather have someone teach me from experience and history with that particular field than someone that has just received a teaching degree.

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avatar Sawa

Mike:-

I disagree that there are less chances to learn from your classmates in an online format. I actually think that there are greater opportunities to learn from them. In a regular classroom, time is limited to a couple of hours a week and invariably, there are a couple of people who always speak up, while the quieter ones at the back stay quiet. In an online format, the classroom is open 24/7, everyone has to speak, and often it is the quieter ones who have the most to contribute, and they are given the space to make their contributions too. Not only that, but the ‘facelessness’ of the online format also means that people who are naturally reticent feel more comfortable opening up.

I have experienced both mediums in education and I think that, in general, there was more discussion and more participation from the online medium.

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avatar Gary

Mike sounds a little bitter that he spent all that money at a “top 25 school” and the online program is challenging his manhood.

Mike,

If you believe that certain (not all) online programs can’t give you a quality education, you are living in the past, or living in a fantasy land. I haven’t gone to UoP, but I’ve done some research. They are accredited. They use collaboration amongst the students to maximize learning. Employers DO accept it as a valid masters degree. There are people that get their masters degree from UoP by going to the class room for all their classes. How is any employer going to distinguish these people from the folks that took all their classes online? Are they going to throw out all job applicants from UoP? I don’t think so. 75% of business colleges are unaccredited. I can see an argument against these unaccredited colleges and universities. But, you have to be doing something right to remain amongst the 25% of accredited institutions.

Don’t be bitter Mike. Welcome to the 21st century. We’re glad to have you, even if you did go to a brick-and-mortar college/university :-)

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avatar obiken

STAY AWAY FROM UOP ONLINE!!!! Got to Ripoffreport.com and you will soon see what I mean. My wife and I attended this school hoping to better ourselves through an education system that met our schedual as we do have kids that we have to work around. A pell grant was awarded to us and it paid for the first two classes. We had to take a two week break to move and were suppose to be reinstated in our classes after that period, but it never happened. We got the run around on the phone with the counselors as to why, and in the end we told them we were finished. Also the education level you’ll get there is a joke. I wrote my first paper for my writing class and I did it in one night. It was loaded with errors and I was positive I would get a lousy grade. The teacher took about three weeks to get me the grade and it was an A. It had spelling errors out the yang and my sources were not cited the correct way. (and if my spelling is off in this post you can chalk it up to my poor college education :) In other words, they give you the grade that you don’t deserve. How is this learning anything? Remember I said our pell grant took care of the first two classes? UOP recently told us that it didn’t and now we owe citibank for our loan (a loan we never signed for in the first place. We know that the pell took care of the first two classes because we recieved a letter stating so from the school. Whats wrong with this picture? In the end we now owe thousands of dollars for an education we didn’t recieve and the buck has been passed so many times its unbelievable. Like I said, you can read more stories like this one at ripoffreport.com.

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avatar William

I do not believe you attended UOP. All assignments must be graded within 7 days. This 3 week thing is a complete fabrication Obiken. Did you go into the school assuming it was a joke? did you find out that it wasn’t? loser…

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avatar Anne Kelly

Hello Will I hate to say it but it is possible vary rare
but possible. I had one teacher that tore up our first paper
from week 1. she told us that she expected more and
that we needed to apply higher thinking, so I worked
harder on week two’s assignment to see if I had done better
but I never received a grade back before week 3′s paper
was due. When week four’s assignment was drawing near
I sent the teacher an email. I told her that I needed my
grades back so I could see how I was doing and
If I needed to improve. Oddly the teacher flipped out on
Me stating that I expected an A on all my assignments. I
was very upset needless to say. I had to set the teacher
straight and inform her that my grandfather was a professor
and I do not expect anything from any one except myself
and I wanted to earn it not have it handed to me. I ended up
having this teacher again a year later and it was much better
And the turn around was quicker. It is in tge policies that teachers
have seven days. Only a few times in two years has it extendex
past the 7 days

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avatar Toronto U of P MBA Student

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give my feedback on my experience at U of P for the MBA program. I work at Yahoo! and started taking my mba online last year. I can fully appreciate the comments made earlier about the importance of face to face education. However, to claim that U of P is not accredited or looked at favorably by companies is simply not true at all. The education experience is also very good… assuming you put the personal effort required into it.

I was encouraged to attend U of P online by our HR department… so that eliminates the other guys *assumption* that HR departments place U of P down the list. I chose U of P because of scheduling and because I wanted to learn from students and professors actually WORKING IN THE FIELD and APPLYING their learning. Not from professors with awards in theory with no actual real world experience behind them.

I am a fan of both forms of education… and had the choice to attend either or… and chose U of P… and its been awesome.

30% of the your grade is based on group interaction…. and that is pretty significant. Through email, chat, phone conferencing and other means you are required to stay in touch and participate regularly.

As for the A grade for a crappy paper…. that student sounded pretty obviously bitter that his financial situation and lack of scheduling organization screwed him up… like its the university’s fault that your schedule changed. Always funny how the people who quit or have an admin problem come up with the horror stories of grades and quality. All i can say is that in my experience… being a A student my whole life…. the assignments have not been that easy…. and they force you to APPLY the theory to ACTUAL business scenarios that are current…. and my employer specifically… loves that…. as goes Google, Apple and other major tech firms who are with the 21st century. You will see when you talk to your class mates. If you are on the fence…. try it out.

Only down side… is that without the face to face interaction with the prof you do lose out on points of emphasis… and end up relying a lot on your own reading, interpretation, and retention skills. If you do not work well as an individual… cannot self motivate to actually learn and retain information… or prefer being taught in a class environment… this is certainly not for you… and you will be very dissatisfied. If you are a self motivated learner and like to APPLY what you learn while collaborating with people internationally…. this is definitely for you.

Cheers

Darryl

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avatar Scott

Hi,
I attended the University of Phoenix for about two years and then transfered to Oregon State University. I had no problem transfering my credits and I got a decent education for the first two years. The only problems that I had with U of P is that they are very exspensive and the advisors are all about money. They are not very much help at all and they lie a lot. I ended up transfering from U of P two classes before I received my AA degree only because I had to in order to get into the other university. The advisors gave me a very hard time by telling me I couldn’t leave early, then ended up charging me $500.00 out of pocket, even when I had a loan to cover it. They told me that I had to finish the last two classes in order to receive any more funds from my lender. I am still not sure why I had to pay it, but they kept telling me that they were going to turn it into collections. Aside ffrom all of that it was an ok experience.

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avatar Phoenix Pround MBA Grad

I attended the University of Phoenix as a result of its flexibility. My job at the time was not a traditional 9-5 position. I did work for a major Fortune 500 Corporation which provided me with complete tuition assistance. I am intelligent and I had many school options available yet the University of Phoenix was the best fit for me. The instructors come from extremely diverse backgrounds. I attended classes at an actual campus once a week in addition to online classes. My public speaking ability increased and my knowledge continues to grow. University of Phoenix is reputable and as an M.B.A graduate I have acquired the respect I deserve. My instructors came from top performing schools and corporations. The instructors were very qualified. I am not on here to compare and contrast rather the traditional method is better than the more modern techniques. My point is that the world continues to evolve and University of Phoenix provides excellent technology which is useful in helping many students successfully meet their educational goals. Through obtaining my M.B.A from the University of Phoenix I am continuing to prove that I am an asset as en employee in addition to competitive enough to keep up with the competition.

Sincerely

Marie Thomas

mt

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avatar Noel - Nor Cal UOP BSBM Grad

I must say, reading the comments brought me to finally just add my two cents; I do respect everyone’s opinions since we are all entitled to them. I can only speak of my experience. First of all I am a U of P graduate and will be the first to admit I had mixed feelings about U of P until I went there and then everything became clear to me. I do see both points of views so let me start off by saying I did attend a traditional college but wasn’t content from the 30-40 students in an auditorium and teachers not knowing me. There are some benefits to those professors but as for me, I can say I do appreciate the smaller classrooms and one-on-one experience I received from the professors at U of P, in addition I really enjoy the interaction. I especially liked the fact that I have an teacher who is teaching on experience not just text book material and students like a guy I had that worked at Microsoft who during a marketing class was giving input as to what Microsoft was doing at that time in terms of marketing. It was all real time. I was nice to know I could know what was happening right then and there and not read about it later. I didn’t do the online course although I did have the experience of taking about two online courses during my studies and they worked very well. In fact one of the professors at one of the campuses I attended was a Stanford graduate and he would say often that U of P was the next new thing, in fact U of P paved the way through its online success, for other major universities that now offer some online courses. I’ve worked at fortune 500 companies and in my last position I found out that my branch manager had a bachelors in project management and accounting from U of P and the district manager had received her MBA from U of P so that alone gave me confidence that U of P is noticed by some higher ups (this was at Citigroup). My older sister graduated from U of P and she went to work for Warner Brothers my younger sister also is a U of P grad and she went to work within Macy’s marketing department which she then with her degree leveraged a job at Tommy Bahama. My point being is I really haven’t heard of anyone who has graduated (and I mean completed the program not just taken a course or two) that hasn’t benefited from their degree and education. I believe your always going to have someone that’s not content but your education is what you make of it. and fact is there’s one in every school you’ll always have a professor that is a bit laid back and one that is really anal. In conclusion I hoped my input was helpful for anyone considering U of P and I’d like to add I plan on continuing my MBA with U of P as well.

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avatar Krystal

Hi. I start my orientation walk threw for my classroom today for UOP and i was all excited and ready to start this. and then i get info from ppl last night saying , oh UOP is a scam google it. So i have been googleing. I find one website that has really bad things on it and the next that is saying the total opposite. I need the truth. Im a 22 yr old with 2 kids living the military life style, and i don’t have time or money to waste on a school that isn’t oging to give me a degree. hellp!!!!

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avatar Constance

Go and see for yourself. Everyone’s experience is different. I received my MBA from UOP in 2011 and it has serve me well. Proud to be a Phoenix!

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avatar Seeker

I am thinking about doing an MBA at either UOP or UMUC.
I am currently a fulltime mom (I took a long break from career for domestic reasons), and want to get back to being a career woman. I already have a Masters in Computer Application. But, with bad economy and bad job market , I want to start MBA and seach for job simultaneously. Any suggestions? Do you think it’ll help me with a fresh start?

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avatar Michael

Hi all,
I have just completed my MBA from U of P and I am totally and completely satisfied. For my under graduate program I attended one of the top ten brick and mortar schools in the States. After graduation I landed a Job for the Korean Government in one of the largest banks. Since, I was in a foreign country and there are few Korean schools that are recognized in the U.S. I choose the U of P. As I said, the program was amazing. in the past I to had doubts about the legitimacy of the school, but I quickly learn that the U of P is no diploma mill. How do I know? I intentionally did a mediocre job on a 3,000 word research paper and the professor gave me a grade of zero. All I could say when I saw that grade was ” Holly S—”. I spent the remaining 6 weeks busting my a–, and crying to the professor. I tried to get a passing grade, but I still failed the class. I argued my case before the board and they agreed with the professor, so my grade stood. LET ME BE CLEAR! Diploma mills do not give grades of zero, ever.

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avatar Chuck Mitchell

All of the people saying the MBA at Pheonix University is legitimate are hilarious. I saw a test that one of my employees is taking for her last semester and I could not believe that it was COMPLETELY true/false and multiple choice answers. What kind of freaking MBA is this? This ‘university’ is a complete joke!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

Perhaps they changed the curriculum — I never had any True/False or Multiple Choice questions for any class for my MBA at UoP. The courses were not easy (well, the first few courses might have been) and the weekly papers usually required quite a bit of research.

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avatar Constance

Me either…I just graduated May 2011

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avatar John johnson

This guy Chuck is a total joke. I would love to see this guy take one of the 55 question accounting exams and actually score 100%. These people have never attended the school and talk all this trash. My undergrad from Arizona State was a cakewalk in comparison to the courses I took at University of Phoenix. If UOP is so different and so easy, why are the traditional schools lining up to license UOP technology and classrom formats? Because UOP has been online since the 1980′s. All of the universities must use the same approved teaching materials which the accrediting boards mandate so UOP is no different in terms of academics regardless if you want to bash them and pretend youknow it all. Also, last I checked the bar exam and CPA exams are multiple choice so I am not sure what your point is dumbchuck!

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avatar Rob Smith

@ Chuck Mitchell — And you have an MBA? I completed my MBA / TM in Dec 2011. At the same time I was taking my Finance class, my freind was taking theirs at a brick and motor that is highly rated, I live just outside Philadelphia, PA, in fact it is considered a premier school in the USA. We had the same book, and the same basic chapter readings. He was graded on a 20 page term paper that was due at the end of the class and class participation. I was graded on a research paper that was due every week, often 5 plus pages, a group research paper, 10 plus pages, class participation and a final that was problem based, and had 3 hours to complete. I am still working at the fortune 300 company, my friend was laid off from the same company. While their is a lot to be said for the name on the diploma, it is only part of what makes an employee or person. Maybe you should remember that moving forward…

Good Luck in your future endeavors.

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avatar Constance

Rob – Oh how I remember the nightmare of Finance at UOP but I made it! People have no how hard you have to work to get that MBA. Thanks for sharing.

Constance
MBA/TM ’11

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avatar Nick

I have completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UOP and am now enrolled in a doctoral program. In all the years I have attended, I have never seen a true/false quiz type test applied during a course. All the assignments i have had have required written responses whereas at other universities I have attended mid term exams have consisted entirely in the form of multiple choice or true/false questions. This has not been the case with my UOP experiences.

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avatar Alex

I never had any True/False exams, my experience at UOP was great. I graduated from the MBA program in 2008 and I am currently attending a research intensive university.

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avatar Bachelors Degree

I think everyone has made very valid points about the University of Phoenix and the quality of their degree programs. I can understand how those that acquired their degrees through traditional universities would discredit the online learning environment has to offer. I can also understand how UOP students who worked hard for their degrees would defend the university.

I think it’s important to understand that at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I work for Verizon Wireless and what I will tell you as that a degree from UOP will always be validated – any degree really. HR Departments will not discredit online degrees as a matter of fact, companies like Verizon Wireless are partnering with UOP, Strayer University, and other online universities to encourage higher education.

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avatar Alex

Good points. Before completing my MBA at UOP, I attended a traditional brick and mortar school for my undergraduate degree. I am doing postgraduates at a research university that is ranked as one of the top schools in the world. I can’t complain about the excellent education I received from UOP.

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avatar chris

its amazing how us students think that a school not in the top rankings gives a bad education. Its not where you go but what you make of it. UoP has had some excellent and bright people come out of it.

Anyone who brags to me about going to a top school i just tell them to look at the acm programming contest. The us schools get beat everytime in recent years. Our top ten schools dont even solve all of the problems.
Results from the 2010 world finals of the top 10. where are our top schools?

Place Name Solved Time Last Problem
1 Shanghai Jiaotong University 7 778 229
2 Moscow State University 7 940 263
3 National Taiwan University 6 779 201
4 Taras Shevchenko Kiev National University 6 928 238
5 Petrozavodsk State University 6 985 284
6 Tsinghua University 6 998 261
7 Saratov State University 6 1010 297
8 University of Warsaw 6 1042 263
9 St. Petersburg State University 6 1042 277
10 Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) University 6 1049 272

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avatar Anne Kelly

I too can see both sides. Honestly the first few classes
were rough and I wondered what I had gotten into.
With that said, the people there for the paper only dropped
and the environment changed. I think I learned a lot from
the instructors because they brought real world examples
into the classroom. The campus classes allowed us to interact
one on one with the teacher. I believe any education at any school
is what you make of it. I took my education serious and I
worked hard. Therefore I do not appreciate people saying a
U o P education is a waste. I love my team of counselors they
were knowledgeable and helpful! I will graduate in three classes
with Delta Mu Delta honors!

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avatar Mike

I have to say, I am not sure about online universities or U of P. All I know, is that the only person I met with a Bachelors from U of P can not type complete sentences. Apparently, she got a 3.0, and now she’s in my MBA program, in my MBA project group. And it is by far the worst experience ever. It is much more work for me when I have to, well…. not even edit her paper. I have to redo it. I am very upset that some place gave this women a degree, shes not smart enough for it. I am not saying that no one deserves a chance, but some people just shouldn’t get one. Sorry for this, but I am very mad at U of P and will never respect their degree.

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avatar Constance Dobbins Lowery

So because you know one person from UOP who could not write well, you can’t respect the degree? I’m sorry Mike, I can understand you being upset with that person, but their are very bright individuals that graduated from UOP. I think your experience has made you jaded.

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avatar Rob

Mike,

With regards to you last post, about poor writing skills. Well, where I work, a fortune 500 company in NY, We hire 20-30 new MBA graduates every year from some of the U.S.’s Top MBA scores. I got be honest theres are 10% that seem to have missed out on basic grammer…….

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avatar Sylvia

Mike,

I had to laugh at your post about writing skills. Please accept my sincerest apologies, but I am certain that the remainder of your team is equally annoyed by your writing as you are with the young lady. If your writing is representative of writing at the “traditional college” level, then we are all screwed. In the end, those who are reasonably intelligent understand that it is not where you go but what you gain from it and how you apply it. I am very proud of my UoP education and have been fortunate to compete with others from traditional business schools. I have learned that ANY degree, accompanied with real-world experience and the ability speak and write well, pays off.

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avatar Constance

WELL SAID…

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avatar Constance

UC Berkeley class of 2007 here. I needed to get a Masters degree but I also needed to work full-time after being at CAL I was broke = ). The UOP MBA was a viable option for many reasons:

1. I could take the classes online
2. It was cheaper than the brick and mortar schools.
3. I could work full-time at my current position.

Overall, you need to be very disciplined when you take online classes. I completed my degree in 2011 and I am still decompressing. My UOP MBA has served me well and I make well over 70K and I can pay my student loans with no problem. I guess I can’t ask for any more than that.

Good luck to all that are considering UOP

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avatar henry nii ankrah

i have read the all the above. at least mba programme cost should be reasonable for all to pursue

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avatar N Kuhn

I did my BSBA at UOP. I will agree with those who say the classes are tough though I don’t believe I will ever agree they are rigorous or intellectually demanding. The classes are tough due to the amount of work demanded in the time allowed, not due to the high standards required. My final GPA was 3.86 but I never felt I was doing top-notch work. I was able to make this grade without doing most of the reading and never turning in a paper more finished than first draft. To clarify, I did lots of reading from multiple sources but it varied from simply diving into the specific topics on which I was reporting rather than reading the entire text to reading large numbers of miscellaneous online news journals rather than peer-reviewed papers.

I did both on-campus and on-line classes and much preferred the on-campus. I need to be engaged and feed from others’ ideas in the effort to make a concept my own. I do this by asking questions, asking follow-up questions, and challenging ideas that don’t make sense or are incongruous. Ground classes are much better for people who need this type of interaction to learn.

On the other hand, the online courses made me feel like I was a slave to the computer. Countless hours of discussing the various topics with people who had no greater understanding than I or who had obviously flawed information. I was never able to get my questions answered, even when I specifically asked the facilitator. For this simple issue I will never believe UOP’s version of online classes are as effective for learning as ground classes.

As far as instructors go, some were okay and some were horrible. As with the courses in general I preferred seeing the facilitators face-to-face. One facilitator repeatedly accused me of plagiarism (thorough citation is not plagiarism) and not using APA correctly despite the fact for every mistake she accused me of I was able to cite page number and section detailing why my choice of formatting was correct. I imagine there’s at least one instructor like that in every school so I’m really just blowing off steam by complaining here :-).

Since I’ve graduated I’ve discovered sites like Udemy and other MOOCs, the Great Courses, and a couple of other tools that I think do a better job of distance learning.

Would I go back to UOP to take classes for my own benefit or professional development? No. I can just buy a book and read it to gain most of the same benefit or I can take free classes. Would I go back to UOP for another piece of paper? Maybe. I don’t know about now (6/2014) but my original research led me to believe that UOP is looked upon unfavorably by HR people. I’d have to do more research to see if the school is held with more esteem now than it was.

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