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National University

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By the OnlineU team | Updated 2/13/2023



National University (NU) is a private, nonprofit institution based in Southern California, serving over 17,000 students, more than half of which attend college remotely. NU offers over 100 fully online degrees, including 4 associate degrees, 44 bachelor's degrees, 46 master's degrees, 23 doctoral degrees, and even 55 certificate programs. It's also a military-friendly institution, with almost 7,000 students receiving post-9/11 GI Bill benefits or Department of Defense funds toward tuition.

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Rankings by Salary Score and Affordability

Salary Score for Online Degrees at National University

Associate's Degrees

Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities Not Reported $42,455 100

Bachelor's Degrees

Criminal Justice and Corrections Not Reported $55,725 99
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing Not Reported $90,125 99
Management Information Systems and Services Not Reported $74,510 99
Manufacturing Engineering Not Reported $80,132 97
Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions Not Reported $93,896 97
Psychology, General Not Reported $39,921 96
Sociology Not Reported $37,925 95
Business Administration, Management and Operations Not Reported $57,967 91
Computer Science Not Reported $75,911 90
Public Health Not Reported $47,285 87
Accounting and Related Services Not Reported $52,170 84
Health and Medical Administrative Services Not Reported $51,258 84
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management Not Reported $65,725 70
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods Not Reported $40,143 62
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science/Research and Allied Professions Not Reported $56,644 56
Homeland Security Not Reported $60,492 50
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General Not Reported $39,970 47
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General Not Reported $30,370 31

Master's Degrees

Educational Administration and Supervision Not Reported $85,288 100
Special Education and Teaching Not Reported $64,935 100
Educational/Instructional Media Design Not Reported $74,868 99
English Language and Literature, General Not Reported $55,380 94
Education, General Not Reported $59,755 89
Public Administration Not Reported $68,204 84
Psychology, General Not Reported $53,992 82
Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology Not Reported $56,048 79
Health and Physical Education/Fitness Not Reported $48,732 77
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods Not Reported $53,138 68
Communication and Media Studies Not Reported $51,398 60
Business Administration, Management and Operations Not Reported $70,668 59
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing Not Reported $112,806 56
Criminal Justice and Corrections Not Reported $54,799 55
Human Resources Management and Services Not Reported $59,749 53
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management Not Reported $86,837 49
Public Health Not Reported $54,233 49
Accounting and Related Services Not Reported $62,254 46
Management Information Systems and Services Not Reported $77,759 43
Engineering-Related Fields Not Reported $91,759 43
Homeland Security Not Reported $58,393 37
Computer Science Not Reported $89,068 31
Medical Illustration and Informatics Not Reported $68,817 24
Health and Medical Administrative Services Not Reported $51,661 21
Security Science and Technology Not Reported $43,044 4

FAQs About National University

Is National University a Good School?

NU has ranked at the top of several OnlineU lists, including #1 spots — such as Best Online Colleges in California and Best Online Public Administration Degrees

OnlineU's Salary Score rankings for bachelor's and master's degrees at NU are also high. For example, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice has a perfect salary score of 100, and a master's degree in English has a score of 99.

Is National University Online?

Yes, NU is online and offers dozens of degree and certificate programs for students to complete remotely at all levels. You can choose from various areas of study, such as teaching and educationhealthcare and nursingcriminal justice and law, and science and math. Classes last four weeks, so students can focus on one at a time. This is a convenient option for students juggling busy schedules, working full-time, or on active duty with the military. 

NU also supports its online learners by offering remote access to student services, such as career counseling, job fairs, tech support, behavioral health, and tutoring.

Are Online Degrees From National University Respected by Employers?

Employers respect NU's online degrees because an accredited institution confers them. Accreditation shows prospective students that a college or university manages their finances responsibly and delivers high quality academic programming. It also means you can transfer credits from one school to another. 

OnlineU only includes accredited online institutions on its site. 

Specifically, NU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) — a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency. 

What Is National University Known For?

NU is known for being military-friendly and offering both convenience and flexibility to its students on active duty worldwide. Over the past 50 years, NU has become a top educator of the U.S. military. 

NU is #3 on our list of colleges with the best student veteran resources and salary outcomes. It's also a Yellow Ribbon school that can help students pay for higher tuition and fees that the post-9/11 GI Bill doesn't cover.

Which Degrees at National University Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

According to federal data from College Scorecard, NU's online bachelor's degrees in allied healthnursing, and management information systems provide the highest earnings for graduates. Around three years after graduation, alumni in these fields earn median annual salaries of approximately $97,500, $90,100, and $70,900, respectively. 

Another metric to consider when contemplating a degree's overall worth is OnlineU's proprietary Salary Score, which ranks colleges by alumni earnings in certain degree categories compared to graduates with the same degrees nationwide. NU has high salary scores, including 92 out of 100 total points for its bachelor's degrees, and it scores 83 for its master's degrees.

Who Owns National University?

No one owns NU. It was founded in 1971 by former U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos and organized as a private, nonprofit school serving working adults. As a nonprofit college, it is not allowed to keep revenue and must reinvest it back into the school in order to support its students and academic programming. A Board of Trustees generally oversees this process. It is also responsible for hiring and appointing NU's high-level executive staff to ensure the school meets its goals. 

What Are the Admission Requirements for National University?

NU's admission requirements are similar to applying to other online colleges and universities. Admission at NU is evidence-based and includes reviewing students' academic records, test scores, and professional experience. While NU doesn't require entrance exams, such as the SAT or ACT, it may require students without prior college-level math and English courses to take the ACCUPLACER evaluation to determine placement.

Additionally, NU's undergraduate applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed application 
  • A $60 application fee
  • A completed enrollment agreement
  • Official high school transcripts or their equivalent
  • Official college transcripts, if transferring credits
  • Military transcripts, if applicable
  • A resume or professional portfolio, if applying for prior learning credit

An enrollment advisor may help identify additional requirements for individual degree programs. Overall, College Scorecard's data shows that NU accepts 89% of applicants.

If you’re still deciding what school is right for you, our list of the most popular online colleges offers additional options to explore.