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Western Governors University

737 Reviews

Salary Score







78% of 737 students said this degree improved their career prospects
71% of 737 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.

Fast Facts

Average Financial Aid: $5,369

Accreditation: Western Governors University is acredited by 6 agencies

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
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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Dakota murphy

Reviewed: 3/3/2023

Degree: Early Childhood Education

If it weren’t for the fact I’m a single mom and this was the cheaper option I’d have a left already. You pay the school and they still make you jump through hoops to get any information from teachers, test scores aren’t usually able to been seen and the all around structure is just stupid. Could never recommend this school to anyone


Reviewed: 3/2/2023

Degree: Network Security

Firstly, some of these review I find hilarious. I know plenty of people who graduated who have had great success. I used VA education benefits to pay for the program. I am now an MBA student at a top ranked university. I was worried I wouldn't get in at first, but I am holding a 3.9 and just as prepared as anyone else in the program. WGU isn't easy either, you don't have instructors, you just get a heap of material to study. Its all on you, that was the hard part for me. Overall I'm happy with the... Read More


Reviewed: 3/1/2023


School is a waste of time avoid the headache. Enrollment counselors even waste your time. 2 months of working with this class to get the run around and then when you seek a resolution they throw someone that doesn't deserve the headache. There management skills are poor. How can they teach anyone business if they aren't qualified to do business? Saved me money for dropping on. So don't waste your money on them.


Reviewed: 2/24/2023

Degree: Nursing

Earned my RN to BSN in 4 months, including 80 clinical hours. I did have to find my own clinical site and preceptor, but that wasn't hard for me. I started looking as soon as I found out the requirements. I felt the class material and requirements were easy to follow. The rubrics were detailed so I always knew what they expected to pass. If you are self motivated and goal oriented this will work for you. If you're lazy, have a hard time focusing, or just aren't good at school then this might not... Read More


Reviewed: 2/23/2023

Degree: Computer Networking

Worst school I have attended. Instructors take a week to respond. Everything is automated. No actual feed back. Can't get any straight answers why you get questions wrong. What a waste of time. Every course is just uses a different site. So rather than actually teaching.. you pay to have someone else do it. Takes all the ownership from the school and puts it 3rd party. I made it one semester. Do no take any coding courses through them. Teachers are awful.


Reviewed: 2/1/2023

Degree: RN to BSN

There are some good things about having completed my bsn through WGU, but the negatives do outweigh the positive by a long stretch. The positive is that I saved money by completing the degree in 2 terms, which in my case worked out to around $7300. I do believe they have increased the tuition rate recently, but it was possible for me to complete the program and save. The negative is that the school has an utter lack of honest, professional, transparent communication to students and is tremendously... Read More

Michael Friedmann

Reviewed: 1/29/2023

Degree: Special Education

Most disappointing experience in education I have ever experienced. More than 90 days after being accepted and completing orientation I am still waiting to begin classes and have my financial aid released. Save yourself the headache and go to a real university. The degree on the wall will be worth much more. UPDATE: After 3 months of promises and jumping through hoops WGU dismissed me from my program. Ironically, with 5 Master's degrees under my belt, all from Tier-Level universities, I find WGU... Read More

Jessica Greenberg

Reviewed: 1/7/2023

Degree: Software Engineering

WGU is great, you truly go at your own pace. Every office I've had to contact responds within a day or two, and the instructors are KNOWLEDGEABLE experienced professionals to say the least. Arguably more accessible than my professors in another University I physically attended (office hours being 3 hours 2 days a week). Your education is your responsibility and this school makes you own it. This is how you grow as a lifelong student and professional. If you want to be hand held and things done for... Read More

Jennifer J

Reviewed: 12/27/2022

Degree: Elementary Education

I am genuinely confused by some of these reviews, I think a lot of them show that some of them never actually attended WGU. It's against the rules to help a student understand their material and they're told to read it again? There are only mentors, not instructors? What? If that's the case, who did I make 30-45 minutes appointments with that had a doctorate that literally sat with me and explained exactly how to be successful, how to interpret the material, how to search and comprehend various concepts,... Read More

Utah prelicensure BSN student

Reviewed: 12/16/2022

Degree: Nursing

Overall I would not recommend taking the prelicensure BSN program at WGU in Utah. The clinical assignments were a joke. I was placed at psychiatric hospitals for over half of my clinicals, and 98% of my clinicals were night shifts. I understand that it is important for nurses to work night shifts, however, as a student I hardly learned anything at night since there was barely anything to do after 10 pm. It was made clear to me throughout the program that the clinical instructors and schedulers do... Read More