Review Averages: 8.9 out of 10
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Norwich University Reviews:
A Great Academic and Professional Experience
Master of Civil Engineering - January 10, 2016
If you are thinking about a Master's in Civil Engineering, this is an excellent option. I lived in California when I started. By the end, I lived in Eastern Europe. That is part of the power of the online learning environment. A second benefit is the staff at Norwich. One of the instructors was in the field overseeing the construction of a cell tower in Kyrgyzstan. Another was a full-time engineering professor at a major university in California. All the others were working professionals. Ph.D.'s, PE's, and SE's. All had substantial engineering experience. The next advantage is the mixture of professionals you will interact with in your class's cohort. You will start with a group and go through all your courses together. This creates some camaraderie and makes the process more enjoyable. Among my fellow students were structural engineers designing bridges, undersea platforms, water systems in Africa. Some ran businesses. One was a PMP professional for a large international firm. Experienced, working professors matter when the conversation is covering the latest design theory and calculations. In the classroom, the diversity of input from a wide range of engineers was more than edifying, it was exciting. Of course, the important things undergrad engineering leaves out are covered. Using code books to determine design loads is one such skill. Connections in reinforced concrete, complex wood splices, and the several failure methods of steel connections in tension are a few of the other skills required in structural engineering. Part way through the program, Norwich leveled up on the online platform. They moved from "angel" to Moodle. Angel was a good platform. But, Moodle was worth the extra work. I think you'll like it. Something Norwich did which made life a little easier was this: They shipped textbooks to us students. Do not worry if you have the correct edition, or all the software attached, Norwich works directly with Fawcett books. Fawcett mails the books to your door. Yes, I received mine in Eastern Europe, no problems. Having the books early helped me get a jump start on each course. Between each class, there is a two-week break. I used that break to work through the early chapters. That way, I had a basis on which to build the new knowledge. The workload is respectable. I set some goals for each class, and the instructors helped me reach them. So, be prepared to earn your degree. If you have never done online classes, also called "asynchronous learning," it is easy to see the advantages. If you have a mandatory meeting, it doesn't matter. Take the meeting. When you arrive back home, you can upload your assignment then. The hours are variable, just not optional. One of the previous reviewers noted that Norwich should utilize video to provide some of the lecture material. One thing you will notice during your coursework: NU proactively mines the student body for information on industry trends. That is one reason why the course content is so relevant to today's engineers. And, there are both video and downloadable PDF lecture materials. Watch all the videos at least twice. Print out the PDF lecture notes or load them onto an iPad. Go to a cafe and do your reading. One caveat of online learning is that social portals are just one click away. Another aspect NU seems to have responded to is the Capstone process. Yes, it was a lot of work. I respected it and all their warnings, "It is more work than you think. Be sure to investigate the available data before you choose a project." The process forced each of us in the program to perform parts of the Capstone project during the last courses. Personally, I chose something that really challenged me to learn dynamics and building serviceability to an entirely new echelon... a few levels higher than I functioned before the program. The best part for me was receiving my degree. The second best part was graduation week. Meeting your classmates, presenting your capstone project, attending lectures you'd normally pay to hear, and some really delicious chow (food, for you civilians) were all part of it. Oh, and do NOT skip the Dog River Run. It was an experience that still makes me smile.
Masters in Public Administration (MPA) - December 11, 2015
I completed my MPA in August of 2015. I learned so much during this time. If you are thinking of Norwich for your master's program, be prepared to wok-alot. The assignments are tough and a bit unforgiving in my opinion. However, the professors I had were all understanding when those life things happen and you are late with an assignment-as long as it is not a regular occurrence. I found all of the professors to be knowledgable. I have read some who have said they received little direction during their program. At first I was somewhat confused until I realized the intent is for you figure it out on your own. Rarely was there a problem. The first class will be tough-plan on spending 40 hours a week; and I am not kidding about this. Lots of research and lots of writing. You and your APA manual will become very good friends. The capstone was interesting to say the least, but like many, I was just glad to be done--18 months down. Was it worth it? Yes. The residency requirement is very cool--really good time. Would I do it again? Yes (but I have no intent to!!) Recommend it-yes, if you are willing to commit the time and effort you will be successful. The degree has changed the way I look at problems and develop pragmatic solutions. At residency, we were given a tee shirt that said 'Expect Challenge, Achieve Distinction." True
The whiners ruined it by driving out their best professor
Master of Military History - August 31, 2015
The MA in Military History program lost their best professor when Dr Grenier left. He was the glue that held together any kind of academic and intellectual standards the program had, and now in his place, Norwich is stuck with a program director who knows nothing about being a historian. Publications are the coin of the realm in history, and Dr Ehrman has none. The assistant program director is an unprofessional buffoon, and he even has a fake PhD from a mail-in college that no longer exists. He's more interested in being liked (and I do not especially like him anyway, because I see through his b.s.) than in teaching us how to be historians. I was really saddened when I heard Dr G was leaving. I was one of his capstone students several years back; he called to tell me that he was moving on to "a real school" because the whiners drove him out. He wanted to let me know that if I ever needed anything for my academic or military career that he could help with, to call him. Sure, he was the hardest and most demanding professor I've ever had. Unlike several other professors I had in this program, he actually took the time and effort to read every word I wrote and gave me dozens of pages of written feedback. I took it as a sign that if I could meet his high standards, I would arrive as a MA-level historian. The best students in the program wanted to study under his direction. The guy has written several prize-winning books, and a couple of my classmates had him as an undergrad prof when they were cadets at the Air Force Academy. They specifically came to Norwich for their MA because he was teaching there. When I started Norwich, I was an E-7: I thought, "Wow! Here's a chance for me as a NCO to study under a professor who taught at the Air Force Academy and whose students felt so highly of him that they followed him to Norwich." So, yeah, he will tell you directly and with no sugar coating if you're not making the grade. Who fills that role at Norwich now that he’s gone? He also told us dozens of times that it was better to hear criticism and critiques from him, in the safe confines of graduate school, than from a scholar or employer on the outside. He was right: the capstone is the only thing that will differentiate one student from the other, and because the rest of the world thinks on-line education is a joke and nothing more than a scam to make universities money education, we had to go the extra mile in our capstones. That’s what he made me do; those with really fragile egos who were hurt when he told them for the first time in their lives that they needed to work harder took issue with that. I'm thankful that I got my degree from Norwich while Dr Grenier was teaching there, and serving as the "capstone Czar." By the way, he never called himself that--that was the nickname the other faculty gave him, you know, like the ”Drug Czar" who runs a sprawling and complicated operation. The MA in history from Norwich is worth a whole lot less now that he's no longer teaching there. Norwich is good for filling a block, but without Dr Grenier, it's not half the experience it once was.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mostly ok experience with MDY, but not great
Master of Arts in Diplomacy - July 22, 2015
I desperately wanted to believe in the ideals Norwich promised to uphold from the start of the MDY program, but unfortunately they just aren't there. First and foremost, this is a private military academy. As such expectations are high, and they should be. In fact, not only should the be high, they should be very high. With that, the expectation is also high from my end, the student, that Norwich will be (to borrow from my military slang) squared away. If I'm going to allow you to lead me and expect me to meet a very high standard, you (Norwich) too should at the very least meet or exceed said standard. Again, I wish I could give Norwich a A+ here, but reality is their past level of performance is a C+ at best. The 'positive' here is that they've been consistent with their lack of consistency. Requesting and sharing of information from staff and professors with me and my peers throughout my time at Norwich has been inconsistent and vague at best. From issues with the course design, to contact with the on campus bookstore, I've had to check and recheck with the respective individuals just to get resolution. That is unacceptable. In Moodle, the online posting platform, I've literally found three different expectations for one assignment and not one is the same. This has been addressed with the program director but little if any resolution has been had. I certainly have not received resolution after a week plus. Second, the consistency between professors is laughable at best. I put value on a professors 'usefulness' by their ability to use their pedigree to thoroughly express and expand on ideas being taught and shared. Many if not all professors are accomplished in their concentration. But with that only two of the many professors I've had so far have understood this premise. Others merely serve as placeholders. Shame as I truly wanted to believe Norwich's promise. Finally, the work should be hard, the assignments challenging -- I expect this, but don't believe for a minute this program is for the working professional. Yes, people have finished their degree while holding a career at the same time, but I question their level of work and personal commitments while doing this. Simply put, if you have a tremendous professional workload and family commitments, think VERY long and hard (repeat--VERY) as to whether or not you wish to take on this level of commitment. I can say without a doubt that had I known then what I know now I would not have chosen this degree. Also, as sad as this is for me to admit, I would not recommend the MDY program to my peers, and that really frustrates me. Why? Because there is still a small piece of me that believes Norwich can fix this, but when and how? Norwich, are you listening? Until then, the unknown ROI is simply not worth the amount of energy, frustration and very real concern for lack of yield put into this degree. In the end, life is what you make of it -- this I know. However, putting very large amounts of time and energy into a system that is marginally 'ok' at best; among many other problems addressed with the Norwich Staff that are easily correctable, is not worth my time, or seemingly that of others. Your mileage may vary, however my experience seems to be in line with that of others. http://www.studentsreview.com/VT/NU_g.html
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sufficiently Happy with the Program
Master of Arts in Diplomacy - February 25, 2015
I recently completed the Masters in Diplomacy program and waiting to attend the residency component. I found the program to be great and it met my expectations. I think the pace at which the program develops is adequate and it is certainly doable if you have a full-time job. With that being said, it also takes a significant commitment and you will develop a top notched time-management strategy. The program itself is structured to give the student a comprehensive but general understanding of the subject matter. If I had to offer one critique, I wish the program would have afforded more practical application. There were many times where it was too theoretical. The overall online experience was what I expected and for the most part the student population came to work which made the process enjoyable. There seemed to be a significant level of diversity which led to thoughtful and robust online discussion forums. The online school platform (Moodle) changed in the middle of the program which was a little distracting but the new platform operates miles ahead of the old Angel based platform. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience in the Diplomacy Program and would recommend it to those who are seriously thinking about online school because a traditional setting is not an option.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Master of Military History - February 5, 2015
I am hearing an awful lot of negative feedback about Dr. John Grenier and I feel inclined to disagree. I went through the MMH program from 2009-2011. Professor Grenier taught both my seminar 5 and my capstone seminar. I am actually glad I had seminar 5 with him as it prepared me for exactly what he would expect from a capstone. He holds your papers to an extremely high standard. He is a tough professor. He will not sugarcoat anything. When you get your first graded assignment back you will wonder how you have managed to be successful in graduate school up to that point. As I write this I can find a dozen mistakes in my writing he would criticize me for. After saying all that I am glad I had him. He made me a better writer and historian. I analyzed things more in depth than I ever have and was able to communicate my thoughts better in writing. If it seems like he grades too much on grammar and not enough on content maybe you are right but the two are linked. It is through writing that you express your arguments and analysis. After achieving success in both classes I felt like I had actually accomplished something monumental. I felt like the “capstone” was a true capstone, or, crowning achievement. If you are sensitive to criticism and have your feelings hurt easily, this may not be the professor for you. If you want someone who is going to challenge you at every step and mold you into a better writer and analytical thinker, Grenier is your man.
MBA w/ Emphasis in Project Management (1.5 course to go!)
Master of Business Administration - January 20, 2015
I'd first like to say that this is a rigorous program with little room for a personal life, so strap yourself in...it's going to be a bumpy ride! Expect to work Mon-Sat every week to keep up with assignments. Sundays are your little reprieve so make the most of it. On average expect to write about 10,000 words per week between discussions and individual or team assignments. It won't always be that way, but expect that the majority of writing to be marathon in nature, albeit substantive. At first, it comes as a bit of a shock...but after a week or two of engagement, you get used to the extensive workload really quickly. Expect team assignments every other week for a year and a half! Moreover, expect to read 4-6 chapters between two books weekly to absorb the material throughout the week. One GIANT PLUS is that NU provides your courseware and books. You will receive new books two-three weeks prior to the previous course ending. The professors are VERY knowledgeable, but remember, we are ALL different--so are they, just like in life there are various extremes of people you will need to work with. You will do well to keep an open mind. Some professors are fluid and work with you...others...well you get my point. The worst thing you could do is alienate yourself by being argumentative right off the bat. Develop relationships with them for better or worst, it will help you traverse the rough waters. IF you happen to want to participate in the project management concentration, know that the learning curve is STEEP the first course, with a TON of information. You will be overwhelmed and out of your depth in the first course. To add insult to injury, there is a graded exam after each week--if you're not ready for them, they can singlehandedly undo you! My suggestion, ORDER Rita Mulcahy project management prep book from Amazon (it is the most popular--for good reason). Be sure it's for the current PMBOK edition. Rita breaks it down to the layman (that's what you will be until you get a handle on the subject). The PMBOK is dry and a VERY tough first exposure to the body of knowledge. Do yourself a favor and have a commercial study guide in your possession BEFORE you start...or, project management will eat you alive...you're welcome. Don't get me wrong, project management is where I want to be! I am now halfway done with my second project management class with one more to go. Having Rita on the side has allowed me to absorb PMBOK a heck of a lot faster with GREAT real-life examples that the PMBOK does not provide. Last, YouTube is your friend throughout the entire program. Get to know it. You can view lectures and subject matter experts to get the gist of EVERYTHING this program throws at you. The only problem with YouTube is the labeling--people don't label their videos appropriately so much is lost because of it. After a class or two, you'll be a whiz at searching YouTube for the not so obvious! Another problem is brevity...expect concepts you're looking for to be BURIED in a two hour video. Or a video that's explaining a two hour concept in 2 minutes--it's simply not enough. Despite its setbacks, it's a GODSEND...hope it helps! Update: Norwich no longer uses the Angel online platform. They now use Moodle with is web based. Look up Moodle in YouTube. You'll get an idea what I'm talking about. You get a student email through google, and it's accessible through your smart devices--something Angel did not do! I love it. I view course materials and discussions on the go!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Program, Capstone is a Nightmare
Master of Military History - December 2, 2014
I'm writing this a second time as I'm not sure why the first one was not posted. Norwich is a great school, and the MMH is a wonderful program. I enjoyed each and every class, and the instructors were, on the whole, very competent and helpful. The Capstone self-annointed "Czar", however, is a huge and continuing problem. [He] has, through his mean-spiritedness, egotism, and poor organizational and people skills made the ending of the program an absolutely miserable experience. He let us all "hang" on our Capstone topic for week after week, until finally telling us our topics were unacceptable and to start again. Even with an approved topic, getting anything approved by him is a daunting task. A critical and demanding professor is a good thing. One who approaches academia via insults, snide comments, and bullying is not. Most of his assigned students have requested a new advisor, and I have done the same. I simply can no longer abide by his consistent inability to have a rational discourse with his students. When and until he is removed from this position of authority, I cannot recommend this otherwise fine program to fellow students.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Norwich University MCE (Structural) Program
Master of Civil Engineering - October 2, 2014
Simply outstanding. I was a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo undergrad. I entered the MCE program as a licensed structural engineer. The program exceeded my expectations. The professors were industry recognized Ph.d structural engineers. The students had solid academic and military backgrounds including a M.I.T. MS in Nuclear Engineering. This is not the university for those looking to "pay the fees and get the degree". Bring your "A" game because you will be challenged and upon completion you will achieve distinction. I am proud to have "MCE" after my name. I recommend this program to anyone looking to earn a degree that has value and respect.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great program until the Capstone
Master of Military History - September 4, 2014
Up until the Capstone process I had an excellent experience during my in the MMH program. Professors such as Dr. Broom, Dr. House, Dr. Erdman, and Dr. Jennings were nothing but professional, helpful, motivating, and encouraging. Additionally people like Ben Sipe and Lars Nielson were incredibly helpfully with every question or concern I had. However, this was all ruined due to my experience with Dr. John Grenier. We were supposed to have our Capstone subject summited and approved during week 2 of seminar 4. The purpose of this was so the Capstone Czar Dr. Grenier could view and approve our topics. After months of silence and several requests, not a single member of my cohort received approval or feedback. By week 2 of seminar 5 we were suppose to have our topics approved and be assigned advisors. At the beginning of seminar 6, the time specifically dedicated to completing the Capstone, we were finally assigned advisors a week prior to the first assignment but still did not have our topics approved. Dr. Grenier then denied my topic proposal 3 times until we finally settled on a topic. Since we had never heard any feedback since seminar 4, I had purchased books, texts, and sources for my paper and researched a significant amount of my Capstone, only to be told the first week of seminar 6 that my topic did not suffice. Though Dr. Grenier is an accomplished professor I doubt his expertise on insurgency/irregular warfare (which was the topic of my capstone) as there were far more suitable professors with the required specialty. Throughout the seminar Dr. Grenier would take several days to reply to phone calls and emails. Though he was fairly polite on the phone, his comments on papers and emails were downright pompous, condescending, unprofessional, and rude. During my career have dealt with countless arrogant individuals on a frequent basis but I have never dealt with someone so patronizing in my life. His critiques and grammar style requests were nothing that I had seen during the entire time in the program. He would return entire assignments for the first minuscule grammar mistake he could find and would never focus on the actual content of the paper. I often questioned if he even read the whole paper. After I had paid $240 dollars for another PhD from an editing service to proofread and edit my paper, he still chastised me and made irrelevant content comments. I was finally reassigned to Dr. Broom after refusing to put up with the behavior of Dr. Grenier. Dr. Broom was everything I expected from a capstone advisor, we would talk weekly for at least an hour on ideas, he replied to emails or phone calls within hours, provided excellent constructive criticism, supplied and suggested sources to read, and had his colleagues review/edit my paper. Together, we made sure my paper was approved prior to residency. On a side note the residency conference was very impressive, worthwhile, and educational. I was amazed at how organized and well run it was and I had a great time. But my involvement with Dr. Grenier has tarnished my memory of my Norwich experience. I can’t in good faith promote the MMH program, encourage potential students to attend Norwich, or provide donations to the University when I know that Dr. Grenier is still alienating students.
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