Graduate Programs Frequently Asked Questions


Have questions about Villanova University's Graduate programs? We've got answers. Please review the list below, and if you don't find what you're looking for, simply fill out the form to the left and one of our knowledgeable representatives will contact you soon.

Q:Is a degree earned online equivalent to one earned on campus? Q:Is a degree earned online equivalent to one earned on campus?
A:

Absolutely! Millions of working adults have already obtained or are currently pursuing their degrees online, and are reaping the benefits. Your degree will be issued by Villanova University, and you’ll receive the same diploma as campus-based graduates. Villanova partners with University Alliance – the nation’s leading facilitator of e-learning programs – to deliver online courses using state-of-the-art technology on a flexible platform. You’ll learn from the same professors who teach on campus, and view their lectures via streaming video. You can also access your lessons on CD-ROM and MP3 for offline study. You’ll enjoy regular interactions with your instructors and classmates through course-specific message boards, live chat and email. And you’ll demonstrate your mastery of the program curriculum through assignments and exams.

Q:Will my degree indicate that it was earned online? Q:Will my degree indicate that it was earned online?
A:

No. There is no difference between a degree earned online and one earned on campus, and your diploma will not contain any reference to the online medium of study. Your degree is awarded based on your successful completion of academic requirements and is not dependent on physical location.

Q:How do I apply to Villanova’s online degree program? Q:How do I apply to Villanova’s online degree program?
A:

There are three methods by which you can apply: call a program representative, chat with a representative online or proceed directly to the online application. From your first point of contact, you will be paired with a program representative who will support you throughout your academic journey and help you achieve your goals. Your representative will answer your questions, guide you through the online application process, help you keep track of your required documentation, assist you in choosing your courses and ensure you are off to a successful start.

Q:When can I begin my studies? Q:When can I begin my studies?
A:

You can apply anytime; applications are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Villanova’s online degree program consists of six eight-week terms, which means you can start classes in two months or less once you have been accepted to the program or admitted under non-matriculated or conditional status.

Q:What are the admission requirements for Villanova’s graduate degree programs? Q:What are the admission requirements for Villanova’s graduate degree programs?
A:

If you hold a bachelor’s degree, have relevant work experience, and meet the required academic standards, you can apply to a Villanova University online graduate degree program.

For specific details on the Master of Public Administration program’s admission requirements, including matriculated, non-matriculated and conditional non-matriculated admission types, click here.

For specific details on the Master of Science in HR Development program’s admission requirements, including matriculated, conditional matriculated, non-matriculated and conditional non-matriculated admission types, click here.

Q:Is someone available to explain my degree plan and help me select classes? Q:Is someone available to explain my degree plan and help me select classes?
A:

As a Villanova University online student, you will be assigned a program representative who can answer your questions, explain the academic requirements and help you choose your courses. You can contact your program representative by toll-free phone, fax, email or regular mail.

Q:Who can I contact for help with my coursework? Q:Who can I contact for help with my coursework?
A:

Your Villanova professors are available to answer questions via email, message boards and virtual office hours. You can also reach out to your classmates, who are experienced professionals like you. With dedicated message boards, live chat and email, you can form virtual study groups to help and support one another. Finally, you’ll also have access to online library materials and services through Villanova’s Falvey Memorial Library. These include electronic books, online reference sources, interlibrary loan services, electronic document delivery services, assistance from reference and research librarians, and more. For additional details, visit https://library.villanova.edu/.

Q:Will I be able to complete all of my required coursework online? Q:Will I be able to complete all of my required coursework online?
A:

Yes. All courses and exams are conducted over the Internet. You never have to set foot on campus – unless you choose to attend your Villanova graduation ceremony!

Q:What will my course grades be based on? Q:What will my course grades be based on?
A:

Villanova’s faculty will evaluate your performance based on exam grades as well as assignments, case studies and/or presentations that vary by class. All exams and projects will be completed and submitted online.

Q:Where can I get my books and other course materials? Q:Where can I get my books and other course materials?
A:

When you enroll in each course, you can order all of your course materials – including textbook(s), student guide and CD-ROMs – through University Alliance and have them shipped directly to your address of record. If you have any questions, your program representative will be able to assist you with your order.

Q:What type of computer do I need to access the online classroom? Q:What type of computer do I need to access the online classroom?
A:

Villanova University’s online graduate courses can be accessed by a personal computer with a current Windows® or Mac operating system, Internet access and a web browser. Please click here to view the minimum system requirements and download any required software that is not currently installed on your PC.

Q:Why is accreditation important? Q:Why is accreditation important?
A:

Accreditation signifies that a university provides a quality postsecondary education according to a state approval agency or other accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. These regional or national accrediting bodies develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer assessments to determine whether individual institutions meet those standards. Accreditation is your assurance that your degree will be recognized and respected by potential employers and accepted by graduate schools.

Q:Is Villanova University accredited? Q:Is Villanova University accredited?
A:

Yes – Villanova is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; see www.MSCHE.org for details. The university and its programs have also been accredited by many other agencies, including the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), AACSB International, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and the National Catholic Education Association.

Q:Is Villanova’s online degree program eligible for financial aid? Q:Is Villanova’s online degree program eligible for financial aid?
A:

Yes. Villanova University accepts many financial aid programs, including federal financial aid, military tuition benefits and employer-sponsored tuition assistance. Please refer to the Tuition & Financial Aid section of this site for additional details.

Q:Can I use military tuition assistance to pay for my degree? Q:Can I use military tuition assistance to pay for my degree?
A:

Yes. Villanova’s Master of Public Administration and Master of Science in Human Resource Development degrees are approved by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). You may also be eligible for military tuition assistance (TA). Refer to the Military Tuition Aid page for additional information. If you have any questions, please contact your program representative or the education coordinator within your military unit.

Q:Can I use my employer’s tuition assistance program to pay for my degree? Q:Can I use my employer’s tuition assistance program to pay for my degree?
A:

Yes. Many employers offer tuition assistance programs to help employees expand their skills and pursue a degree. These types of programs may cover all or a portion of your course tuition, books, fees and/or other materials. Your program representative can help you determine if your employer is one of the thousands who offer tuition assistance for Villanova’s online courses.

Q:Can I transfer credits from another graduate program? Q:Can I transfer credits from another graduate program?
A:

You may transfer up to six graduate credit hours from an accredited university. Acceptance of transfer credits is at the sole discretion of Villanova University. Potential transfer credits will be evaluated to determine if the course is equivalent to one of the required courses that make up the online master’s degree. See the MS in Human Resource Development curriculum or the Master of Public Administration curriculum for more information.

Q:Can I take part in the graduation ceremony on campus if I earn my degree online? Q:Can I take part in the graduation ceremony on campus if I earn my degree online?
A:

Yes. Upon completion of your degree program – including all required courses and comprehensive exam – you are welcome to join your ground-based counterparts for the graduation ceremony on Villanova University’s handsome 260-acre campus, which is located just 12 miles west of Philadelphia. The commencement ceremony is held in May of each year. Contact your program representative for details, including the date and location of the ceremony for your graduating class.

Q: Where can I find state-specific agency information to send student complaints/concerns? Q: Where can I find state-specific agency information to send student complaints/concerns?
A:

State agency contact information for student complaints/concerns:Click here to see a list of state agency contact information sorted by geographic location.

Q:Where can I review the textbooks and materials required for my course? Q:Where can I review the textbooks and materials required for my course?
A:

Students can review course textbooks and all required materials on this website. Click here to search for your books for MPA, click here to search for your books for MSHRD. 

Q:Will I have to write a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive my MPA? Q:Will I have to write a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive my MPA?
A:

Students pursuing an MPA degree must pass a comprehensive exam in addition to successfully completing the required 12 courses.

Q:Will I have to write a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive my MS in Human Resource Development? Q:Will I have to write a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam in order to receive my MS in Human Resource Development?
A:

Beyond completing the 10 required courses, all degree candidates must also pass either the SHRM Assurance of Learning assessment or the PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification exam. You do not have to wait until the end of your degree program to take any of these tests, so plan ahead and schedule accordingly.

  1. SHRM Assurance of Learning Assessment – Students who may not be eligible for the PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification exams or choose not to pursue certification should elect this option. Graduate students in HR degree programs are eligible to take the exam beginning one year before graduation and ending one year after graduation. Passing this exam demonstrates that the student has acquired the knowledge required for an HR position and provides a means of differentiating themselves in the job marketplace.
  2. Professional in Human Resources (PHR®),
    Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®), or
    Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) Certification Exam
     – Students who elect this option may choose one of the certification exams developed by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). Those who already hold PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification may submit a copy of their certificate to bypass this final requirement. The certification exam can be taken at any time before, during or after a student’s enrollment in Villanova’s online graduate courses. Students seeking PHR or SPHR exam preparation may wish to register for Villanova’s Human Resource Management course, which is available as a standalone certificate class or as part of a three-course master certificate program. This 12-week online course prepares students for the PHR or SPHR certification exam through streaming video lectures and valuable study materials, including a complete set of the SHRM Learning System®textbooks plus a full year of online access to practice exams, case studies and more. Human Resource Management is a non-credit course and does not count toward the 30 credit hours required for graduation. However, students who take the course will receive a handsomely framed certificate of achievement upon completion. In addition to fulfilling the comprehensive exam requirement, PHR or SPHR certification is a valuable addition to your résumé – it will distinguish you as a leader in the HR industry and can help advance your career and increase your salary. For more information on exam preparation, refer to the Human Resource Management certificate course page. For details on the certification exams, visit www.HRCI.org.
Q:Do the courses in the MS in Human Resource Development program count toward PHR, SPHR or GPHR recertification credits? Q:Do the courses in the MS in Human Resource Development program count toward PHR, SPHR or GPHR recertification credits?
A:

Classes in the Villanova University HRD M.S. program are 45 hours per class of either Business Management and Strategy or International recertification credit toward your PHR, SPHR or GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). After you have successfully completed these courses, please contact Villanova's HRD program administrator to request Program ID numbers at gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu for your recertification forms. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.

Q:I have a disability; how do I request special accommodations? Q:I have a disability; how do I request special accommodations?
A:

If you have a disability that requires a special accommodation in order to participate in an online course, you must identify yourself as a person with a disability and request an accommodation from the University. Please contact an enrollment representative to initiate the identification process. Your enrollment representative will provide further details about the process for receiving special accommodations from the University. 

Q:What are the minimum system requirements? Q:What are the minimum system requirements?
A:

Click here for more information.