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25 Years.
250,000+ Students.
One by One.


25 Years Since It All Began 

Why are we called Western Governors University? Because in 1997, a group of U.S. governors from western states met to answer a critical question: "How can we ensure more of our residents have greater access to a college education that fits their schedules?"  That meeting of the Western Governors' Association led to the formation of WGU.

As a nonprofit, online university founded by governors, WGU is different. But even beyond the unique story of our founding, we stand out for a more fundamental reason—at WGU, we do education differently.


25 Years of a Unique Learning Model 

We’ve been different from the beginning. Here’s what makes us unique from other online universities:

  • Fully online since day one. From the start, WGU was built to be a fully online university. As one of the first non-brick-and-mortar universities, we pioneered the online higher education model and have been perfecting it for two-and-a-half decades.
  • Competency-based. We measure knowledge and proficiency instead of class time. That means our students can progress to the next course as soon as they demonstrate mastery through an assessment.
  • Personalized support. Every WGU student receives a personal Program Mentor who checks in with them regularly to offer guidance and keep them on track. Course Instructors are also accessible for one-on-one meetings.
  • Uniquely flexible. There are no set log-in times or test dates here. Rather, a WGU education fits completely around the learner’s schedule, allowing them to truly progress at their own pace.
  • A revolutionary cost structure. WGU students pay for one six-month term at a time. Within that term, they can finish as many courses as they’re able. This means that the quicker they complete their coursework, the less they pay to earn their degree.


25 Years of Individual Student Support 

As the most student-centric university in the world, WGU centers everything we do on our students and alumni. We’re directly invested in their struggles, their lives, and their successes. Personal Program Mentors, a flexible online learning model, job-centered degree programs, and affordable tuition put education within reach for more students.

Although our university has grown and our focus has widened, our single commitment to our students and alumni has not changed. Our ambition to help individuals bridge the gap from talent to opportunity will never rest.

“I really loved my time at WGU and appreciate the competency-based structure which allows for more flexibility for people like myself who work full time and are raising young children. I am excited to start my MBA.”

—Cheyenne Hughes
B.S. Business Administration

What Our Alumni Are Saying

People love their WGU experience. See why it means so much to them and what makes us different.

"I really needed someone that’s going to work with me because I'm going to panic and give up, and I got all those things from WGU."

— Zhane Dill
Teacher and Founder, Anointed in Motion

"Here I was [in a job interview], a graduate of WGU, sitting in a waiting area with other college graduates from NYU, Columbia, Georgetown, and many other Ivy League colleges from across the country." 

— Rashaan Green
Principal Service Engineering Manager, Microsoft

“A lot of the programs you see out there, you either are getting yourself into a ton of debt or you’re just not going to do it. That’s why WGU is great, because you can accelerate and you don’t pay as much.”

— Jonathan Concepcion
Service Desk Manager, Nintendo of America

"If it wasn't for WGU I would not have been able to go back for my master's with working full-time and having small kids."

— Sarah Aronack
Former Director of Nursing, Arkansas Hospital

"I felt like I was probably the only student they had. I know I wasn't, but they learned a lot about my personal story...and that impacts you, the way you learn, interpret criticism. So for people to take the time to get to know you as a person, that was huge. It was nothing but encouragement."

— Ginger Parker-Southland
EBCI Public Health and Human Services

25 Years of WGU Graduates Working at Top-Tier Companies

“WGU is about fundamental change in the way higher education is delivered. It's right, it's real, and it's efficient. It's what higher education will require to succeed in the future.”

—Michael O. Leavitt
Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
Former Governor of Utah and Founding Member of WGU

Next Stop on the Sage Coach, Commencement!

Follow the Sage Coach as we tour across America for the 25th Anniversary commencement events! Join the Sage Coach in April in Phoenix with events, games, networking, and a chance to meet WGU executive leadership. Follow along on social media with the hashtag #WGUSageCoach to see where we go next!


State Farm Stadium

Master's Ceremony, 9:30 am, MST

Bachelor's Ceremony, 1:45 pm, MST

Innovation in Every Step


Learn more about how President Scott Pulsipher is focused on utilizing innovation to help WGU continue to provide an individualized approach to education that will carry WGU through the next 25 years and beyond.


WGU Today: An Industry Leader

Career-focused programs at WGU include:

  • Bachelor's degrees
  • Master's degrees
  • Certificate programs

These offerings all work together to offer students the perfect program that meets their career and credentialing needs. We are committed to continual innovation to help individual students customize their education for years to come.


Information Technology


Health Professions

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?