Cambridge State University

Cambridge State University is or was a diploma mill, formerly operated in Shreveport, Louisiana[1] and Hawaii and later relocated to Mississippi, offering university-level degrees via distance education. It is not a state school.[2] It is a proprietary private university.

In 1998 the Attorney General of Louisiana won court orders to close down Cambridge State University and Columbia State University, both as illegal diploma mills.[3]

In February 1999 the State of Hawaii obtained a court judgment against Cambridge State requiring that it cease advertising itself as being accredited, or as being accredited by the World Association of Universities and Colleges or any other agency not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, refund tuition money paid by students who had been misled to think it was an accredited educational institution, and pay a fine to the state.[4][5]

As of June 2007, the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation listed Cambridge State as a "non-approved entity" located in Jackson, Mississippi.[6]

In 2004 a school district in Michigan took action against two teachers who planned to undertake doctoral course work through Cambridge State University in order to increase their salaries. The district superintendent had initially approved their plans, but become suspicious when Cambridge State accepted another teacher into the doctoral program within 48 hours after the teacher had applied for admission. After investigation, school district officials discovered that Cambridge State was a diploma mill with an extensive criminal history. The teachers apparently thought the program was legitimate, but the state's arbitrator in the case said they should have realized the situation was "too good to be true" when their doctoral degrees were awarded after just six and 11 months of work.[7]


  1. ^ Non-Accredited Colleges/Universities Archived June 14, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, Unaccredited Colleges Archived May 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Louisiana Tries to Close Loopholes That Allow Suspected Diploma Mills to Thrive, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 14, 1999.
  4. ^ State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Stipulated Permanent Injunction and Final Judgment Against Defendants Sheldon John Woods; Cambridge State University Incorporated dba Cambridge State University; and Educational Support Services, Inc., February 11, 1999.
  5. ^ Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs - Cambridge State University Settlement
  6. ^ Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation, Non-approved entities (accessed June 23, 2007)
  7. ^ Jackie Harrison-Martin, Online degree decision pleases district officials, The News-Herald, Southgate, Michigan, July 2, 2006.