American Public University System Reviews - Master's in History
Review of History Masters Degrees
Exceptional learning institution, those complaining are lazy and don't want to put forth the effort to earn a degree. This institution have some of the best instructor's. They are very knowledgeable about their subject areas. The best online institution.
I am in the middle of obtaining an M.A. in Global History via their online learning environment. The good: APUS makes it very easy to apply and submit materials online. The account page is very intuitive, and there is a link for just about everything. Also, it's the cheapest route to obtaining a Masters. The bad: Books aren't finalized until the day classes start, which is annoying and unpractical. A few professors have been very kind and helpful, but the majority are not. Course expectations are not clearly outlined in the syllabus. The online "classroom" is very outdated - in the sense that the resources and materials were probably relevant at a much earlier date. There are a lot of broken links, incorrect dates, missing information regarding assignment details, etc. Case in point: my most recent course had links to many reading assignments, the majority of which were inactive. In the end, I suppose you get what you pay for. This is a for-profit, ultra cheap school. Profits are first, academics are second. That much is very clear. I would definitely not recommend this school to anyone.
Education is what you make of it, whether you're Abraham Lincoln reading second hand books and mastering the law or you're a rich child attending Harvard Law because your parents went. AMU/APUS is no different. There will always be some professors who are better than others, and there will be some classes with a heavier workload or a unique curriculum requiring extra discipline. Some courses I've taken, especially in my graduate studies, have been incredibly challenging and time consuming, with one class standing out in my mind requiring nearly 1,000 pages of reading per week in addition to written work. Your own initiative and discipline will win your success at this university, just like anywhere else in life. I have been a student at AMU/APUS since 2006. I finished my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and then started my Master of Arts in Ancient and Classical History. I've seen the criticism over the years of online study, especially earlier on in my decade of attendance here as the concept of distance learning threatens the profit margins of brick & mortar schools. This school has done nothing but improve my life. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to take courses online at AMU/APUS because I would not have been able to attend a brick & mortar university with all of my training and deployments keeping me out of a physical classroom. The advent of the online classroom, so well delivered by APUS, has literally opened a door for me where there previously was a wall.
I received an MA in history and a Graduate Certificate from AMU. I have to admit, I was thoroughly impressed by the attention and quick responses from my professors. AMU actually requires its professors to be very active in their courses. The programs were thorough and well structured. The program director was extremely helpful, as were the live chat options and advisers. For the sake of not sounding like a drone post sent by the university, I would also like to admit that I was very weary of enrolling with APUS because it is strictly online. Even today, despite the fact that most universities have online programs, APUS is criticized. However, in my experience at OSU and other on site universities, APUS was far more hands on. Their workload was difficult and required discipline, which, to an honest student, means they will learn more and work harder. This is what you want from a university. Do not enroll in APUS if you are looking for a cushy diploma mill. APUS may be a for profit university, but I, personally, received a better education from AMU than I ever received as a speck in the crowd at OSU. It is unfortunately true that APUS still receives academic criticisms, but it cannot be justified. APUS is fully accredited. FULLY accredited. A degree from APUS is just as good as a degree from any major university, including OSU. People need to get over themelves and accept the direction that academics is taking. All aspects of APUS far exceeded my expecatations. It was the best decision of my life. Note, I am married, have two young boys, and worked full time while I got my degree. Quite making excuses for your own failures people.
First let me disclose that I am a card carrying member of MENSA, yet despite that, I did not receive an A in every class. I did however graduate with a GPA high enough to be inducted into three (3) different international honor societies. The studies for my Master's Degree were academically challenging yet very achievable. I finished my degree program in December of 2014 and will be receiving my degree in February of 2015. The quality of the professors has been wonderful. I have had a few good professors, many great professors, and several exceptional professors. The cost of the classes compared to other graduate schools is unbeatable. My professors worked with me when life threw me serious curveballs. The on-line format was great considering my frequent traveling for work as well as my relocating to Hawaii after retiring. I could not have completed my Master's Degree in a traditional brick and mortar school under those circumstances. Make no mistake about it, the on-line format demands devotion and concentration, as well as dedication in order to make it work. Professors will not accept excuses for preventable or ordinary circumstances, or for lack of dedication to studies, but for real and serious life curveballs (my wife's unexpected and untimely death) they worked with me and permitted me to take extensions of up to six (6) months to complete my classes.
I had professors who had earned their PhDs at places like Berkeley. A couple of them affected my life in wonderful ways. The librarians are wholly devoted to the students. The quality of education was better than I thought it would be. I attended because it was more affordable, but the knowledge I acquired was worth more than the cost of education.