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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about University of the People

Updated: February 14, 2024 | Published: March 1, 2018

Updated: February 14, 2024

Published: March 1, 2018


I heard that University of the People has no physical campus, or offices in the US. Should I be worried?

Our processing office is in Pasadena, California, where staff members handle much of the University’s administration. Because we are an online university, we don’t have a physical campus–instead, our students study from six continents (sorry, Antarctica!) in over 200 countries and territories. We also have staff and volunteers from diverse backgrounds working in several countries around the world, helping us to be a truly international institution.

If you’re tuition-free, why are you charging fees? And what’s the deal with scholarships?

University of the People’s mission is to offer affordable, quality, online, degree programs to any qualified student. We do our best to keep fees as low as possible to ensure that our doors are open to all applicants. But like all universities, we have operating costs we must cover. Average yearly tuition in the US is approximately $25,000. At UoPeople, student fees only amount to $1,000 per year for a student studying full-time, and these fees are only due at the end of the course for assessment.. The minimal assessment fees collected by the university keep us up and running and enable us to provide our students with a high-quality, accredited education.

To help support students who cannot afford even these fees, the university does offer scholarships. During AY2018 alone, UoPeople has allocated over $265,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of our many and diverse donors who support students as well as university operations. These donors include top foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Oak Foundation; corporations including Google, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft, and numerous private individuals.

We work to provide scholarships to students in need – in particular we have several scholarships dedicated to help refugees, the Simone Biles Legacy Fund aimed at helping foster students, and many more.

I’m concerned about UoPeople‘s accreditation

UoPeople is an American accredited University, accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission ( The DEAC is officially recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) with the authority to accredit institutes of higher learning. Our accreditation attests to our academic excellence and rigorous standards. While we are accredited in the USA, our degrees are recognized around the world and remain invaluable to our goal of democratizing higher education.

UoPeople’s academic leadership hails from Oxford University, Harvard University, Columbia University, NYU, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, INSEAD, etc. UoPeople has academic partnerships with NYU and the University of Edinburgh, under which qualified students can apply to continue their studies at those universities. These partnerships testify to the high-quality of the programs offered at UoPeople and the regard in which these leading institutions hold our academic standards.

For more information:

Can I begin my degree at UoPeople and transfer to another university?

Just as UoPeople cannot guarantee that it will accept credits transferred from another university, a student’s ability to transfer from UoPeople to another institution is at the sole discretion of the institution to which the student hopes to transfer. Similarly, it is at the discretion of other institutions whether or not accept a UoPeople graduate for further degree studies.

It may help to know that many of our students and graduates have gone on to continue their education at universities around the world, including the University of Auckland (New Zealand), the University of Nairobi (Kenya), Carnegie Mellon University

Who’s behind you? Who are the professors teaching at your university? 

Some of the best educators in the world have joined UoPeople to help make education accessible and affordable. Our academic leadership comes from Oxford University, Harvard University, Columbia University, NYU, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, INSEAD, among other institutions. You can learn more about this on our website:

In addition, the university is guided by its prestigious President’s Council, comprising current and former leaders of top universities around the world. You can read more about them here:

We are so proud of and thankful for the many volunteers who have invested their time in helping us provide  high quality education to our students every day .

UoPeople is supported by the generosity of individuals and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Foundation Hoffmann, The Ford Foundation, and many more. UoPeople’s supporters make its work possible, and further the mission to offer accessible, affordable, quality, online, degree-granting educational programs to any qualified student.

How valuable is your degree? Can I use it to get a job at prominent companies? 

UoPeople offers high-quality, accredited degree programs, and our graduates have used the education they receive to progress in their careers through promotion and new employment opportunities. Many of our students and graduates work at top international companies and organizations such as Google, IBM, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Amazon and even the United Nations. You can see their LinkedIn profiles, here – But don’t just take our word for it! Check out our ‘Ask me anything’ page where you can speak directly with some of our students and graduates to hear more about their experiences.