Review Averages: 5.9 out of 10
Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northcentral University Reviews:
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rigorous PhD Program at NCU
PhD in Business Administration - June 28, 2016
Overall, the dissertation sequence of courses were no joke, it is an extremely challenging program. I recently completed this program and successfully defended my dissertation. I might add that the Doctoral program at NCU is challenging and requires you to be truly disciplined as an independent researcher and scholar.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
NCU ripped me off
Ed.D. - June 24, 2016
For those like "Anonymous" who say that the complainers of NCU are the ones who couldn't make it, how and why do you presume to know what others have gone through and what level of knowledge, ability, and expertise they have? It's that kind of arrogance that causes people to misjudge others when they may have a legitimate complaint. I, for one, was scammed out of a Doctorate Degree from NCU. After sailing along with ALL A GRADES, I got into the research phase and was suddenly dismissed from the program, without warning or clear explanation. I don't have the time or space here to tell of the events that followed, but here are a few of the highlights: My adviser changed at least 5 times over the years; my doctorate committee chair changed twice; before I was dismissed, I had followed everything my chair had told me; my chair was "surprised" and did not understand why I was dismissed; NCU violated their own protocol for dismissal (guidelines stated that the student should be able to finish their existing class and they didn't allow me to do that); NCU did not tell me at the time of dismissal the options available; NCU did not refund money I had already paid for graduation. I'm not disputing your experience at NCU - but you should not dispute mine as well. You may have had a great experience. I'm glad for you. Mine was going well, and then it all fell out from under me - and NCU ditched me without much correspondence at all. I even wrote the University President - and was basically told by him that it was tough luck. So, enjoy your experience at NCU if you choose to go there. But don't make ridiculous statements about others' experiences which you know nothing about.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Quality Doctoral Program
PhD in Psychology - March 10, 2016
Northcentral University is a quality school that prepares students for academic research and clinical practice. I graduated with a doctoral degree in Psychology and teach full time at a nationally ranked University. Students who are complaining about NCU are the one's who most likely failed out of the school!
15 of 31 people found the following review helpful
10 Reasons Why You Should Never Consider Attending Northcentral University (NCU)
Northcentral University - February 24, 2016
For those of you thinking of obtaining a graduate degree, online programs seem to be a convenience solution for working adults. However, not all online schools are alike. Most are private institutions that are about making money rather than providing a quality education. Northcentral University (NCU) is one such case. NCU is a for profit business owned by a private equity firm. The focus of NCU is revenue generation derived from continuous enrollment and high retention numbers. For high enrollment, NCU will admit anyone with the required degree for the graduate program even if they cannot write a grammatically correct sentence. For student retention, NCU faculty engages in grade inflation. NCU used to have a policy where if a student did not pass a course the instructor would not get paid, which means a lot of undeserving students passed courses. But a focus on revenue generation, easy enrollment, and retention are not main reasons to shun NCU and select a more reputable university. The following are 10 reasons why pursuing a graduate degree at NCU is a waste of your time and money. 1. Unfortunately, “As” and “Bs” given at NCU will not take you far. Rampant grade inflation ends when you enter the comprehensive exam (comps) phase. In most cases you will not be able to successfully complete comps, as you have not been properly prepared by your prior course work. 2. One reason you will not be prepared to pass comps and complete your dissertation is because most instructors (a/k/a mentors) are not academically qualified to teach the courses they have been assigned. Although NCU markets that all faculty hold doctorates, faculty are assigned courses where they have limited professional experience and little or no academic qualifications. I personally know of 12 instructors who teach courses where they have zero academic or practical training in the subject. I know several more who have never published a peer-reviewed article. Most of the faculty from NCU graduated from inferior schools. For instance, you probably will notice that Harvard and Yale graduates aren’t teaching and designing courses at NCU. Few faculty members graduated from state colleges either. Most faculty members come from other online universities and degree mills. I knew of one “doctor” who obtained his degree from an unaccredited school located in Costa Rica. I knew of another “doctor” who actually bought his degree and obtained transcripts from an online service. Because instructors at NCU are not familiar with the material they grade, faculty serve as mere graders. 3. Another reason you will not be prepared to pass comps or complete your dissertation is because students are not prepared for the rigor of completing their dissertation during the coursework phase. Statistics indicate only 2% to 3% of all business doctoral candidates will receive their doctorate. If you do not graduate you’ve blown thousands of dollars for absolutely nothing. 4. If being unprepared by unqualified faculty was not bad enough, these same instructors hold students in contempt and distain and do not care about student success in spite of what you’re told. Many NCU students who enter a doctoral program cannot write or read English even at a grammar school level. Management has told me they are fully aware of the problem but do not care -- after all NCU is about profit. If faculty cared about student success they would not placate students by giving undeserved “As” and “Bs” rather adhere to minimal academic standards of writing and critical analysis skills. 5. The reason most students want to obtain a degree is to get a better job. The challenge is no value exists to a NCU degree in private industry. Your degree will not impress employers and could negatively affect your ability to secure a job especially if you do not have professional experience in your field. Because NCU is an electronic correspondence school, employers do not consider the degree on par with state schools. NCU has earned a bad reputation among many employers. I am familiar with 8 instances where employers refused to accept candidates who hold NCU degrees. 6. Many NCU courses are using course materials that are outdated, irrelevant to the subject, and or do not provide the student with a base of knowledge to successfully complete the weekly assignment. 7. Most courses are poorly designed, likely because the course designers are not subject matter experts either academically or through work experience. Most course content in the business programs are not even appropriate for the specific degree program. 8. Each course is set up so students can earn a maximum of 100 points. I taught a doctoral level accounting course where the total points a student could earn was five points less than the NCU requirement. No instructor noticed or bothered to report the discrepancy until I came along. The mistake had continued for five years – in an accounting class where the instructors are supposed to be detail oriented and able to add. Either the instructors did not notice or simply didn’t care -- another commentary on the attitude instructors have toward student learning. 9. Do not be fooled by the Teaching Through Feedback method at NCU. Faculty is supposed to provide you feedback on your work and instill in you what you need to do to improve on your next assignment. Although the Teaching Through Feedback method is part of instructor training, few instructors adhere to the teaching method and do not give useful and actionable feedback. Considering faculty is paid $25 per week per student, you can’t really blame them. 10. Through the grapevine I was aware of at least one case where NCU did not abide by state labor laws. I know the preceding because I was a faculty member in the School of Business and Technology Management at NCU. I have also worked at other online universities and the differences between NCU and those schools were phenomenal and striking. You will be treated as a revenue source not as a student. You will have instructors who often will know less about the subject matter than you. You will be held in contempt and distain. If you still want to attend NCU, you have been warned.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great Learning Experience
DBA Organizational Leadership - February 23, 2016
My learning experience at NCU was very positive. As with all online programs, you have to be very self-motivated and driven. You need to be willing to devote time to your studies every week, and you need to be willing to work hard for your degree. If you do that, you will be fine. The NCU professors and supporting staff were accessible and helpful. The weekly assignments were meaningful, the expectations were stated clearly, and the grading was fair. Working with my dissertation chair on my research project was a wonderful experience which prepared me well for my "life after dissertation".
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
NCU is a solid program
PhD in Business Administration - January 27, 2016
I fully agree with the remarks by “Danamariebrace.” NCU was a pioneer in on-line PhD program and as a result had some significant learning curves; however, they have a proactive team that continues to improve the process. They have moved-on non-performing chairs and have well organized alignment with subject matter and methods experts. The now late Dean of PSU IST, in comparing the two programs, stated to me that the range of dissertation chair quality and experience is no different from that of in-resentence programs. Ultimately the PhD candidate is responsible for their own research. If things are not progressing administratively well, then waiting will not make that issue improve. As with our careers, as professionals, it is our own responsibility to take ownership for our learning experience. Academia is not a vocational monkey see monkey do environment. Even though a professor could tell you how to do something, instead they direct you to expand or look into xyz in guiding you to improve as a professional researcher. It is up to you to comb through everything and flip all assumptions to facts. As for coursework, the same applies. If a person does not apply the information to their life experiences within their individual courses and papers then they are wasting their time. It is not just a degree or paper or title, it is you and a professional having the opportunity to expand your topic awareness within the course and beyond the boundaries of the course. If simply doing what is required to get a grade is the objective then the opportunity is lost. Complaints on motivation speak for themselves. It is not the job of a professor to motivate a student. We are either self-motivated in everything we do or we are not. As with everything, NCU is an opportunity. As an Air Force retiree, it provided me an opportunity that otherwise would not have been possible. Enough crying. Take ownership and responsibility for oneself. If aspects of your educational process could be improved…be part of the solution. Best of luck.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
You get back, what you put in!
PhD Education - January 27, 2016
I have completed my MA in Education and am currently working on my PhD in Education here at Northcentral University. The programs are geared for independent learners. If you have the ability to research, read, and write high quality authentic work you should be successful. Navigating the website requires a learner that has a comprehensive base in technology. Programs are systematically designed to challenge learners to explore and learn about their field in an inquiry approach to learning. Mentors are available and facilitate a learning experience that is based on open communication. As prior military and an educator for 10 years, I find Northcentral an important and viable educational tool.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
So Far So Good!
Ed.D. - December 28, 2015
I'm working on my EdD and just completed my second class at NCU. Thus far I am very happy with the program. Actually, I am VERY satisfied with the 2 instructors I've had. They have been very helpful and bombard me with information even when I haven't asked for it. Their critiques are VERY thorough but they do it in such a way that it isn't demoralizing. It's certainly tough putting in the necessary hours after a pond day's work, but it is the ONLY way to be successful. Lastly, and most importantly, I am learning a lot of very useful information much of which I have already incorporated into my profession. I have no regrets selecting NCU. P.S. I will keep everyone updated as I move closer to my dissertation.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Dissertation process is challenging
PhD in Business Administration - December 11, 2015
I completed the PhD in BA and one thing that might help people is that the course work and comprehensive exams should not be the focus of your career at a Doctoral program. You should try to finish that as quickly as possible and just worry about getting a passing grade. The real work is in the Dissertation. Don't think that traditional school is all that much better either. You should prepare yourself for the Dissertation by reading around a dozen research quality books on your topic and have at least 50-100 peer reviewed papers read before you start. You need to write a 200-300 page thesis of original work and ideally have 1-3 papers distilled from your thesis. That's my advice, pick your topic carefully so you know a lot about it and can write extensively on it. Most of the problems noted seem related to the PhD process in general. Although I think the online format may make things harder. After graduating, I found NCU PhD marketable and helpful in my job search.
12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Thrown under the bus
DBA Criminal Justice - October 7, 2015
I hear what folks say when they state, "not everyone is cut out for a doctorate." That is in many respects true. The issue I have/had with NCU is the apathy I found with the professors and especially my dissertation chair and committee. The committee members kept changing because of turnover and I had to nearly start from new when that happened. In a bricks n' mortar university you have a chair who is accessible and who gets to know you and invest in you. Not so with NCU. It is far too easy to write people off when you don't see their faces or listen to the ideas and concepts of the dissertation. I've a friend that went through a doctoral program at U of Texas and I saw him interact daily with his chair. I found attending NCU to be a monumental mistake that I will pay for until my mid-sixties. Not a great way to treat people. And, NCU, we are people.
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