Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (188)
I started with NCU when it was privately owned by the founder (I actually met him once over several days promoting the program) and completed my degree after it was purchased by the private equity fund. When I started there were few options as I was working overseas and changed countries a few times. Completing the dissertation was a challenge, but I am satisfied with the product and topic, as it is legit and has received some citations. My issue is gaining full utility with the acceptance of the online degree in UAE. While my employer has accepted the NCU PhD, I have yet to obtain official equivalency from the MOE. Apparently NCU has struggled with Mentor quality, from other peoples reports, but I had one of their better advisors as my Chair, and was generally satisfied with the coursework teachers. I was a Veteran from years ago, and was happy when the NCU rep sought me out and I was able to gain reduced rate on some of the classes. The DMD, including an award from that program, Golden Key, and publicity granted by NCU were nice touches.
I started my program in 2008 to earn my doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology to compliment my MBA. I read all of the catalog requirements and began. In 2010 my father unexpectedly passed away 3 weeks before class was over and 2 assignments still due. I contacted my advisor and the professor immediately since I would be travelling to take care of funeral and estate situations and would need an extension. No reaponse. I ended up getting one of the assignments turned in the last day of class (I had still not been contacted back). Then with the rolling enrollment NCU started my next class. I contacted again requestiong one of the breaks that was allowed under my catalog. That I got a reply to tgat the catalog had changed and that wasnt an option any longer. I got the final assignment of the original class in 2 weeks late. Neither of the last two assignments were graded but my grade assigned (F). I then contacted the current class in which I was behind in then explaining what was going on, no response. Again this term starting behind the 8 ball plus trying to get caught up at work I again was running about 2 weeks behind. No late assignments were accepted or graded, so another F went on my record and the school again rolled over my enrollment. Frustrated at how this was going I dropped the class and program. NCU again had dinged my account for tuition (which I couldnt get refund on, since it was after day 5 of the course AND instead of assigned a WD (withdraw) they posted a grade of F. Little to no response with advisors, administration or so called professors. They have a great system going to keep the dollars flowing in with little regard for student well being or learning. Very disappointed. With 18 passing hours (A/B) I could have used those to hit my next pay raise but with the 3 Fs I cant have the transcript even sent to my employer. Sadly, NCU knows exactly what they are doing.
Best degree plan ever! I've learned more than most at this school! I did not want a cohort doctorate style of learning. I wanted independent study at my own pace and this school offers that. One on one mentoring style. No discussion groups. I had fun and learned a lot more than any state school experience. Love this place!
I am poised to defend my doctoral dissertation. Thinking over the past four and a half years, there is no doubt that my experience has been positive. The work is as rigorous as at brick-and-mortar school, maybe even more rigorous. Although it has taken a little longer for me to complete my program, I am satisfied with my experience at Northcentral University. I found the faculty supportive and usually available to answer questions or provide any ecessary clarification.
I started Northcentral University the tuition was 30,000. I expected to finish and graduate in 2014. I finished all courses in 2013 with a 3.5 GPA. Instead I was strung along in the dissertation phase with little to know support for three years, running up my student loans to 140,000. I was not allowed to take a break or a leave. It was the most horrible, mentally draining experience I have ever had. I was dismissed from the program even after hiring an assistant that had previously been recommended by the chair for other students, and dismissed from the program. The appeal was denied automatically by both the chair and their administrator with two hours. Northcental Univiversity is a for profit school that will make decisions that will maximize their profit to the detriment of their students and the quality of their program.
I could have pursued my Ph.D. anywhere. I attended elite schools for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and my GPAs were always high. Cost and future employment prospects are not major concerns for me. Convenience and ease to complete courses on my schedule were paramount. The reputation of the institution was not as important because of my current profession and employment stability. If I were younger, looking to launch a career change, or switching to a new employer, reputation would be a bigger concern. NCU is appropriate for the self-motivated, self-directed, self-learner. It is not for the student dependent on regular, face-to-face instruction, academic advising, or tutoring. NCU is for students who know what they want to study; know how to manage time, workload, and personal life; and have strong study skills, writing proficiency, and critical thinking. A Ph.D. is not for everyone, and if a student needs a traditional, brick & mortar institution, NCU is not a good fit. NCU was a good fit for me, and I am very pleased with my experience. I worked with very competent, knowledgeable academic and financial advisors. All but one instructor were first-class. Some instructors were very personable, and I would consider them my mentors, equals, and friends. NCU is accredited, and that is very important to anyone looking to transfer credits and receive federal financial assistance. NCU is fully online and is one of a growing list of online undergraduate and graduate programs. Some have more name recognition, but NCU has a similar approach to online instruction. NCU has a valuable library and research resources. Tutoring services work well if the student plans ahead, schedules sessions in advance, and is prepared to use tutors as intended - not to have tutors do the work for the student. After reading some NCU dissertations, a prospective doctoral student will discover there is rigor and the research contributes to the Academy.
The doctoral program at Northcentral University is designed for serious students. It is asynchronous, follows a written curriculum, and is evaluated using course rubrics. You will have a one-on-one relationship with your mentor (who will guide and support you) but you, the learner, has the more active role in your learning success.
I learned more at NCU than the last top ten ranked universities that I attended. Here is the key to success; the degree is yours so be ready to put in the work and direct the trajectory of your studies. However, NCU is not adult care center; those who need to be spoonfed or free ride seekers should not bother applying or attending. For-profit is not the same as a free pass to a degree or guaranteed graduation. Paying tuition allows you the opportunity to study, excellent performance and compliance with very simple rules guarantees graduation. If you slack up and you don't follow the simple rules you will be on the outside looking in before you know it. A high GPA does not correlate with the ability to pass the comprehensive exams, neither does it suggest the ability to successfully complete an original dissertation. Enough said, I am thankful to my mentors, professors, and research committee.
This "university" is a fraud. They will bait you in and take the student loan money. They provide zero support and the education is not worth it at all. I have no idea how they are accredited. I checked them out and then lost big time. I would not suggest anyone give this school a penny.
I recently completed my Ph.D. in Business Administration with specialization in Healthcare Administration. NCU offered exactly what I wanted in a school: a completely online program that did not force me into a residency requirement (because my job would not allow an opportunity to stay in one location long enough to complete a doctoral degree); a regionally accredited school with a regionally accredited business program; and a relevant degree track. Over the years, I have read the comments about NCU on here and intentionally decided to wait until graduating to provide my own opinion as someone who successfully completed a doctoral degree. NCU is good school. You will not be successful in the Ph.D. program if you are not a competent self-starter who actively participates in your own completion of all academic requirements during the courses. The comprehensive exam at the end of your academic courses is not a joke. You must articulate your ability to think and communicate at a doctoral level in order to pass the exam (as is expected in any worthwhile school). The dissertation process is equally as arduous--but for a good reason. You are providing new knowledge to the area of research you chose to conduct your dissertation on. The academic rigor and scientific method are upheld by your committee members, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the academic reviewer who all provide input and direction into your research/dissertation. In the end, I would not want to compromise the quality of my dissertation simply for the sake of obtaining a degree. Likewise, the reputations of the instructors and dissertation committee members are reflected in the quality of a Ph.D. candidate's dissertation efforts. They are all professors at other universities and/or leaders in their respective professional areas of expertise. The teachers (or mentors as they are called) are all doctorate-level instructors--unlike some of the brick and mortar schools that only require Masters-level degrees. Some mentors are excellent and others are not that effective (just like any other school regardless of prestige). The biggest misconception that many new doctoral students tend to make is that they assume everything should be directed and specified in the smallest detail to them-- that is not the point of post-graduate degrees (especially a Ph.D.). You are expected to begin performing as an independent, self-motivated researcher who has the potential to be considered an expert in a particular field of study by the time you graduate. As such, NCU's Ph.D. program provides that opportunity for professional and personal self-development for serious students who also possess the requisite skills to begin and complete such a demanding degree program. NCU is not a "degree mill" whatsoever. The faculty expect a student to perform to the standards that are established in writing. Also, Ph.D. students are only as successful as the effort they make to read, read, read... and read some more on their area of study. This takes practice and it takes dedication over the years you will sacrifice to complete your doctoral degree. My Ph.D. program took me 5 years to complete. It was not easy. It was often very frustrating and I was exhausted weeks and months at a time from the relentless school work; revising of papers, demands of working through every single holiday and weekend without a break, and sacrificing personal time that I could be enjoying with family and friends in order to achieve this goal. But a Ph.D. is never supposed to be easy. You can never fully prepare yourself for the challenges of a doctoral degree. However, I am very proud to say that NCU offered a viable, relevant Ph.D. program that met my expectation as a legitimate degree-producing university. The future is in online classes-- those who make short-sighted comments about the perceived worthiness of a virtual university need to consider the significant shift in how academic programs are being redesigned for those who grew up in a world of quickly-changing technology. I highly recommend NCU for those who are capable and willing to fulfill all the obligations necessary of a doctoral degree. You will not be disappointed (regardless of the numerous frustrations you might face along the way) as you successfully defend your dissertation and your committee members say, Congratulations, Doctor...