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The University is an accredited and legitimate higher learning option

University of Phoenix has been around since the 1970s, but even with its long history, many people still wonder, “Is the University of Phoenix legit?” 

Well, it’s not your typical 4-year college. It’s tailored toward nontraditional learners who often are not able to attend in-person college classes. And that’s why some people question whether the University of Phoenix is a valid option for higher education. 

Is University of Phoenix legit?

Yes, University of Phoenix is legit. It might be a different type of institution in its approach to providing access to education and resources, but University of Phoenix is accredited and legitimate. When it comes down to it, these factors make the University a valid educational path for many adult learners. 

Regionally accredited

University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, which oversees accreditation in 19 states. 

The Higher Learning Commission has a variety of requirements for its accreditation standards, including: 

  • Academic rigor
  • Approved learning outcomes
  • Student experience
  • Institutional financial health

University of Phoenix has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1978.

Welcoming environment for nontraditional learners

It’s not always an option for students to attend a traditional, in-person, four-year university. Life happens, and whether you are a working parent, military service member or a professional who wants to change careers, you may need an alternative way to learn without disrupting your life.

University of Phoenix was designed specifically for this nontraditional path, and it’s natural that people are going to question something that isn’t mainstream. Even so, the University offers learners the flexibility they may need to change their lives through education. 

Many University of Phoenix graduates are first-generation college students, but they’re also, often: 

  • Veterans who want to plan for the next stage of their career
  • GED graduates who want to continue their education
  • Full-time parents who want to re-enter the workforce
  • Middle-aged professionals who want to earn an advanced degree

University of Phoenix can be a welcoming place for nontraditional learners who might feel like they slipped through the cracks at other universities. The University recognizes this can be a reality for some, and actively tries to help nontraditional learners. For example, the University works with military service members and their spouses to help them achieve their higher education goals.



The University also works on educational equity with outreach like its Tribal Operations Team. Since just 20 percent of Native Americans hold a bachelor’s degree, there’s a real need to welcome these students with flexible learning opportunities. University of Phoenix works with tribal leaders to support students and even does ongoing check-ins to help students stay on track. 

Experienced faculty

Not just anyone can teach at the University of Phoenix. Its staff is robustly experienced in their fields with over 27 years of average professional experience. 

The University’s faculty are not just about theory. They design courses for real-world applicability, tapping into their professional experience in their chosen fields  so that adult learners can apply their new knowledge in the workplace. And since University of Phoenix faculty actually work in the industries that they teach, they know firsthand what skills you need to know to be relevant at work. 

It’s an approach that’s paying off: a whopping 85 percent of University of Phoenix students recommend their instructors.  


Rigorous online learning standards

The influx of online learning during the pandemic proved that remote learning can be  just as valid as in-person methods and that you can’t discount the experiences of nontraditional students who learn online.

University of Phoenix started out as an in-person university, but it has offered online learning programs since as far back as 1989. While plenty of people like to question the validity of online learning, the pandemic proved that this way of learning can be just as academically rigorous.

The University was able to retain students during the initial surge of COVID-19 because it was already equipped for online learning. Actually, it was already so experienced with online learning that it created the Alliance for Virtual Learning, which provided a Virtual Teaching Academy in the early days of the pandemic to helpK-12 educators prepare to teach online classes.

Career focused

Another consideration that shows that University of Phoenix is a legitimate educational institution is the fact that its programs are designed to help teach skills needed for today’s careers. 

The University also offers a lot of other career-focused perks like: 

  • A Career Hub to help you pick a career based on your degree and interests
  • Alumni networking opportunities
  • Career Services for Life®, which includes free resources and career guidance for active students and graduates

Is University of Phoenix a good choice?

Yes, University of Phoenix is a good choice. 

This university is far from mainstream, but its degree paths are just as academically rigorous as any traditional institution. University of Phoenix is a good choice because it serves nontraditional learners, offers flexible online learning, provides student resources and streamlines admission requirements. Here's five reasons why University of Phoenix is a good choice. 

1. University of Phoenix is accredited

University of Phoenix has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and its predecessor since 1978. This means the University passes the HLC’s standards for: 

  • Student experience
  • Staffing
  • Student resources
  • Governance
  • Financial performance

University of Phoenix also has specialized programmatic accreditations for healthcare, counseling, education, nursing and much more. This means other schools, employers and professional societies will, in most cases, recognize the degree you earn at University of Phoenix in these professions. 

With over 100 programs aligned to over 300 occupations, University of Phoenix is a legitimate school that believes in academic rigor. But instead of focusing exclusively on theory, University of Phoenix emphasizes real-world skills and practice. If you want an education that reflects what’s going on in the world, a degree from the University can enhance your career. 

University of Phoenix also hires experienced, high-quality instructors to teach its courses. According to the University’s 2020 Annual Academic Report, its staff has an average of 26.9 years of professional experience. They have an average of 13.6 years of experience teaching university courses, too. These educators have real-world experience, which means students receive relevant instruction that will help them in their careers. 

2. The University serves nontraditional learners

University of Phoenix is a good choice for students who don’t fit the mold of your typical four-year university student. This institution was built specifically to support the needs of nontraditional adult learners who do not have the time to be in a classroom all day. 

University of Phoenix’s nontraditional setup allows people with a day job to pursue their degree outside of their working hours. Regardless of your age, background or schedule, University of Phoenix is a good choice for: 

  • Parents who want to re-enter the workforce
  • Experienced professionals who want to earn an advanced degree
  • Military veterans
  • GED graduates

Many University of Phoenix students and graduates are first-generation college students, too. 

3. University of Phoenix is flexible and online

University of Phoenix first offered remote classes in 1989, so it has worked with remote learners for decades. After the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a majority of University of Phoenix students wanted to switch to remote-first learning, so the University is now moving to an all-remote model for incoming students. With online classes, you’re free to learn wherever you want, when you want. 

Unlike other remote-first universities, University of Phoenix is known for its flexibility. It offers students the freedom to pursue an education on their own terms with flexible options such as: 

  • A semester-free format so students can enroll and start learning almost immediately
  • Day and night time classes
  • Opting for a single course over six weeks instead of taking several courses at once

4. University of Phoenix offers resources to students and alumni

Even though University of Phoenix equips students to study independently, individuals are not left alone throughout their journey. As a student or graduate, you have access to plenty of help and resources. 

University of Phoenix provides a robust suite of resources for students, no matter when or where they’re learning. University of Phoenix students are able to: 

  • Contact their instructors outside of class hours for help
  • Contact tech support 20 hours a day, five days a week via email, chat or phone
  • Access math or writing tutoring
  • Take online skills assessments that can be added to a resume or LinkedIn profile
  • Get information on financial aid and tuition assistance
  • Join student organizations and honor societies just like a traditional university

The crown jewel, though, is University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® service. As long as you’re an enrolled student or Phoenix graduate, you can tap their career center for support with:

  • Career exploration tools
  • Career coaching
  • Resume building
  • Interview preparation
  • Personal brand development
  • Job search support
  • Salary negotiation
  • Career blogs and video content
  • Networking and mentorships

University of Phoenix knows that the purpose of higher education is to design a career that supports your dreams. With a full suite of resources backing up your education, Phoenix is a great choice for learners who need support while they earn their degree. 

5. Simple admission requirements

Unlike other universities, University of Phoenix doesn’t charge you an application fee. You can apply for free, and there’s no need to supply either SAT or GMAT scores or an entrance essay. 

To apply to University of Phoenix, you’ll need to meet its simple admission requirements: 

  • You must be at least 16 years old at the time of applying for a bachelor’s program
  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • You must have a high school diploma, GED or foreign equivalent
  • You must pass an English language proficiency test

If you’re unsure of what to do next during the admissions process, University of Phoenix’s Enrollment Representatives can guide you through the process. 

If you’re considering a transfer to University of Phoenix, it often accepts transfer credit from international colleges, military service and relevant work experience. The University will even consider credits for CLEP, AP, DANTES, and other testing scores for college credit. 

University of Phoenix: An excellent choice for 1 million alumni and counting

University of Phoenix connects underserved populations with more opportunities. With over one million Phoenix alumni across the globe, University of Phoenix is a popular option for nontraditional students to earn their degree. If you’re on the fence about University of Phoenix, trust that it’s a good choice thanks to its flexible options, history of accreditation, academic rigor and commitment to student success. 

It’s easy to question things that are new or beyond the norm, but University of Phoenix is a legitimate, accredited place to earn a degree. The University’s main goal is to help people learn the skills they need to find a good career without putting life on hold. So yes, while the University is definitely different in its approach, it’s a respectable way for nontraditional learners to advance their lives by earning a college degree. To learn more, visit


Michael Feder is a content marketing specialist at University of Phoenix, where he researches and writes on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare to IT. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program and a New Jersey native!


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As pioneers in online higher education since 1989, University of Phoenix is an accredited online university for working adults. We are proud to offer quality educational pathways through flexible, career-focused online degrees, certificates and professional development courses that fit into your life and options to save you time and money. Our students are supported every step of the way, including career services for life.

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