Accreditations, Approvals and Memberships


Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (the "Commission"; formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc.). This accreditation encompasses the university’s campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; and Charlotte, North Carolina, and its online programs.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied though 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 Commission 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 the accreditation status by the Commission should be directed to:

Johnson & Wales University 
Office of the Provost — Yena Center, 3rd floor
111 Dorrance Street 
Providence RI 02903
Phone: 401-598-2087

Individuals may also contact NECHE with inquiries regarding accreditation status:

New England Commission of Higher Education
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803-4531
Phone: 781-425-7785

The Commission has approved Johnson & Wales University's teach-out plan in light of the closure/consolidation of the North Miami and Denver campuses.

Legal control is vested in the Johnson & Wales University Board of Trustees.

The university is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

JWU is listed in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP ID: 141893) issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

State Licensing & Authorizations

Providence Campus: The State of Rhode Island has chartered Johnson & Wales University as a nonprofit degree-granting institution of higher learning.

Charlotte Campus: The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina has licensed Johnson & Wales University under G.S. § 116-15 to conduct degree activity in North Carolina.

Distance Education/State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) 

Johnson & Wales University offers online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs through its College of Online Education and is approved as a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). SARA is a national initiative to provide more access to online courses while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies. SARA allows institutions to provide online courses outside of their own state borders by seeking and maintaining state approvals via a streamlined process. To learn more about SARA, please visit their website.

SARA Approval of JWU: On May 3, 2016, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved institutional participation for Johnson & Wales University. The State of Rhode Island, through the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, approved Johnson & Wales University to participate in NC-SARA on April 14, 2016. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. As a SARA member in the State of Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University is authorized to provide distance education to students in all of the other SARA states (detailed below).

Current SARA Member Jurisdictions: Current authorized jurisdictions subject to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and the National Council for SARA (NC-SARA) standards include 49 states (all but California) and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Information on Student Complaint Processes for students enrolled in the College of Online Education is available online. California has its own process for the filing of complaints by online students living in that state that is discussed under Student Complaint Process for Online Students in Non-SARA Jurisdictions.

Programmatic Accreditation

Providence Campus — B.S. Dietetics and Applied Nutrition Program

The Providence Campus Dietetics and Applied Nutrition program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995; phone: 312-899-0040, ext. 5400. The Providence Campus Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) meets the standards of education set by ACEND. 

Providence Campus — M.S. Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.)

At its September 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) extended Accreditation-Probation status for the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program sponsored by Johnson & Wales University until its next review in September 2021.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened. Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn. Programs with probationary accreditation are still considered accredited.

Specific questions regarding the program and its plans should be directed to the program director.

Providence Campus — Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

The Johnson & Wales University entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Preaccreditation Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is ACOTE – Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (

The program must complete an on-site evaluation and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Institutional Memberships

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

American College Health Association (ACHA)

American Council on Education (ACE)

American Student Government Association (ASGA)

Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I)

Association of Governing Boards (AGB)

Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Rhode Island (AICU-RI)

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)

College Board

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)


Federation of Dining Room Professionals (FDRP)

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)

International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE)

NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

National Association for Campus Activities (NACA)

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU)

National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS)

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)

National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)

National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP)

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)

National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)

National Retail Federation (NRF)

New England Museum Association (NEMA)

New England Occupational Therapy Education Council (NEOTEC)

Northeast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP)

Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA)

Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)

Retail Bakers of America (RBA)

University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)

World Association for Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education (WACE)