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The University of Phoenix is one of the most recognizable names in online higher education, but not always for the best reasons. The University of Phoenix is an online university that offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. One of the largest online schools, they have a student body of over 500,000 students and offer degrees in business, health sciences, information technology, education and many other fields. The University of Phoenix has been a pioneer in online learning since 1975.

The University of Phoenix is one of the largest online colleges in America. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to its 500,000 students. These include business, health sciences, information technology and education degrees among others.

When looking at the student outcomes, graduation rate, university rankings, and reputation among employers, it’s hard to classify the University of Phoenix (UoPX). UoPX endured many scandals, rightly, for misleading advertising and shady business practices in the early 2000s. UoPX has had its troubles, but has also seen an upturn in the last half-decade. Since 2020, the university has seen new growth and improvements that have made it a force in online education once again.

Is University of Phoenix a Good School?

One of the indicators that UoPX has struggled over the years is demonstrated by the fact that the five-year student loan default rate was almost 50% in 2016. The level of defaults has dropped to 12.3% by 2019, but it was still one of the highest in the U.S.

The school offers degrees in areas of concentration that include:

  • Business
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Behavioral Science
  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts

The quality of the education in some of the degree programs has been found to be lacking by experts in relevant fields, and students may find their degree doesn’t deliver on the promise of getting a good job after graduation. UoPX is a private, for-profit school that is currently owned and managed by a private equity firm. It admits all applicants, but has been experiencing declining enrollment since 2010. The school itself has been the center of controversies and lawsuits since 2000. 

At one point, UoPX opened satellite campuses across the U.S. to attract more students, but those campuses are being closed and the school is moving towards an online-only format. 

Is the University of Phoenix Accredited?

Yes, the University of Phoenix holds accreditation for many of its programs. Some of the colleges at UoPX hold specialty accreditation while others are in a pre-accreditation status. The accrediting agencies are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The accreditations UoPX currently holds include:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

The accreditations ensure that students will receive an education that’s on par with the standards outlined by the accrediting bodies for these programs. Credits earned from UoPX are transferrable to other schools that accept transfer credits.

Does University of Phoenix Have a Campus?

University of Phoenix currently has one campus located in Phoenix, AZ, but plans to close it by 2025.  All of its current satellite campuses are not accepting new students, and will close after students graduate. UoPX is planning to become an online-only school. 

University of Phoenix Rankings

As previously mentioned, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school near the bottom of its list of national universities. It ranks at #331 out of 440 on the U.S. News and World Reports national universities list, and #661 out of 681 in the nursing category. Rankings from different indexes offer different insights as to how the school performs in specific degree programs and fields. They include:

College Factual

College Factual gives UoPX a rank of #1 out of 8 for best value in business management and marketing, #1 out of 7 for best value in business administration and management, #4 for best homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting schools, and #107 for best overall colleges nationwide. 


Niche does not give UoPX a ranking, but does note that the school accepts 100% of all applicants, but only 20% of students graduate. The average starting salary for a UoPX alum is $30,500. 

University HQ 

University HQ gives UofPX the #2 slot for most affordable school in Arizona, #83 in most affordable early childhood education, #28 in online cybersecurity associate degree, and #41 in online psychology masters.

Overall, UoPX lacks credible rankings from respected organizations, something that hurts the reputation of the school. 

University of Phoenix Student Reviews

The biggest complaint from UoPX students involves the feeling of wasting their time and money after attending the school. UoPX relies on students getting student loan assistance for attendance, leaving students to graduate with poor career prospects and a student loan debt burden. The administration often fails in handling the needs of their students in just about every area. Some students report not getting their diploma for well over a decade, while others find they have to pay more money for classes after their student loans were processed. Another issue is getting charged for withdrawing from classes during the grace period. 

Negative reviews far outweigh positive ones, but some students felt that the school delivered a solid education and improved their career prospects. They felt that the instructors did a great job of delivering the material, got a sufficient amount of support from the administration, and enjoyed the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Students with positive reviews tend not to post about their post-graduate employment experiences, and it’s hard to gauge how their UoPX education has benefited them. 


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