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American Public University

  • Ranking: #14
    Non-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
    Website
    Accreditation: RA (NCA), DETC

4.0
582 Reviews
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American Public University Reviews:

Masters in National Security Studies

Middle Eastern Studies - January 5, 2014
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I will begin my capstone for my Masters in National Security Studies in March 2014. This is an excellent school with excellent instructors and excellent students.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Excellent opportunity for military students

Middle Eastern Studies - March 12, 2013
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Overall, my experience at AMU was very positive. Even though I had a fair amount of exposure to Middle Eastern Studies previous to pursuing my degree, I learned something new in every one of the classes I took. The instructors were all highly qualified, and I only had one (out of 14) instructor whom I felt graded me based on my positions on issues rather than my ability to defend those positions. My experience at brick-and-mortar universities has been far worse in that regard. My two biggest complaints about my coursework were that: 1) discussion boards could be handled much better. The discussion boards are supposed to replace the in-class discussions that students would have at a brick-and-mortar school, but often, rather than provoke actual debate about issues, they just became a check on whether the students had done that week's reading. And, 2) lack of lectures. Lectures are an integral part of any college class at a physical institution, and it does not seem like it is a major leap in technology to post online lectures, so I do not understand why they are not a standard part of every course. As originally stated, however, on the whole my experience was very good. For military personnel stationed somewhere that precludes attending a physical university, it is hard to come up with a better alternative.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Don't make it your first choice

Middle Eastern Studies - April 1, 2010
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I chose APU because choices for on-line Middle Eastern Studies programs are limited (or at least they were when I was looking). The courses I've taken are too easy and didn't challenge me at all. The teachers seem qualified based on their education and backgrounds but that does not come through in the courses. Private conversations via e-mail about course material told me the instructors were knowledgeable. The courses however did not utilize methods and concepts for critical thinking and analysis. My second main issue is the extreme overemphasis in the courses and program on political and military aspects of the Middle East and intercultural relations between east and west. I figured there might be some emphasis considering it's military affiliations but, this was extreme overemphasis. The program offers little historical coursework for the region and little cross cultural understanding. The one course that teaches "Middle Eastern Culture" is more or less an analysis of Middle Eastern terrorists and cultural aspects promoting instability, oppression, and violation of human rights. While those are important factors to be aware of the students in this course seemed to come away with little challenge to their often negative preconceptions of the region and little understanding of the actual culture of the middle east which is quite rich and diverse. Teachers have 8 week sessions but the move to slowly. The instructors don't seem to utilize all the necessary aspects of on-line learning either. There is little to no on-line group work and collaboration and mostly they use a discussion board but questions often do not produce intelligent debate or useful learning but rather a dozen people all writting a few paragraphs aboutr something and then a few responses that often just say "I agree!" Beyond issues with the courses content and quality the school itself does not get very high marks from me. Financial aid and payments are a big issue for me. It was a more difficult process to apply for aid at APU than it was at my community college but it wasn't so complicated that most people wouldn't be able to do it. However, when you register for your classes your given a grand total before aid. You cannot view an account page to see your remaining balance and are not even notified until last minute that you have a remaining outstanding balance. I had to keep contacting the FinAid office in order to find out how much to pay. There should be an easy to access account page with balance information. Additionally for an online college it's odd that they don't have an integrated on-line payment program. Instead I have to fax a form with credit card authorization or mail a check. The second option only works if you classes are several weeks away since you cannot enter or stay enrolled in classes for more than a week if your not paid up at the start and their last minute notifications certainly don't give you that much leeway.

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