Accreditation and Compliance

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences accreditation and compliance information


Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU)


PNWU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E. Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052

 College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM)


PNWU-COM has received Accreditation status from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA COCA), which is the recognized accrediting agency for the approval of colleges and programs leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. The address and phone number of the accrediting agency are:

Contact information for the AOA COCA:
American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2864
Toll-free phone: 800.621.1773
General phone: 312.202.8000
Fax: 312.202.8200

State Authorization

Washington State Authorization
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimal educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences to offer specific degree programs. The Council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the Council does not carry with it an endorsement by the Council of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430 or by email at

The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may not be able to investigate every student complaint. Visit for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.

Authorization in Other States
NC-SARAPacific Northwest University of Health Sciences has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements  NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements). This is a multi-state consortium that manages oversight of distance education, including preceptorships and practicums in which students may engage outside of Washington. PNWU seeks approval, authorization, or exemption to operate in other states as needed. To see the list of states, visit States Approved for Clinical Rotations.


Compliance and Ethics

Compliance is abiding by applicable laws, regulations, and policies. It includes external entities such as the US Department of Education and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and internal bodies such as committees and departments. It is less about regulating individual behavior than it is about understanding applicable requirements that apply to PNWU and ensuring we meet them.

Ethics is a set of moral principles that govern an individual or a group. It is not enough to assume that individuals are inherently ethical and thus the institution overall is ethical. An organization must cultivate an environment of integrity, honesty, responsibility, fairness, consistency, trust, and accountability, because policies alone will not stop wrongdoing.

Compliance and ethics contribute essential components to PNWU’s success by both mitigating risk and creating a thriving and inclusive working and learning environment. A robust C&E program helps develop and reinforce a shared set of values and expectations that influence how we interact and collaborate with one another, and produce smarter policies and procedures that lead to effective practice.

Reporting Policy Violations or Concerns

Policy Violation or Concern Report Form (in development)

Program Integrity

Students who are dissatisfied or disagree with an action, decision, or omission within the control or responsibility of PNWU relative to program integrity (e.g. accuracy of information about tuition, fees, or financial aid; veracity of recruitment and/or marketing materials; quality of education; etc.) may submit a complaint following the Student Complaint of Program Integrity Procedure.

Accreditation Violation

Anyone who believes PNWU is in violation of an accreditation standard, eligibility requirement, policy, procedure, or other related element may submit a complaint following the Complaints Related to Accreditation Procedure.

Contact Information

Angie Girard, MEd
Director of Accreditation and Compliance

111 University Parkway, Suite 202
Yakima, WA 98901