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NWI Academic Program Accreditation
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The National Wellness Institute invites institutions offering a four-year curriculum in health promotion and wellness to apply for academic program accreditation. Upon review of the online application and an on-campus site review, NWI determines the final status of the program. If the program fully meets the standards, it will receive full-approval for a ten-year period. The department will be required to submit a brief mid-term report (i.e., a formal internal program review) halfway through the accreditation period. Programs that generally meet the standards as determined by NWI but still have identified deficiencies may receive provisional approval for a four-year period of time. Provisional approvals are limited to two consecutive application cycles.


Steps to Apply

  • Contact NWI at 715.342.2969 or to discuss your school's interest in applying for academic program accreditation.
  • Submit application materials through the NWI online application.
  • Pay the $2,800 application fee. Applications will not be reviewed until the application fee is received.
  • Host a one-day site visit for an NWI representative. Developing the site review itinerary is the responsibility of the institution being reviewed. A sample agenda is available to applying institutions upon request.
  • Provide a $1,000 stipend for the site reviewer and cover all travel, lodging, and meal costs associated with the site visit.


To Apply for Re-Accreditation

Please submit a complete online application with payment no later than one semester prior to the accreditation expiration date.  Previous application submissions will be provided upon request. 

Accreditation Periods

NWI accepts applications at any time during an academic year; however programs will be accepted for one of two accreditation periods: 1) January 1 through December 31, or 2) July 1-June 30. For the current graduating class to be eligible for Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP) status, online applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the start of one of these accreditation periods. Individuals graduating from an accredited program within 24 months of submitting their CWP application are eligible to apply as a graduate of an NWI accredited academic program.

Application Requirements

The online application process allows individuals to enter information and upload documents (PDF preferred) as evidence that the program covers the core competency areas which align with the Wellness Promotion Competency Model. Click here to download an application checklist to assist in gathering the necessary information to apply for accreditation.

Wellness Promotion Competency Model

To receive accreditation approval, programs must illustrate through the application process that the program aligns with the domains indicated in the Wellness Promotion Competency Model.

Systems Aspects

  • Human physiology
  • Functional anatomy and/or kinesiology
  • Psychology/Health Psychology
  • Epidemiology (preferred)
  • Nutrition

Methodological Aspects

  • Wellness Philosophy and Role Modeling
  • Wellness for Special Populations (e.g., wellness in aging, adolescents, ESL, incarcerated, cancer survivors)
  • Health Behavior Change Process/Theory
  • Nutrition Applications
  • Stress management (e.g., mindful meditation, time management, retraining the brain)

Professional Aspects

  • Practicum experiences (practical, hands-on experience working with individuals/groups in the classroom, on campus, or in the community)
  • Wellness internship (practical experience at a company/organization)

Project Management Aspects

  • Wellness Communication and Marketing
  • Health and Wellness Management (e.g., human resources, health benefit design, wellness program/facility management)
  • Health Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming
  • Exercise Physiology and Exercise Programming
  • Wellness/Health Promotion Program Implementation

Contextual Aspects

  • Community Wellness
  • Socioeconomics/Sociology


We strongly recommend that you download the Wellness Promotion Competency Model, application checklist, and a list of Application Readers & Site Reviewers for reference before beginning the application process.


Apply for NWI Accreditation


Questions? E-mail or call 715.342.2969.