Flagstaff, Arizona is celebrated for its breathtaking natural views, its abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities and its hippie-friendly lifestyle, as well for popular tourist hotspots such as Route 66 and the Lowell Observatory – but even with all this to offer, the city of Flagstaff is also known for being the home of Northern Arizona University, a national research university within the Arizona public college system. Northern Arizona University was founded as a “normal school” or teaching college in 1899, and its first graduating class consisted of four young women trained to teach in the Arizona Territory. Fast-forward to today, and nearly 30,000 students attend NAU each year, including over 7,000 students who study at one of the university’s 36 satellite campuses and/or through its nearly 100 online programs.
Northern Arizona University Accreditation Details
Northern Arizona University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of six regional accreditation bodies in the United States recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university’s accreditation, which extends to its online degree programs, is currently valid through the 2017-2018 academic year. Numerous individual programs offered by the university also carry accreditation specific to their fields. For example, the university’s business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Northern Arizona University Application Requirements
Northern Arizona University had a published acceptance rate of 91.4 percent for the Fall Semester of 2013. Northern Arizona University admits students on a rolling basis, meaning that the school will continue to review and accept applications until the planned class size for that academic year has been reached. Interested candidates should provide SAT/ACT scores no later than August 1st of the summer prior to intended matriculation. Transfer students who have completed a minimum of 12 college credits, with an overall college GPA of at least 2.0, are considered for admission in all semesters. International students who have taken the TOEFL exam may also apply for all semesters. Some individual programs and departments may have additional application requirements or standards. As of the time of writing, the application fee for NAU’s traditional, brick-and-mortar programs is $25. Other programs, such as the online Personalized Learning program, do not currently feature application fees.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition varies depending on program. As of 2015, tuition for traditional, on-campus study was $9,990 for Arizona residents and $22, 510 for non-resident students. NAU’s online programs have differing tuition structures – for example, the school’s online Personalized Learning program utilizes a unique payment structure whereby students pay a flat-rate fee of $2,500 per six-month subscription period, regardless of how many credits the student chooses to attempt within that period.
Financial aid is available to qualified applicants, who are advised to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by the priority date of February 1st (if applying for traditional Fall Semester Matriculation) for the best aid consideration.
Online Degrees Available
Northern Arizona University offers non-traditional college students over 45 distinct undergraduate degrees and over 25 graduate programs online. While several of NAU’s online degree programs are especially unique and worthy of highlighting, one which helps to set the university apart from other schools with online-offerings is Northern Arizona’s Personalized Learning program.
Northern Arizona University currently offers four bachelor’s degrees via the Personalized Learning program. The Personalized Learning program allows students to complete a baccalaureate degree entirely online, and emphasizes self-paced learning. Online students enrolled in the program sign up for six-month subscriptions, and may complete as many units as they wish within each six-month period. This structure allows for unparalleled flexibility, enabling each non-traditional student to earn a degree in accordance with their individual schedule, and as quickly or as slowly as each student finds best meets there own goals.
In addition to self-paced degree completion, students enrolled in NAU’s Personalized Learning program benefit from other unique program features designed with the non-traditional student in mind. All required materials are available online, so no textbooks or other items will need to be purchased. A competency-based learning method factors each individual student’s prior life experiences into his or her educational plan. Transfer credit from previous colleges is accepted, as are exam-based credits such as ACE and CLEP credits. Work experience may also be applied toward passing pretests or opting out of some individual lessons. Each applicant works with a Transition Coordinator to ensure a smooth admission and matriculation process for non-traditional students.
Computer Information Technology
Students in Northern Arizona’s Personalized Learning program may earn either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree in computer information technology. Designed to facilitate career advancement in professional positions such as Web developer, project manager or IT administrator, this curricula emphasizes hands-on experience with the most up-to-date technologies, along with the skills and knowledge required for common IT certifications. Lessons also provide the communication and business skills necessary for a successful career in the IT field.
Northern Arizona’s online bachelor’s degree in liberal arts is competency-based, emphasizing the areas of proficiency most sought after by employers. Through broad and interdisciplinary study of philosophy, history, literature and the arts, students develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and effective communication with diverse groups. The curricula emphasizes the translation of classical humanities topics into a modern, career-relevant education.
Small Business Administration
Students in the unique small business administration track of NAU’s Personalized Learning Program develop the skills needed to transform their business ideas into realities. The competency-based curricula encompasses skills in market research, small business financing and legal issues, operational strategies, and business options ranging from franchising to e-commerce. These skills go from theory to practice through the program’s required internship experience; students may also opt to advance their current work or business project to fulfill this requirement. The program’s real-world relevance and emphasis culminate with a capstone project in which students create a complete small business plan.
Master’s in Small Business Administration
Small business owners are major job creators and the backbone of the American economy, so equipping aspiring or current small business owners with the skills needed to take their business to the next level should be a significant goal for collegiate business schools. However, small business owners are busy people, and the scheduling demands of an on-campus, traditional degree program may not be feasible while balancing the demands of a new or growing business. Northern Arizona University’s nationally ranked MBA program has these kinds of students in mind with its Master in Small Business Administration degree program. Led by faculty with years of industry experience, the program and its curricula focus specifically on the needs and issues of America’s small business owners. The MBA, which may be undertaken entirely online or through a blend of online and on-campus classes, requires the completion of 36 units. These units include a 15-credit core and an 18-credit emphasis area chosen by the student, selected from track options including leadership, construction management or project management. Students also have the option of designing their own custom emphasis in conjunction with faculty. The online MBA program at Northern Arizona University culminates with a 3-credit, comprehensive capstone project.
Northern Arizona University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs as well as unique, flexible learning opportunities; it is a great choice for students seeking the flexibility and freedom to learn whenever their schedule allows.