Walden University was opened in Naples, Florida, in 1970 by Bernie and Rita Turner to deliver doctoral education in school administration for working teachers. By 1979, the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board offered to license Walden, so the campus was moved to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro. Walden was acquired in 2001 by the parent company Sylvan Learning Systems, which became Laureate Education under CEO Jonathan Kaplan. Walden University now educates 48,982 online learners as a public benefit, for-profit institution spending roughly $1,574 per student on instruction. Over the Internet, Walden's five academic colleges have produced noteworthy alumni like Chandra Dillard, John Antonakis, and Sharon T. Freeman.
According to Washington Monthly, Walden University is ranked the 19th best four-year college for adult learners. Niche ranked Walden as America's 73rd "Best Online College" and 849th "Best Value College" with an overall C+ grade. College Factual placed Walden within the United States' top 1 percent of nursing and psychology programs for veterans. G.I. Jobs magazine honored Walden with the "Military Friendly School" distinction. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education featured Walden University among the top 100 producers of minority graduate degrees. The U.S. Department of Education also recognized Walden for having a cohort default rate below the 11.3 percent national average at 6.7 percent.
Walden University Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2013 for 10 years, Walden University is a accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) in Chicago. Since 1990, this regional agency has certified Walden's integrity and Title IV eligibility under the U.S. Department of Education. Programmatic accreditation has also been given to online degrees from the:
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP)
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center (GAC)
Walden University Application Requirements
Even though the acceptance rate at Walden University is 100 percent, you'll have to surpass some "least selective" admission criteria. Freshmen with under 12 college credits need to verify a high school diploma from a state-approved school. Passing the GED or HiSET exam scores with minimum scores of 450 and 45 respectively is also acceptable. Most Walden undergrads are adults over age 21 with 12+ credits from regionally accredited colleges though. Transfers receive credit for courses graded "C" or better and need a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Non-native English speakers must show language proficiency with TOEFL pBT score above 550.
Online master's admission at Walden requires completing a four-year baccalaureate at an accredited college recognized by the CHEA. Taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is wholly optional. Master's degrees generally seek candidates with a minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergrad study, but additional requirements may be necessary. For example, the Accelerated M.S. in Education is non-licensure to only accept teachers with state certification. The CCNE-accredited Online MSN requires having passed the NCLEX-RN exam for registered nursing practice. Doctoral programs selectively choose master's degree holders who've obtained a 3.0 GPA or better and 3+ years of professional experience.
Rolling admission at Walden University means you can create a MyHomepage account anytime to apply with your student profile. Free online applications will require the following materials:
- Unofficial transcript copies of transfer credits
- Applicable college entrance testing scores
- Recent employment history or CV
- At least one letter of recommendation
Tuition and Financial Aid
Online undergrads at Walden are charged $335 for tuition and $135 for technology fee per credit hour. Completing a 181-hour bachelor's degree costs approximately $62,795 total. Graduate students pursuing master's degrees pay varying prices from $525 to $950 per semester hour. For instance, the Online M.S. in Education costs $525 per hour for an entire price tag of $25,875. Doctoral programs typically bill candidates $725 each quarter hour and charge a four-day residency fee of $1,320 for travel expenses.
The NCES reports that 46 percent of full-time Walden students share $12.69 million in financial aid for an average amount of $3,048 apiece. Institutional awards like the Bachelor's Degree Scholarship, Master's Degree Scholarship, Post-Master's/Doctoral Degree Scholarship, Walden International Scholarship, and Riley Excellence in K-12 Education Scholarship are numerous. Limited-time savings programs like the College of Management's $3,000 grant are available. Online students could receive 15 percent discounts as veterans and alumni/family discounts. Undergrads qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Borrowing low-interest Direct, Graduate PLUS, and Parent PLUS loans is another option.
Online Degrees Available
Walden University utilizes the MobileLearn and Blackboard platforms to provide student-centered online learning leading to 17 bachelor's, 51 master's, 27 doctoral, and 62 certificate programs. Students could join an alumni network of 79,800 with asynchronous, online sessions lasting eight to 12 weeks. Courses typically have an 17:1 student-faculty ratio with classmates from 155+ countries for diverse, interactive classrooms. Online learners can still build resume experience with residencies in Minneapolis, Virtual Field Experience (VFE), and supervised internships around the globe. Two sample distance programs to consider are:
B.S. in Public Health
Accepting up to 135 transfer credits, Walden's B.S. in Public Health is a customized, adult-friendly online program focused on building the competencies to impact people's physical well-being from a population perspective. Ninety-seven percent of undergrads finish requisite courses like epidemiology and public health planning in 48 months. B.S. majors choose the General Program or one of eight concentrations, such as Health Promotion and Wellness, Disaster and Emergency Management, Health Informatics, or Child Development. There's also the Accelerate into Master's (AIM) option once seniors finish 90+ credits.
Master of Information Systems Management
As an NSA Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, Walden offers the ACBSP-accredited Master of Information Systems Management to support IT industry professionals needing the technical and leadership skills for advancement. The 30-credit curriculum integrates online courses for computer networking, enterprise database design, programming, IT security governance, business architecture, and more. Courses lead to a capstone IT design project for applied practice. Within 20-24 months, graduates can become information systems managers where jobs have faster-than-average growth of 15 percent, especially with certifications like CISSP and Oracle DBA.
Other online offerings at Walden University include the B.S. in Communication, B.S. in Forensic Psychology, B.S. in Elementary Education, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, M.S. in Accounting, M.S. in Nonprofit Management, and Ph.D. in Social Work.