Life University

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This school appears in our ranking 20 Most Affordable Master's in Psychology Degrees Online: Private Colleges 2018.

Life University is a unique and nontraditional private university that offers online classes and classes on its Atlanta campus. Established in 1974 as Life Chiropractic College, it became one of the nation's top schools for chiropractic students. Though only 22 students enrolled in classes in its first year, that number grew with each passing year. The college gave students the chance to take anatomy and related classes and to do an internship and gain experience working with real chiropractic patients. It wasn't until 1989 that the college added other degree programs, which led the school changing its name to Life College.

Since becoming Life College and later Life University, the school added more programs and options for all types of students. Those students can earn associate's and bachelor's degrees from the university or enroll in a graduate or doctoral program. The university also offers a Master of Science in Positive Psychology that focuses on positive thinking. All of its programs emphasize vitalism and teach students how to look at the connections between health and energy.

The university is now home to two separate colleges. While the College of Chiropractic only offers a doctoral program, students can earn an undergrad degree from the university's College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. There are nearly 20 different degree programs available today. Life University saw its enrollment climb over the years to now include more than 2,600 students.

Life University Accreditation Details

Though Life University is a nontraditional college, it has both regional accreditation and specialty accreditation. It holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which gives the school the right to grant degrees to any students who complete all their program and general education requirements. SACS accreditation also allows students who need help covering their expenses to use the FAFSA when applying for financial aid and to get aid. The university's programs in dietetics and chiropractic education also have accreditation.

Life University Application Requirements

Life gives students the option of completing an online form and getting more information from the university about the programs that interest them. The university considers undergrads who have less than 20 college credits as freshmen. Those students must score at least 19 on the ACT or 1460 on the SAT and take the essay or writing portion on either exam. They will also need a high school grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Incoming freshmen must submit their test scores and their high school transcripts. Transfer students who have more than 20 credits must submit both high school and college transcripts. The university has an online application too.

Prospective graduate students will complete the online application and some other requirements. These students must pay a $50 application and make sure that the university receives all their admissions paperwork prior to the deadline. That paperwork includes a letter of intent that expresses the student's desire to attend Life University and three letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic references. They will also submit official college transcripts, a GRE score and a resume. Life only accepts students who scored at least 280 on the GRE. It recommends that students have a GPA of at least 3.0 in college too. The university's associate's programs have similar requirements to its bachelor's programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Whether they work on an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, undergrads will pay the same amount, which is $249 per credit hour. They'll pay around $11,000 a year and around $47,000 to complete an entire degree program. Graduate students pay $284 per credit hour or around $6,900 a year. The university estimates that grad students will pay close to $14,000 to earn their degrees. Students enrolled in the chiropractic program will pay $369 per credit hour for all their classes and their internship work.

Life creates financial aid packages that help students get the aid they need to pay for college. It looks at how much the student or his or her family can contribute and then designs an aid package that covers the balance between the two. Undergrads usually get more aid because they qualify for grants that graduate students do not. Students can also use scholarships and loans.

Online Degrees Available

Life University offers several online degree programs such as an Associate of Science in Health and Wellness and the Bachelor of Science in Biology. The lone online graduate degree, Master of Science in Positive Psychology, is unique to Life University.

Graduate students can apply to the university's online Master of Science in Positive Psychology program also. Students can enroll in a general version of the program or choose from one of two concentrations. Coaching psychology focuses on the methods that life coaches use, while the secular ethics concentration focuses more on issues relating to professionals working in the secular world and outside of churches and religious organizations. The university only offers the coaching concentration for those enrolled in the online program.

Positive psychology is a unique area of psychology that looks at how positive behaviors and actions can have an impact on an individual's well being. Those studying positive psychology will look at key areas such as happiness and forgiveness. Students in this program will learn how to work with their future patients and help them be happier in their own lives. Positive psychology only became a field of study in the late 1990s.

This is the only program of its type in the southeastern United States and one of just three positive psychology programs available in the entire country. Students will take 42 credits of courses, including Applied Positive Psychology Coaching, The Evolution of Coaching, Introduction to Positive Psychology and Research Methods and Statistics. Students enrolled in this program must agree to follow and use the coaching philosophy established by the university. This philosophy asks students to understand the needs of their patients and to put those needs first. It also requires that students work with their clients on their personal journeys and that they hold those patients accountable for their own actions.

Positive psychology students take two different capstone courses and pass a written comprehensive exam at the end of their last semester. The capstone courses require that students do research into emerging and new topics in positive psychology. Life University requires that students take an exam to show that they are ready to earn their degrees and work in this field.

Life University website