Graceland University - Lamoni Review

Founded in 1895, Graceland University-Lamoni is a private university offering graduate education programs designed specifically for working teachers.

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The Good

Good variety of concentration options

The Graceland University-Lamoni (GU-Lamoni) online graduate education program offers five different concentrations, a mix of options that compares favorably with many of the top online education programs in the country. You can choose to concentrate on literacy instruction, classroom management, special education, technology integration, or differentiated instruction. The differentiated instruction program, which focuses on instruction and assessment techniques for mixed-ability classrooms, is a popular option at GU-Lamoni, and one that is relatively uncommon among top programs. Each of the five degree options requires two years to complete.

Exceptionally high graduation rate

According to U.S. News & World Report’s most recent survey of top online graduate education programs, GU-Lamoni has reported a nearly perfect three-year student graduation rate in each of the last two academic years. Given that the university’s education programs are designed to take two years to complete, it’s not altogether surprising that most students finish within three years. However, it is noteworthy that Graceland University-Lamoni guides nearly every enrolled student through to graduation. While some other top programs achieve graduation rates in the nineties, rates in the seventies and eighties are more common.

Experienced online instructors

If you want to learn from experienced instructors who are respected as experts in their field, Graceland University-Lamoni provides just what you’re looking for. GU-Lamoni online education instructors average 10 years of online teaching experience, tops among the best online graduate programs in the nation. And what’s more, on a measure of credentials and training by the U.S. News & World Report, those instructors rank among the top 20 online education faculties in the country. Only a few top online education programs can offer a faculty with this combination of training and experience.

Affordable tuition

If cost is an important factor in your search for a quality program, you’ll appreciate the fact that GU-Lamoni charges only $450 per credit. The university follows very closely behind the top cost performer in the country, South Dakota State University, which charges $400 per credit. When you consider the university’s top-tier faculty and the great selection of degree options, GU-Lamoni really stands out in terms of value for money.

The Bad

Limited credit transfer opportunities

If you have completed coursework in another graduate education program in the past, you may not be able to apply it toward a degree at Graceland University-Lamoni. To determine whether past coursework is applicable to a GU-Lamoni degree program, you must write and submit a formal course reflection paper and pay a $100 fee, all after gaining admittance to your chosen program. GU-Lamoni faculty will then evaluate your transcripts and your reflection paper to determine a transfer decision. No more than six credits in total can be transferred. If you plan to transfer credits, consider contacting an admissions counselor for additional advice before applying.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2002 - 2003
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Location: IA
  • Number of Graduate Education Programs: 6
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Trimester

Tuition Rates (per credit)

  • In-State: $450
  • Out-of-State: $450


  • Degrees: Differentiated Instruction (M.Ed), Special Education (M.Ed.), Technology Integration (M.Ed.), Management in the Inclusive Classroom (M.Ed.), Literacy and Instruction (M.Ed), Collaborative Learning and Teaching (M.Ed.)


  • Certificates: Differentiated Instruction

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Average Student Age: 34
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.36
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: N/A
  • Gender Ratio: 83.5% female, 16.5% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 18
  • Total Enrollment: 254


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 10 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 5
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 7

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009-2010): 96%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010-2011): 94%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011-2012): 96%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012-2013): 97%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 96%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 96%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 25
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 60/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 1
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 100/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 1
  • Student Engagement Score: 100/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 159
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 39/100

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