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National University

388 Reviews

Salary Score







54% of 388 students said this degree improved their career prospects
47% of 388 students said they would recommend this school to others
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 $11,793 $40,395 100

Bachelor's Degrees

Criminal Justice and Corrections $25,630 $53,819 100
History $31,250 $44,540 99
Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions $28,911 $94,452 99
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $34,375 $85,563 97
Public Administration Not Reported $61,249 97
Business/Corporate Communications Not Reported $54,414 96
Psychology, General $28,625 $36,571 96
Business Administration, Management and Operations $31,164 $54,361 93
Construction Engineering Not Reported $79,856 92
Homeland Security $23,438 $71,714 91
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $31,602 $65,610 88
Management Information Systems and Services $31,823 $63,126 86
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General $31,694 $47,121 86
Health and Medical Administrative Services $37,500 $46,892 82
Sociology $27,687 $35,735 81
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods $30,595 $39,572 77
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General $32,385 $35,518 77
Public Health $33,375 $37,604 74
Computer Science $31,299 $69,756 57
Accounting and Related Services $30,812 $43,957 31
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science/Research and Allied Professions $27,521 $51,109 28

Master's Degrees

English Language and Literature, General $28,729 $61,524 99
Educational Administration and Supervision $23,552 $84,898 99
Educational/Instructional Media Design $26,008 $71,709 97
Student Counseling and Personnel Services $46,430 $55,273 97
Special Education and Teaching $51,895 $62,820 95
Public Administration $33,292 $67,545 89
Education, General $38,507 $58,901 86
Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology $30,756 $55,141 84
Health and Physical Education/Fitness $40,500 $47,043 82
Psychology, General $34,410 $46,907 62
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods $27,499 $48,771 59
Communication and Media Studies $26,846 $49,269 56
Management Information Systems and Services Not Reported $74,022 43
Public Health $46,122 $50,622 42
Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $37,250 $77,429 40
Business Administration, Management and Operations $39,427 $63,716 37
Criminal Justice and Corrections $34,416 $45,879 36
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $91,035 $91,418 36
Human Resources Management and Services $36,464 $55,949 33
Health and Medical Administrative Services $49,440 $52,576 23
Medical Illustration and Informatics $34,577 $63,715 22
Computer Science $37,932 $80,729 19
Accounting and Related Services $41,000 $54,100 16

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.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Reviewed: 9/20/2023

Degree: Criminal Justice

I am currently enrolled as an online student pursuing a master's degree in criminal justice leadership. I am pleased with the quality of instruction provided by my professors, as they consistently respond to my emails within 48 hours, often even sooner. While I have not had the need to contact them via phone, their responsiveness through email has been commendable. In terms of administrative matters, I have encountered some challenges when dealing with the financial aid and academic office. However,... Read More

Jonni Wyatt

Reviewed: 8/27/2023

Degree: Teaching

WARNING DO NOT GO HERE: Sanford School of Education. All except one professor were helpful and supportive to a point. "credential support" will not support you.They throw up roadblock after roadblock (they say they're nonprofit) setting candidates up for failure by making it impossible for interns to take and pass TPAs in the time allotted. They wait until the last 4 months of the program to start TPA seminar. You are then expected to submit (to the state) and pass them both by the end of the 4 months... Read More


Reviewed: 8/18/2023

Degree: Business Administration

If you want to waste your money and time, then NORTHCENTRAL is the place. I was a student there for over 3 years pursuing my education in PhD in business administration management. I've successfully completed the first 16 courses with a GPA of 3.57. However, for the dissertation which is 5 chapters I have been stuck in Chapter 1 for 24 weeks, every week I submit Chapter 1 my chair denied it then they dismissed me from school. I sought opinions from esteemed professors at various universities, all... Read More

Erin Russell

Reviewed: 8/17/2023

Degree: Marriage & Family Therapy

Absolut nightmare. They make you take extra classes you do not need. I was told they follow state guidelines and that is not the case. I feel like my degree is being help hostage. Advisors are incompetent and DO NOT help you unless you become aggressive. This is not how I like to live my life. I have never had a worse experience with a school in my life.

Frustrated student

Reviewed: 7/14/2023

Degree: Special Education

Do not be fooled by this college’s incessant calls prior to registration. Once they have you, it will be nearly impossible to make contact with anyone who can do anything for you. Pros: The classes are organized well. Classes are relatively easy which is great when you are a single parent working full time. Not a lot of textbook fees. Cons: You can never get in touch with anyone ever. My advisor never enrolled me in my second class and when I realized this, I sent her multiple emails and calls and... Read More

Another unhappy student

Reviewed: 7/6/2023

Degree: Early Childhood Education

Please read all reviews before attending. They will call multiple times when you first enroll and once enrolled they are no where to be found. It is very hard to get a straight concise answer from anyone. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. It is more expensive to attend here and not worth the headache or incompetence.

Jarred K.

Reviewed: 6/23/2023

Degree: Business Administration

Overall, I had a positive experience at the university. I’m generally a self-motivated person so that may have helped me through the process, but I believe that I will be better off because of my experience. Choosing the correct degree program was probably the most difficult part for me, but in the end I felt that a Bachelor’s in Business Administration was the best fit for me and would accelerate my career.

L. Santiago

Reviewed: 6/13/2023

Degree: Psychology

Use this as a warning. Plan on the career taking an extra year and a few thousand dollars more. Went in after being told it would be 80k and 4 years. Here I am at 94k with Lord only knows how much longer. See the thing is after you are done with academics you will need an extra 4 courses at 3k each. Or maybe 8 because if they need the money they will put you on a "supplemental" course. These are created to help you with the dissertation but who needs 12 weeks to get through 1 chapter? Or 20 weeks,... Read More


Reviewed: 6/1/2023

Degree: Computer Science

National University's Incompetence Destroyed My Financial Future! I cannot begin to express my disappointment and frustration with the abysmal handling of my student loan by National University. What was supposed to be a straightforward process of placing my loan in forbearance turned into a nightmarish ordeal that has left me reeling from the consequences for the past 6 years. Firstly, it is essential to note that I followed all the necessary protocols and submitted the required documentation to... Read More


Reviewed: 5/4/2023

Degree: Marketing

DO NOT ATTEND THIS UNIVERSITY. The administration is terrible...ALL of them. They give you the run-around while not doing their job or contacting you back to correct or change anything. They make sure during enrollment you believe you will have their help but the moment you are enrolled, you have a great chance of NEVER hearing from any of the administration. Attend at your own risk and ensure you have a lawyer on hand...because you made need it.