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; naturopathic medicine; human nutrition and functional medicine; 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.
- Student Success
- Stewardship and Sustainability
- 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 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
- Best Practices
- Whole-Person Health
UWS Mascot: The Osprey
Also called river hawks, sea hawks and fish hawks, ospreys are unique among North American raptors for their diet of live fish and their ability to dive into water to catch them. The osprey is found on every continent except Antarctica. In North America, they nest along the coasts, inland lakes and rivers. Ospreys do well around humans. When hunting, they are a picture of concentration, diving with their feet outstretched and their eyes sighting straight along their talons. Among Native American tribes, ospreys are considered a type of eagle and are accorded the same respect as bald and golden eagles. The Nez Perce considered the osprey a medicine bird; seeing an osprey in a dream or vision was a sign that a person had been granted spiritual power as a healer. The osprey species is at least 11 million years old.
UWS Fact Sheet
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.
About The Community Solution Education System
University of Western States is a proud member of The Community Solution Education System, an integrated nonprofit system of six colleges and universities working together to advance student success and community impact. Through a centralized infrastructure and distinct model of governance, universities within The System work together to achieve remarkable success in an ever-changing higher education landscape. This culture of collaboration leads to real, positive outcomes for our universities, our students, and our communities.
Accreditation is a voluntary peer-review process by which higher education institutions and academic programs assure quality and demonstrate continuous improvement. University of Western States and its academic programs are institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition, the UWS Doctor of Chiropractic degree program is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.
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).
10105 E Via Linda, Ste 103 PMB 3642
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program
The doctor of naturopathic medicine degree program at University of Western States (UWS) is applying for programmatic accreditation by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).
PO Box 178
Great Barrington, MA 01230
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 https://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions
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.
Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with their school first. Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint. Students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to [email protected]. Students may also access the HECC Complaints web page or visit the complaints page at NC-SARA’s website. Students may also submit a complaint to NWCCU, the accrediting agency for University of Western States.
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:
Director, Office of Academic Policy and Authorization
Higher Education Coordinating Commission
3225 25th St SE
Salem, OR 97302
Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement (NC-SARA)
Eligibility for licensure and/or certification may involve more than successful degree completion. Visit the Professional Licensure Disclosure page for full details. 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.
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.
Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with their school first. Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint. Students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to [email protected]. Students may also access our Complaints web page or visit the complaints page at NC-SARA’s website. Students may also submit a complaint to NWCCU, the accrediting agency for University of Western States.