Founded on the idea that every student deserved the right to higher education, Capella University operates today the same way as it did during its early days. Established in 1993, it opened as The Graduate School of America. It primarily offered graduate level programs for students who already had a bachelor's degree. After receiving accreditation and later changing its name to Capella University, the college became part of a larger series of schools that all operated under the Capella Education Company. The university then added a series of undergraduate degree programs designed for military students and adult students who didn't go to college right out of high school.
Capella is unique because it only wants the best students. Though the university accepts students of all types, it requires that those who never went to college before take an entrance exam. Their scores on this exam determine what classes they start out taking and ensures that they can handle the difficulties of college classes. It also offers FlexPath programs approved by the United States Department of Education. These programs let students demonstrate their skills to pass the program without taking a specific number of credit hours first. Approximately 76% of all students enrolled in Capella University, including its population of online only students, are in the university's graduate and doctoral programs.
Capella University Accreditation Details
Though Capella University offers classes on its main campus and satellite campuses, most of its students take classes over the Internet. You might hear some stories about scam online schools that make you think twice before enrolling, but Capella has the type of accreditation you might associate with larger and more traditional colleges. The Higher Learning Commission, one of the largest accrediting organizations in the country, granted the university primary accreditation, which allows Capella to hand out degrees to students who complete all their requirements. The American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs gave Capella accreditation for its graduate programs in marriage and family counseling. Other organizations that granted Capella University accreditation include:
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Accreditation Board of Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
Capella University Application Requirements
If you have any questions about Capella University, you can speak with an admissions counselor in person or over the phone before enrolling. Your counselor will talk with you about the program you want to enter, help you fill out the application and assist you with applying for financial aid. Capella even gives interested students the chance to take a mini course that lasts for seven days before enrolling full time in one of its programs. Once you finish that mini course, you're ready to fill out the complete application.
The online application starts with a section about you. You need to list a valid email address, home or cell phone number and a current address. Capella will also ask about where you currently work because it has partnerships in place with some top employers that let employees sign up for cheaper tuition rates. New students will also need to pay the $50 application fee and submit a transcript. If you took college classes prior to enrolling, Capella will use that transcript to determine if any of your credits will transfer. If you have never been to college before, you'll need to take an entrance exam to determine which classes are right for you.
Tuition and Fees
The cost of attending Capella University depends on the level of your studies, the program you enroll in and even whether you pay per credit or quarter. Instead of following a traditional semester calendar, Capella uses a quarter calendar that features four equally sized groups of classes every year. Those enrolled in a bachelor's program can pay $336 or more per credit or up to $2,500 for one of the 12 week programs listed under the university's FlexPath option. Graduate tuition rates start at around $416 per credit, and doctoral students pay $425 and up per each credit they take.
Capella offers a number of discounts for students, including those who work for select employers. Those currently enrolled in the military or retired military personnel can save up to 15% off their tuition as well. Once you submit your application, fill out the scholarship application as well. The university will process your application and then contact you about school scholarships you qualify for and scholarships you can apply for from outside sources. Capella University helps students save on their textbooks as well. All the textbooks you need are now available for free online. Some students who need more help may qualify for grants and loans as well.
Capella University now offers dozens of majors in fields ranging from business to education. These programs are available at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels too. It offers a Master's of Social Work program for students with a bachelor's degree in social work or a social studies field and a separate program for those already working in the social work field. This accredited program requires that students take classes on working with clients from different backgrounds, learning how to identify signs of abuse and neglect and handling stressful situations.
The MBA program that Capella offers comes with 10 different concentration options, including accounting, marketing, finance and health care management. Students must take 48 credits of business and general education courses, but Capella lets those students transfer in up to 12 credits of courses they took elsewhere. Many of the courses that students take last for just eight weeks, and Capella will give students course credit for some of the work they already did in the professional business world.
The university offers degrees in criminal justice at all levels. The bachelor's degree program is best for those who want a better understanding of how the criminal justice field operates and what role they may one day play. Those with a criminal justice background may like the emergency management MS program that the university offers. Capella University created an emergency management degree program to assist firefighters, police officers and government workers learn what to do in the field to help others.