A Northwestern student teacher helps a local elementary student with classwork.


Northwestern is fully accredited by the  Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Department/program accreditations


Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)


1 of 4 Iowa colleges accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Nursing (BSN)

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and fully approved by the  Iowa Board of Nursing

Social work

1 of 10 Iowa colleges with baccalaureate programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Athletic training
(master's program)

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)*

Physician assistant
(master's program)

Northwestern College has applied for Accreditation–Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Northwestern College anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2020, pending achieving Accreditation–Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation–Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation–Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Should Northwestern College not receive Accreditation–Provisional, the program will not be permitted to start in May 2020.

To obtain or review documents describing Northwestern’s accreditations and licensures, please contact the academic affairs office: vpaa@nwciowa.edu or 712-707-7102. *The athletic training program has been placed on probation as of February 23, 2018, by the CAATE, 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101. This temporary probation does not affect current or prospective athletic training students' degrees or eligibility to sit for the BOC exam to become credentialed as an athletic trainer. If you have questions, contact the program director.