Just the Facts

University of Phoenix’s background

In 1976, Dr. John Sperling, a Cambridge-educated economic historian and professor, founded University of Phoenix on an innovative idea: making higher education accessible for working adults.

In the early 1970s, while a tenured professor at San Jose State University in California, Dr. Sperling and several associates conducted field-based research on new teaching and learning systems for working adult students. From this research, Dr. Sperling realized that the convergence of technological, economic and demographic forces would herald the return of working adults to higher education. He saw a growing need for institutions that are sensitive to the learning requirements, life situations and responsibilities of working adults. These beliefs resulted in the creation of University of Phoenix.

Since its founding, University of Phoenix has helped transform the landscape of higher education in widely recognized ways. Many of the conveniences that 21st-century students enjoy ― evening classes, flexible scheduling, continuous enrollment, a student-centered environment, online classes, digital library, computer simulations — were pioneered through University of Phoenix’s efforts. In fact, University of Phoenix has removed many of the barriers to education for busy adults by providing accessible scheduling and rigorous degree programs centered on professional goals.

Today, University of Phoenix is the nation's largest private university, offering more than 100 degree programs at locations nationwide, as well as Internet curriculum in most countries around the world.


1976 by Dr. John Sperling

Central Administration Offices

1625 West Fountainhead Parkway
Tempe, AZ, 85282-2371
Website: www.phoenix.edu


University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org). Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor. University of Phoenix obtained its most recent 10-year Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2012–13. A comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2016–17, and the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.

For more information about University of Phoenix accreditations and licensures, please visit http://www.phoenix.edu/about_us/accreditation.html.

Social responsibility

In addition to the University’s commitment to academic quality, University of Phoenix is dedicated to social responsibility as demonstrated though a variety of initiatives:

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