ASU Online: 100,000 dreams realized

April 30, 2024 · 7 min read · By ASU Online

Arizona State University celebrates 100,000 online graduates who each embarked on a journey toward becoming something greater. Discover how accessibility and excellence in education shaped tens of thousands of students into high achievers, career changers, difference makers, elite scholars, entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers.


With hundreds of degree programs to choose from and vast learning opportunities, ASU students can create their own unique career path tailored to their dream. The journey doesn’t — and shouldn’t — look the same for everyone.

For Aniqa Azad, she combined her two passions at ASU: finance and pharmacy, an arguably unlikely pairing. But by earning a Bachelor of Arts in business with a concentration in corporate accounting online and completing pharmacy prerequisites during her undergrad program, Azad began her educational journey toward a meaningful career of helping others.

"I want to help make medication more accessible, whether at a federal level or within private companies, working on issues like insurance," Azad said.

Today Azad is a lead intern pharmacist at the University of California, San Francisco medical center while completing the UCSF pharmacy program as a doctoral student. She aspires to become a pharmacist and health care professional dedicated to ensuring patients have access to quality, cost-effective medications.

On track to achieve her goal, Azad said she couldn’t have persevered while pursuing her passions without support and an online degree from an academic institution that set her up for success.


ASU’s impact: transforming education through excellence

ASU is well known for its thriving campuses in the beautiful Valley of the Sun and across the country — however, it’s also recognized globally for its excellence as an online academic institution:

  • World-class faculty

ASU faculty make an impact as industry leaders and award-winning researchers. Committed to innovation and use-inspired research, they partner with instructional designers to create courses that provide rich online learning experiences by leveraging  leading-edge technology. Professors also serve as mentors who help students enhance their studies, how they learn and their personal and professional growth.

  • #1 in the U.S. for innovation*

ASU continues its 9-year reign as a leader in education technology. The endless pursuit to innovate transforms student outcomes through emerging tech, rigorous online programs, immersive learning, field and laboratory work, and experiential opportunities custom-designed for the application of principles to real-world problems. Through collaborative partnerships, ASU also explores how new technologies can improve digital teaching and learning experiences. *U.S. News & World Report, 2016-2024

  • Diverse degree offerings

A catalog of more than 300 programs — representative of every college within ASU — gives students, who prefer the flexibility of learning online, the opportunity to choose the right program for their career goals, interests, passions and curiosities. A pioneer in online education, ASU was the first university to offer more than 20 cutting-edge programs including STEM degrees in biological sciences, electrical engineering and biochemistry. Students can also earn a graduate degree in as little as one year after completing an undergraduate degree in an online Accelerated Master’s program (saving time and money and advancing their education more quickly).

  • Respected online programs and curriculum

At ASU, students earn the same degree and follow the same curriculum, whether online or on campus. All online diplomas and transcripts simply say, “Arizona State University.” ASU is also ranked in the top 5 for best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, 2024. Thus, the quality of education isn’t compromised for those who prefer the flexibility and collaborative online community of digital learning.

  • Personalized student support

Throughout the entire student journey, ASU provides a support system from enrollment to graduation and beyond. Enrollment and success coaches, academic advisors, tutors, and career and professional development staff are all committed to helping students balance life, work and school, overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Student Accessibility & Inclusive Learning Services and the Pat Tillman Veterans Center also provide specialized help and guidance.

With support and transformative online educational opportunities, students can thrive academically, reach degree completion, achieve their professional goals and improve the socioeconomic trajectories of their families — while making a lasting impact on their lives and communities.

An ASU Online graduate poses with two family members at graduation.

At the heart of ASU: inclusivity and accessibility at scale

The ASU Charter

  • ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Unlike other universities, inclusivity is at the forefront of ASU’s initiatives. In a world where prestigious higher education is often reserved for the few elite, ASU serves as an esteemed and supportive academic community where everyone belongs.

“There are three parts of the charter and the most important part for us is the inclusion mission,” said Phil Regier, EdPlus CEO and University Dean for Education Initiatives. “ASU Online is an extension of the inclusion mission. What we’re trying to do is be inclusive to the 40 million Americans who have some university education, but no degree, and they cannot, because of the conditions of their life, attend a brick-and-mortar university.”

A commitment to accessible education and excellence

To deliver on a promise of inclusivity, ASU is committed to breaking down barriers, expanding its reach and making education accessible to learners everywhere — from Arizona to around the globe. Through accessible education at scale, ASU has helped 27,500 graduates in Arizona alone who may not have had the opportunity to complete a degree otherwise.

In addition to education, access to excellence ensures qualified students, regardless of their geographic location, have the chance to study at a prestigious research university. Then, once doors open for individuals, they can unlock their potential and prepare to make a difference in their lives, their community and the global economy.

“Following my time at ASU, I pursued and completed two master's degrees,” said ASU graduate Andrea LaRosa. “The versatility of my bachelor's degree and the esteemed reputation of ASU played pivotal roles in my acceptance into these advanced programs.”

“In every job interview, the mention of ASU was met with recognition and respect, signaling the university's strong standing. ‘Oh ASU, that's a great school’ was a common refrain, underscoring how the institution's prestige facilitated opportunities for me. Graduating with honors not only highlighted my academic achievements but also empowered me to seize the opportunities that ASU's reputation had unlocked.”

Higher education represents our best hope for the advancement of both individuals and the collective.

Michael M. Crow

Arizona State University president

ASU graduates: Where are they now?

For many graduates to reach the finish line, they needed a second chance or more to begin again or continue their education. So, ASU had to meet them where they are. While many students enrolled right after high school, others transferred, returned after life events or discovered it was time to gain new knowledge and upskill after decades since their last class.

#2 in the U.S. for employability among public universities*

No matter where they came from or why, students completed their degree ready to enter or advance their career empowered to impact the fields that matter most today and tomorrow — boosting the economy and bettering society. By studying at ASU, aspiring biologists, scientists, health care professionals, digital marketers, global change agents and other in-demand professionals graduated job-ready and confident to take the first or next step in their career. *Global Employability University Ranking and Survey, 2024

"Graduates are happier, they're healthier, they secure better jobs, driving generational wealth and global change," said Regier. "It can't be overstated that it is college graduates who are making transformational impacts on the world."

For graduate Anthony Liardo, studying at a university highly ranked for employability meant he had the skills training to join Jacobs Technology Inc., a NASA contractor, as a software and electrical engineer. Not only did Liardo land his dream job with a degree representing a quality education, but he's playing a critical role in our nation’s workforce to help make our national economy stronger.

ASU celebrates each and every Sun Devil while remaining committed to the next generation of students who have opportunities to access a quality online education, innovative learning technologies and academic excellence. Congratulations to all our graduates!


ASU Online students come from myriad backgrounds and each takes their own unique journey to graduation. Learn the stories behind a few of our 100,000 graduates.


About ASU Online

Earn your degree completely online from the nation's most innovative university. ASU Online offers more than 300 degree programs and certificates in high-demand areas such as nursing, engineering, business, education and more. Explore all of our areas of study.

Our offerings include:

  • Elite expertise and research.
  • Innovative curriculum design.
  • Superior student support services.

Learn more at our about us page. And follow ASU Online on Facebook, YouTube, X and Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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