Northcentral University

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Not to be confused with North Central University.
Northcentral University
Ncu banner.gif
Motto Unus Ad Unum Doctrina Per Experientiam
Motto in English
One-to-One Education By Experience
Established 1996
Type Private, for-profit, distance education
President George A. Burnett[1]
Provost Scott W.M. Burrus
Students 10,181 [2]
Undergraduates 418
Postgraduates 7,958
Location Prescott Valley, AZ, USA United States
Campus Suburban and Urban
Colors Blue & Burnt Orange
Mascot Roadrunner

Northcentral University is a virtual, private, for-profit university established in 1996. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Northcentral is classified as a Doctoral Research University.[3] The school is based in Prescott Valley, Arizona and is currently owned by Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC and Falcon Investments, LLC.[4]

Northcentral offers bachelor's, master's (MA, MBA and MEd), specialist (EdS), and doctoral (PhD, DBA and EdD) degrees in business and technology management, education, Marriage and Family Therapy, and behavioral and health sciences.

In 2013, Northcentral received a five-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) for its Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree program. Northcentral University’s MAMFT was the first of only two programs with distance education to receive COAMFTE’s accreditation, ensuring that the University’s program aligns with national accreditation standards. (The second is Capella University's MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy.)


Northcentral University was founded in 1996 by Dr. Donald Hecht.[5] In 1978 Hecht had established California Southern University, formerly known as Southern California University for Professional Studies (SCUPS).[6]

In 2003 the University received regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.[7]

In 2007 the headquarters was established in Prescott, Arizona. In that same year, the school received ACBSP accreditation.

On October 8, 2008, Northcentral announced the university was being purchased by Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC.[8]


Northcentral is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, of which it is a member.[7] Northcentral's business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), but not by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Northcentral's Master's in Marriage & Family Therapy is accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, through their accrediting body COAMFTE and required by most US states for licensing in the field. The MFT program was the first distance education program to gain AAMFT accreditation.

Northcentral's psychology programs, on the other hand, are not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the body that works closely with state governments for licensing requirements of psychologists. "APA-CoA accredits: Doctoral graduate programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology, and programs offering combinations of two or more of these areas", which NCU does not offer.


Northcentral consists of four schools:

  • School of Business and Technology Management (Degrees offered BBA, MBA, DBA, PhD, and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Business Administration)
  • School of Education (Degrees offered BEd, MEd, EdD, PhD, and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Education)
  • School of Marriage and Family Sciences (Degrees are MA and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy; post-baccalaureate and post-master's certifications)
  • School of Psychology (Degrees offered BA and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies; MA and PhD in Psychology)

Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Course Certification[edit]

Northcentral is one of 186 higher education institutions to have some of its individual courses certified by the CNSS.[9] According to the National Security Agency's Central Security Service web site, "The goal of the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) Program is to expand the use of national standards in information assurance education and training throughout the nation. IACE systematically assesses the degree to which courseware from commercial, government, and academic sources maps to the national standards set by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS)." Accordingly, Northcentral's courses have been certified as meeting "the minimum standards for the duties and responsibilities of Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals, NSTISSI 4011."[10]

FEMA Emergency Management Institute[edit]

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security includes Northcentral's Business Administration PhD, Homeland Security Specialization in its list of "Colleges, Universities and Institutions Offering Emergency Management Courses."[11]


Northcentral University and Fort Hays State University, a public university in Kansas, have an arrangement under which Fort Hays State University's MBA credits transfer toward Northcentral's DBA or Business PhD program.[12]


  • In the edition of OEDb's Online College Rankings, Northcentral University was ranked 29 out of 65 institutions.[13]
  • Ranked 7th on Guide to Online School's "2012 Online College Rankings".[14]
  • Ranked 148th out of 205 on U.S. News Best Online Programs ranking for its Bachelors Programs among National Universities in 2013 "U.S. News Best College Rankings".[15]

Notable alumni[edit]


In 2011 the US Department of Education determined Northcentral was one of 75 US institutions failing its 2009-2010 financial responsibility test (a measure of the institution's financial solvency), and would be required to post a letter of credit in order for students to receive federal financial aid.[17] Northcentral also failed its 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 financial responsibility tests, scoring zero for 2010-2011 on a scale of -1 to 3, lower than the 0.2 it earned the prior term; 0.2 for 2011-2012; and 0.2 again for 2012-2013.[18] In 2015 the US Department of Education placed Northcentral on "HCM-Cash Monitoring 1" status because of its financial issues.[19]


  1. ^ Retrieved Aug 13, 2012
  2. ^ Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association. Retrieved May 17, 2011
  3. ^ "Carnegie Foundation Classifications". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Northcentral sinking rich roots into Prescott Valley - The Prescott Daily Courier - Prescott, Arizona". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Our History, Northcentral University website, accessed November 1, 2011
  7. ^ a b "Institutional Change". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  8. ^ NCU News Release
  9. ^ "IA Courseware Institutions". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "IA Courseware Evaluation Program - NSA/CSS". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "PhD Articulation - Fort Hays State University". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Best Online Colleges of 2015 Ranked by Subject". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "2012 Online College Rankings". Guide To Online Schools. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "2013 Best College Rankings". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Degree-Granting Institutions With Low Financial-Responsibility Scores in 2009-10, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 12, 2011
  18. ^ "Financial Responsibility Composite Scores". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Schools on HCM1 or HCM2 as of 3/1/2015". Retrieved 4 April 2015. 

External links[edit]