Northwestern State University is accredited by the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award associate, baccalaureate, master's, and specialist's degrees. Northwestern State University is also a member in good standing of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 1 Dupont Circle, Suite 610, Washington DC 20036-1186, telephone number (202) 293-2450.

Northwestern's College of Education and Human Development has been continuously accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington DC, 20036-1023, telephone number (202) 466-7496) since its initial accreditation in 1954. The College must include in its accreditation review all initial and advanced programs that prepare teachers and other school professionals to work in preschool through 12th grade settings. NCATE uses six standards to holistically evaluate Northwestern's professional education unit. Additionally, each initial and advanced program must meet professional standards and be nationally recognized.

Through the process, NCATE assures the public that graduates of accredited institutions have acquired the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help all P-12 students learn and/or to create supportive environments for student learning.

Advanced programs for preparing the professoriate or non-school personnel are not within NCATE's scope of authority.