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STUDENT EXPERIENCE

Accreditation & Recognition

What Accreditation Means for You

Choosing a school that is accredited by a recognized accrediting body is absolutely crucial. 

Accreditation gives you an indication of a university’s quality and reputation. By attending an institutionally accredited university: 

  • You are assured of a standard level of quality in education and services
  • Your credits will transfer to most other accredited institutions
  • Your degree will be recognized and respected by other colleges and employers

We're Institutionally Accredited—the Highest Form of Accreditation

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an institutional accreditation body  of colleges and universities in a seven-state region that includes WGU’s headquarters of Utah. NWCCU provides the accreditation of many other major institutions, including the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, University of Utah, and Brigham Young University, to name a few.

WGU also has the distinction of being the only university to have received regional accreditation from four regional accrediting commissions at the same time. In part because of our founding by 19 state governors, who represent a wide geographic region of the United States, in 2002 WGU was simultaneously reviewed by a special committee—the Inter-Regional Accrediting Committee—comprising representatives from four regional accrediting commissions.

Learn about NWCCU’s accreditation process.

Best Value School Year After Year = Better ROI

"A repeat Best Value School Designee, every adult considering enrolling in an online degree program should take a close look at Western Governors University, one of the most innovative school's we've seen. Two things stand out, besides the very reasonable cost, and they are: competency-based learning and the overwhelmingly positive reviews this school receives from its students and graduates," University Research & Review writes in awarding WGU its exclusive Best Value School recognition. "This is a school for those who are focused on attaining a respected credential and are willing to dive in and go get it."

Recognized for Excellence in Distance Learning

Western The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) has recognized WGU 10 times for our leadership in distance learning. In addition, the university’s Take a Break program received the USDLA’s Non-Profit Innovation Award in 2019 for its unique ability to combine a high level of student service with assessment security and integrity.  USDLA has previously recognized four individual WGU leaders with its Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning Award. 

"WGU has raised the bar of excellence again, and we are truly honored by their contributions within our industry," said Dr. Reggie Smith III, CEO / Executive Director of USDLA. "Western Governors University continues to amaze us each year."

Awarded for Outstanding Performance

WGU received the 2018 CIQG Quality Award from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation/International Quality Group. The international organization recognized WGU for its "outstanding performance of higher education in meeting the CIQG International Quality Principles," noting that "the university, which uses a competency-based learning model with students working online, monitors its performance in key areas and works for continuous improvements and adjustments to improve the quality of students' educational experience."

CAEP- and AAQEP-Accredited, a Leader in STEM Education

CAEP accreditation: The Teachers College at Western Governors University has been granted advanced-level accreditation (effective fall 2021 to fall 2025) from CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, 1140 19th St NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 223-0077. CAEP is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation. WGU is the first competency-based online university to receive CAEP accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure.

AAQEP accreditation: The teacher licensure programs offered through the WGU Teachers College have been awarded full accreditation by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) through June 30, 2026. Full accreditation acknowledges that a program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and that the program has demonstrated the commitment and capacity to continue to do so.

STEM leadership: In 2014, WGU was named a partner in 100Kin10, a multi-sector network addressing the national imperative to train 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021. Organizations are accepted as 100Kin10 partners following a rigorous vetting process conducted by a team of partner reviewers and the University of Chicago.

Healthcare Programs Have Earned Special Accreditations and Praise

CCNE accreditation: The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree programs in nursing at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

CAHIIM accreditation: WGU's B.S. Health Information Management degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Business Programs are ACBSP Accredited

ACBSP accreditation: All of WGU's College of Business bachelor's and master's degree programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), a leading specialized accreditation association for business education. ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels worldwide. The accreditation focuses on recognizing teaching excellence, determining student learning outcomes, and a continuous improvement model. Institutions with programs accredited by ACBSP are committed to continuous improvement that ensures business programs deliver students the skills employers want.

SHRM academic alignment: The Society for Human Resource Management has analyzed WGU's Human Resource Management bachelor's degree and found that it aligns with SHRM's recommended minimum standards, integrating the HR components that are most relevant for new human resource professionals. 

Winner of Several IT Awards

AWS Academy Member Institution: WGU integrates AWS-authorized learning content into its Information Technology, Network Operations and Security and Cloud Computing bachelor's programs, offering students an up-to-date AWS cloud computing curriculum.

Cyberwatch Member: WGU is an academy institution member of the National CyberWatch Center which objectives are: to support the national imperative for developing cybersecurity-educated professionals by providing educational, networking, and collaborative opportunities for faculty and their institutions to foster evidenced-based practices among the membership by providing software platforms and data that support collaboration, and to assist in the collection of data that can be used by all member schools as they create their cybersecurity organizational strategic plans.

Frequently Asked Questions About Accreditation

Absolutely. Accreditation by an institutional commission that's recognized by the U.S. Department of Education is important. It's your proof that outside evaluators have carefully reviewed an institution's programs and policies. Most businesses, school districts, and other organizations prefer to hire graduates of programs that are institutionally accredited. Institutional accreditation also allows you to transfer more easily to other universities and assures employers that you've earned a credible, respected degree.

Institutional accreditation means that WGU’s competency-based programs meet the same educational standards for performance, integrity, and quality as those found at more traditional universities, from large state schools to Ivy League universities. Institutional accreditation bodies—in WGU’s case, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)—are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authorities on educational quality and the effectiveness of institutions in their geographic areas. WGU’s accreditation comes from NWCCU because its region includes WGU’s headquarters state of Utah.

Have more questions? Get answers!

Education is attainable.

WGU is the top choice for busy, value-focused adults who need a degree to reach their career goals.