YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — There’s never been a better time to hit the books.

For adult students looking to expand on a bachelor’s degree, the list of graduate-level programs in the Pacific is growing.

The University of Oklahoma has expanded its master’s program in public administration to Yokota and Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.

And the University of Phoenix is offering on-site classes for master’s degrees in organizational management and elementary education for the first time in Asia.

At Yokota, the University of Oklahoma received the contract over Troy State University for the graduate-level, public administration degree program, officials said. Students previously enrolled in Troy State’s program may transfer credits to University of Oklahoma.

Troy State still offers a master of science degree in international relations at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, as well as distance-learning programs throughout the Pacific in the following areas: management, criminal justice, human resources, public administration, education and international relations.

The University of Phoenix will initially offer a master of arts in organizational management and elementary education at eight bases, said Bob Adler, the university’s area manager for Pacific military programs.

The only prerequisite to enter either the business or education track — besides a bachelor’s degree — is an entry-level, three-week class that’s offered three times a year on-site, Adler said.

“If a student misses that, they’re allowed to go online and take the class,” Adler said. “As soon as they complete it, they can drop into the very next on-site class.”

The classes for the University of Phoenix’s business and education programs run in six-week blocks for three credits apiece, though some of the education courses run shorter or longer.

Either program may be completed online or in a classroom setting; each is 40 credit hours and takes about two years to complete, said Anna Bennett, the University of Phoenix’s program coordinator at Yokota. The education degree requires 10 weeks of student teaching and 100 observation hours. The program will lead to teacher certification, Bennett said.

“If you’ve been teaching for at least two years, we could possibly waive the student teaching and observation hours,” she said.

All University of Phoenix faculty in the Pacific are adjunct or part time.

“Because our degrees are geared towards working adults, we want our faculty to” be practicing in the field, Adler said.

The University of Phoenix is looking to hire local instructors throughout the Pacific to teach graduate-level business or education classes. To qualify, candidates must have a master’s degree and at least five years work experience in the field they would teach.

The University of Oklahoma now offers a master’s degree in public administration at Yokota and Yongsan, officials said. The school also offers other master’s programs throughout the Pacific, from Guam to Okinawa.

At Yokota, the first class for the 36-credit hour, public administration degree started, but students have until Friday to register for the next course, “Bureaucracy and Policy.”

That class starts Oct. 13, according to Joseph Jones, the University of Oklahoma site manager at Yokota.

The classes run in short, intensive spurts: Students meet for six, consecutive days 4.5 hours on weekday evenings and 7.5 hours on Saturday. They earn three credits at a time.

There is about a month break between each course, during which preparatory reading and research projects may be assigned, Jones said.

Students must register at least 30 days ahead of the next class.

Jones said students who miss the first class can still jump into the program, as courses run in cycles and are offered again.

Tuition costs $267 per credit-hour at the University of Oklahoma, and $250 per credit-hour at the University of Phoenix. Active-duty servicemembers may qualify for tuition assistance.

At Yokota, military members are reimbursed up to $250 per credit-hour, said Carl Frentz, Yokota’s director of base training education services.

The University of Phoenix may also offer a master’s degree in secondary education in the near future, Adler said.

“If we can get eight students interested per class, then we can hold it,” he added.

Master's degree programs available in Pacific theater

University of Phoenix

Offers Master of Arts degrees in elementary education and organizational management at:

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam

Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Misawa Air Base, Japan

Osan Air Base, South Korea

Yokota Air Base, Japan

Yongsan Garrison, South Korea

Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan

Taegu, South Korea

The first class starts between Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, depending on location. Registration is ongoing. Courses cost $250 per credit hour. For more information, check with your base education office or visit the University of Phoenix’s overseas Web site at:

University of Oklahoma

Offers master’s programs as follows:

Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii - economics, public administration.

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - human relations.

Osan Air Base, South Korea - human relations.

Yongsan Garrison, South Korea - public administration.

Yokota Air Base, Japan - public administration.

Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan - human relations.

Kadena Air Base, Okinawa - economics, human relations, public administration, and human relations with an emphasis on community services.

Each site follows a different schedule. Register at least one month prior to the start of class.

Courses cost $267 per credit hour. For more information, check with your base education office or call the university’s Pacific office at DSN 644-4207. For more information on a master for public administration, go to:

Troy State University

Offers a Master of Science degree in international relations at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

Distance-learning is also offered throughout the Pacific in the following areas: management, criminal justice, human resources, public administration, education and international relations.

For more information, call 634-5365 or visit Troy State’s Pacific Web site at:

author picture
Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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