Largest U.S. universities

Top 5 universities by enrollment

Surprised? Two primarily online universities and one community college among the top five. FYI, the University of Phoenix has more than twice the number of students (117,309) as any of the next four (which range from 54,169 to 50,663).

[Source: Chronicle of Higher Education. Campuses with the Largest Enrollments, Fall 2005. August 31, 2007.]

7 Responses to “Largest U.S. universities”

  1. What did they consider a campus? The eight branches of Indiana University across the state have around 92,000 students. Does that make IU the second biggest?

  2. No, each branch is its own campus.

  3. I had to take a University of Phoenix course in 1993 to overcome a deficiency for my teaching certification when I moved to Arizona. The course lasted one intense weekend and it was over. The nearby university offered a course that would have taken a full semester to complete. The choice was obvious. In and out.

    There are plenty of students who take courses for such reasons and I wonder if those just-in-time students have inflated U of PHX’s numbers.

    I also have to add that they certainly have been more responsive than large institutions in offering courses to fill niche needs.

  4. There are plenty of success stories supporting the benefits of online learning. I’m in one and a half online classes right now (the only ones offered in the Ph.D. program) and while I do miss the interaction, it’s tough to argue about the convenience — especially with two little kiddos at home!

    I also did half of an online masters from Nova Southeastern and found it to be a great experience.

  5. I was a married mother of four seeking to complete a Master’s degree in education. Great goal, right?! The only campuses available anywhere near me did not offer much in the way of graduate degrees at all and NONE of them offered anything in the world of education. This meant one of two things – either I did my Master’s Degree online or I left my family for long stretches of time to do face-to-face classes! The answer? University of Phoenix and Master’s Degree in Education, focusing on Curriculum Design and Instruction. I even had the option to take a few extra credits and add “with and emphasis on Computer Technology Integration” to the degree! I don’t regret the decision for a moment! My classes were six weeks at a shot and then a week off before starting the next one. Intense, yes, but I never really had a chance to lose momentum so the time flew by!

  6. Speaking as an MA student in my field, it irritates me more than a little to hear about people ‘earning’ Master’s degrees, particularly in education, through online coursework.

    My department’s MA program is intensive, usually taking three years to complete, involving a thesis, comps, and translation tests. It irks me to think that if I choose to teach my field, my graduate degree will be valued as much or less than a ‘graduate degree’ from University of Phoenix.

    • My M.Ed. was intensive. It involved a thesis, comps, and testing. It also included a portfolio of work products for review by a three professor committee. It was also online. and it was earned, not “earned.” It was through a traditional face-to-face university, but allowed those of us in a rural state 400 miles removed from the local university to earn an advanced degree. It is no less valid, no less earned, and no less deserving of respect than your efforts.

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