Walden University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (410)
I left Walden University when I finally realized that I wasn’t earning a graduate degree, I was buying one. When I applied at Walden and saw how easy it was to get in, it should have been a huge red flag for me. And looking back, I guess there was something in the pit of my stomach that just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t until I started taking classes that I began to realize that this program is not focused on learning, but rather on money. You pay thousands of dollars for courses that are high school level. If you can read a book chapter or an article and summarize it in three paragraphs, and occasionally write a longer paper, you’ll get A’s. That’s fine if that’s the type of “education” you want. But if you are really looking to be challenged to develop critical thinking skills and be able to analyze information and engage in the type of discussions with peers and coursework that fosters the type of learning that should be taking place at the graduate level, you won’t find it at this school. Mediocre work is acceptable, so you don’t have to work very hard. Sure there is a lot of reading and weekly discussion post (often just a simple 200-300 word responses to basic questions about the assigned readings), but it’s not very challenging work and you won’t learn much doing it. Many of the “positive” comments mention that to succeed at Walden you need to be willing to ‘”work hard” … but that refers to being able to read a lot and summarize the information for weekly discussion posts in two classes over a 12 week period. In other words, this is “busy work” that may take some people a lot of time to do. The problem is, it is not learning. It is not the type of work that really allows you to think for yourself and engage in meaningful dialogue with the instructors and fellow students. Everyone answers the same questions and basically writes the same summaries of the information. It’s dull, boring, uninspiring work. And you pay $2500 per class to do this! I thought the introductory started like this but expected the higher level courses to be more of what you’d expect in a PhD program. But even the 5 credit “advanced” courses are the same. What finally got me to leave the school was the fact that in my last class at Walden, my teacher waited until the last week to grade 5 assignments. This included my final paper which was 21 pages long. The electronic classroom tracks when you submit assignments and when they are received, viewed, and graded by the instructor. These 5 assignments were all graded within a 2 minute time period. In other words, the teacher did not read them. So what pride can I take in getting an A in the course if my assignments weren’t even read? The content of what you write, and therefore the content of what you actually learn in the classes at Walden, does not matter. Just pay your bill and submit something that can be graded so it can appear that actual learning is taking place. It really is a shame. I am actually embarrassed that I was a student at Walden for over a year before I finally woke up and asked myself “what am I actually learning?” … I don’t want to buy a graduate degree. I want to earn one.
I would heartily discourage anyone from enrolling in Walden University. It is an academic and financial black hole. I enrolled in the mid 90's. My first "mentor" seldom answered my phone calls (sometimes taking over 6 weeks to return my calls, even though I left messages every few days). When he did speak with me his communication skills were so poor (rambling incoherently) that it was essentially a waste of my time. Despite a strong academic background at the undergraduate, master's and doctorate level in traditional schools, as well as a long history of successful independent study in my previous schools, I could not get my "mentor" to approve my proposal nor to clarify his expectations. I finally asked for another mentor. The second one was even worse than the first. My calls to the school's administration to discuss this issue were woefully disappointing. After four or five months of this I finally threw in the towel. While this school might be fine for a few people, it is a huge and expensive risk. Overall, the staff, "mentors," and administration were extraordinarily unprofessional.
In 2008 I was looking to complete my doctorate in psychology. I graduated with a bachelors degree from Clark University in 1998 cum laude, and earned my masters degree from Assumption college in 2002. Both of these schools are highly respected. When seeking options for my doctorate I found only one "brick and mortar" school in my area which would accept my masters credits after 4 years post graduate, but it was over an hour drive from my home. After the disappointment subsided I researched online universities. Walden is accredited and is entirely online. They also enjoy a reasonable ranking compared with other exclusively online programs, and location based schools. I enrolled in the Health Psychology doctorate program in 2009. The first couple classes were not very rigorous, but this is to be expected when beginning a degree program. After more than a dozen more classes I was pleased to see the work was demanding, and I learned a lot, much of which I have already began to apply to my private practice as a psychotherapist. I find most of the professors to be experts in their fields, engaged, and accessible. All the professors I have had received doctorates from location based colleges and universities, save one Walden doctorate. I am presently halfway through my dissertation. I have spent 4 quarters on this already. The process is demanding, and not for the faint of heart. Both my Chair, and Committee member are excellent mentors with high skill sets. I find that if one is planning to pursue an online degree know there is assistance when you need it but there is no "hand-holding". Like any college or university, you get out of your education what you put into it. People often distrust what is new. Online education has been utilized up by scores of location based colleges and universities, many with high rankings. Anyone who may believe Walden is inferior to other web-based learning would do well to do some research. The classwork, and papers are at least as demanding as any I have written in the past. This is the only school I know of that require referenced citations for in class comments and postings. I recommend Walden to those who have good study and computer skills, and can work well independently with online support when needed.
I began attending Walden after a great deal of research. I discovered that Walden is only out to make money. They say that student learning is their top priority but money is their to priority. I had to send numerous complaint e-mails to have interaction with my chair. After writing an entire doctoral study, I was told that I had the wrong format and that I would have to rewrite the entire paper. Throughout this process other members of my group dropped out because they could not get the support they needed to complete the process. When you make complaints, you get a form letter response or a scripted response. They will not admit to their mistakes and it cost you money. I am glad that some of the posters had great experiences but I have been living in a never ending nightmare. My advice would be to pick another school because Walden will not help you be successful.
Two initial classes. 4 hours per day spent responding to others. All weekly assignments completed on time. Believed was on correct path because no corrective commits or grades observed. It was only until my final grade was I able to view teacher feedback. Teachers have access to see if I am looking at their commits but they could not be bothered to reach out. After grade teachers and administrators were very uncooperative. (((((did you know its Walden s policy not to hire graduates??)))))) DONT WALK AWAY FROM WALDEN>>RUN!!!
Walden is by far the worse online school I have attended. The Academic Advisors and Instructors are very unprofessional. The instructors does not follow the rubics and when I bought it to my Advisors attention she did nothing about it. She just stated that all teachers have their own style of grading. Well why have the rubics then if thats the case. One another incident my son had knocked my laptop down and broke it 3 days before the end of class and I called tech support to see what I could do. They notified the instructor and so did I, she did not get back with me until Tuesday (which the class ended Sunday) Stating that there was nothing she could do about it. Needless to say I failed the class, which I would have passed if I got to do the exam over. You can never get in touch with the Advisors and they never call to see how you are doing, they MAY send an email every now and then. I really dislike Walden University, and I am not the only one having problems with the advisors and instructors too. I have talked to quite a few people who told me they would have warned me before attending if they know that I was going to attend Walden University. What a waste of time, money and effort!
I went to a brick and mortar undergraduate school and honestly this was pretty disappointing (University of Utah). I think much of schooling is really disappointing in general; with this said I work in the middle of know where and am over one hundred miles from other places to go to school. Walden works for me and I think that i learn as much as from another school due to my own efforts and am able to complete a degree in the boonies. I think that Walden compares to most online schools, I feel that I am essentially on my own and pay a lot for this. This works for me because I am already a supervisor in my field and need further education to progress. I think that Walden is good if you already have expirience in your field and just need to complete a requirement for advancement. All said and done I would be happier with less tuition.
I just completed my PhD program at Walden. I found the academic rigor of the program comparable to brick and mortar institutions, and personally found I learned more in the online environment due to the requirement to engage with students and faculty with the written word, several times/week. All of my professors were working in industry as well as teaching so brought to their comments points of views that enriched the learning experience. I particularly enjoyed the engagement with classmates from all over the US and World and think more strategically as a result. During the KAM writing and Dissertation stages of my program, it was important to remain self-motivated and willing to be the scholar that Walden trains you to be. Walden University will not hold your hand as you complete KAMs or your dissertation. Completion requires self-organization, self-regulation, self-management, self-motivation. If you are unable to think independently, you will not succeed at Walden. In addition to the academic rigor, the student support services at Walden were excellent. I always received a response to questions/issues/problems within 24 hours and always satisfactory from advising, financial aid, the writing center, the research center, registrar, etc. Also, the Walden Library is superb and I will greatly miss having access to it. I highly recommend Walden University.
As a recent Ed.D. graduate (2013) I found Walden to be a very challenging and rigorous course of study. The school is certainly research focused so if you are not self-motivated then it may not be the right place. I did find that during the doctoral process that my chair, committee member, and URR were extremely helpful and wanted me to be successful. The IRB process is somewhat overstated, however the rest of the process was very doable if you are willing to put the time into it.
I have read through many reviews on here, and truly cannot believe the negative ones. I am drawn to beleive that many of the negative reviews are due to student willingness to put in effort. My education thus far received has been fantastic. Walden honed my skills in writing at the academic level, broadened my ability to perform research in the areas of policy analysis and campaign strategy, and improved my critical reading skills. I am completing my dissertation with Walden, and have never found the process to be strung out. My chair is great, receptive, and really knows the topic area. The majority of professors teach at other major universities, and have extensive experience in their feilds. My chair was selected because she has sat with some of the greatest researchers in campaign research, and worked along side them. The professors I had for quantitative reasoning were really great in statistics, and had real world applications of their research, as well as a quality life and placement in academia. The reviews on here that are negative simply do not reflect the quality of educators at the school. To address issues such as academic advising, this also sounds incorrect by review of other comments. Academic advising has been very receptive, informative, and very familar with the process. My academic advisor has always been spot on with information provided, and in addition has always answered my e-mails or phone calls very promptly. I would also like to state my education moved in into academia, where I am now adjuncting a few courses per semester, plus working full time at a regular position in business. If it were not for my going back to Walden I would have have gotten a position teaching in college. I could not have gone back the traditional route for my Ph.D. as it wouldn't be possible to survive (rent, utilities, bills in general) and getting paid a $600 per month stipend. Many of these reviews I wonder if they truly are students at the school, or the older academics who are fighting the new trend. The world is changing, and people do not have the ability to go to a traditional school for a Ph.D. or M.A. while sarcrificing a real salary. Things have grown to expensive to do such even with student loans, because not enough money comes back to afford rent and bills. Walden gives many great minds the opportunity to go further. Traditional academia does not like it because it intrudes upon their "exclusive" club.