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Part of Western Governors University

Mission-driven. Student-centric. Nonprofit.

WGU exists to build better futures.

This is a university made for a new kind of student. At WGU, our focus is on the success of our students and our graduates. What kind of university will give the busy adult student of the 21st century—unique, dedicated, and driven—the best chance for success? One of the best online colleges that values those qualities and puts them to work.

We’re the first university where all bachelor’s and master’s degrees are competency-based, with online courses designed in partnership with leading employers. We’re nonprofit, driven entirely by a mission to serve students—in fact, it’s right there in our name. We’re called Western Governors University because we were created by a group of U.S. governors, an innovative solution to their states’ demand for high-quality, outcomes-oriented higher education.

Why WGU makes sense as an online resource for higher education

Our promise.

We help our students achieve their dreams for a degree and career success by providing a personal, flexible, and affordable education based on real-world competencies.

Satisfied students, successful grads: It's our mission.

As a nonprofit, we're driven by a mission, not by shareholders. And our mission just happens to be creating success stories like these:

WGU Student Success Story
WGU Student Success Story

View more student graduate success stories

Grad success

An accredited university that fosters successful grads.

When it comes to choosing a university, accreditation is crucial. Our regional accreditation (the gold standard in higher education) assures you of the quality and transferability of our degree programs. Additional program-specific accreditations add to our respect in the industries where our alumni work.


NWCCU University Accreditation
CCNE Accredited
ACBSP Accredited Programs
NCATE Teacher Preparation Accreditation

Accredited, respected, and recognized.

Our accreditations and awards

WGU pioneered competency-based learning—and it’s redefining higher education.

We were designed to break the mold of traditional higher education with something new, something innovative: something that harnesses technology to teach in new ways, focuses on measuring learning rather than time, and provides more Americans the opportunity to build their careers and better their lives by finally finishing that bachelor's or master's degree they need to achieve their goals.

See how it works.

Focused on learning.

Focused on learning.

A competency-based degree is earned by proving knowledge, not logging hours in class.

Surprisingly affordable

Surprisingly affordable.

WGU is one of the best values in education. Low tuition, and save even more when you accelerate.

Worth the effort.

Worth the effort.

Master career-relevant skills and knowledge for better opportunities, respect, and ROI.

Different is good—see how.

Competency-based Education
"WGU gives students the ability to really assemble the complete package, from the subject matter to the specific skills to the certification that gives employers confidence when they're making a hiring decision." Brad Smith
President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft

Respect and recognition.

One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, your degree benefits from the added clout of their endorsement. WGU is a pioneer in higher education for the 21st century, and the organizations below—along with many others—have taken notice. Click or tap the logos to reveal more.

See what others are saying.

Recognition and accolades

Supporting students is our faculty's #1 job.

Our faculty members have one focus: the individual student. Your needs, your questions, your goals. Instead of spending their time lecturing, they spend their time helping you learn the material and reach full competency.

Our faculty members are seasoned professionals in the online courses they instruct. They know their industries, and their knowledge is more than just academic: It’s practical.

As one of the best online colleges, WGU’s faculty don't wear many hats, and structured in a way that allows them to really focus on student success. Program Mentors instruct students throughout their programs. Course Instructors are subject-matter experts on specific  topics. Curriculum development, assessment evaluation, and other faculty roles are handled by other specialized faculty members.

Helping WGU student with cap at best online college

What we're up to.

The Atlantic magazine celebrates best online colleges

The Atlantic celebrates "A College without Classes."

Competency-based education is changing the way students think about education in the 21st century—and WGU pioneered it more than two decades ago. The Atlantic takes a look at how this innovation is improving opportunities for more students.

Read the article.

WGU's uniquely supportive mentor program helps students succeed in online courses

WGU's uniquely supportive faculty model scores high.

The Chronicle of Higher Education examines WGU's track record of extraordinarily high marks for providing students with personalized faculty support and the way WGU "connects students and mentors with surprising success."

Read the article.

LinkedIn article highlights best online colleges and online courses

Changing higher ed by changing individual lives.

"Disruptive innovation" is all about rethinking the way we've always done things—and offering something better. LinkedIn observes that WGU is doing that in the higher education industry by "helping people disrupt themselves."

Read the article.

2017 Annual Report

See what kind of marks we received, how we compare, and how we celebrated during our 20th year.

Get the report

Four distinct colleges, one university.

All of our degree programs are carefully chosen with employment and success in mind. Our special model of online-learning is designed for the working adult, and our commitment to keep costs down means better ROI for our graduates.