Norwich University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (19)
I was a student in the on-line history graduate program back in 2011. The only advice I can give someone looking into the on-line program is...find something else! I know that at least 5 of the 8 in my cohort dropped out by the third class. I was a 3.8 undergraduate student with a degree in history and government. However, NU doesn't want to teach or help students improve their craft as historians. Basically, the on-line seminars are terrible with low level discussion and lack of debate. Professors are very critical of writing without any support or feedback. I agree with many other reviews and want to help potential students to not waste their time or money on NU. I withdrew after the third class when it was made clear by Dr. G (he has since left the school) I was "not a graduate level student." I did earn A's in the first two classes at NU, so I guess those do not count? Anyway, I did find solace when his book (that we had to buy for his class) received terrible reviews. Eventually, the class somewhat rebelled against the the professor and we collectively contacted the history department dean and he basically told us "there was nothing he could do." I am a teacher and know there is always something that can be done to help improve the education of students. I assume they had another cohort ready for the next semester and their money would be taken and the cycle would repeat. Since withdrawing from the university, I enrolled in another on-line program and completed my M.A. and now pursing my Ph.D. through the same institution. I guess that isn't bad for someone was "not a graduate level student." After the first class, I had high hopes for NU and enhancing my knowledge in history. However, after the third class it became apparent that this program was not the "right fit" for me.
Already possessing one graduate degree, taken at a traditional program (where I served as a research assistant), I enrolled into the online program with great enthusiasm. I understood it would not be as fulfilling as a traditional program, but given my new status as a husband and father, I was excited to engage in intellectual discussions again, and receive a 2nd Master's degree in History, something I had hoped to do years ago. Sadly, it did not take long to realize that my experience was not going to come anywhere near what I had hoped. A few professors tried hard to maintain control of the online forum, but alpha males treated it more like social media debates instead of intellectual debates. Worse, for a history program, I have never seen people review books with such obvious political slants. Yes, all humans have biases, but it was clear -- if it leaned right, right-wingers loved it and applauded it and left-leaning people ripped it. No attempt was made to disect the research or analyze the process. No open minded discussions took place. Worse, the professors seemed unable to steer the conversations towards graduate-level research discussions. It almost always turned into subjective debates. Again, much like Facebook discussions, but with much better language (the attempt to look intelligent). Worse, racism was rampant in the discussions and no one seemed to care. One comment, "The author seems to think that Native Americans were the victim when research clearly shows they have a predisposition to drunkenness." If that had ever been said in a true graduate seminar, that person would be asked to leave or defend himself with immense evidence. Of course, that was not required during the online debate. The professors were hit and miss. One was an author who only engaged in three of the 15 weeks' worth of discussions and even charged me for a late grade that I had turned in two days early. I provided numerous pieces of evidence to demonstrate my early submission, but he never answered his email and his phone went to voicemail each time I attempted to reach him. Another professor harshly graded a paper of mine that I had sent to two of my former professors for proofing/peer review. For some reason, they loved it and he gave it a C! I had a 4.0 in both my undergraduate and graduate work, and had a 4.0 in the first Norwich class. So, a C on a paper peer reviewed by two historians (professors) is just silly. When I finally obtained an explanation, I was told that he did not enjoy my stylistic approach to writing. Stylistic! Another professor accused me of "not reading the week's material," because my forum answer was discombobulated. This, after I called him to tell him I had the flu. I still wrote 8pp worth of MSWord material and included 37 citations --- for a weekly reading assignment! I did that with a 99 degree fever, mind you. He wrote me later to ask if maybe I had cheated and tried to re-write the words. Cheating! I was sick. I called him to tell him I was sick. And, I tried as hard as I could to still participate. For my efforts, I was accused of cheating . Lastly, the books were often bought in bulk (they were provided to you), all from one publisher as "classic reprints." Nothing worse than constantly reading research that is more than 30 years old. Doing that with seminal works from time to time is one thing, but when nine books are all from HIll & Wang (read: not such and such university press) and are old -- you know a deal has been done to gain cheap books. I'd rather buy my own books and make them worthy of reading and learning. With the racism, the political rants and lack of intellectual discourse, the incoherent grading system, the old books, the utter lack of instruction, and what amounted to nothing but busy work and frustration -- I finally dropped. I was only one semester short of moving to my research/thesis work, but I couldn't take it anymore. Without question, of my undergraduate and two graduate schools for which I attended, it was BY FAR the worst learning experience of my life.
Yes, this school is reputable, and they take low GPA's, which is nice for getting in. But when you start to struggle, don't expect any real help. I had first, Professor B. the assistant director. He was fine. Then Professor K. for the second class. My third class was with Dr. Ol.. He's a retired Colonel from the armed forces. Not trained in educating people. He was consistently unclear in what he wanted, and never gave actual advice on improving essays. His comments were simply "not on the graduate level." I withdrew when it was clear I wouldn't pass with him ( I did fine in the other two classes!) 5 of 8 people in my class dropped with this professor!!! One student wrote to the Director about this horrible teacher and he basically said tough cookies. They just changed the email server and I NEVER received any information about this, so I never received help on my re-entrance paper. When I reached out to the assistant director he said "I don't know what to tell you." No one has addressed this professor's issues: He was consistently late in sending us materials he said he's send, he is unapproachable and actually quite rude, was never explicit with essays, and never actually helped or reached out to students. I would not apply for this program again. I suggest other Military History students go somewhere else. They wer re-vamping the class while I was in it. Very confusing. NO ONE called or asked or cared that I withdrew, nor did they offer to help. I'm just immensely disappointed in this program. They appear to want perfect students who can handle orders and work without any professorial help. Unfortunately students are not mind readers! Whether I get back in or not, I'm probably switching to a program like ASU- cheaper, and has a much longer history of online degrees.
The SSDA program at Norwich University is specifically designed for individuals in the intelligence and SOF communities of the military. I found this program to be exactly what I needed in order to advance my career and gain critical knowledge of homeland security and defense policy. The professors are highly intelligent and work with you to ensure your success. Overall I would recommend this degree to anyone interested in perusing a lengthy career in the military or desiring to get out and work for the federal government.
A rare opportunity for a working professional to study in a prestigious institution if not fortunate enough to have been able to do that early in life. Norwich is relatively well-known in American culture and the MPA program was exceedingly helpful in strengthening needed skills for a role I promoted into just as I graduated where I lead over 500 people of a near 10,000 person organization. I would not likely have been hired without the Norwich degree. The MPA program was arduous and rewarding. Professors demanded competence and it took significant self-determination from program start to graduation on campus following a fantastic one week required residency that physically connects the on-line student with Norwich for life! I can't say enough about the school, program, or advantages to be had.
Very time consuming, but worth it! Learned a lot. Students were others who are working professional and generally really good people. You can tell professors are invested in your success.
Norwich University is a small private school in Vermont. I valued the low student to teacher ratio as I was 1 of about 12 students in the program at the time. Since I graduated, Norwich has been completely renovated, and currently offers a lot more amenities and club sports. I would recommend Norwich University to any student looking to get a well rounded education.
Great school. Very difficult program. It is not for those seeking an easy degree. I am very happy about the quality of education. I have used the course work regularly in my career. It was very relevant. Highly recommend Norwich's Master of Arts in Diplomacy international terrorism concentration.
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.
My overall experience in the MDY program was rewarding. The program itself is not easy, you will definitely need to be able to adequately manage your time. However, I found the program to be completely doable. For the most part the courses were relevant and the members of the cohort were able to change dynamics in the course given their unique experiences. I wish there were more focus on career and professional development. In fields like International Relations it is hard to make a career jump and I wish Norwich would have done a better job connecting graduating students with a network to increase employment opportunities.