Regional accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental, self-regulatory process of quality assurance and institutional improvement. It recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity, and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public. Accreditation by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education qualifies institutions and enrolled students to receive federal financial aid and other federal funds to support teaching and research.
The University of Oregon is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized as the regional authority in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The Commission oversees accreditation for 162 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to twenty-six commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.
Accreditation by the NWCCU applies to the institution as a whole and is not granted permanently or for a definite number of years. It is an ongoing status that must be reaffirmed periodically through self-study and onsite visitations by peer evaluation committees. The University of Oregon has been continuously accredited by the NWCCU since 1918 and was most recent reaffirmed in July 2017.