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Capella University

Overview of Capella University

Founded in 1993 by a former toy company executive, and known until a decade ago as the Graduate School of America, Capella offers some 700+ online career education courses and touts itself as the only "pure" online university in a burgeoning and competitive market. There is nothing controversial in its "distance learning" claims; it has no campus and all the classes it offers, it offers online.

But its unique emphasis on graduate study in the practical realm of adult education serves to set it apart from other would-be competitors: six out of seven of the students who were enrolled in its programs in March 2007 were doing work toward a graduate degree. The success of its model has been particularly striking and in the past seven years, with the increase of Internet use, Capella's enrollment has mushroomed from 3700 students (2001) to over 19,000 in 2007. In 2006 alone it granted over 2000 degrees. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Points of Distinction

  • Open admissions
  • Multiple Master's degree and doctoral programs
  • Graduate certificate in Diversity Studies

Areas of Study

Unlike a lot of its competitors, Capella provides a relative handful of courses that are aimed at entry-level places in the job market, and only two of its degree-granting programs, Business and Information Technology, are geared toward undergraduates. It does offer ongoing education and Master of Science and Ph.D programs in the following fields: Education, Human Services, Information Technology, Public Safety, Organization & Management and Psychology (where it offers a Psy.D). It also provides some sixteen Graduate Certificates, including certificates in Leaderhip and Diversity Studies.

Capella University Admissions

Under its open admissions policy, the university requires that all prospective students supply a high school transcript or equivalent GED with their completed applications. But admission is available year-round and there are no submission deadlines.

Capella University Faculty

There are currently more than 900 Capella faculty members scattered throughout the US, and 90% of them have advanced degrees. But as always in the practical world of continuing education, it's real-world experience that counts and it's this that makes their tutelage of value.

Student Body

As of mid-2007, over 19,000 students are enrolled in the university's graduate and undergraduate courses, representing every state in the union and dozens of countries all over the world. The vast majority of these learners are pursuing a post-graduate degree; about 15%, are either full-time or part-time undergraduates. The student population is balanced gender-wise, with approximately half of the students being male and half female.

Student life

Student life is not a significant feature of the school as all courses are taught online.

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Some campuses offers specific programs
Information Technology
Computer And Information Sciences, Other
Data Processing And Data Processing Technology/Technician
Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst
Data Modeling/Warehousing And Database Administration
Computer Systems Networking And Telecommunications
System, Networking, And LAN/WAN Management/Manager
Computer And Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
Information Technology Project Management
Computer/Information Technology Services Administration And Management, Other
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services, Other
Education, General
Curriculum And Instruction
Educational Leadership And Administration, General
Administration Of Special Education
Higher Education/Higher Education Administration
Secondary School Administration/Principalship
Educational Administration And Supervision, Other
Educational/Instructional Technology
Educational Statistics And Research Methods
Special Education And Teaching, General
Counselor Education/School Counseling And Guidance Services
College Student Counseling And Personnel Services
Adult And Continuing Education And Teaching
Early Childhood Education And Teaching
Teacher Education And Professional Development, Specific Levels And Methods, Other
Reading Teacher Education
Health Occupations Teacher Education
Teacher Education And Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other
Teaching English As A Second Or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor
Education, Other
Family And Community Services
Intercultural/Multicultural And Diversity Studies
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Psychology, General
Developmental And Child Psychology
Psychometrics And Quantitative Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Counseling Psychology
Industrial And Organizational Psychology
School Psychology
Educational Psychology
Health/Medical Psychology
Family Psychology
Forensic Psychology
Applied Psychology
Applied Behavior Analysis
Psychology, Other
Human Services, General
Community Organization And Advocacy
Public Administration
Social Work
Public Administration And Social Service Professions, Other
General information
Financial aid
Acceptance & Retention Rates
Graduation Rate

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,

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