"The College has ... been accredited by the North Central Association and other accrediting agencies for a great many years.... Wheaton College received word on October 25, 1930 that it had been placed on the approved list of colleges of the Association of American Universities, which carries with it the highest academic rating available to colleges in the United States. This means that all universities and professional schools that are governed by the rating of this association will accept Wheaton credits at face value" (Alumni Quarterly, January 1931, p.4).

Accreditation History

  • Wheaton was first accredited by the NCA for one year in 1913 and then continuously beginning in 1916. From 1927 to 1931, Wheaton was subject to annual review due to inability to meet NCA’s new endowment requirement. Wheaton met the endowment requirement in 1931, eliminating the need for annual reviews. 

  • Wheaton’s first graduate program was given preliminary accreditation in 1937 with final approval given in 1939. 

  • Beginning in 1964, the college has had a successful series of ten-year accreditation reviews continuing to the present. 

  • In 1977, Wheaton received preliminary accreditation for a cooperative M.A. program in Communications with Daystar Communications in Nairobi, Kenya, with final approval in 1979. With Daystar’s official accreditation by the Kenyan government in September 1994, that relationship ended. Daystar currently certifies and provides transcripts for all work that is done by Wheaton students while in residence. Regular transfer credit policies apply with the Christian College Consortium managing the Daystar enrollment of member colleges. 

  • In 1980, commission staff approved the offering of extension programs at the graduate level. At present, the college does not offer any graduate program through extension studies or distance learning. 

  • The 1984 general review recommended a Focused Review of the graduate school that was completed in 1988. The successful outcome of that review was fully confirmed in the 1994 General Review, at which time the review team wrote favorably about the strength of Wheaton’s graduate programs. 

  • In 1992, the college received preliminary approval of its request to offer a Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD). A follow-up visit was successfully completed in 1993. 

  • In spring 2000, Wheaton received The Higher Learning Commission’s approval to begin offering its Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. This degree is Wheaton’s first and only PhD degree. 

  • The 2004 general review granted a full 10-year renewal but required the College to submit a Monitoring Report to document stronger institutional procedures with respect to learning outcomes assessment. 

  • In November 2006, the Higher Learning Commission accepted and commended Wheaton’s Monitoring Report, noting that they would recommend additional scrutiny regarding the efficacy of Wheaton’s assessment program as part of the next general review (INT-26). The College has prepared the current Self-Study with that recommendation in mind.

  • In August 2013, the Higher Learning Commission granted Wheaton College approval tooperate an external “program location” at its Honey Rock Camp facility in Three Lakes, WI. The College anticipates a follow-up site review of that facility to occur prior to the general HLC review in April.

(Wheaton College Self-Study, 2014, p. 18-19)