University Overview

About University of Western States

University of Western States (UWS) offers a world-class, integrated health care education and provides an evidence-informed approach to health and wellness. Our graduates deliver high-quality health care based on science, the professional’s skill and knowledge, and the preferences and experiences of the patient or client.

The university is at the forefront of an emerging, whole-person philosophy of health care by offering a variety of health and wellness educational programs. As a leader in health sciences education since 1904, UWS provides integrated, evidence-informed curricula grounded in our dedication to current research and practices. The commitment spans all of our graduate and professional programs: chiropractic care, human nutrition and functional medicine, diagnostic imaging, sport and performance psychology, clinical mental health counseling and sports medicine.

Mission, Vision and Values

To advance the science and art of integrated health care through excellence in education and patient care.

Quality of life and wellness are advanced through transformative education and health care.

Core themes

  1. Student Success
  2. Stewardship and Sustainability
  3. Academic Excellence and Integrated Health

“For the good of the patient”
The UWS motto captures the intent behind much of what happens at UWS. At the core of university decision-making is the greater professional responsibility to the patients who ultimately benefit from the fulfillment of the university mission through integrated health care.

Core Values

Core values are fundamental concepts that support our mission and goals, shape the culture, and exemplify the university identity. Essentially, they answer the question, “Why do we do what we do at UWS?”

UWS Core Values 

  1. Student-Focus
  2. Best Practices
  3. Curiosity
  4. Inclusiveness
  5. Professionalism
  6. Whole-Person Health

Read more about these individual core values and their definitions.


University of Western States has been the leader in integrating health and science since 1904, beginning as the second oldest chiropractic educational program in the world. Today, UWS provides a comprehensive curriculum developed from over a century of research and experience providing effective health care services and professional health sciences education. UWS is one of the oldest universities in Portland, Oregon.

Visit our history site for the full story of University of Western States as told by historian emeritus Lester Lamm, DC.


Accreditation is the voluntary process by which institutions of higher education assure and continuously improve the quality of their academic programs and supporting systems. UWS has both regional institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation for the Doctor of Chiropractic program. UWS also offers accredited online university programs. The degree programs in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine; and Sport and Performance Psychology are accredited regionally through the Northwest Commission.

Regional Accreditation
University of Western States 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 University of Western States’ accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to Academic Affairs staff via email at [email protected]. Individuals may also contact:

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

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities refers to the institution as a whole.

Doctor of Chiropractic Program
The Doctor of Chiropractic degree program at University of Western States is awarded programmatic accreditation by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).

8049 North 85th Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85258-4321
Phone: 480-443-8877

View National Board Performance (NBCE) scores and DC program completion rates here.

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


University of Western States participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Institutions that are members of SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states. States and institutions that choose to become members of SARA operate under a set of policies and standards overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and administered by four regional higher education compacts. For more information about the SARA initiative and the progress of state and institutional membership, please visit

University of Western States is authorized to provide online education to students who reside in 49 SARA member states in addition to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The following states do not currently participate in the NC-SARA initiative:


The University of Western States is authorized to operate in California via the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).


University of Western States seeks to resolve concerns and complaints in a fair and prompt manner. Current or prospective University of Western States students who have a complaint may submit their concerns to the appropriate department. Complaints about grades or student conduct should be submitted to the university and may not be appealed to the SARA portal agency. Prior to pursuing external options, exhaust all internal avenues of complaint resolution by first reviewing the Student Grievance and Appeal Process.

Find more detailed information about the SARA student complaint process here.

Complaints should be filed with the SARA State Portal Entity for Oregon, unless you are located in California.

Oregon Portal Entity Contact:

Sean Pollack
Program Administrator
Higher Education Coordinating Commission
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310
[email protected]

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement (NC-SARA)

Eligibility for licensure and/or certification may involve more than successful degree completion. University of Western States cannot confirm that courses or degree programs meet the requirements for professional licensure outside of the state of Oregon. University of Western States strongly encourages prospective and current students to contact the appropriate or applicable licensing board(s) in states they may wish to pursue licensure prior to beginning study in a University of Western States academic program. NC-SARA provides a professional licensure directory for select professional licensure programs. If you experience difficulty finding the licensure requirements for your state, please contact the appropriate Program Director or Dean for assistance.

Degree Authorization

State of Oregon
The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization approves University of Western States to award degrees. The Oregon Department of Justice is the agency to which students may file a complaint for Oregon.

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