University of West Georgia Review

The University of West Georgia is an affordable public university that houses one of the top-ranked online computer science and information technology programs in the nation.

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The Good

Top-ranked online faculty

The University of West Georgia (UWG) is home to the nation’s second best online computer science faculty, as rated by U.S. News & World Report. As a student at UWG, you’ll learn from subject experts who have years of experience teaching computer science and information technology topics both online and on campus. All instructors receive regular continuing education to develop and improve their online teaching practices, so you can trust that you’ll get a top-tier education from highly skilled instructors. Given that the UWG online program is relatively small, with about five full-time faculty members in most semesters, you’ll get the chance to work closely with the same instructors throughout the length of your studies, which can be a big benefit to your learning.

Top-ranked student services

U.S. News & World Report also places the University of West Georgia atop their rankings for student services and technology. The UWG computer science department hosts a powerful course management and communication system, which provides access to everything you need as a student in one centralized online location. You can access your course materials and use the integrated instant messaging system to instantly communicate with your instructors and classmates using text, audio, or video. The platform even allows you to broadcast your computer desktop to an instructor or a trusted classmate, giving them the ability to access an application on your computer directly, a powerful collaboration tool when used safely. As a UWG student, you also get free access to one-on-one online peer tutoring services that make use of this very capability to assist you with programming assignments or debugging problems.

High admissions standards

The University of West Georgia online computer science and information technology program is relatively small and rather difficult to get into. In the most recent academic year, only 76% of applicants were accepted as students, a lower rate than many information technology programs of similar or larger size. If you are interested in the UWG program, it’s important to pay close attention to the application requirements, which include a personal letter, three professional references, and a comprehensive resume.

Affordable tuition rates

University of West Georgia information technology students pay graduate tuition of about $382 per credit, which ranks among the most affordable tuition rates around. Many top programs charge rates of $700 to $1,000 per credit, and some charge more than $1,600, four times the cost of UWG. If you’re lucky enough to be a resident of Georgia, you pay in-state tuition of only $187 per credit, probably one of the best values of any graduate program in the country.

Cohort-based scheduling

All new UWG students are enrolled in courses automatically, moving through a predefined curriculum and sharing courses with the same classmates from semester to semester. Being part of a cohort of students allows you to develop strong working relationships with classmates, which can be a big advantage given the emphasis on collaborative projects in this program. Some students might prefer a program that offers more flexibility in course selection, but the UWG model provides networking opportunities that you might not get at other universities. This cohort-based model is especially valuable, considering that networking is one of the major ways people find employment in today’s job market.

The Bad

Inflexible curriculum

The University of West Georgia computer science and information technology program is not nearly as flexible as other top programs. As a student, you must begin taking courses in the fall semester, and you must continue for two years on a schedule defined by UWG. Courses are scheduled in fall, spring, and summer semesters for two years. If you are interested in taking a traditional academic summer break or if you think you might need to take any significant time off during the two years, this program is unlikely to be a good fit since you’ll have to wait a full year before rejoining the class schedule where you left off.

Does not accept transfer credits

If you have completed graduate-level credits in information science at another university, you won’t be able to apply them toward the University of West Georgia program. Since this program is based on a fixed curriculum, you must take every required course as a UWG student, according to the schedule set by the computer science department. In contrast to UWG, virtually every other top graduate program in information technology accepts transfer credits as long as they meet program degree requirements.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2011-2012
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Location: GA
  • Number of Graduate Info Tech Programs: 1
  • Region: Southeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $282
  • Out-of-State: $282

Degrees

  • Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

Certificates

  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Average Student Age: 34
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.14
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: 3.5
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: 146
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: 147
  • Gender Ratio: 19.1% female, 80.9% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 30
  • Total Enrollment: 47

Faculty

  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 2 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 5
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 0

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): N/A
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): N/A
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): N/A
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 64%
  • 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): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): N/A

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 9
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 52/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 2
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 89/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 18
  • Student Engagement Score: 56/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 7
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 66/100

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