University of Phoenix: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Online Campus
Phoenix, Arizona

Distance Learning Program

The Online program utilizes computer communications to link faculty members and students from around the world into interactive learning groups. Class size is limited to 15 for maximum interaction. Degrees are completed entirely online for the convenience of working adults who find it difficult or impossible to attend classes at fixed times and places.

Of the more than 99,000 students attending class from all over the world, 20 percent are executives or owners of their own businesses, 30 percent are middle managers in business and industry, and 44 percent are technical or licensed professionals. Roughly 56 percent are women, and the average student is 35 years old.

Delivery Media

Once enrolled in an online degree program, students log on at least five days each week to participate in class discussions focused on the topics they are studying. Students go online to send and receive material to and from class groups, while conducting most of their communication and class work off-line. This balance of both online and off-line interaction is referred to as asynchronous communication.

Founded in 1976, University of Phoenix is now the largest private university in the United States. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. University of Phoenix serves more than 200,000 students per year with more than 17,000 highly qualified instructors at 142 campuses and through Internet delivery worldwide.

High academic standards, commitment to quality, and programs designed specifically to address the needs of today's marketplace have earned University of Phoenix a reputation for leadership in both the academic and business communities. A distinguishing blend of proven academic models and innovative instructional delivery systems, combined with a focus on excellent service to students, has pioneered the University's phenomenal growth. The mission of University of Phoenix is to educate working adults to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve their professional goals, improve the productivity of their organizations, and provide leadership and service to their communities.

Programs of Study

The Master of Management program emphasizes the skills and knowledge it takes to manage both people and projects at an advanced level. The Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is designed to enhance the management skills student need to function effectively within an organization. The M.B.A. program in health-care management is designed for professionals seeking management positions in the health-care field. The M.B.A. program in global management is designed to ingrain the abilities to identify business opportunities and threats and to develop effective courses of action within the parameters of the international environment. The M.B.A. in technology management is a highly specialized program that focuses on proven methods and techniques for anticipating, managing, and marketing technology. The M.B.A. program in e-business degree prepares graduates for a leadership role in the rapidly expanding area of e-business. The M.B.A. in accounting is designed to develop or enhance the financial management skills necessary to function effectively within private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies. The M.B.A. in marketing was created in response to the important role played by marketing managers in any organization, particularly as organizations diversify to capitalize upon Internet opportunities to expand their markets. The M.B.A. program in human resources management prepares the graduate to lead large and medium-sized HR departments from a technical and strategic vantage point. The Master of Science in computer information systems provides the tools not only to understand technology but also to keep current in its many kinds of development. The Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) program with a specialization in administration and supervision is designed for educators interested in gaining knowledge and expertise in the area of school administration. The M.A.Ed. program with a specialization in early childhood education is a graduate degree for educators seeking knowledge and expertise in the field of early childhood development and teaching. The M.A.Ed. program with a specialization in special education prepares candidates to be cross-categorical special educators. A supervised student-teaching experience is incorporated into the degree. The M.A.Ed. program with an emphasis in adult education and distance learning equips students to develop educational courses and materials for adult learners both in classrooms and at a distance. The M.A.Ed. program with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction provides students with a foundation for understanding and analyzing curriculum and instruction theories and philosophies. The M.A.Ed. program with an emphasis in curriculum and technology covers how to integrate technology into the K–12 curriculum. The M.A.Ed. programs with emphases on elementary or secondary education are programs for candidates who have already earned a bachelor's degree and wish to gain the pedagogical skills and knowledge that will assist them in becoming competent and effective educators. The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of registered nurses. The Master of Health Administration program prepares leaders who can effectively respond to the dynamic and ever-changing health-care industry.

The Doctor of Management in organizational leadership provides its students with a professional master's degree a means of exploring their personal readiness to become leaders in their professions or their current organizations. The Doctor of Business Administration degree program provides learners with a professional master's degree a means of exploring their personal readiness to become senior leaders in management professions. The Doctor of Education program in leadership prepares learners to become transformational leaders who will strategically manage and lead complex educational organizations. The Doctor of Health Administration program prepares leaders to respond effectively to the dynamic and ever-changing health-care industry.

Each Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business degree program requires 120 credits. The business administration program is suited ideally for men and women who need to be familiar with every aspect of running a business. The business management program focuses on the skills necessary to manage both people and projects effectively. The business marketing program provides a foundation from which to build creative, analytical, and leadership abilities individually and in a team environment. The accounting program promotes and orientation to the accounting profession and is designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to pursue a successful accounting career. The business finance program is designed to prepare graduates with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively apply financial concepts and tools in various organizational scenarios from a generalist perspective. The B.S. program in business information systems is designed to provide graduates with the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to effectively apply various business principles and tools in an organizational setting. The information technology program provides fundamental knowledge and practice in both the information technology function and system development. The e-business program provides fundamental knowledge and practice in business management and information technology. The B.S. program in management degree provides the knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage almost any dynamic and evolving organization. The curriculum is ideal for community college students who have earned an associate degree. The B.S. program in health administration equips students with basic skills needed for the health-care environment. The B.S. program in criminal justice administration provides students interested in law enforcement, criminal law, or corrections with an interdisciplinary study of crime. The B.S. program in human services management prepares graduates for a successful career by giving them practical knowledge and basic skills to manage in the human services industry. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is designed to develop the professional knowledge and skills of working registered nurses.

In addition, students may study toward the Associate of Arts degree, a two-year program providing solid academic training, and apply those credits toward business majors in the B.S. programs.

Credit Options

Graduate students are permitted to waive up to 9 credits by transferring comparable graduate-level course work taken at other accredited institutions.

For undergraduate study, no more than 69 credits of lower-division courses may be applied toward the degree requirement. At least 39 of the 120 total credits must satisfy University of Phoenix's general education requirement. Students can apply for credit by examination and/or portfolio.


University of Phoenix Online has more than 9,000 faculty members. All faculty members have both academic credentials (more than one third hold doctoral degrees) and demonstrated success in the fields they teach. The University recruits only those who are working in their area of expertise, bringing practical, real-world experience to the students who are working professionals. Faculty members undergo extensive training in online instruction, and all participate in periodic evaluation that includes peer review components.


For graduate applicants, an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better (3.0 for prior graduate work) is required. Students must also be currently employed; have a minimum of three years of full-time, post–high school work experience providing exposure to organizational systems and management processes; or have access to an organizational environment appropriate for the application of theoretical concepts learned in the classroom.

Undergraduate applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be at least 21 years old, and be currently employed or have access to an organizational environment. Students must complete the University-proctored Comprehensive Cognitive Assessment. For international applicants and those with a primary language other than English, a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL is required.

Tuition and Fees

Graduate tuition is $620 per credit for the doctoral programs and $545 per credit for the master's programs. Undergraduate tuition is $440 per credit. Additional costs include an application fee of $110 and a graduation fee of $55. Textbook costs vary by course.


Enrollment Department
University of Phoenix Online
3157 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85034
Phone: 800-833-0287 (toll-free in U.S.)
Fax: 602-387-6440
Web site:


Unless students are relying on foreign transcripts for admission, all that is needed to begin the first course is to complete an application, enrollment agreement, and disclosure form. While students are in their first three classes, academic counselors work with them to complete transcript requests, the Comprehensive Cognitive Assessment, and any other items necessary for formal registration.