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Western Governors University

759 Reviews

Salary Score







77% of 759 students said this degree improved their career prospects
70% of 759 students said they would recommend this school to others
By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/19/2023



Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, nonprofit, online university offering remote degrees in four high-demand fields. Students can choose from online programs in business, information technology, education, or healthcare. WGU is known for being the largest online school and the largest university in the country, with more than 200,000 students enrolled online. Students at WGU earn their degree through competency-based education, where they take a competency test to pass their class and move through their program. Students who already have experience or knowledge in their field can benefit from this model, which allows them to skip classes they already know the material for and save money on their degree.

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Salary Score for Online Degrees at Western Governors University

Bachelor's Degrees

General Sales, Merchandising and Related Marketing Operations $21,070 $81,520 100
Business Administration, Management and Operations Not Reported $58,705 97
Marketing $13,999 $50,866 93
Computer and Information Sciences, General Not Reported $74,868 90
Medical Illustration and Informatics Not Reported $61,154 87
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $9,599 $74,342 80
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas $16,193 $40,144 73
Accounting and Related Services $15,637 $50,280 62
Education, General Not Reported $36,162 57
Special Education and Teaching $18,708 $39,431 55
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods Not Reported $34,615 38

Master's Degrees

Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management $11,942 $99,943 88
Health and Medical Administrative Services $12,907 $89,288 88
Curriculum and Instruction $9,201 $54,990 80
Educational Administration and Supervision $12,180 $63,693 74
Management Information Systems and Services $13,355 $87,608 68
Accounting and Related Services $12,288 $62,106 65
Teaching English or French as a Second or Foreign Language $7,999 $53,771 62
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas $10,059 $51,475 60
Special Education and Teaching $10,413 $51,672 55
Educational/Instructional Media Design $9,200 $56,253 55
Business Administration, Management and Operations $13,235 $72,423 54
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $12,634 $87,245 29
Education, General Not Reported $45,124 27

FAQs About Western Governors University

Is Western Governors University Legitimate?

WGU is a legitimate, accredited college. It has accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. NWCCU evaluates colleges and universities in states throughout the Northwest and regularly reviews their faculty and staff, facilities, and degree programs to make sure they meet academic standards.

Accreditation is one of the best ways to tell the difference between a legitimate online university and a diploma mill. Legitimate colleges are evaluated by accreditors approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Diploma mills are scam schools that sell degrees or certificates without offering much class work. They may have fake accreditation from an organization not authorized to evaluate colleges.

At OnlineU, we only display accredited universities on our website to help students find legitimate online colleges that provide a quality education.


Today, there are many accredited colleges offering respected online degrees, often in high-demand fields where employers need trained professionals.

What Is WGU Known For?

WGU is largely known for three things: (1) competency-based education, (2) affordable flat-rate tuition, and (3) degrees in high-demand fields.

Competency-based Education

WGU is the first college to engage in large-scale, competency-based education (CBE). In CBE programs, students learn at their own pace and pass competency tests to move onto the next class. Students who already have knowledge in a specific subject area from previous education or work experience can test out of the class and spend their tuition dollars and time on new material. This is especially important for working adults — or those with prior college experience but no degree — who don't need to spend extra time and money learning something they already know.

Flat-rate Tuition

While most colleges charge tuition per credit, WGU charges a flat tuition rate per semester, and students can take as many or as few classes in that time period. Most programs at WGU cost between $3,000 to $5,000 per semester. Students who want to fast-track their degree can squeeze more classes in for the same cost, making WGU a more affordable college for these students.

Degrees in High-demand Fields

All of WGU's degrees are focused in four high-demand fields: healthcare, business, information technology, and education. These programs are developed in collaboration with industry professionals to make sure students are gaining the most up-to-date skills necessary for the field. WGU caters to working adults; those employed in their industry while pursuing their degree can put those skills to work right away.

What Are the Career Outcomes and Top Employers for WGU?

WGU only offers online degrees in healthcare, information technology, education, and business. As a result, career outcomes for alumni tend to focus in those areas as well. The most popular occupation for recent graduates with an online bachelor's degree is as a registered nurse. Many graduates also become software engineers, computer support specialists, cyber analysts, and network administrators. Graduates with an online master's degree often become registered nurses, healthcare administrators, teachers, and managers.

Some of the largest employers overall for WGU graduates are focused in healthcare, tech, and public administration. Top healthcare employers include Kaiser Permanente, Hospital Corporation of America, Intermountain Healthcare, and Providence Health and Services. The largest tech employers for WGU are Amazon, Microsoft, and AT&T. Many graduates also work for the Air Force, Army, or Department of Veterans Affairs after graduation.

How Difficult Is It To Get Into WGU?

Western Governors University has a 100% acceptance rate, according to federal data from College Scorecard. In other words, all students who apply are accepted. However, students will need to live in the U.S.; speak fluent English; and have a high school diploma, GED, or its equivalent to get into a bachelor's program. Some programs have minimum GPAs and other requirements for admission as well. If they don't already qualify, students can also complete relevant preparatory coursework at WGU Academy before enrolling in a WGU degree program.

What Are the Admission Requirements for WGU?

Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or GED to apply and must live in the U.S. Some programs have more specific requirements. To apply, students need to submit some basic information, including where they previously went to school.

WGU will also need access to your transcripts. They offer a free transcript service, which partners with many other universities, to gather transcripts for students with no additional fees. If a student's former school is not a partner, they will need to request that their official transcripts are sent to WGU. This can take a few weeks, so it's best to do this ahead of time. Transcripts need to be received by the first day of the month that a student plans to start classes.

Next, students will create a WGU student account and apply for financial aid. Aside from the WGU financial aid application, it's best to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well. This application goes to the federal and state governments and can help students access free grant aid, scholarships, and optional student loans if they qualify.

Finally, students will do a 20-30 minute intake interview with their enrollment counselor, make their first tuition payment, and complete an orientation.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Reviewed: 9/21/2023

Degree: Healthcare Administration

This school is a joke. I have an associates degree from a prior college. When it came time to transfer they did not take all my credit. I basically started over again with them. I had medical term already from my previous college that I graduated from and they didn’t even except, biology and lab as well and they would not take it. There were some other healthcare classes I took at the college I got my associates degree from that they said I needed but would not transfer over. There grading system... Read More


Reviewed: 9/14/2023

Degree: Cybersecurity

I was reading some the reviews for the cybersecurity BA program. I think any logical person can see right through some of these 1 star reviews. These people are subpar and can only complain. ISC2 is a great certificate add on and yes, you have to drive to their test center! This is a great program for a cyber bachelor's degree. You also have the opportunity to gain so many certificates. It's the best of both worlds.


Reviewed: 9/12/2023

Degree: Teaching

I attended for 4.5 years. On year 2 was "talked into a program change" Almost no credits transferred from the first 2 years, at 3.5 years I was talked into a program change. Rather than providing the support and guidance and actual education, there I was losing credits again. After basically starting over twice, I was in my final term (prior to student teaching) My entire term was made up of one final exam. I had one opportunity to take it (due to scheduling at Sylvan Learning Center where the exams... Read More


Reviewed: 8/10/2023

Degree: Elementary Education

It is not even worth my time to mention the quality of the classes, because I have had to waste most of my time complaining about the ineptitude of the financial departments. I have military benefits through my husband and they took three months to get it processed... for my financial aid it has been well over two months, they just now got it disbursed to my account, but of course it will still be another 7-10 days for them to to stop bumbling around and get my refunded portion to me. The amount... Read More


Reviewed: 8/10/2023

Degree: Cybersecurity

in cybersecurity program there is 9 certs useless certification, you MUST take all the certification other wise you won't graduate. and NOT all the certification are online some must be take in person. there is no alternative classes for those who want to take it online so they force the students to go to the test center to take useless certification. if you fail two times in any of these useless certification you must pay from your own pocket, and for example isc2 if you fail two times you must... Read More


Reviewed: 8/3/2023

Degree: Nursing

Just a warning. The recruiter will tell you they have resources to help you find clinical sites in the nursing program. They have no resources. You are 100% on your own to find clinical sites. In my case they rejected both sites I found. I ended up withdrawing because I couldn't sort out clinicals. The classes themselves are fine. The clinical situation is a mess.


Reviewed: 7/28/2023

Degree: Special Education

I loved attending WGU. It is the only school where I felt I got my money's worth. Coursework was cohesive to assignments and gave options to take little quizzes or to delve deeper into the content. Although some might find program mentors irritating, I generally enjoyed having someone I could count on to keep me on task and help me organize courses, tests, and students teaching to my schedule. My mentor was able to help me with class suggestions and any information about the program requirements... Read More


Reviewed: 7/13/2023

Degree: Nursing

Pros: Study at your pace, excellent mentor, quick services when there are any issues, they work with you, and the school as a whole is understanding/friendly people. Cons: Grading system! The professors do NOT grade the assignments. There are a separate set of people who grade the assignment. They are supposed to grade what is required, but they fail you each time because they unnecessarily require you to do more than what is required. I had to complain about this a few times. One professor said... Read More

The Asker

Reviewed: 7/1/2023

Degree: Accounting

WGU is great if you are self-motivated and persistent enough to learn complex materials on your own. Many people write bad reviews because they probably have a different expectation of what they will need to do. The truth is WGU provides you with everything you need to learn. The books are all you need, but there is A LOT that you have to learn and when you can't understand something you just have to keep reviewing it until it finally clicks. Beyond the books, you do have other resources provided... Read More


Reviewed: 6/5/2023

Degree: Special Education

Degree: Special education and elementary education (Dual Licensure) Time it took: 140 credits in 4 1/2 years while working full time is doable (including one break semester) Mentors: They are a nuisance and unnecessary. In the beginning I had to check in every week, being told I can’t miss the call. After a while there were Email check- ins instead of calls. After showing continuous progress I complained that I was a responsible adult and that I didn’t need looking after. She backed off after that... Read More

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