In Brief


University of the People (UoPeople) is the Education Revolution. We are the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited, online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globally, UoPeople is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies.


The University offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health Science as well as master’s degree programs in Business Administration and Education. UoPeople was founded in 2009 and accredited in February 2014. Today, it has over 44,000 students from more than 200 countries and territories. 3,000 of these students are refugees, of whom 2,000 are Syrian.


UNESCO estimates that, by the year 2025, there will be nearly 100 million young people seeking seats in universities that don’t exist. UoPeople believes that access to higher education can promote world peace and global economic development. As a basic right, higher education can transform not only the lives of students, but also their families’ lives, their communities, their nations and, by extension, the world.


UoPeople is directed by President Shai Reshef, and by distinguished international boards of trustees and advisors. Its President’s Council is led by current and former leadership from several of the world’s foremost institutions, including: John Sexton, NYU; George Rupp, Columbia University; Catharine Bond Hill, Vassar College; Nicholas Dirks, UC Berkeley; Suzanne Fortier, McGill University; Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, Effat University; Judith Shapiro, Barnard College; Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College; and Nobel Laureate Torsten N. Wiesel, The Rockefeller University. More than 17,000 professionals have volunteered for UoPeople, including those filling key UoPeople leadership positions.


UoPeople has academic partnerships with NYU, the University of Edinburgh, and UC Berkeley. 92% of UoPeople graduates are employed, including at such companies as Amazon, Apple, Dell, Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft, and JP Morgan, and institutions such as the UN and the World Bank.


UoPeople is supported by the generosity of individuals and foundations, including the Gates, Hewlett, and Ford Foundations, Fondation Hoffmann, and more. UoPeople has been covered by the New York TimesBBCNPRTimes Higher EducationUS News and World Report, and more. President Reshef’s TED Talk and Nas Daily interview about the University have 25M views combined.


UoPeople is building a sustainable new model for higher education, in which students are asked to pay only a $120 assessment fee at the end of each course ($240 in the MBA). A four-year bachelor’s degree is only $4,860.


For students who might find even these modest fees prohibitive, UoPeople offers a variety of scholarships, to fulfill the part of its mission that no qualified student will be left behind for financial reasons.


In its 11th year, UoPeople announced an incredible milestone, launching University of the People in Arabic, a university for refugees and other Arabic-speakers. This program will serve, among others, the hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons in the MENA region who have no higher education alternative. Beginning in September 2020, students will be able to pursue an Associate Degree in Business Administration, while at the same time immersing themselves in English-language courses. Upon successful completion of their associate degree and English-language courses, students can continue directly on to UoPeople’s English-language business administration bachelor’s degree program. 


In 2020 UoPeople received WASC accreditation eligibility! The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a regional accrediting agency. University of the People has applied for Eligibility to become accredited by their commission. WSCUC reviewed UoPeople’s eligibility application and determined that the institution is eligible to proceed with an Application for Accreditation.


A determination of Eligibility is not a formal status with the WASC Senior College and University Commission, nor does it ensure eventual accreditation. It is a preliminary finding that the institution is potentially accreditable and can proceed within five years of its Eligibility determination to be reviewed for Candidacy or Initial Accreditation status with the Commission. Questions about Eligibility may be directed to the institution or to WSCUC at or (510) 748-9001.


UoPeople Strategic Plan >