This school appears in our ranking Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Computer Science Online 2018.
United States Navy Commander David Chigos founded National University in 1971 as a new approach to serve adult learners. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Dr. Chigos realized that working adults, especially those in the military, need flexible methods for earning college degrees. It was one of the first institutes of higher learning to focus on adult learners and not on students just leaving high school. The idea for the school began when Dr. Chigos was working in executive development and learned that universities were not offering courses that fit the schedule of executives and engineers. He began holding business management classes for employees at his aerospace company and, eventually, started his own university.
Today, the university continues serving adult learners who have difficulty attending traditional classes. There is also a strong focus on serving members of the military and veterans. The Chronicle of Higher Education named National University as one of the best colleges to work for and it was selected by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School.
National University Accreditation Details
National University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This indicates to parents, students and employers that graduates of the programs offered by National University are well-prepared for careers in their chosen field. National University has held this accreditation since 1977. Programs throughout the university are also accredited by industry-specific accrediting agencies as well.
National University Application Requirements
Students who wish to enter National University who have not earned college credit after high school graduation are required to take the ACCUPLACER mathematics and English evaluation. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students may be admitted with a lower GPA but will be placed on probationary status. Students must provide an application for admission and complete an enrollment agreement. Various degree programs may have specific admissions material, so students are encouraged to review those requirements before applying.
Students who have earned college credit after high school graduation may transfer credits to National University but must contact an admissions counselor before applying. Graduate students are admitted based on their academic record at other institutions, test scores, interviews, experience, motivation and educational goals. Students must submit to an interview before applying for graduate study.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition at National University is $362 per credit hour while graduate tuition is $416 per credit hour. Members of the military are provided discounts for both online and on-campus courses.
Scholarships, grants and loans are just some of the types of financial aid is available. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA must be renewed each year. Students may also qualify for federal work-study programs if they meet certain criteria. In order to meet financial aid eligibility, students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 for undergraduate work and 3.0 for all graduate work.
Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism
The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism at National University prepares students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of journalism using multiple media and platforms. Students gain an understanding of how to gather information as well as how to report and write for an audience. The program introduces the professional responsibilities journalists face by providing an understanding of the ethical and legal ramifications of gathering news. Students report, write and produce stories that help them build a portfolio. The program is online, so students must have a high-speed internet connection and a laptop or desktop computer. They will also be required to use a tablet computer or smartphone. Courses required include:
- Documentary Techniques
- Editing Multimedia.
- Enterprise Reporting
- Global Journalism
- Investigative Reporting
- Journalism Business Skills
- Journalism Law and Ethics
- Journalism on Screen
- Long-form Notification
- Mobile Reporting
- News Journalism Technology
- News Writing and Editing
Students must also complete a capstone project and three elective courses.
Master of Arts in Digital Journalism
The Master of Arts in Digital Journalism prepares students for careers as media professionals. Students learn the latest technologies to generate, create and disseminate news in a competitive, increasingly global environment. Students develop theoretical and practical approaches to covering news and methods as well as business and marketing models related to news organizations. Students develop an understanding of traditional multimedia skills, legal ramifications and ethics of journalism. Students develop an understanding of computer-assisted reporting, the business aspect of journalism, how to produce online publications and the tools necessary for investigative reporting. Students also gain an understanding of national reporting and projects assist in the creation of a professional portfolio.
In order to apply for the program, students must already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and must be able to write English at an advanced level. Students must prove competency in digital video and audio. Courses required for the program include:
- Advanced Non-Fiction Writing
- Backpack Digital Audio & Video
- Communication Law
- Computer-Assisted Research
- Emerging News Business Models
- Ethics in the New Media World
- International Reporting
- Investigative Methods
- Marketing the News
- Online Publishing
- Producing Enterprise Projects
- Professional Editing
- The News News
Students must also complete a capstone project. During the capstone project, students are matched with mentors in the media and communication industry.
National University was one of the first universities created with the adult, working learner in mind. It’s founder, Dr. Chigos, once told the New York Times that the school was not created for the student just out of high school, but those who were already climbing career ladders who needed advanced degrees to climb higher. National University still follows the belief that the real world offers the best education and student experiences are valued as part of the learning process. National University offers a wide range of online programs that provide the flexibility adult learners need to achieve their higher education goals. Through the National University online programs, individuals who may have work, family or social obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classes are able to move into new careers or advance in current careers.