Institutional Accreditation

  • Pacific Lutheran University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by NWCCU 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 NWCCU 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 NWCCU should be directed to the NWCCU accreditation liaison officer of PLU. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Ave NE, Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052

  • National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) Participation

Pacific Lutheran University has been approved by Washington state to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. For more information about NC-SARA, please visit

For more information about state authorizations for distance and online education at Pacific Lutheran University, please view the document Top 5 Things to Know.

Program Accreditation

  • AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET for BS in computer science

Program Certification

  • American Chemical Society

Program Approval

  • Professional Educator Standards Board, State of Washington


The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) will conduct the Policy, Regulations and Financial Review of Pacific Lutheran University in the Spring of 2024. Any findings identified from the report and evaluation that require additional attention will be included as a special focus in the year seven Institutional Effectiveness Report. The Institutional Effectiveness report and associated visit will take place in Spring of 2025.

Details about Pacific Lutheran University’s accreditation cycle, along with past reports and Commission Letters can be found on the University Accreditation webpage. Opportunities for public comment about the accreditation of Pacific Lutheran University will be part of the year seven evaluation process. More information will be made available in 2025 prior to the site visit.