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Northcentral University Review

Founded in 1996, Northcentral University is a proprietary institution that has made considerable strides in the two decades since admitting its first incoming class. Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). (985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501 1.510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org). NCU's Bachelor of Business Administration, MBA, DBA and PhD-BA degree business programs in the School of Business and Technology Management are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, 7007 College Blvd., Suite 420, Overland Park, Kansas, 66211, 913-339-9356. In addition to regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), NCU's degree programs in the School of Business and Technology Management are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). NCU was the first accredited online university to feature an ACBSP accredited business school.

In its quest to deliver a unique educational experience, Northcentral takes a particularly student-focused approach to online learning. The Arizona school's one-to-one learning model works to ensure that each student has the benefit of working directly with an expert faculty member in their discipline, in hopes of providing the sort of personalized instruction necessary to integrate classroom material with the appropriate scholarly or professional context.

Northcentral University shares its name with two other institutions — a private college in Naperville, Illinois, and a small faith-based institution in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you're looking on your own for Northcentral University reviews and other info, be sure to focus on sources that use the name "Northcentral University" exactly; "North Central College" and "North Central University" refer to different schools.

The Higher Learning Commission of the 
  • Total enrollment: 13,091
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 436
  • Steps to admission:
    • Complete the online admissions application, including submission of prior academic transcripts and other requested materials for Northcentral University review
    • Await results of the processing of your materials and receive online enrollment packet
    • Submit initial payment or employer-provided tuition vouchers
  • Special admission conditions
    • International applicants and those with experience in the armed forces may have additional application guidelines or be asked to submit other materials along with or in lieu of official transcripts
    • Northcentral University reviews each applicant individually, and candidates for certain graduate or postgraduate programs may be asked to complete one or more prerequisite courses if their previous academic experience falls short of the requirements of their chosen degree program
  • Are there rolling admissions? Yes
  • Are transfers accepted year round? Yes

Financial Aid

  • Is this school eligible for federal financial aid (Title IV approved)? Yes
  • Does this school offer scholarships? Yes
  • What percentage of students receives financial aid? 30% (2012-13)
Featured Programs


Students at Northcentral University can find training in psychology at all levels, from the broad, foundational concepts of a bachelor's degree on up to the specialized knowledge and advanced research methods of graduate and post-graduate work. At the master's level, psychology students at Northcentral can choose to specialize in one of four areas of practice:

  • Academia
  • Training/research
  • Mental care and mental health services
  • Local, state and federal government

Ph.D. students in psychology must compose a dissertation on a specific topic in their chosen sub-discipline before their degree can be conferred. Access to formal style guides and discipline-specific assistance from specialists in psychology is available at the university's online Dissertation Center.

Business Administration

Business administration has one of the longest histories of any online degree, and business leaders all over the country are coming to appreciate the value of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree earned in a distance learning environment. The online MBA at Northcentral includes business strategy training through Capsim, a fully articulated business simulation program that allows you to apply various strategies in a virtual economic environment for real-world feedback without the real-world risks.

Northcentral also offers an accelerated MBA program for professionals who have the time available to invest 30-35 hours each week in their coursework. An ordinary online MBA can take three years or more, depending on the amount of time you have in your schedule, but committed students might complete the accelerated plan in just 12 months.


The faculty-mentor teaching model isn't the only thing that makes Northcentral University stand out from the general population of universities available today. The ratio of students to teachers at Northcentral is approximately 21:1, but the university's teaching model is designed to make it feel like 1:1.

The school also has a strong alumni network, through which graduates can stay in touch with one another and make themselves available to offer informal guidance to current students. Multiple Northcentral alumni communities exist on the web, primarily on social media platforms, and student and alumni mixers are scheduled in different cities throughout the year.

Northcentral also produces Higher Degrees, a quarterly student and alumni magazine published online, and offers an online library, bookstore, tutoring center and other virtual resources similar to those available at a brick-and-mortar university. Given that the student body is composed of approximately 95 percent graduate students, master's and doctoral candidates may have an easier time than undergraduates when it comes to finding classmates on their wavelength.

Northcentral's student body is composed of approximately 95% graduate students, meaning master's and doctoral candidates may have an easier time than undergraduates when it comes to finding classmates on their wavelength.

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According to U.S. News & World Report, the online bachelor programs offered at Northcentral University rank in a three-way tie at No. 158 out of all institutions surveyed. Graduate degree programs were also remarked upon favorably in Northcentral University reviews — here are some other rankings lists at U.S. News where Northcentral programs were featured in 2015:

  • Graduate Psychology
  • Online MBA
  • Online Graduate Education

    Notable Colleges

    Northcentral University is home to four single-discipline schools:

      • School of Education - Trains students in classroom education, instructional design and scholastic administration in both degree-granting and non-degree programs of study
        • School of Psychology - Provides students with beginning, intermediate or advanced insight into the academic underpinnings and professional applications of the science of human behavior and motivation
          • School of Business and Technology Management - Focuses on helping students develop skills in leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving and communication in a business context
            • School of Marriage and Family Sciences - Offers graduate-level degree programs and certificates to students seeking to research or practice contemporary techniques in marriage and family therapy
              Notable Faculty/Awards
                • Named to Victory Media's 2015 list of Military Friendly Schools
                  • Named exclusive doctoral education provider to the NEA Academy Program of the National Education Association (2014)
                    • Debuted peer-reviewed journal of online doctoral education (2014)

                    Disclaimer: Not affiliated with U.S. Government or U.S. Military


                    1. Northcentral University, IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed April 16, 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/InstitutionProfile.aspx?unitId=afafafacaeab
                    2. Northcentral University, accessed April 16, 2015, http://www.ncu.edu/about-northcentral/history
                    3. North Central College, accessed April 16, 2015, http://northcentralcollege.edu/home
                    4. North Central University, accessed April 16, 2015, http://www.northcentral.edu/
                    5. Northcentral University, Overall Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 16, 2015, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/northcentral-university-444130/overall-rankings
                    6. Best Online Bachelor's Programs, U.S. News and World Report, accessed April 17, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings?page=7

                    Disclaimer: Information on this page was not provided or commissioned by the featured school. Information has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the featured school.

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