Frequently asked Questions
Q. Is the University of Fairfax accredited?
A. Yes, the University of Fairfax is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Accrediting Commission of DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Q. Can I take my entire program online?
A. Yes, all programs can be delivered 100% online so that you can learn anywhere, anytime.
Q. Can I finish my degree while I work full-time?
A. Yes, with the accessibility that accompanies online delivery, students find that they can better balance their work, education and family responsibilities, even if they need to travel.
Q. How will I interact with faculty and students online?
A. The University employs a unique approach to online learning, one that utilizes two kinds of online delivery methods to enhance learning – real time or synchronous interaction (which are recorded and archived for student use) and asynchronous interaction through threaded discussions. Both methods provide many opportunities for collaboration with fellow students and faculty members.
Q. I’ve never taken an online course. Will I be able to adapt?
A. Yes. Our online educational platform is both user-friendly and easy to navigate. In addition, all new students participate in orientation on how to use it. Many support services are provided to enhance your online learning experience, including a 24 hour/7 day per week Help Desk support from Canvas. Online chat rooms are essentially “office hours” scheduled each week for students to receive faculty support. You do need to have some basic technology skills. Common tasks include accessing websites, writing papers using word processing platforms, and uploading/downloading documents. If you can do this than you are tech-savvy enough for an online degree program.
Q. Will I be required to attend any classes on campus?
A. If you choose to take your program online, there is no required on campus attendance. However, some programs offer in-person learning and those programs do require class meetings on campus. If you are a doctoral student, you may choose to defend your dissertation in person.
Q. Is the quality of education lower in online classes?
A. No, students follow the same curriculum whether their classes are synchronous online or hybrid. Additionally, online classes at University of Fairfax has regular, synchronous sessions. The only thing you’ll miss is the commute.
Q. Will my degree say “online”?
A. No, there is no difference in the appearance of your transcript or your diploma, regardless of the modality in which you earned your degree.
Q. Do employers value online degrees equal to degrees earned in person?
A. Many employers encourage an online degree to their workforce to develop their skills without having to leave the job. We offer flexible, in-demand distance education programs that meet the needs of employers in a changing global marketplace.
Q. Are online courses easier than in-person study?
A. No, courses in an accredited university must adhere to the same quality standards as in-person courses, therefore the difficulty-level should be the same. All online courses use the same syllabi and course materials as the in-person version of the same course. Some student report that online courses are more difficult than in-person courses due to increased accountability.
Q. Are classes self-paced?
A. No, like their in-person counterparts, fully online classes have a set start date and end date. Assignments have deadlines and time limits to keep you on track. Additionally, all online courses have synchronous class meetings using Zoom.
Q. What is the attendance policy like?
A. Regular attendance is expected to prepare students for the work force post-graduation, good attendance means the difference between success and failure. Students who miss three (3) or more sessions in any course will receive an F grade. Students are expected to be on time to class sessions and to stay the entire length of class sessions in an environment where they are ready to learn.
Q. Do your online classes have set meeting times?
A. Yes, students attend a live session at specific times and days each week through video conferencing. Many classes offer scheduling options to meet different circumstances, such as frequency of meetings, daytime meetings, evenings, and weekends. All online degree programs use synchronous learning, and this sets up apart from the others. Live engagement with your instructor and peers is a valuable characteristic of any learning experience. We want you to feel like you are in a physical classroom.
Q. Do I have to teach myself the material?
A. No, instructors are there to engage and teach the course material, just as they are in a physical classroom. The student should ask questions when instructions are not clear or if they need additional help understanding a concept.
Q. Who supports students in an online environment?
A. All our faculty and staff are there to support students through their online learning experience.
Q. Can international students (residing outside of the USA) complete distance education degree programs?
A. Yes, our eLearning environment utilizes advanced technology for a highly interactive experience. You receive face-to-face instruction from anywhere you can access the internet.
Q. Are there opportunities to meet faculty and fellow students in person?
A. Yes. You may meet faculty and fellow students at in-person graduation festivities. In addition, many students meet when they attend specific industry conferences at which the University participates.
Student and Alumni Satisfaction
Q. How satisfied are the University of Fairfax students and alumni?
A. Student and alumni surveys indicated the following:
Percentage of Students Surveyed who responded that they:
Achieved their learning goals: 96%
Would recommend the University to a friend: 96%
Were satisfied with their studies: 97%
Percentage of Alumni Surveyed who responded that they:
Achieved their learning goals: 100%
Would recommend the University to a friend: 100%
Were satisfied with their studies: 100%
Q. How successful are students and alumni?
A. Major employers, in the private and public sectors, hire and promote our students and alumni as cybersecurity specialists, managers and executives. These employers include Northrop Grumman, Dell, SAIC, CSC, CISCO, Wells Fargo, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, DoD, DHS, Veterans Affairs and NSA
Q. What cybersecurity leadership positions do students and alumni hold?
- Chief Information Security Officer, Catholic Health Systems East
- Deputy Director; Faculty, Carleton University, Canadian Centre of Intelligence Security Studies
- Solutions Architect, Cisco
- Director of Federal Security, Dell Corporation
- Senior Information Security Analyst, Edward Jones
- Senior Principal, Information Security and Privacy Specialist, General Dynamics IT (GDIT)
- Vice President, HITRUST Alliance
- Senior Information Assurance Engineer, Lockheed Martin
- Security Engineer, ManTech Sensor Technologies
- Cybersecurity Engineer, MTSI
- Branch Chief, National Security Agency
- Chief Information Security Officer, NCheng
- Director of Cybersecurity, Northrop Grumman
- Cybersecurity Specialist, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Chief Information Security Officer, Oncor
- Vice President Information Security Officer, Pentucket Bank
- Corporate Information Security Officer, QSSI
- Principal System Security Engineer, Tenacity Solutions, Inc.
- Chief, Test and Evaluations Branch, U.S. Army, Project Management Office
- Chief Security Engineer, Strategy, Planning & Process Development, U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD)
- Threat Hunter, U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD)
- National Director, Control Systems Security, U.S. Dept. of Homeland (DHS)
- Senior Technology Strategist, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Senior Program Analyst, U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs
- Chief Security Officer, U.S. Federal Government
- Cybersecurity Brand Head, U.S. Marine Corps (USMC)
- Director of SOC and Incident Response, undisclosed bio pharmaceutical
Tuition and Fees
Q. How much is tuition at the University of Fairfax?
A. Tuition varies by program. Please visit this page on our website for complete details on tuition and fees by program.
Q. What do books cost?
A. The estimated average cost of books per course is $150.
Q. What is the total cost of my program?
A. Your total program cost will vary, depending on the number of credits in your chosen program of study, (e.g., degree, graduate certificate etc.) cost of books, applicable fees (which are described in the catalog), the number of transfer credits awarded, if any, and the amount of financial aid awarded, if applicable.
Q. What financial aid is available?
A. The University offers several types of financial aid to qualified students who apply for financial assistance. Resources include veterans and military benefits, institutional aid, payment plans and private educational loans. Students who qualify for financial assistance receive a maximum award based on program of study, merit, and/or financial need. The University creates a tuition assistance package for each eligible student. The package may include multiple resources, such as scholarship, loan, employer reimbursement and payment plan. In addition, the University offers special scholarships to veterans and active military to help cover any unmet need after their V.A. and military benefits have been applied.
Q. How do I apply for financial aid?
A. Complete a University Application for Financial Assistance and apply for admission to a University program.
Q. How do I qualify for financial aid?
A. Financial aid is based upon merit and/or need. Recipients must remain in good academic standing and meet all obligations to the University in order to receive an award disbursement for any given course session. Students qualify for only one institutional scholarship or fellowship at a time.
Q. What if I can’t afford internet or a laptop?
A. There are programs that can assist students in acquiring low cost internet and laptop devices. For assistance with a low-cost device, check out PCsforPeople and PlaniTROI. For assistance with low-cost internet service, check out USAC Affordable Connectivity Program.
V.A. and Military Benefits
Q. Can I use my VA benefits at the University of Fairfax?
A. Yes. Veterans and eligible persons who qualify for educational benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other GI Bill Chapters may be eligible for educational benefits while enrolled in educational programs offered by the University of Fairfax, a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Q. How do I apply for VA benefits?
A. To apply for VA benefits, including Yellow Ribbon:
» Submit an application for the Post-9/11 GI Bill to the Department of Veterans Affairs online at http://www.gibill.va.gov
» Provide a certificate of eligibility to your Admissions Officer; and
» Obtain admission to the University of Fairfax
Q. Can I use my Military Tuition Assistance at the University?
A. Yes. The University of Fairfax is approved for the payment of tuition assistance (TA) to active duty military students.
Q. How do I apply for Military TA benefits?
A. To apply for TA:
» Submit an application for TA through your military base
» Obtain admission to the University of Fairfax
» Provide documentation that you have been approved for this benefit at UoF
Q. Can I use my employer tuition assistance at the University?
A. Yes. Many employers provide tuition reimbursement for our courses, graduate certificates, certifications or degree programs. Students should contact their supervisors or employee benefits office to determine if tuition reimbursement is available. For students whose companies finance their education directly, a direct billing arrangement between the employer and the University may be arranged.
Q. How many semesters are there in a calendar year?
A. We operate on a trimester schedule with three academic terms per calendar year: spring, summer and fall.
Q. How long is each semester?
A. Each academic term or semester is 16 weeks in length and consists of two, eight- week course sessions, (Course Sessions I and II).
Q. How many course sessions are there in a year? When do they begin?
A. There are six course sessions per year. In 2022, course sessions start in January, March, May, June, August and October.
Q. When can I start my program?
A. We offer continuous enrollment so that a student may start in any course session. The first course session is the beginning of your academic year.
Q. How many courses do I need to take to be considered full-time.
A. When you enroll in one course each course session you are considered full-time.
Q. Does the University accept transfer credit?
A. A maximum of nine semester credits for Doctorate and 18 semester credits for Masters equivalent to our courses in content, credit and level and taken for graduate credit, as part of a degree or graduate certificate program, from an accredited institution may be transferred.
Q. How long will it take to complete my Master’s degree?
A. Completing the Master’s Degree, even while you work full-time, takes a minimum of two years to complete.
Q. How long will it take to complete my doctorate?
A. Completing your doctorate, even while you are work full-time, takes a minimum of 3.5 to 4 years, depending upon factors including the highest degree you currently hold and how long you take to complete your dissertation deliverables.
Academic Level of Courses
Q. What is the academic level of University of Fairfax programs?
A. All courses, including those in the Master’s degree program, have been designed to meet expectations of doctoral level achievement.