Is the University of Phoenix Legit?

University of Phoenix is a school that focuses on online learning.

John Sperling founded it in 1976 to give adults higher education that was affordable and respected their time. The school initially was for people with jobs and obligations, but it has grown to offer its courses to anyone.

There is a lot of misinformation about whether the school is legit, so I prepared this article to guide you.

If you’re wondering whether the University of Phoenix is legit, keep on reading.

What Makes a School Legit?

Two things make a school legit:

  1. Accreditation
  2. Acceptance of its credits by other universities

Don’t just rely on school’s names to establish if they are legit. It’s easy to slap “University” on your name and pretend you’re a big institution, but that isn’t necessarily the case. You are making an important choice, so you must ensure your education is in good hands.

Start by checking if the school is accredited. Being accredited means it meets education standards. States don’t have a say on school’s accreditations, they only decide if it can operate.

To determine a school’s status, you must visit AIPE’s website and check their publication of accredited schools.

Another thing to check is if other schools accept your its credits. You may want to transfer to another school, plus if other schools accept a university’s credit then it means it is likely legit.

Also Read: Online University Scams: How Do You Know if an Online Course Is Legit?

Does the University of Phoenix Satisfy the Requirements?

Does the University of Phoenix Satisfy the Requirements

The short answer is yes.

The University of Phoenix has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1978, two years after its foundation.

Accredited schools’ credits are always accepted by other schools. You’ll be able to transfer to a different school without losing your hard work.

But this doesn’t paint the whole picture.

Do employers take a degree from this University seriously? What about the actual curricula? What do other students say? What about other significant statistics, such as acceptance rate, school’s reputation, and graduation rate?

Answer these questions before enrolling in any school.

A Thorough Analysis of UoP

We will now analyze factors that might influence University of Phoenix status.


Being a for-profit school, its reputation is shaky at best. It’s hard to imagine the school having a genuine interest in the education of its students.

When money comes into the equation, the school’s interests shift into getting as many students enrolled as possible, and having them graduate somewhat easily. Why? Because it means more money for the school!

If .1000 students enroll you earn money for 1.000 tuitions, if 10.000 students enroll you earn 10x that. Additionally, if your graduation rate is higher than other universities, you’ll attract more students who are after the degree’s paper more than the actual education.


There is no selectivity whatsoever in this school. Anyone can join it as long as they pay. The system comes with a few issues:

  • You might enroll in a program you can’t complete
  • The program has to accommodate for worse students
  • It can stifle the learning environment since you will be surrounded by people who shouldn’t be there

I understand that it might be tempting to pursue a degree that doesn’t require tons of hard work, but understand that it’s your career we are talking about. Plus graduating from UoP is all but easy, as proven by its low graduation rate. Only 28% of the people who enroll actually finish their degree.

If don’t think these issues will impact your career you should enroll. In fact, you should do it right now! The best day to enroll was yesterday, the second-best day is today.


The University of Phoenix is quite pricey for what it offers. If you are looking for an online program you could consider other options with more affordable tuitions and a better track record, such as Oregon State University ECampus, Western Governors, or Penn State.

Costs are an important factor, because you are investing in yourself. Spending more on a degree from UoP means having less money for other activities, which could lead to a worse lifestyle, or cause a strain on your financial situation.

Quality of education

This is a big factor when deciding if a school is legit. Does it prepare you for the real world? Does it enable you to pursue further education? Does it empower you to achieve your goals?

I’ve been talking poorly about UoP so far, but this is one of the school’s fortes. The curricula are well structured, and the school is actually quite strict with its students. You must work hard to obtain your degree.

Just because you can get in easily it doesn’t mean you will coast along and get a degree just by showing up. Even if that was the case, why would you? Set yourself up for success by putting in the required effort.

Graduation Rates

Top colleges have very high graduation rates because they offer everything students need to succeed in their scholastic careers. Take Harvard for example: its graduation rate is over 95%.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for the University of Phoenix, whose graduation rate is very low: about 28%.

Having a low graduation rate means not giving the right resources to your students, and not being able to follow through them to ensure they get a good education.

Sure, there are other factors that influence graduation rate, for example being exclusively online means you don’t foster an active learning environment like traditional schools, and also most people who join UoP are adults with responsibilities, so it makes sense that the rates are this low.

However, the gap shouldn’t be this huge even factoring into these obstacles.

Do Employers Respect a UoP Degree?

You are getting a degree to work in your dream field. What good is it to get a degree from a school if employers will prefer people who graduated elsewhere?

Due to the factors I outlined in this article, employers do not respect a UoP degree. They’ll think you picked an easy university, and that you don’t have the skills that someone who graduated in another school.

Earning a degree is hard, even in the University of Phoenix, so why make everything after hard as well? Graduating from a more credited school will make your job search easier. After all, you’re going to school to get a good job, right?

There are few upsides to enrolling in University of Phoenix compared to most other schools, online or not, so I suggest you to look elsewhere if you want to get a degree. Education is a serious matter, and you want to enroll in a school with your best interests at heart.

Enroll in a different school and save yourself the headache of having to convince others that your degree is legit.


To answer the question in the article’s title: yes, the University of Phoenix is legit. It is an accredited school and you will earn a degree that, at least on paper, holds value in the real world.

However, the school’s reputation is tainted and you will have issues finding a job with a degree from this university. It’s a shame, because the University pioneered online learning, but it lagged behind and now better colleges have similar offerings, with a better name and lower costs.

Since the ultimate goal of higher education is to get a better job, you must maximize your odds of getting the right job, and UoP does not help you.

The University of Phoenix used to be the only way of attaining higher education online, but since it is not the case anymore, I suggest you look into other colleges.

Enroll in the perfect college for you today, and kickstart your career the right way.

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14 thoughts on “Is the University of Phoenix Legit?”

  1. I have a Degree from this school and it has served me well. Employers, care about ethic and character and less about your institution of choice. I have watched more Ivy League candidates fail over the years and it had nothing to do with their education.

  2. Enjoyed my tenure at the Univ of Phoenix. An amazing & meaningful education that was immediately applicable, better than any education at public universities I’ve attended. No University paid attention to the non-traditional student. Don’t you undermine my education!!

  3. I have both my under grad and masters through UOP Online.

    Anyone who challenges these degrees has not attended their courses. You cannot hide in a UOP online class like in a brick and mortar school. The weekly requirements and writing rigor will improve anyone, even a seasoned professional. The integrity and ethic is high and you are measure by the faculty and peers to ensure no cheating or plagiarism occurs.

    As a professional of 35 yrs and a hiring manager I would put a UOP grad at the top of my list.

  4. Yes, very legit and highly favored educational institution. I have received my Masters and Doctorate with the UOP and have since gone from managerial to VP level in my career. The programs are designed to be rigorous and is a healthy learning environment with awesome support systems for a successful journey. You won’t be disappointed.

  5. I finished my doctoral program at UoP, when other universities failed to meet MY requirements. The depth of knowledge I learned while at UoP was top notch. It has helped me with my career and my personal goals. I teach at a different University. And when comparing the two, I can attest to the academic rigors and standards set by UoP.

  6. Why are people still asking this question. Yes we are legit l. Yes the teachers are highly qualified and yes the work is rigourous. If anyone thinks the University isn’t the real thing they should enroll and find out.

  7. I received my Doctorate from UOP. It has opened many doors for me. I also had a friend who started the Doctoral program at UOP, but finished her degree at a state university because it was easier. I rather be taught by professors with real world work experience versus professors who have PhD’s but no real world experience. They can’t relate.

  8. This article is written without a deep understanding of what the University of Phoenix is about. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the business programs such as DBA and MBA also have programmatic accreditation from ACBSP. The university also received the UPCEA award in ALL its categories. UOPX Is not an elitist institution, that is why there is open enrollment. The low graduation rate can be ascribed to that the students are all working adults who are studying part time. Working, studying and taking care of family require time and commitment.

    I will strongly suggest that you do let your choice of school be influenced by this article as it is skewed in many respects.

  9. The author of this article seems to have a strong bias against the University of Phoenix. My time at University of Phoenix was challenging, rewarding, and ultimately helped pave the way for my career change to IT. My education prepared me for the technical and business challenges ahead. The global collaboration of UoP was also great practice for working in an interconnected world with colleagues from many different cultures. I’m proud of my degree, I worked hard for it. It stays proudly on my resume and I don’t have any shortage of job offers. So yes, the University of Phoenix is legit, and not just for its accreditation.

  10. I guess I’ll be the contrarian here.
    I got a degree, BS-IT, from UOP. Yes, it was a lot of work (tons). Yes, it was expensive (still paying for it).
    The general opinion among my cohort of students was that we would always pass, because they wanted to keep our dollars coming in. In fact, I know of no one that finished with less than a 3.3 GPA. Interestingly, most (over 80%) of the instructors were previous UOP graduates, or current students in other UOP programs. I also thought it was very strange that they only used proprietary texts (written by current, or former employees) throughout my program. We used to jokingly refer to it as the University of Power Point, because most of our finals involved some form of class presentation rather than the usual written academic evaluation. And despite being in a science based program, we were graded much heavier on presentation than content.
    About 2.5 years into the whole process, I started to feel like the program was a farce. The whole place was so incestuous. UOP students and grads, teaching from UOP texts. No reference whatsoever to scientific studies, despite being a “scientific” degree program. Instructors teaching programming who had never programmed anything outside the classroom. But I also found out the sad truth, that no other institution would accept my credits in transfer.
    Then came the (happy?) day I graduated and decided to get a legitimate IT job, other than the user and network support I had been doing prior, and during, my enrollment.
    In a metropolitan area of over 1m, the top 8 IT employers in the area had an absolute no hire policy for UOP grads. In fact, a hiring manager at the #2 most prestigious employer in the area told me that I should take any step necessary to hide the fact that I was a UOP grad, even claiming that I didn’t have a degree (but lots of experience).
    I have long since taken other steps along the way to shore up my education. After 12 additional years of burying myself in other legitimate education opportunities and paying off education debt. I have finally landed where I thought I would 3 years after graduation.
    I hope prospective students have better luck. But I wouldn’t consider UOP a good starting point.

    • Sorry to be your contrarian… BUT
      First: My program had very few UoPx instructors; in fact I was dissuaded to be a faculty member in the doctoral program because I received my Dr degree at UoPx. However, because I was a graduate from other California public universities, I was allowed to teach in the BS/MA program.
      NEXT: All my purchases for textbooks were from bookstores and no proprietary textbooks of the University. I paid Amazon thousands of dollars for textbooks during my years of study. Perhaps your specialized program required different text purchases, but that was NOT my experience. I am not going to let others believe your experience was the norm.
      FINALLY: Another point I am going to make is to shame, YOU. How dare you let an employer undermine your educational experience. Because you let others undermine your experience and learning, then I blame you for the negative beliefs. You even said you worked and learned a lot. Then you’re at fault! We do not need alumni like yourself. Because if you do not defend your education attainment, then you let the naysayers win. I ashamed of YOU.

  11. “My program had very few UoPx instructors; in fact I was dissuaded to be a faculty member in the doctoral program because I received my Dr degree at UoPx. However, because I was a graduate from other California public universities, I was allowed to teach in the BS/MA program.” So you were a UoPx alumni that also taught there. Thanks for confirming DW’s point.


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