Capella University Reviews:
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I lived overseas and was looking for a DE Ph.D. program that I could complete with limited required time on campus in the US. I looked into several programs and Capella fit my requirements. I was sold because they let me start immediately, took my 29 year old masters degree, and did not require that I attend a stateside seminar prior to beginning the program. I was also impressed that it was a full blown Ph.D. and not a E.Ed. doctorate, that included emphasis on a complete doctoral dissertation. It wasn't cheap and when I took the program I had to pay full tuition each term, whether I took no courses or loaded up, so I usually loaded up and took extra courses. I was able to take off a term during the degree, which saved some tuition. Warning. If you require lots of guidance, immediate feedback, and are not self-motivated or disciplined this is not the program for you. You get out of it what you put into it. Most courses were interesting and valuable. I was able to write research papers related to my experiences living in an overseas environment, and that made the experience all the more valuable. I had an excellent mentor to guide my studies, who also acted as the chair of each committee for the comps, proposal and final defense of the dissertation, which was done by phone conference. Most course work included reading, online weekly class discussions and a course paper. Writing these papers helped in gaining experience for the 6 large comp papers required and eventually the dissertation. It took me three years. One year of taking at least two courses per term, one year plus of writing comps, the dissertation proposal, researching and writing the dissertation, and almost a year to get it approved. The approval process and getting feedback on the comps and dissertation was not always timely and could get frustrating. Some professors were not responsive, but this is not unusual for any graduate program. Most were very good and had a lot of experience in the field. The most enjoyable and valuable experience was the required two week summer seminar. Meeting other adult learners, professors, and getting lots of guidance for research and writing for the dissertation made it a great two weeks. There were a variety of short seminars to choose from, given by faculty, some of whom I had taken courses with online. Three weekend seminars were also required, but some could be back to back with the required seminar. These were useful in preparing for research. I was also able to do an independent studies class, self-designed, to practice research I would later do for my dissertation topic, and to do an internship, also related to my research. I finished in 2003, so the program may have evolved since then.
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