Western Governors University (WGU) is a nonprofit online university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business, IT, Health and Nursing, and Education on a flexible schedule. WGU is accredited by the Northwestern Commission of College and Universities (NWCCU), which provides accreditation for other major institutions along the northwest. WGU offers affordable tuition to students nationwide, with financial aid and scholarships available if you need it.
WGU offers a path to earn a respected degree at an affordable rate within your existing schedule. Getting started is easy, and you can apply online for free.
Those looking for flexible degree programs and affordable tuition
Financial aid available
Fields of study
Business, IT, Health and Nursing, and Education
BA, BS, MA, MS, M.Ed, and other certifications
Number of majors/programs available
Flexible terms, low tuition costs, in-demand degrees, numerous accreditations, robust student support, and more
WGU was founded in 1997 by a group of 19 United States governors who had the idea of offering education over the Internet. Since then, WGU has helped hundreds of thousands of students attain higher education online without having to uproot their lives or spend a fortune.
It currently has over 140,000 enrolled students from all over the country and offers 75 flexible programs. WGU lets you work on your own schedule and progress as quickly or as slowly as you want.
Over the years, the school has received plenty of recognition and various awards for its innovation, value, performance, and more.
Here are a few of WGU’s main features that help make it a solid choice for online education.
One of the biggest advantages of WGU is its flexible degree programs. There are no specific deadlines or test times to worry about, as you work at your own pace, entirely online. New terms begin on the first of every month, so you have flexibility on deciding when to start.
WGU also offers affordable tuition compared to many other colleges throughout the US. The cost varies depending on the program and course, but the average annual tuition from WGU is $8,010 for a bachelor’s degree and $8,444 for a master’s.
Its website provides a detailed breakdown of the tuition and fees for each program, and financial aid is available.
Another feature worth mentioning is WGU’s competency-based education. It works in a completely different way than most colleges. The traditional method requires you to spend an entire term taking a class and completing a final test or other assessment to prove your knowledge before progressing.
But with WGU’s learning model, you can progress through courses quickly if you can prove you’ve learned the required material sooner. For example, instead of waiting a whole semester to take a test to prove you understand the material, you can take it as soon as you're ready.
When you arrive on the WGU site , you’ll see information about the school and what it offers. You can learn about the different degree programs, read reviews from past students, learn about tuition and fees, browse FAQs, and more. There’s even a quiz you can take if you’re struggling to decide which program is best for your needs.
When you’re ready to apply, click Apply Now. You begin by providing your name, phone number, email address, and zip code and selecting your college and program.
Next, the application asks for your education goals, past education details, current address, date of birth, and other information like work experience and transcript information if applicable.
It’s a straightforward application process and takes only a few minutes. If your application is successful, you’ll need to complete a few more documents to finalize your enrollment into WGU. Keep in mind that different programs may have additional requirements for admission.
The school as a whole is institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Because WGU offers a variety of courses and programs, it has the distinction of being the only university to have regional accreditation in its four distinct areas of programs.
WGU School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).
WGU School of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
The Leavitt School of Health is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), and the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation.
WGU College of IT programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Here are some positive reviews from former WGU students:
"The beauty of WGU is that it is your degree on your terms. Mentors and instructors are there to provide support and ensure we stay on track, but this is your degree plan and make sure you make it work for you." - Juan Longoria
"I am grateful that WGU gave me the ability to reach my goals while working full time and being an active mom. It means a great deal that the work I am so passionate about resonates with others." - Ashlei Ashmore
"Obtaining degrees from WGU means confidence in the school and myself that I can achieve anything. My journey with WGU has made it possible for me to be more disciplined with my time." - Jane Chung
WGU offers support to its students in various ways. If you need personalized assistance during the application, you can call or email the university for help.
Once you’re enrolled, the school provides 3 types of faculty members that help you throughout your education: Program Mentors, Instructors, and Evaluators.
Program Mentors are assigned when you begin your program and are with you until you graduate. They work with you to create a plan for finishing your program and are always available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. They are your personal cheerleaders.
Instructors are experts who get assigned to each course. You can contact them if you have any concerns with the material or are struggling and need 1-on-1 assistance.
Evaluators review your assignments and make sure you’re succeeding in your program. They provide clear feedback to help you improve going forward.
Tutoring and counseling services, a library, a writing center, and a math center are available. WGU also helps you prepare for employment thanks to its career services. These include resume building, cover letter writing, interview prep, and many others.
At the end of your program, you will become part of the 300,000+ alumni network. WGU alumni enjoy discounts to a variety of perks, have access to continual education resources, and enjoy comradery in being part of WGU Alumni family.
WGU is an online university that has helped hundreds of thousands of students graduate over the last 25+ years. It offers dozens of flexible degree programs, affordable tuition, and an easy application process.
If you’re looking for an accredited online education that lets you work at your own pace and provides ample student support from start to finish, WGU is an excellent option to consider.