What Our Students Say

Sonoran Desert Institute

What Our Students Say

We think Sonoran Desert offers the best distance learning education available…but don’t take our word for it! Choosing a school is a big decision, and one you should research as much as possible. We’ve always been confident in the happiness of our students and graduates—student satisfaction ratings consistently are in the 90% and above range—but to find out exactly what they think, we performed our own test. In April of 2013, we polled our students and graduates, asking them for their comments—good or bad—about the SDI curriculum, delivery, and overall experience. The results were both humbling and informative, and we’re sharing them with you so that you can hear opinions from the mouths of our students. Below is a sampling of what we found out.

“Great class! Nancy Doris was a great instructor too. Her communication was great as well as her willingness to help us grasp the concepts of the lessons. She was always popping up in the discussion boards and available via email. I took this class because one day I would like to open my own business. I can honestly say that many of the lessons from this class will be invaluable in the future.”
– Mark S., May 2017

“Over all this has been a great school always willing to work with you. Instructors are great as well send them any questions you have and they get back to you very fast which is nice for an online college. I also was in the muzzle-loader pilot program and that was an awesome build thanks SDI.”
– Martin A., March 2017

“Just finished my Associate’s degree in Firearms Science Technology last month. Have never had any problems at all with the program or the Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program. The only I would suggest is more hands-on projects. Keep the webinars coming. Maybe include video showing use of a cnc machine or lathe. Something more hands-on.”
– Chris S., March 2017

Shoutout for James Ryan:
“I’ve had Mr. Ryan as an instructor in at least one other course, and he is without a shadow of a doubt the best instructor I’ve had so far and is the only one that has shown the corrections on every one of my papers as well as writing a short response in reference to the corrections on something I wrote. I have especially appreciated the way Mr. Ryan handles the courses, and just felt like I wanted to say something about it.”
– Sara M., March 2017

“I was going to give 4 stars because there were some technical/shipping issues, but that is to be expected at times and the way SDI handled those issues earned them that extra star. The course was very informative and complete. I gotta say you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. For someone with a basic understanding of firearms it would be possible to breeze through some of the classes, but by putting in a little effort you really can learn a lot. I never had any issues with the staff or my instructors, and Jennifer, who I think handles their FB page, answered many questions for me or at least pointed me in the direction of who to contact for those answers. I recommend this school to anyone who has an interest in learning about firearms and especially to anyone looking for a place to use their GI Bill and do something more interesting than a run of the mill online criminal justice or business degree.”
– Jeremy T., February 2017

“I am half way thru the Associates Degree program and it had been great. Even those of us that are experienced with firearms will gain a lot from these courses. The basic stuff is kind of tedious at times but I understand why it has to be included. The new muzzleloader build was a big surprise. I had no idea we were going to be doing that. Looking forward to doing more of the labs and the capstone project. Still, haven’t decided on whether to do the 1911 or the AR-10… “
– Mike U., March 2017

“I actually really enjoyed my time with SDI. Initially going into things, I was I guess a bit arrogant and didn’t really think I’d end up learning much, I knew having a certification or degree in the field would set me apart from the other gunsmiths in the area and that was my main motivation for enrolling. I was quite happy to find out I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did and not only did I learn a lot while attending but I was able to ask myself the right questions and really ensure that gunsmithing was the correct career choice for me. Graduating despite adversity was really just the cherry on top of everything.”
– Joshua S., May 2017

“A great university! Extremely professional and helpful. The 1911 course i did was well laid out, and chock full of information. The textbooks were great and the separate book on tuning and finishing had some good info as well. If you want to learn about the 1911 platform, this is the course. It is WELL worth the money and time invested. Thank you for everything guys. I’m sure I’ll be back.”
– Alex N., January 2017

“Awesome institution, more than helpful staff, outstanding instructors.”
– Mark P., May 2017

“SDI has been a great school! Very helpful and supportive whenever I have called in or emailed my instructors. Plus, the material you learn will have you set to start up your own gunsmithing shop with confidence!”
– Stephen T., April 2017

“I graduated from the Associates of Science in Firearms Technology back in the summer of 2016. Prior to that, I had the fortune to conduct my 4-week work study at the Sons Of Liberty GunWorks AR15/AR10 rifle manufacturer here in San Antonio, Texas. I was exposed to many other areas outside of just the building and repairing of AR platform rifles. Cerakote application, forming of NFA items, and daily business operations just to name a few. I really could not have asked for a better opportunity than what was presented to me. To top it all off, I was asked to stay on after my work study ended. Now, I am the lead Cerakote applicator (soon to be certified by NIC) in our newly expanded Custom Shoppe. This will give me the opportunity to not only coat guns but work on a wider variety of firearms utilizing many the Gunsmithing skills learned through the SDI program. I took on Gunsmithing as a change of career, and I have happy that I did. A year ago I was wishing I could go to SHOT Show, this year I’m going with my shop… can’t beat that.”
– Mike P., January 2017

“For my field study I chose Mesa Kinetic Research LLC. My decision was based on several reasons; first Vince Buckles has an outstanding reputation and the firearms industry. The next reason they work on a little bit of everything with a main focus on AK’s and precision bolt action rifle. And the final reason is the convenience of the shop being two hours from where I live…I would recommend every student eligible for the field study program to take full advantage of it. Going to school and reading books will never replace physically working in the environment. I am very glad I decided to participate in the field study and wouldn’t change any part of it. The guys of Mesa Kinetic Research LLC are true professionals.”
– Buddy L., September 2015

“Overall, this is the best on-line gunsmith course that I have taken. I have taken four different gunsmith courses and this one is light years ahead of any course out there.”
– Joe W., November 2015

“For me, SDI has been probably one of the coolest experiences and one of the most enjoyable programs that I have taken. It’s been beneficial, it’s been knowledgeable, and I’m extremely happy with my experience with SDI. And I definitely tell everyone that I recommend SDI.”
– Brianna P., July 2016

“The Gunsmithing Program that I took was outstanding. In my opinion, the study material and lab equipment was excellent. The staff was all was ready to help if you needed it. I do not believe you need to improve anything. I would recommend SDI to anyone wishing to learn about firearms repair.”
– Jeff R., September 2015

“Sonoran Desert Institute’s School of Firearms Technology is perfect whether you’re an at home hobbyist looking to further your skills in gunsmithing, or if you’re looking to make a career out of it. The courses are easy to follow along with, and the staff is quick to help with any issues or questions. They have different levels of certification to help cater to your individual goals, from a basic certificate to a college degree. I highly recommend SDI to anyone who is serious about gunsmithing, and look forward to taking more courses with them.”
– Justin D., September 2015

“My decision to attend Sonoran Desert Institute definitely changed my life. Since beginning classes at SDI, I have become a certified Patrol Rifle Instructor and started my own business. My education from Sonoran Desert Institute gave me new skills and confidence to pursue a career in the firearms industry. Thanks you SDI.”
– Patrick K., January 2017

“I was quite impressed with the technical information contained in the SDI lessons. It was easy to understand, complete, and the flow of information made sense with the lab work requirements.”
– Roy S., September 2015

“I thought the course was great. It was well developed, at my pace, and the material was easy to understand. The best thing about SDI is the ability to understand how important it is to offer distance learning to people who are serious about firearms technology but not ready to devote serious money and travel to a gunsmith program. The price is pretty reasonable too.”
– Richard A., September 2015

Disclaimer: The above are student opinions and may be based on specific programs within the School of Firearms Technology. It is important to note that some programs do have weekly schedule requirements and that not all programs are approved for use of military benefits. For questions on specific program offerings, please contact us at admissions@sdi.edu.