Capella University Reviews

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Capella University is an online university that has existed since 1993. It is headquartered in Minnesota, and serves over 35,000 students each year. Capella offers degrees in the following areas: social work, public administration, psychology, nursing, information technology, human services, health sciences, education, criminal justice, emergency management, counseling, and business. Their programs are mostly for graduate students who are seeking either a Master’s degree or a doctorate in their field, but they do offer some undergraduate bachelor’s degrees.


Capella’s major draw for graduate students is the ability to create a schedule that works with their day job or other obligations. For example, classes can be taken in short five-week segments, or in longer 10 or 12-week segments that make it easier to take a class while working. Classroom discussion all happens via an Internet board, and students are allowed to access it, as well as assignments and lectures, at any time of the day that works for them. Capella offers their courses through video, audio, and Internet forums, none of which require the student to be logged in at any particular time.

Another big plus for Capella is their free trial. All potential students can take a free mini course, at either the undergraduate or the graduate level, to find out if the school is a good fit. This program is not something that is offered by many other online schools. Capella’s FlexPath is another unique feature offered by the school. Through the FlexPath program, students who need even more flexibility than a typical student can work without any weekly deadlines, moving through course material as their time allows, and graduating as quickly or as leisurely as they need. This program is only available with a limited number of programs.

It’s important to note that several students report being surprised by the fine print of the FlexPath program. If a student cannot maintain the classes they are taking due to personal issues, they are dropped from the program, and may not re-enter. If dropped from FlexPath, students must go through the standard online program to complete their degrees.

Capella University is a participant in the Academic Quality Improvement Program – it was actually the first online school to become a participant — which requires annual reviews. It belongs to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Their history is much cleaner than most online schools, with only a few legal issues to speak of. Most online colleges have complaints about their financial aid office making mistakes; Capella’s ratio of unhappy students is relatively lower than their happier students, making them appear much more trustworthy than many other online schools.

There are many reviews from former students who note that Capella makes frequent changes to graduation requirements, almost always extending both the time and the tuition costs for programs that students believed they were nearly done with.


7.2 Total Score

Capella University offers degrees in social work, public administration, psychology, nursing, information technology, human services, health sciences, education, criminal justice, emergency management, counseling, and business.

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Capella University
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Capella University
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  • Free trial mini-course
  • FlexPath program that allows students to work through courses more quickly
  • Flexible custom schedules
  • Overall better reviews than many other online universities
  • Annual third-party reviews

  • Frequent changes to graduation requirements
  • FlexPath can only be attempted once; being dropped from the program results in having to complete a degree through the standard program


Overall, Capella presents a much more trustworthy picture than many other online competitors. Their free trial and multiple options for custom schedules makes graduating easier for adults who have to attend school around a job and a family. Being sure to read all fine print and being prepared for some possible changes along the way is likely all it will take to make your time at Capella very successful.

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