Northern Arizona University


Students at Northern Arizona University choose not only whether to study online or in the classroom but what kind of online program they wish to pursue. They can follow the traditional online path which is semester-based and which has assignment deadlines or the competency-based format for which students stipulate their start dates and set their own schedules. The traditional online program is billed by the credit hour, and the competency-based program comes as a six-month subscription period.

Online Master’s Programs at Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University appears in our ranking of the Top 35 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Higher Education Online.

In the traditional online programs, students may select degrees from several areas. The Arts and Sciences division, for instance, houses the Master of Arts in English and Literature. This is a 36-credit-hour program that includes nine hours of prescribed courses: Introduction to Research in Literary Studies; Literary Criticism and Theory; and Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition Theory.

Students then select 15 credits from among several approved courses and 12 credits of non-English electives. Of these courses, six credits must come from Global Learning Initiative classes.

This department also offers a Master’s of Professional Writing or a Master’s of Writing and Digital Media Studies.

Among programs found in the Business and Administration, area are the Master of Organizational Leadership which can be earned in one of three emphasis areas, and the Master of Public Administration. The MPA program contains 39 credit hours and requires a field experience or internship. One interesting aspect of the degree program is that the school partners with other agencies, allowing students to earn the degree and a concurrent certification in indigenous and tribal nation-building, leadership, management, and administration.

The Master of Science in Computing Information Technology is a personalized learning program that has emphasis areas in data analytics; mobile and web application development; project management or information security and assurance. The degree requires the completion of 30 units of study, a thesis and an oral defense.

There is a plethora of education courses at NAU Online. The M.Ed. in ESL and Bilingual Education program allows students to decide to focus on the ESL emphasis or on the Bilingual emphasis. There is also an M.Ed. n Career and Technical Education; an M.Ed. in Educational Foundations; an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education; an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership-Community College and Higher Education; an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership-Instructional Leadership K-12 School Leadership; M.Ed. in Educational Leadership Principal K-12; and others.

The M.Ed. in Career and Technical Leadership is a program aimed at students who wish to teach adults in technical institutes, community colleges and other settings. It contains 30 units of study and focuses on the use of multimedia technology tools and other resources in presenting career training and continuing education courses.

There are two nursing degrees in the traditional online programs. These include the nurse family practitioner and the nursing generalist graduate degrees. There are also master’s degrees in the math and science department and in social science/criminal justice.

Competency-Based programs allow students to test out of certain courses because of prior learning or life experience. The competency-based online degrees include the M.S. in Computer Information Technology and the Master of Science in Nursing, Generalist Nursing.

About Northern Arizona University

This school was founded in 1899 as the Northern Arizona Normal School. In 1929 it became the Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff. It is a public research university that had a total student enrollment of 30,736 in 2019. There are seven colleges plus a graduate school and honors college that award degrees in 158 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level.

The US News and World Report ranks this school as #293-#381 of National Universities. The university has an average four-year graduation rate of 37 percent.

Northern Arizona University Accreditation Details

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs
  • The American Council for Construction Education
  • The Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology ( ABET)
  • Commission for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • And others

Northern Arizona University Application Requirements

Students applying to this university as graduate students complete an online application form and submit a non-refundable application fee of $65. They then create an account through which they submit other documentation and track their progress. Applicants submit an unofficial transcript of all undergraduate work completed to the school. If they are accepted, NAU will require an official transcript from each university attended.

Additionally, individual programs may have other requisites such as the GRE or GMAT exams, resumes, letters of recommendation, portfolios or other documents. These can be found on the departmental webpages.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Online graduate programs at Northern Arizona University are charged according to which format students selected. The traditional online programs are charged by credit hour, and the average tuition for nine hours of study is $5,175 plus $165 in fees.

The competency-based programs are charged a subscription rate of $3,000 for sis months with the exception of the nursing programs which cost $3,750 for six months. During this time, students may complete as many courses as they can. Students attending school under the GI Bill or the Department of Defense program are not eligible to take competency-based programs.

Earning a graduate degree, even online, is not cheap. Most students need assistance paying for their programs. Before applying for other aid, students should complete a FAFSA form. Once they receive their awards letter they will have a better idea of how much they will still have to pay for.

Arizona has some state aid in addition to the federal programs. There are several opportunities available to special populations such as Tribal Assistance Programs. Grants and scholarships are also funded by individuals and by organizations and corporations. Northern Arizona University lists several departmental awards available to graduate students as well.

Most student aid targets undergraduates. Graduate students may find they need financial aid beyond scholarships and grants. Attending school online allows students to continue to work as they earn their degrees, but students should not discount employer programs for tuition assistance that may exist.

Loans are a common financial tool for paying for degrees at Northern Arizona University, but should ne limited as graduating with a financial burden can be limiting for most students.

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