Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (127)
Like Jeff below, I found the coursework rigorous and rewarding. Other than the regular tuition increases over my 6 1/2 years, I have no significant complaints. I had one 'poor' instructor early on, and he is no longer with NCU. Every instructor since then has been outstanding--engaging and accessible. The greatest distinction between NCU and some other online schools is the independent nature of the doctoral process. In some other schools, you are in a cohort--the coursework and even the dissertation is more of a 'community project' instead of truly being your own. I can honestly say that my dissertation--every single page of it--is my work. (Being able to listen in on dissertation defenses was also amazing. It was quite clear who had done their research and who had not.) Finally, I want to reiterate Jeff's comment --PhD work is not for everyone. This is a very independent process; you must be able to explore and synthesize massive amounts of information, and your writing skills must be excellent! My dissertation chair was an APA guru! If you can work independently, you will do quite well at NCU.
If you're looking for a perfect school they don't exist. If you are not a self-learner, if you have difficulty synthesizing information, and if you can't do serious research do not attend NCU. After almost 6 years I've finished my doctorate and it wasn't easy. NCU is not going to hand you a doctorate degree. My academic advisor was great and though my first chair was really horrible, NCU has gone through and weeded out the subpar mentors and chairs. My chair was fantastic, always there for me. If you are not ready to put in long hours, deal with the ups and downs of completing a doctorate I would advise attending another school. If you decide to attend NCU you will be in a rigorous program, one that will challenge you every step of the way. I feel I am well prepared after attending NCU and wish only the best for the mentors, staff and students.
Do not waste your time. This is the worst school on the planet and needs to be shut down for stealing students money. I tried withdrawing and they had all these folks contact me. The only way to leave was to fail out the course. GO TO A BETTER SCHOOL.
This was the hardest thing I ever did; took seven years. It is also one of the most rewarding things I ever did. A PhD is no joke, and they certainly don't give it away. In other words, the program was very academically rigorous. There were many times I would lye down at night and wonder if I would ever finish it. This is not for everyone. Your writing skills need to be top notch. Also, a doctoral dissertation is nothing like a master's thesis. They are very different animals.
This school is awful. Mentors/Professors do not know the content; when you ask questions, they simply restate what is in the curriculum verbatim. I had only ONE professor be able to explain and make content understandable. This school tricked me into not accepting my next course and then I was dropped due to lack of attendance (you have to "attend" a class within a certain time frame. By not being enrolled, I couldn't "attend" so I was dropped.) When I was readmitted (within a day), I was told the degree program was changed completely and only 3 prior courses would apply. This meant I would go from over 30 credits to 9 credits and thus START OVER. I asked for tuition waivers because it was not fair they were basically STEALING my money. They refused. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
Glad to be finished. Would not recommend to anyone. They treat adults like children. Always want more money. Too many ongoing changes. They are unfair if you question policies. Greed is the order of the day. Don't really care about students. Online school is the most difficult way to pursue a degree and you teach yourself at this school. Classes are fine but when you pursue to doctoral degree, look out. I am so so glad to be finished!!!
I am earning my PhD in psychology. The overall purpose of pursing my degree with NCU is that my goal is to enhance my profession as a marriage coach and academic lecturer. I also plan to contribute to research in this area. overall, NCU has been a learning experience. I feel that the writing and research opportunities were extremely rigorous. Most, but not all, of my mentors were helpful with some areas of the curriculum, and less so in others. For example, there were times were feedback was not helpful or seemed a cookie-cutter response. Some mentors do not thoroughly explain instructions or offer their expectations clearly However, there were some mentors that were very detailed in their feedback and understood the course material well. I think it really depends on the class. I will say that the support services are excellent. Anytime I signed up for assistance, such as with Statistics, I received exceptional support. I went through two academic advisors, and the one I have now is wonderful. She check in and always answer my questions within 24 hours. The biggest flaw about NCU is that there isn't enough practical experience for psych majors. I think they should offer internships or clinicals. I had also mentioned adding a life coaching certification component as a specialization to the psychology curriculum because I think psych majors need more hands on opportunities in order to secure a career in the field. However, in my case, I do believe my degree from NCU will enhance my career, especially after I attain my coaching certification form another institution. I also think it will serve me well as a professor. So, as you read the reviews, and make a decision as to where you want to invest your money and earn your degree, keep in mind what you want to do with your degree and how it will be received in the industry of your career. For me, NCU is ideal, even though improvements are needed.
My experience with NCU has been outstanding. I left the program for personal reasons just before engaging in my internship. The staff has been extraordinary in helping me return and find a clinical site. I found the course work far more rigorous than classes I have taken at prominent public universities. All of my instructors held doctorates and were currently working in the field of marriage and family therapy or psychology, depending on the course I was enrolled in. Their specific feedback to my assignments and insight into my weaknesses and strengths were excellent. They shared personal clinical experiences when I needed a greater understanding of a particular modality or technique. Also, the online library is extensive, and a number of self-directed programs are in place to help the student navigate the databases. When all else fails, the librarians are eager to help.
The NCU curriculum is remarkably poor. Although the school does a very good job organizing and presenting its content online, the academic rigor and grading standards are extremely disappointing. Most professors use copy-and-paste techniques for evaluating work, literally copying pre-generated responses to assignments from a template for your feedback. I've also noted that none has reputable degrees. In my exchanges with professors throughout the first three courses in the DBA, I found them to be poorly educated and far from subject matter experts. For many of them, I felt they were at the secondary school level of understanding. Much can be gleaned from monitoring the student forums; most of the posts (by Ph.D. candidates) are rife with misspellings and poor grammar. I've noted the same in emails from professors. I cannot recommend this school, and I will be extremely critical of anyone with NCU on their resume.
I had a great experience for the first two classes, but the administration is very disorganized. There is a lack of interest in your success. There is also a problem with mentors that are very busy with other daytime jobs and rush through the assignments. The tuition went up in January, yet they are not investing in quality educators. I had a mentor tell me that it was hard to keep up correcting the weekly assignments because she had too many students. The assignments were graded late and I could not benefit from the feedback prior to submitting the next assignment. Unfortunately, the adviser is not very knowledgeable and cannot be of much help. I had a sad experience with the financial office mishandling my money. At one point, I was charged higher than the actual tuition and I had to leave a few messages before the problem was actually corrected. On another occasion, they removed me from a class after two weeks of hard work because they made a mistake with my student aid. The adviser left me a voicemail telling me that she was deleting the class without even talking to me about it. A word of advice, read the reviews for all the universities and compare prior to committing.