UNISA for PhD in Public Administration

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mprimrosewbu, May 20, 2017.

  1. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member

    I am unable to move to a different city for school so I am relegated to doing my PhD online. I was debating on going to UNISA but then my google search popped up Walden and Capella Universities as well.

    Is UNISA a school that is reputable in my field or is it something that employers would look on and think twice. I am mainly wanting it to work in the government or as a faculty member of a smaller university (think Hardin-Simmons University or even Keller Management School). I already have a MPA from a RA institution in the field as well.

    I cannot afford the tuition at an RA school here in the US like Walden or Capella so those are kind of out. I am not wanting to take out loans so anything that is $4000 a year or less would work as well if you know of any other schools that may be a more reputable school.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    You will not find a US PhD for $4K. That's just a fact. If that pushes you toward UNISA then so be it. Will employers have questions about your South African degree? Of course they will. The good news is you'll have 5-6 years to come up with good answers.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    West Chester University of PA offers a DPA for just over 31k.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Valdosta State's online DPA may still be the least expensive, and I believe the forum has at least one person who's successfully completed it.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I forgot about Valdosta State, their DPA tuition is the lowest you'll find in the U.S. If I was in your shoes, I'd rather have a DPA from a state or non-profit reputable university than a Ph.D. from Walden or Capella. UNISA is pretty cheap but your journey there might be an isolated one which could result in your not even completing your doctorate.
  6. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member

    Thanks for the replies

    Thank you for all your replies, however, they do not address the concerns of the post. I am aware of all those degrees, they are more expensive than the $4000 therefore they are not an option. ANY school that has tuition over $4000 per year is automatically not an option. That is why I was specifically requesting information on whether or not UNISA is a good option. If its a degree that employers won't respect I won't spend the money. I am not interested in any professional doctorate, so the DPA is out, I am ONLY interested in the PhD degree. Further, I do not need the PhD, I "want" the PhD. That is why I am absolutely unwilling to take out loans for the degree and I am absolutely unwilling to pay more than $4000 per year. I am also debating on going to the Universities of Cape Town, Pretoria or Stellenbosch but they require me to actually go live in South Africa for a semester and that is something that will be impossible for me and at that point as I cannot afford to quit my job. So unless they are willing to let me do the degree 100% via distance, they are absolutely out as well.

    So, is UNISA worth the minute tuition they are charging or do you know of another distance learning institution that is a more reputable university that charges a maximum of $4000 per year? Sorry to beat a dead horse on this but it appears that the affordability part of my message got completely lost and overlooked.

    Thank you for your time, though, and for at least offering some assistance to me, it is appreciated.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    UNISA is a legitimate, accredited, internationally recognized university. Some "employers" are xenophobic assholes. It sounds like it's UNISA or nothing (you could try IGNOU or Malaysia but you'll have the same problem). It's a risk of some proportion. If I was in your position I'd do the degree and plan on having to sell it in your first job interviews.
  8. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Walden and Capella are American, so you should take out those higher loans. Also, a large student loan should not be a problem for Walden and Capella because of their high return on investment. Unisa world ranking is not as high as those two American universities so why even considered it. Unisa is only ideal for a few who have 5-6 years of commitment.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I'm not sure why you think ranking is even a factor to be considered. You're stating your opinions as if they are facts
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2017
  10. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member

    Ummm, no. You are not even close. Walden and Capella are not at all on ANY list of best universities. They are not even on the list of best universities in Minnesota where they are headquartered much less higher than UNISA. UNISA, however, IS ranked. Not well, but the Times Higher Education at least says they are ranked as 801+ (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2017/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/locations/ZA/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats).
    Can you show me ANY reputable list that has Walden OR Capella on it? Just one, that's all I am asking for.

    Further, Capella has a higher than average student loan default rate, walden is a little better. (https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/capella-university/paying-for-college/student-loan-debt/)

    So no, taking out $30,000+ per year to go to a for-profit university who is focused on money and then having a higher than usual chance of default sounds like a really, REALLY bad idea.
  11. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member


    Why do you think that I should not be concerned with ranking? Or was that in reference to phdtobe?

  12. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member


    Can you please cite the source you are referencing? I ask because I have searched every single ranking site I can find and I have yet to find ANY site that is willing to rank Capella or Walden among American universities, much less against universities across the globe. Can you please send the link where you show Walden and Capella are higher than UNISA? I can show you the Times Higher Education which ranks schools from every country on the planet and UNISA is ranked but neither Walden nor Capella are. I can show you US News and World Report where only American universities are ranked and neither Walden or Capella make the list. I can show you niche.com or bestcolleges.com where it says that Walden and Capella are not even the best universities in Minnesota. I can show the you college.startclass.com ranking where it says that they are not even ranked on the list of universities that are ONLY located in Minneapolis. So can you please point to me to your information that makes you think telling someone to potentially take out $100,000 or more in student loans to go to a for-profit university is a good idea when they are not even among the list of best universities in the city in which they are located?

    On a final note, I assume you are affiliated with one of those universities? No one but a personally interested party would dare make such statement as Walden AND Capella are ranked much less ranked higher than an internationally ranked university.
  13. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    I am sure ranking is important to the OP. My opinions are facts so no concern there. Unisa should be for those who are open minded and have a worldview disposition and those are facts.
  14. mprimrosewbu

    mprimrosewbu New Member


    Can you please tell me where you are getting this information about Walden (WU) and Capella (CU) being higher ranked than UNISA. I looked at about 50 different sites that rank schools and I can tell you that exactly 0% of those sites even bothered to rank WU or CU. In fact, Times Higher Education (THE) DOES rank UNISA among the best in the world (granted it is ranked 800+, but it IS internationally ranked). THE does not even rank WU or CU at all. US New and World Report does not even rank CU or WU among American universities, much less globally. In fact, I'll take it so far as to point out that colleges.startclass.com states that WU and CU are not even ranked among the best universities in the city of Minneapolis (where they are headquartered). So how can you say that schools who are completely unranked, in business to make profit not educate, and will require the students to take up to if not over $100,000 in student loans is a good idea? Especially when you take into comparison the other option is a truly internationally ranked university, where the tuition is only about $1500 per year? Plus CU has an above average rate of students not being able to pay their loans back and defaulting. They have almost 9% of their students defaulting, national average is around 7-7.5%. You absolutely have to have a personal interest in their school because no one in their right mind would dare have the courage to say that WU and CU, who can't even get on the list of best universities in a single city, is a higher ranked school than UNISA which had to compete with every university on the planet to be on the THE rankings. Your statement is LITERALLY laughable at how inaccurate it is.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I guess you've had some private conversations with the op because I see nothing in his posts that indicates a concern with rankings but since you are so sure of this, I'm sure you could show some evidence to support your assertion that Walden outranks UNISA in any respected world rankings assessments. And while you're at it, you could also provide some evidence for your assertion that Walden ROI is better than UNISA's. Thanks
  16. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

  17. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I noticed three things from your responses:
    1. You seem to know a lot about the reputation of UNISA
    2. You are also unwavering with the amount you are willing to spend yearly on the Ph.D.
    3. You don't need a Ph.D., instead your want a Ph.D.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to already have the answer you're looking for. The reputation of the UNISA's Ph.D. in Public Administration should not be at issue since you just want a Ph.D. and it's within your budget.
  18. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    If one is open minded then there are affordable options around the world to pursue education just for the sake of pursuing education. If the education pursuits is for prestige, then that normally comes with significant costs.
  19. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would say a PhD from UNISA carries a lot more status than a PhD from a For Profit like Capella, Walden, University of Phoenix, etc.

    UNISA is an international university with alumni like Nelson Mandela and graduates who are tenure track faculty at US Universities.

    Then there is cost.

    I would also check out the other South African options.
  20. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Absolutely true.
    There might be rational reasons for a particular student to choose Walden or Capella over UNISA. Status or ranking are not such reasons. It's weird to think they are.

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