University of the People

by TBS Staff

Updated July 19, 2021 • 1 min read is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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  • Tuition–free online classes for students across the globe who want to pursue associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees
  • Offers nine scholarships to cover assessment and transfer credit evaluation fees
  • Free course materials for all students


Founded in 2009, the University of the People offers tuition–free online classes plus free course materials for undergraduates and graduate students. At the end of each class, undergraduate students pay a $100 assessment fee and graduate students pay $200. Students who cannot afford the assessment fees can apply for scholarships, including awards specifically available for refugees. This nationally accredited online university operates from Pasadena, California, with students hailing from 194 different countries. Classes run completely online. Eight associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees are available through four schools: business administration, computer science, health science, and education.

University of the People Statistics

Public/Private Private nonprofit
Student–to–Faculty Ratio 14:1
Full–Time Freshman Retention Rate 86%
Required Standardized Test(s) English proficiency test
Accreditation Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Student Population More than 20,000 students, including 1,000 students who are refugees
Date Founded 2009
Colors Eggplant

University of the People’s Accreditation, Tuition, and Admissions Info

Accreditation and Approvals

University of the People is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


UoPeople does not charge any tuition fees. Instead, the school charges an assessment fee at the end of each course ($100 undergraduate, $200 graduate). For the entire program, students without financial assistance will pay:

Program Level Cost
Associate Degree $2,060 (full program)
Bachelor’s Degree $4,060 (full program)
Master of Business Administration Degree $2,460 (full program)
Master of Education Degree $2,660 (full program)


Admission requirements depend on an applicant’s intended degree track.

Undergraduate applicants must be 16 years or older and hold a high school diploma or GED. Asylum seekers and refugees who cannot meet these requirements may take the ED–approved Ability to Benefit test. Non–native English applicants must also take an English proficiency test. Students also need to complete the UoPeople Foundations Courses.

Candidates for the master’s programs do not need to take a GRE, but they must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. MBA candidates also need two years of work experience and a letter of recommendation.

Contact Information

Online Degrees Offered

UoPeople offers eight online degrees from four schools. The business administration school offers associate, bachelor’s, and master of business administration degrees. The computer science school offers associate and bachelor’s degrees. The health science school offers associate and bachelor’s degrees, and the education school offers a master of education degree.

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