Westfield State University Review

Westfield State University offers affordable tuition rates and access to top-rated online teaching faculty, but online programs are only available to students who have already completed an associate's degree.

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The Good

Affordable tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students:

Westfield State University (WSU) rates as one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degree programs available, with tuition rates of only $260 per credit for all undergraduate students. Most other top programs charge tuition of $500 per credit or more, with some of the most expensive programs exceeding $900 per credit. Although WSU only offers degree completion programs, if you already hold an associate’s degree and you’re looking for an affordable online program to complete your education, WSU deserves a close look.

Excellent student retention rates:

According to a recent survey of online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, WSU is one of the best performers when it comes to retaining new students in their degree programs. While one-year retention rates of 60% or 70% are not uncommon among the top online bachelor’s programs, in each of the last three academic years, at least 80% of new WSU students have continued into a second year of study at the university. This kind of performance is a great indication that Westfield State University students are highly engaged in their studies and are motivated to continue working toward their degrees.

Top-rated faculty:

Westfield State University is home to one of the top-rated online faculty as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. These rankings are calculated based on the educational background of the instructors, the amount of training that they receive prior to teaching online courses, and whether or not they receive regular continuing education that covers online teaching practices. At WSU, you can trust that your instructors are experts in the subjects they teach and have practiced the best methods in online teaching.

Good selection of degree subjects:

Westfield State University offers a good mix of degree subjects, including business, criminal justice, psychology, history, and sociology, in addition to a general studies option. Although some top online programs offer more variety, WSU’s degree offerings compare favorably with many of the top programs in the country. History and sociology both rate as rare programs among top online bachelor’s degree programs, and only a handful of the best programs offer an online bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Several good minors to choose from:

If you’re looking to dig a little deeper into a second subject by earning a minor, WSU offers four different options. You can combine any of the available bachelor’s degree programs with a minor in management, psychology, or sociology. If you are interested in exploring the world of art, you can also design a minor in art that focuses on graphic design or general art appreciation. As few of the top online bachelor’s programs offer minors, if you’re interested in branching out in your studies, WSU is a great option.

The Bad

No options for new college students:

All online bachelor’s degree programs offered by Westfield State University are degree completion programs designed specifically for students who have graduated from a community college with an associate’s degree. WSU is a great option for students who can meet this requirement, especially considering the excellent tuition rates available at the school. However, students who have not completed the required college coursework must consider other opportunities.

Strict credit transfer requirements:

Admission requirements for WSU online bachelor’s programs are based on a student transfer agreement between the university and the Massachusetts community college system. If you successfully complete a Massachusetts community college associate’s degree, you can trust that a WSU bachelor’s degree can be completed entirely online. On the other hand, if you complete an associate’s degree from another state, you may not meet all the requirements necessary to ensure that you can complete your WSU degree entirely online. If you hold an out-of-state associate’s degree, it’s important to get some advice from the WSU admissions office before you commit to the university.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2008 - 2009
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Application Requirements: Transcripts
  • Location: MA
  • Number of Bachelor's Programs: 6
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Other

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $260
  • Out-of-State: $260


  • Degrees: Business, Sociology, History, Liberal Studies, Criminal Justice, Psychology

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Average Student Age: 34
  • Gender Ratio: 37.5% female, 62.5% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 20
  • Total Enrollment: 176


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 4 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 68
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 40

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 80%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 82%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012): 88%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 88%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2009-2010): N/A
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2010-2011): N/A
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2011-2012): 33%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2012-2013): 21%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 3
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 89/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 45
  • Student Engagement Score: 71/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 14
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 66/100

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