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American Military University

  • American Military University Reviews

    Ranking: #13
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    Country: USA
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    Accreditation: North Central Association; Distance Education and Training Council

4.1
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American Military University Reviews:

The Negative Reviews Clearly Show a Lack of Experience at AMU

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - May 4, 2017
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I completed by BA in Criminal Justice through AMU, and I am now halfway through my Master's in National Security with a focus on Middle Eastern Studies. I'm completely baffled as to the negative reviews I'm seeing on this site. The finance office has never given me any problems whatsoever, the counselors are helpful and responsive, and the schoolwork has been both challenging and rigorous. I've had many acquaintances attend AMU and talk negatively about the experience, but further discussion with them has often revealed their inability to work the virtual classroom competently or complete the coursework on time, as well as a failure to reach out to the professors when they need help. AMU is not for everyone; the professors are not going to spoon feed you or gently guide you along your educational journey. They aren't going to send you reminders notifying you when assignments are due. These courses are designed with adults in mind, and the school expects you to manage your time like and adult and seek help like an adult. There is no coddling; you must be self-motivated and complete the assignments given to you on your own. AMU provides all the books for your education; you will not have to fork out extra money to get an affordable used textbook. They are all available in PDF format, and can be transferred to your tablet or phone. This makes the assigned readings east and doable, even when offline. The professors are helpful and will be happy to create tailored lesson plans to help you if you are having trouble, BUT you must let them know of your difficulty with the course. Because it is an online school, the tests are often open-book. This does not make them any easier, though, as they often require you to understand the concepts presented in the readings. They are timed, so if you have not completed the readings you are likely not to do well. Professors are all very well-educated, and most have considerable real-world experience. Many are published, and may even use their own writing to supplement the course materials. The readings are excellent and thorough. I've read in some of the reviews on this site that people feel they can turn in papers with a "9th grade" writing level. This is not the case. The professors are rigorous in their grading and in their requirement to adhere to whichever respective format they require of their students. It is true that, in the first classes on your degree path, you may encounter slight leeway. This is the professors allowing those new to the college environment to familiarize themselves with college-level requirements and course work. I can assure you the courses become quite challenging as you move along your degree plan. Most of the professors also teach at major brock and mortar schools, and bring their considerable experience to AMU. You will be hard pressed to find a better collection of professors offering the education they do for such a low price. Most American military personnel swear by AMU, and for good reason. The prices are competitive, the education is top-notch, and truly opens doors for you, both in and out of the military. AMU is a perfect avenue for those wishing to become a commissioned officer. It is also an excellent choice for those looking to work in the US government- another area where AMU is highly respected. Because AMU is regionally accredited, any school in the US will recognize their degrees when pursuing higher education. AMU is also the only school that accepts 100% of military education credits obtained in service. It is an excellent school, but you will NOT skate by. If a degree with minimal amount of effort is what you're looking for, you might want to look elsewhere.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful

MA- Strategic Intelligence

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - June 25, 2015
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I graduated in 2005 with an MA in Strategic Intelligence with Honors. My degree has resulted in multiple promotions as it helped me stand out from my peers and provided the skills needed to separate myself as best qualified and capable. This degree was no joke. I spent five years working hard on this degree with a lot of long hours, nights/weekends/and every spare moment (long plane rides, etc) reading and working on paper after paper (one class required more than ten papers, averaging nearly one a week). That was five years of almost no personal or downtime for myself so think hard about this investment in time. You have to be serious and your family needs to be very supportive or you may not make it through. If you're looking for a paper-mill degree, AMU is not it. You'll work for your degree and be satisfied with your effort at the end. Because the semesters for the intel degree were full-length semesters (not all degrees follow this template) and I was working full time, there was also no way to speed up this degree by taking more than one class at a time. Given the amount of work for each class, more than one class at a time was unthinkable for me. The pile of books for most classes stood nearly a foot high. Just reading alone was a herculean effort for a 13-week course. Other schools offer 'accelerated' programs consisting of a week or two of classes, maybe one or two books and a couple papers per class, which provides students an ability to get a degree completed in 1-2 years. From my observations of co-workers working on those degrees, AMU demanded much more work (reading and writing) than those programs, but I feel that I learned more and was more qualified in the end than students graduating from the various 'accelerated' programs. If I had it to do all over again, I would still choose AMU.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Skip this place

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - June 24, 2015
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If you are military and you are merely looking for a paper credential, this might be your place. If you are truly looking to learn intelligence studies, at best you will get a superficial self-help class, with repetitive material throughout much of the program (with heavy emphasis on discussing but not necessarily resolving inefficiencies in intelligence collection and analysis). There are few real analysis skills learned in this program (which is what I was hoping for). Although the professors are very qualified people in their field, there are NO lectures so little or none of this experience and knowledge are imparted to the students. Instead classes are a series of reading assignments which you conduct on your own. There is a discussion board where students are supposed to discuss the readings and illustrate their understanding of the material. However, in large part, most of the students simply summarize or regurgitate some quotes from the reading to satisfy their discussion board obligations. There is very little by way of any analytic learning occurring for most of the students. The professors generally have little input into the discussion board process other than to posit questions to direct student discussion. There are also few if any tests in this program. In about 8 classes that I have taken, I have had no tests. The discussion board acts to show that you have purportedly read and mastered the reading material for the class. The bulk of the grading is generally done by way of a paper assigned for each class. The paper is supposed to illustrate that you have applied the concepts you learned in that class to some real world issue. However, in large part, these papers are merely summaries of scholarly papers written by others and instead are merely exercises in minimal research skills and citation formatting. Of my eight classes, only 2 have involved synthesizing any type of original thought. If the school invested a reasonable amount of money in technology (and probably paid professors more), they could have either recorded or live lectures by the professors. This would make this program valuable and a true learning opportunity. Without these, this is a correspondence course - and you might as well by the book yourself and simply read it. If you are paying your own tuition (as opposed to the government being ripped off paying tuition for you for this program), save your money. I will also note in passing that I have had several administrative issues that have arisen during the program relating to either changes in the requirement for the degree (which appears to happen frequently), substitution of classes, complaints about a particular class, and other matters. I have found the administration difficult to deal with and inflexible in resolving my problems. I have done well in the program (gradewise) and completed about half of the program. I have since, however, stopped taking additional classes. I probably won't bother completing this degree. I feel that I am not learning anymore, am being provided with repetitive subject matter in the classes, and am essentially doing busy work papers. I am unclear why the school allows classes that do not test students on the subject matter taught. It appears to me that the school wants students to pump out papers so that (a) they can justify the program; and (b) so that students can have written project papers to show potential employers in the intelligence industry. Perhaps this is a beneficial goal for students finding jobs -- but they are leaving the program with what I believe is a deficient education. All of the statements above reflect my opinion based upon my experience as a student. My recommendation is I would skip this program.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Best online program for intelligence studies

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - July 23, 2014
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I have pursued online studies at four other universities and AMU seems to have the best programs for security, military, and intelligence studies. I am nearly finished with the graduate program for intelligence studies and have found the ten courses I've completed to require a balanced work load that allows students to learn new concepts, research a relevant topic, and present a new idea in a standardized format. I often work more than 40 hours per week and have been able to steadily pursue one course at a time without compromising my family life. Taking multiple classes at a time requires a lot of free time and I would not recommend it.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Valuable

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - March 9, 2013
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The M.A. in Intelligence Studies has been awesome. I am halfway through my degree program so far. As soon as I updated my resume with my degree in progress, I started getting interviews for jobs in this field. That alone makes it worth it for me because the whole point of studying in a field is to hopefully get work in that field. This degree program did that for me and I'm only halfway through!

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Challenging and Rewarding

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - October 3, 2012
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I have acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge during the MA Strategic Intelligence program and totally disagree with previous reviewers that this AMU program generates degrees without academic value. Having completed a BA from a very stringent “brick and mortar" institution, I found the MA Strategic Intelligence program challenging in comparison. I had to burn the midnight oil on many occasions to complete the assignments. I believe putting the extra effort was generally acknowledged and was reflected in my grades. As with any human endeavour, the AMU professors’ experience and competence varied, but in general they were well versed (sometimes experts) in their subjects and would challenge our answers and thought process, especially during the interactive group discussions. My classmates were in majority service members with multiple deployments under their belts. About 60% were from the Intelligence community. As with many university degrees, this degree expands your knowledge and intellectual horizons in the intelligence field; it is not an operator or analyst course.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful

So cheap, its not worth the paper its printed on...

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - October 2, 2012
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AMU's MA in Intelligence Studies lacks the academic rigor of a real graduate program. Henley-Putnam is better. The Defense Intelligence University is best. If you just need a masters degree to punch the ticket, then AMU is a cheap option. If you want to be an intelligence professional, its not going to open any doors for you! Also, they switched the program on my half-way through. Very disappointed in what I ended up with.

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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Bait & Switch

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - September 27, 2011
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Enrolled in a competitive intelligence program, but halfway through they dropped the program. Instead of taking the courses I expected to take I had to finish up with a bunch of useless MBA courses. Many professors and department chairs are borderline illiterate with bogus credentials. Course materials and assignments virtually unintelligible due to poor grammar and spelling. Administration hostile to non-PC thought. Difficult to believe this is a grad level program. There are a lot better programs out there for the same or less money; shop around.

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9 of 27 people found the following review helpful

MA for cheap, but not worth much in the working world.

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - September 22, 2011
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Like everyone one else in the field, I wanted the MA check mark when applying to a supervisory position. I went to a highly ranked school for under grad and worked very hard for good grades. This school is for profit, does not make you take the GRE, allows you to be accepted with in 20 minutes, and has no GPA requirements. That shows that it isn't a very good school right there. However if you are satisfied with just the check mark and want it for a cheap price and little work, you have your school. I tried one class and am not a fan. However my work pays for my degree, so I am in a little different position as most. I am going to go to a brick and mortal school. I personally feel it is a scam and the wrong way about getting an education, but I am glad I gave it a shot, so I can give it an honest review.

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5 of 23 people found the following review helpful

The course work is about the same...

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - October 29, 2010
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Like any other university, AMU has both good professors and bad ones (I have had both while working on my Master’s Degree at AMU). Like every other university on the planet, most of their classes are interesting and challenging, yet there are some that seem to be little more than a paper-drill. I would have to say that it was more difficult to earn than the B.A. that I received from Troy State, but at the same time I am not totally sure how it will be viewed by UNC when I apply for admission into the Doctoral Program this coming spring. I will update when I find out.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Don't Waste Your Time or Money at AMU.

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - December 30, 2009
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I am convinced that AMU/APUS is a scam. I received conflicting messages from the people at Financial Aid which made me extremely leery of this institution, so I left. I was also discouraged by the comments of current students who say that it is extremely easy to make good grades at this school and the frequent complaints about the discussions being canned. If I am going to use federal student loans for a Master's degree, I figure it should be used at an institution that has a solid academic reputation. If I am just reading books and learning entirely on my own with little to no interaction from the instructor, I am financially better off if I go to the public library. I was told by several professionals within the Intelligence community that this university is not a good place to go if you are looking to successfully switch careers, go into highly competitive areas (such as Intelligence) or further your education at the PHD level. Contrary to various online sources, AMU Intelligence graduates are in for a rude awakening upon graduating, because when they are up against someone from one of the more reputable Intelligence programs, or even someone from a more reputable school period, AMU graduates will loose every time unless they have substantial military experience and a Top Security Clearance. As far as PHD aspirations are concerned, any reputable school will frown on a Master's degree from AMU, not because it is online, but because the curriculum is severely lacking in crucial areas. I even had an "Intelligence Studies" academic advisor admit this to me. This college is good for retirees, those already financially well-off and who can afford to pursue degrees in their hobby/special interest, or those who have already established a solid reputation at their job and just need to get a degree at the dime of the military or their employer. Any graduate school that does not require the GRE, a min. GPA, or at least two letters of recommendation is not a legitimate graduate school. Graduate school is suppose to be competitive, not open to anyone who can submit a transcript of their undergraduate academic record. I understand that some people don't want to go through the process of applying to grad school and some may not be good with the GRE, but anything worth having never comes easy or cheap. Think about that before you enroll in AMU, especially if you are trying to further your education and taking out loans from Sallie Mae to finance your education.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful

What I expected

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - September 22, 2009
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I finished my BA with AMU and am now more than halfway through my MA. I've never attended a traditional brick-and-mortar college, so my experience is completely based on online education. I feel like I've skated through both degrees, though the MA is taking a little more dedication and work than the BA did. I wouldn't go so far as to say the school is a degree mill, but it's certainly not as intensive as what I believe the traditional university educational experience is. Though it's horrible to admit, I will test my professors and if they let me get away with subpar work, that's what I turn in. I don't feel as though most profs grade according to the rubric - it seems more like a bell curve and the expectation is pretty low. I've turned in papers written at a 9th grade level and received glowing comments and high scores. The readings for the intelligence programs are good and cover the breadth of intel from terrorism to signals intelligence, the history of the intel community to present day operations. I've been impressed with most of the assignments. I think it's hard to offer a degree in intelligence since so much of the work is classified and unavailable to those not already in the community. It's difficult to "teach" collection and analysis. The school works hard to give the student a full complement of intelligence readings and assignments. Overall, I chose to stay with AMU for my Master's because it's accredited and I believed the coursework would be easier than with another school. Plus, you can't beat the cost.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Outstanding Program

Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies - March 18, 2009
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This program used to result in a degree conferral of "Master of Strategic Intelligence." It has now changed to MA in Intelligence Studies. I fell under the MSI name, and prefer that to the new one. Regardless, this program is truly outstanding. Just take a look at the professors' biographies and you will see that they are or have been professionals working in the intelligence community, and are experts in their particular fields. I highly recommend this degree, and the school in general. AMU's focus is mainly on those career fields and professions related to federal government service. In my opinion, this is a relative rarity today.

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