Wilkes University Review

Wilkes University is a private university that was established in 1933. Its total undergraduate enrollment is 2,421. It has an online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs where you can your degree in anywhere from two to six years; it is currently ranked #97 in online graduate nursing programs by US News and World Report.

Favorite Features

High faculty credentials and training rank

US News and World Report provides comprehensive rankings of hundreds of university programs across the country. In online programs they provide a number of Ranking Indicators that give students a better feel for the quality of the program and university.

Wilkes University gets a high rank of 16 for faculty credentials and training, and an overall score in this area of 91, which is outstanding. This indicates that the instructors for this program are very knowledgeable in their field and well trained.

Obviously, having high quality instructors is very important to be successful in nursing with your master’s degree. Thus this is a good sign that Wilkes offers a quality education.

Nursing programs are accredited by the CCNE

The bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in nursing are all accredited by the CCNE, or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This accreditation agency has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education as an accreditation agency.

The CCNE is well known as the most widely respected accreditation agency for nursing programs. When you see that a program has been accredited by the CCNE, you can be sure that you will be learning everything you need to know to be successful in nursing.

Also, you can have confidence that your future employer will recognize that you graduated from a high quality university. Employers in the nursing field definitely look to make sure that an online nursing program has CCNE accreditation.

Wilkes offers non-clinical graduate nursing concentrations

Any nursing student who is earning her master of science in nursing is an RN with at least a few years of clinical nursing experience. One of the reasons that many students decide to earn their master’s degree is that they want to get out of the clinical area of nursing.

Working in clinical care is highly rewarding but stressful, and often requires working 12 hour shifts in hospitals. For those reasons, some nurses want to earn their master’s degree and transition into a non clinical area.

It is to those students’ good fortune that Wilkes University offers the following specialities:

  • Nurse Executive: This is a good choice for the experienced nurse who wants to earn her master’s degree to work as a healthcare leader or executive in a nursing department or facility.
  • Nurse educator: With all of the demand for nurses in America, there also is a serious shortage of qualified nurse educators. With this speciality, you can become qualified to teach associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree students.
  • Nursing informatics: Experienced nurses who want to specialize in data management and healthcare technology may want to specialize in informatics.

Each of these unique nursing concentrations can be completed in 20-24 months.

Least Favorite Features

Low peer assessment score

One of the most interesting rankings in US News and World Report is that of Peer Assessment Score. This gives you an idea what the university’s peers in the industry think of their program. US News gives a Peer Assessment Score of 1-5, with 5 being the highest.

Wilkes University’s online graduate nursing program gets a 2.5 out of 5, which is fairly low. This suggests that other educators at other colleges hold the program in rather low regard.

Relatively low rank for nursing programs

US News and World Report only ranks the school’s graduate nursing programs at #97. This is a relatively low ranking that could indicate that the quality of the program is not as high as at higher ranking online universities.

Low rank for selectivity in nursing programs admissions

US News and World Report has a Ranking Indicator pertaining to Admissions Selectivity rank and score. This ranking indicates how selective the program is in admitting students. A program that is more selective generally is believed to be of higher quality as the quality of the students in the program is higher.

Wilkes University’s online graduate nursing programs rank fairly low. The Admissions Selectivity score is only 31 out of a possible 100. Its Admissions Selectivity rank is only 118. These rankings suggest that the program is not particularly selective, which means that lower quality students are being admitted into the nursing program.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1933
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $40
  • School type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Student-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • 7% of classes have fewer than 20 students
  • 82% acceptance rate overall
  • Average graduate class size: 9
  • Average freshman class size: 24
  • Average upper level class size: 16

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • Graduate nursing: $674
  • DNP: $985
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing: $16,784 per semester


  • MSN: FNP, Nurse Executive, Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


  • Post-graduate APRN certificate program is available for students who have completed the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner curriculum.

Class Profile

  • 622 total enrolled in online graduate nursing programs
  • 5053 total enrolled in entire university
  • 96% of full time undergraduates receive financial aid


  • 90% have earned Ph.D. or highest degree in their field

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 79% of freshmen return for their sophomore year, which is higher than the national average of 70.9%.
  • 6% of students graduate on time, or within two or four years
  • 4% of students do not graduate within 150% of the expected time

US News Rankings

  • Best online graduate nursing programs: 97
  • Best value schools: 34
  • Engineering programs (no doctorate): 165

Other Rankings

  • Ranked #25 for economic value by The Economist
  • Ranked in the top 10% of four year schools by Brookings Institution based upon how much graduates earn
  • Ranked #16 on a list of 81 colleges by AffordableCollegesOnline.org for good ROI.