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Capella University

  • Ranking: #39
    For-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
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    Accreditation: NCA

3.4
285 Reviews
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Capella University Reviews:

Let's get real here

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - January 28, 2015
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I'm continuously amazed at the bimodal distribution of reviews for Capella. Seems like some folks don't really pay attention to simple things like what it takes to be a therapist or a licensed teacher in their state when Capella's website says quite plainly their various degrees may not be useful for licensing in your state but "check with your state agencies for their specific requirements", etc.. Seriously, are we 15 years old here? I graduated from their School of Business and Technology with a Ph.D. in Information Technology Mgmt. in 2011. Most of the faculty are NOT typical college teaching faculty. Most are Ph.D.s who went into the normal workplace and not academia but want to do some teaching on the side. That results in a bit of a wide variance in ability and approach. That's the way of the world in many colleges these days. They rely on very few tenured full-time faculty and load up on part-time adjuncts. I think it also makes the grading a bit easy as well. (Do you give faculty better reviews when they give you a better grade?) Capella also has a pretty open enrollment policy. Did you graduate from an accredited institution at one level lower than your next degree without any major blemishes on your transcript? Then you're in. It makes you wonder whether some folks are cut out for their next degree when you see their course postings early on. Are they exploiting people or giving an under-served population a shot and something many schools wouldn't give them? My bachelors and masters degrees were in engineering and I wound up in IT after several career changes along the way. I was hoping for more technical IT content in my coursework since that wasn't my strong-point, but got "how to do nresearch in..." topics courses, which was what I guess I should have expected out of a doctoral program since everything should be pointed towards your dissertation. I thought the coursework was pretty useful on the whole and had 2 or 3 courses where the instructors were just mailing it in. You are paying some decent coin for tuition at Capella so expecting good value isn't unreasonable. The Comprehensive exam stage was difficult but not unreasonable. I do often wonder if the easier than expected grading gives folks a false impression that the Comp Exams and Dissertation phases are a piece of cake. They aren't. Doing a dissertation with a virtual committee is VERY HARD. You can't just swing by your mentor's office to chat things over and Capella is very picky about making sure research plans meet some some very strict criteria so they won't be perceived as a diploma mill. I'm not sure the faculty who serve on committees absorb changes in school criteria fast enough. An example is that my dissertation broadcast my survey to everyone in a professional group's email list. I was told by my IRB reader that next quarter I would be required to perform a random sample design to get survey respondents. You have to bake in 2 week review times, quarter breaks, etc. into your expectations time-wise which can be very frustrating. They do graduate thousands of students a year, so when folks say "It can't be done. They only want your money and will keep you in the process forever" they usually are stuck on their own perceptions of their dissertation and have a hard time changing it for their committee or school requirements. That being said I have no real complaints about the content of my degree program or the dissertation process other than I wish Capella would have had some organizations to utilize for dissertation research. That's the part where I thought I really had to scramble. But Capella is an online school so there is a bias against that when it comes to hiring for faculty positions. For me, Capella is ACBSP accredited but not AACSB accredited so that limits school I could reasonably expect a good reception to my CV. If you already have a job and want to use it to further yourself in your company, then Capella is a really good school for you. If you think you want to teach at a major university, think again. Being an adjunct at a CC or smaller 4 year college is more in the cards. So think of $20K a year for 5 years. You can get your degree. I think it's a valid and serious degree. But can your recoup your "investment" given the bias against online degrees? Think long and hard about it before starting. Capella obviously thinks they're great and will sign you up if they think you can handle it. What do you expect them to do? I never had anyone lie to me or deceive me about anything and if they ever did they should be held to account, but I never go to nefarious actions when it's more easily explained by incompetence. Bottom line for me is most information you need is on the Capella student center, so take charge of your own education.

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DO NOT GO TO CAPELLA!

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - November 20, 2014
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I went to Capella and followed exactly what the degree plan said and I took classes which were horrible I just copied and pasted others work and teachers did not even read the papers or provide any feedback. And if you called the guidance staff they transfer you to voice mails and no one calls you back. DO NOT GO to Capella all they care about is MONEY. I was not allowed to graduate because they said I did not take the classes in the right order and now have 15 classes complete (3.9 GPA) and am not allowed to submit my dissertation. The dissertation is 3 years after you finish the 15 classes then they make you pay for the same class 10 times. DO NOT GO TO CAPELLA!

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38 of 54 people found the following review helpful

Great school

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - September 13, 2014
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I went through the courses fairly quickly and stalled out a bit writing my dissertation. That was my choice and doing. Once I started my dissertation, it went fairly quickly. You get out of anything what you put into it, and this is especially true for online learning. This type of program isn't for everyone. You have to stay on top of your courses and hit your deadlines. There is no one there to tell you that you must do your homework, do the readings, etc. It was a great fit for me and I'm very proud of what I learned and my accomplishment.

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21 of 32 people found the following review helpful

Not much for hand-holding

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - August 21, 2013
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I completed my doctorate December 2011 from Capella in Information Technology Management. I obtained an MS and started a PhD program at a B&M school 20 some years ago and got through the Comprehensive exam stage there before stalling out at the dissertation phase. I had no problem with the coursework. About 10-20% of the courses had professors who weren't very involved in the courserooms and that matched what I experienced at my other schools. For the most part the faculty were effective and engaged. WRT the dissertation process, I will say that the Comprehensive exam was fair and quite challenging. It's not just a matter of knowing facts and how to do technological tasks. That's an MS level concern. A doctoral program is for doing research and synthesizing and extending ideas. It's more than "knowing the material." I had a 3.9 GPA going into Comps and passed reasonably comfortably, but it wasn't a gimme. Dissertations are HARD. Only about 55% of doctoral students ever complete their degrees within 5 years and about 58% at 7 years. That's not just Capella, that's global. If I hadn't started the process once and knew some pitfalls, I might have stumbled a bit more. Capella doesn't just want your money, they want dissertations that reflect decent scholarship. Compared to my previous experience, I would say that Capella's procedures are a bit more Byzantine than a B&M school. I had no particular problem with it and was able to finish mine in 4 quarters, which is the exception and not the rule. By their own admission, the median time in the dissertation process is about 6 quarters. That's pretty typical. I have to say that I was hoping for more guidance and help from the school to keep things moving along, but as with a B&M, the most important choice you make is who your dissertation mentor is. If you and your mentor don't click, it's going to be a rough ride. When it comes to accreditations like APA and what not, Capella's website is very straightforward about which ones they have. If you don't know what you need to get a job in your chosen field and choose to ignore what is plain as day on their website, then draw your own conclusions.

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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful

IT PhD's and technical abilities...

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - August 13, 2011
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Any IT PhD earner should at the very least be capable of using the Capella online learning environment. I personally have used non-compliant software (Linux, Chromium, Libre Office) and have completed all assignments and DQs on time. If you can't figure out how to use your primary tool in the IT field, you should change career tracks as well as schools. Anyway, 5 classes in and I am fairly well pleased with the courses and environment.

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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful

PhD: IT - Information Assurance & Security

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - May 11, 2011
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I am currently taking my 6th course for my PhD in IT - Information Assurance and Security. Like many reviews that I have seen for Capella's IT programs, I am very satisfied and feel it is a great value for the money. It is quite challenging. There are two research responses that are due during the week and four responses to other students' posts that are required weekly. In addition, each week typically has at least one paper due. All of the courses that I have taken so far required a larger paper, approximately 20 pages without the cover page and references, due as the last assignment. The instructors are not easy graders. Besides the content of the paper, they are quick to knock off points for APA and any grammatical errors. If I did something wrong, I correct it for the next assignment, but I have seen responses from students to instructors that can be belligerent. I have not seen an instructor respond in anything but a professional manner. I have not turned in any assignments late, so I cannot give a review on this, but I have read reviews from others that stated that they have run into issues with this - which is why I turn everything in by the due date! I do want to state that I have been able to move up in my career due to taking courses towards my PhD. The company is a top Fortune company and they seemed to be more interested in the fact that I am managing to take PhD courses while working rather than where I was taking courses.

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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Excellent School

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - April 4, 2011
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I have read a number of the reviews. Most of the negative reviews I see seem to have been written by people who either didn't properly research what would be required in their line of work (psychology majors, mainly) or have complaints that would be no different from any other on-line school. I received an Associates at a brick and mortar, a BS and MSM online (from another school). Capella is most definitely not a diploma mill. Students must work hard if they are to be successful. If I have any complaint at all it is that too much is expected. I thought I was overworked when pursuing my BS and MSM, but at Capella I am working significantly harder (wouldn't have believed it possible). The courses are tough, but the education is well worth the effort. I love the Colloquia required of all doctoral students. It is a time to meeting others in your program, comparing experiences and bonding with others. Many of the people you meet at these residencies are students in the very classes you are taking. This adds to the bonding experience and makes future classes with these fellow students more enjoyable. In addition, valuable information is gained by attending this residencies. Track one helped me to make the transition from practitioner/scholar to scholar/practitioner, which helped me be a better student. Track two gave me valuable information regarding research methodologies and research in general. I haven't attended track three, but I am sure it will also be well worth the trip. If you attend Capella, be sure to go to the Colloquia as early in the program as possible. Capella is an excellent school. I do not regret my decision to attend one bit!

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10 of 22 people found the following review helpful

PhD Organizational Behavior

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - February 13, 2010
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I just completed the PhD and am excited! Just so people know my background: I earned a Bachelor's and MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, a top ranked business school in New England. Have over 22 years experience in business and adult education and currently work as faculty of a doctoral program at a reputable traditional university with over 100 years of history. My Capella experience was excellent and I met a network of individuals (both professors and students) who are proving to be a great value personally and professionally. The courses were current and quite rigorous, but the comprehensive exam seemed to have been focused on grammar rather than content. Anyway, once at the dissertation stage the experience became quite candidate friendly as my dissertation committee chair was always available and willing to provide recommendations. The rest of the committee was also helpful and their insights took my dissertation to places I did not foresaw. I have been provided approval to publish an article based on the dissertation from a major academic publication (peer reviewed). My degree just opened the doors for a tenure track position and several online university offers to teach both as adjunct and core faculty. Capella is a great University and one whose reputation increases on a daily basis! For those who had a bad experience with Capella you should know that not all universities are appropriate for everyone! Especially, online education is not cut out for anyone! There will always be individuals happy with a university and others very unhappy with the same university. My recommendation to all: everyone is entitled to their opinions, but attempting to discredit an organization because you had a bad experience with it says a lot about your character. If you work for a world class organization and your boss fires you, is the entire organization bad? Maybe some of the frustration comes out off misunderstandings and lack of good communication skills. Besides, there is a movement towards discrediting all online schools because brick and mortar schools are losing millions to lost tuition dollars. Gain back a lot off those dollars with other strategies, negative publicity to your competitors ia a sure way to fail. Only time will tell! Lastly, what really matters is what a particular school can do for you and their accreditation being in good standing! Capella is fully accredited and is seeking to do what no other online university has been able to do and what brick and mortar schoold don't want to happen: AACSB Accreditation!

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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful

It works

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - August 7, 2009
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I recently graduated with my PhD. This program was tougher than my Masters at one of the public universities. I had some really outstanding instructors, and some poor ones. It's no different than the people you work with. I had a wonderful mentor (3rd time was a charm) who really knew the process and helped me through it. I even ended with a better product as a result. I know people who completed the program in 3 1/2 years - 7 years, which is the same as the local universities. It all depends on how organized you are, and your life activities.

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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Loved It!

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - July 27, 2009
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Capella is a great school and I am glad I attended. I am in the post-proposal dissertation phase and should graduate by the end of the year. This is not a 'degree mill' university and students actually earn their degree through hardwork and scholarship. I have learned a lot during this journey and believe it is worth it. I am currently a full-time human resources professor and my appointment was based on my impending PhD from Capella. Here's my only recommendation for improvement: although Capella is fully accredited, it needs to obtain the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation that signifies it is a good business school for those of us who are business majors.

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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Big Technology GAP & bigger Administration Egos

PhD Organization & Management/Information Technology Management - October 30, 2007
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Any University that claims to be a big supporter of it’s students and that dares to offer “Technology” related courses, needs to back that up with clear and proven infrastructures, not just stop at misleading web page tools. After two masters, this PhD folly with Capella had been a complete mess! First, I am an Apple computer user and started my PhD program with an Apple computer system that exceeded the Capella computer requirements for Apple Users. The problems: 1. From the first class I experienced, “courseroom” freezes and issues that would keep me in a delayed mode for posting assignments. Since Capella uses WebCT (Vista 4.0 currently), there remains a WebCT published “incompatibility” with Apple’s Safari Browser and all other Browsers that are updated in support of Apple’s OS 10.4.X. The Capella program for checking a student’s computer will flag an Apple computer as not being compliant although the Capella system requirements are exceeded. Once assignments are missed and the IT department has been “working on the problem”, Capella will not be flexible enough to ensure student courseroom success vs. telling me to get a PC. 2. Most of the “Professors” seemed concern for the first few weeks of technical problems. However, the inability to perform weekly posts was soon met with notices of failing to meet University “participation” requirements. 3. There is certain hype about the three required Colloquiums and how informational they are. Only after attending the second one was there enough understanding regarding how to best manage the numerous sessions. Track 1 learners are typically at a complete loss and may waste many hours/days attempting to take advantage of a few good sessions. 4. The learners are continually kept in the dark about the real process of dissertation expectations unless they are able to quickly network with students from Track 2 or 3. Some students get the feeling that Capella intentionally keeps a shroud of vagueness around the dissertation process with student elimination as the goal. 5. The mass of students will be and still are forever attempting to determine if Qualitative, Quantitative, or Mixed Method research analysis is what they should focus their main efforts on. Capella offers very little real help in this area and will only discuss related software (i.e., SPSS, etc.) if asked. However, do not expect to see this type of support software offered/mentioned in the Capella Bookstore! It is hard to see any advanced technology or thinking where the student is left with old or backward focused support technology and individuals that are lead by revenue focused administrators. Capella will drill you on following APA format and ding you hard if you screw it up. However, Capella will not prepare you for how to be a good researcher and how to be prepared to defend your dissertation successfully. If research and or education is inclusive in the basis of your PhD goal(s), look elsewhere.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful


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