Bastyr University Kenmore Campus

Q: What is Accreditation and How Does it Work?

A: Higher education accreditation involves both private accrediting associations and regional authorities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The federal government (ED) does not directly accredit schools. Instead, the government approves accrediting agencies that are responsible for the evaluation and oversight of colleges and universities. In order to demonstrate that they meet rigorous educational standards, U.S. colleges and universities voluntarily seek federally recognized accreditation. Bastyr University's regional accrediting body is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Regional Accreditation 

Bastyr University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of 162 higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. 

In 2019, Bastyr University completed a comprehensive self-evaluation process which resulted in the NWCCU reaffirming the University's regional accreditation status. The following are the University's comprehensive self-evaluation, the peer review report, and the commission's letter of reaffirmation.


Q: What is Professional Education Accreditation?

A: In addition to regional accreditation, colleges and universities often seek professional accreditation for their individual degree programs. Most professional accrediting agencies are also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Professional accreditation is sometimes called program accreditation or specialized accreditation. This type of accreditation is often associated with national professional associations such as the American Bar Association, which accredits law schools, and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (sponsored by the American Medical Association), which accredits MD programs.

The following is a current list of Bastyr University’s program accreditations.

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program Accreditation 

The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, the 2014 CNME Handbook of Accreditation for Naturopathic Medicine Programs is available via download from the CNME website.

Dietetics Program Accreditation

Bastyr University's Bachelor of Science with a Major in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, Master of Science in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, and the Dietetic Internship are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). ACEND is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency.

Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine Program Accreditation 

The following programs offered by Bastyr University are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM):

  • Master of Acupuncture
  • Master of Acupuncture with a Chinese herbal medicine specialization (currently named Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)
  • Doctor of Acupuncture
    • Including a Doctor of Acupuncture degree completion track
  • Certificate in Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Accreditation status and notes may be viewed on the ACAHM Directory. ACAHM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture practitioners. ACAHM does not accredit any programs at the undergraduate/bachelor level. ACAHM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone 952/212-2434;

Midwifery Program Accreditation

The Master of Science in Midwifery degree is accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). Graduates are eligible to sit for licensure in Washington and other states, apply to the Canadian bridging program for provincial registration, and may sit for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) exam to receive the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential recognized in many states for legal practice of midwifery and reimbursement for services. MEAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency. Additional information regarding program retention and completion rates can be found in the Department of Midwifery Performance Fact Sheet.

Master of Public Health

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors acted at its June 1-3, 2022, meeting to accredit the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Bastyr University for a five-year term after reviewing an accreditation self-study report submitted on December 8, 2021. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools and programs of public health. CEPH accreditation provides assurance that the program has been evaluated and met accepted public health profession standards in practice, research and service. For a copy of the final self-study document or final accreditation report, please contact the chair of the public health program at Additional information about CEPH and the accreditation process and standards can be found at

State Authorization, Approval and/or Exemption

Washington: As a long-standing regionally accredited, degree-granting institution in Washington state, Bastyr University is “continuously exempt” from state authorization and review. However, any institution granted exemption from the requirements for degree authorization under WAC 250-61 may be subject to periodic review by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to ensure that all criteria for the exemption continue to be met. Any person desiring information about the requirements of this status may contact WSAC at 917 Lakeridge Way SW, Olympia, WA 98502 | | (360) 753-7800.

California: Bastyr University is approved to operate an accredited institution by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) in the state of California. Approval to operate means the University maintains compliance with California state standards. Any person desiring information about the requirements of this status may reach BPPE directly via its contact page. In compliance with BPPE requirements, the following documents are available below. (Please click on the name of the document to view/download.)

Program Viewbooks

BUC  School Performance Factsheets

Reciprocity Agreements: Bastyr University is a member of 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 and California. Bastyr seeks approval, authorization or exemption to operate in other states as needed. Click here to view a chart of professional licensures by state. 

Foreign Non-Immigrant Students

Bastyr University is an approved school for enrollment of F-1 non-immigrants through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).  More information is available on the Department of Homeland Security's "Study in the States" web page. 

University Financial Audit

Form 990 is filed with the IRS annually and available to the public in the Bastyr University Finance Office.

Student Complaint Process

Current students are encouraged to utilize the complaint process established by Bastyr University, as published in the Student Handbook on the University's intranet MyBU. Prospective students who wish to make a complaint should contact Susan Weider, Dean of Students, at (425) 602-3000.

If you are unable to resolve your concern(s) internally with Bastyr University, you may contact the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), the University’s responsible state agency, to file a complaint at In addition to filing an official complaint with WSAC, Bastyr University California students may also contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) at Please refer to Bastyr University’s current list of states and territories for further information. 

Active U.S. military service members, veterans and their family members may access the Department of Defense's Postsecondary Education Complaint System at