Northcentral University opened its Arizona headquarters in 1996 to bring relevant, accessible education to diverse learners across the globe via online formats that were, and still are, ahead of its time. Students can pursue degrees at undergraduate, graduate or doctoral levels in Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, or Marriage and Family Sciences. Programs use the Oxford Learning Model, which partners each student with one doctorate-level faculty member for each course. The result is high-quality distance-learning education with personalized instruction. Other benefits of an NCU online education come from its content presentation through state-of-the-art technology that permits simultaneous interactions via mobile devices, tablets or computers through applications such as Skype, webinars, interactive lectures, and video chats or conferencing. Additionally, students and professors arrange specific times that work around professional and family schedules to conference about coursework and discuss progress. Online resources to assist studies include:
- NCU Course Room, where students gain access to course lectures, assignments and activities;
- NCU Library, which has 24/7 access to articles, publications and databases;
- Academic Success Center, where students can find support materials and academic coaches;
- Virtual Bookstore, where students can find new or used textbooks;
- The Commons, where students can communicate with peers and instructors through Facebook-like news and message feeds.
Northcentral maintains regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which allows NCU to confer baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. It also holds program accreditation from the following professional organizations:
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs – International
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- Society for Human Resource Management
- Teacher Education Accreditation Council
Regional and program accreditations apply to all online educational programs at NCU. The university also abides by individual state authorizations and guidelines regulating distance education.
Admissions requirements vary by the following degree levels and student status:
- Baccalaureate degrees are designed as bachelor's completion programs. Applicants should submit official transcripts from high school or equivalency programs and academic documentation of a minimum of 60 undergraduate credits from an accredited college.
- Master's candidates should supply transcripts for baccalaureate completion from an accredited institution. Specific programs may require additional entry requirements such as standardized test scores.
- Doctoral candidates should hold a conferred master's from an accredited program. They may also need to provide professional work history information or verified professional certifications.
- International students need to submit a credential evaluation to assess transcripts, educational backgrounds and diplomas as well as verified proof of English proficiency according to TOEFL, IELTS or Pearson scores.
- Military applicants can submit military transcripts or verified scores from DANTES, DSST, or CLEP exams for credit consideration.
In order to access NCU, all students must also verify that they meet the technical requirements for transfer of information. Computer and software application recommendations can be found at the NCU website.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Program costs vary by school, program and degree level. Rates are determined according to courses, not credits, as illustrated in the following examples:
- $1,296 for one bachelor's level course from any program
- $1,794 to $2,544 for one master's level course depending on program
- $2,547 to $3,079 for one doctoral level course depending on program
NCU provides information on its website to calculate tuition costs for individual programs and degree types. To offset tuition expenditures, NCU participates fully in US-DOE Title IV Financial Aid Programs. Eligible students can apply for the following types of Federal, state and local assistance:
- Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA
- Federal Pell grants
- Federal Work Study Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Federal PLUS Parent or Graduate loans
- Federal Stafford or Perkins loans
- Tuition Assistance for Active Duty Personnel
- Veterans Affairs Benefits Program
- State-sponsored Work Study Programs
- NCU Grants or Scholarships (when available)
Graduate Psychology Programs at NCU
Psychology degrees at the graduate level expand upon behavioral management techniques and counseling practices with diverse populations across the lifespan. Such degrees enable graduates to take higher-level certification and licensing exams to practice counseling across industry platforms or to continue with doctoral studies in the field. NCU offers a generalist MA in Psychology that can also be concentrated in four specialization areas:
- General Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Gender Diversity
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
The framework for this master's encompasses 36 credits consisting of 21 credits in foundational courses and 15 credits of concentration studies including a capstone course. Average completion time is 45 months with a cap of five years to finish all course requirements. All candidates take these core courses:
- Foundations of graduate-level psychology
- Psychology history and systems
- Professional ethics and psychology law
- Human development and functioning
- Social psychology
- Research methods and design
Concentration courses cover these topics:
- Personality theories
- Human communication
- Multicultural psychology
- Positive psychology
- Health psychology
- Behavioral nutrition
- Stress and coping
- Health and wellness coaching
- Psychology of sex and sexuality
- Gender psychology
- Gender variance
- LGBTQ Affirmative Psychology
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Applied statistics
- Tests and Measurements in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Small Group Theory and Team Processes
A psychology master's builds advanced knowledge and imparts skills enabling professionals to resolve conflicts, assess and treat personal issues, facilitate group decisions and problem solving, innovate community wellness programs, and improve organizational climate. Of particular popularity is the Industrial/Organizational concentration, which benefits management and human resource professionals by elevating their leadership, mediation and mentoring skills. Graduates with an MA in Psychology or MA in Psychology with an Industrial/Organizational concentration can look forward to rewarding careers in public administration, government work, consulting, healthcare, education, criminal justice, rehabilitation, social services, clinical counseling, social and public welfare programs, industry, business, human resources, private practice or research. For those aspiring to serve others to help them achieve a better quality of life at home or at work, looking at flexible, affordable graduate psychology degrees from Northcentral University may open new career pathways.