University of Western States


The University of Western States appears in our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Sports Medicine Online.

The University of Western States is a university that specializes in graduate and post-graduate programs. It offers several options for online students such as a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This program accepts new students for both the fall and spring semesters and requires that students take 90 quarter hours over nine to 12 semesters. Students can watch live sessions online that show them how to act around clients. They can also participate in online events that ask them to think as counselors do. Students can transfer into the Doctor of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which is also available online. To earn a doctoral degree, students must complete 138 quarter hours of work.

A Master of Science in Sports Medicine is also available online from the university. Students who have already licensed doctors or specialists only need to take 38 quarter hours of classes, but all other students will take 60.5 quarter hours of courses. This program includes fieldwork and allows students to work where they live rather than working around the campus. Students have the option of doing their practicums in rehab centers and similar facilities.

There is also an online Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology. Students take no more than seven quarters, which allows them to graduate in less than two years. The graduate program is only available online, but the doctoral program in the same field is a blended program that asks students to do some residency work on the university’s campus. The MS program allows students to pick a general track of study or a concentration in positive coaching. They’ll take core classes, including Ethics and Professional Identity, Sport in Society, Applied Sport Psychology, Applied Motor Learning, and Personality and Counseling Theories. Students can also select related electives such as Directed Study in Sport and Performance Psychology, Positive Leadership in Business, and Leadership and Administration in Athletics.

The University of Western States also offers some continuing education courses for doctors and other medical professionals. These courses allow them to meet the requirements to keep their licenses in good standing and to study new topics that only arose after they earned their degrees. The university now offers both degrees and certificates online in human nutrition and functional medicine too. Graduate students can finish their degrees in five to nine quarters and take as many courses as they want each semester.

About the University of Western States

The University of Western States is a private university that offers medical and health degree programs for graduate and post-graduate students. Established in 1904 by John and Eva Marsh, it served as the Marsh School and Cure. This school operated through the 1960s before becoming the Western States Chiropractic College. The college would later move to Portland and build a large campus with more resources for students. It became the University of Western States in 2010 and continues using that same campus.

Often called UWS, the university spent more than $10 million in a 10-year span to build new lecture halls and other buildings for its students. The university later added a bachelor’s program in human biology that allows students to transfer into a chiropractic program. It also offers a massage therapy program that gives students the chance to earn a license to practice massage therapy. Most of the more than 900 students attending UWS work on their graduate and doctoral degrees at the university.

University of Western States Accreditation Details

UWS has accreditation for its massage and chiropractic programs from both the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (CMTA) and the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). It also has institutional accreditation from the NWCCU, which is why it can offer all graduate and doctoral students financial aid packages that include aid from both the state and the federal government.

University of Western States Application Requirements

When UWS receives an application, it looks at all the information listed to determine if that student is a good fit for a program. To find the best students, the university requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a bachelor’s degree in the health field. Even those who earned degrees from the university or took classes there must have the same GPA. The university will accept those who completed at least one semester of a graduate program too. Most programs feature the same requirements, including:

  • Transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Statement of purpose
  • Personal essay(s)
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • Resume

Students must also attend an interview with a representative of the university. Though most meet with representatives on the UWS campus, they can also attend a phone interview. UWS holds information sessions throughout the year and allows students to complete an interview during one of those sessions too. Some programs have prerequisites too, which often include courses in nutrition and psychology. Students must submit transcripts that show they already took those courses or they will need to take the classes from the university.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Though online classes cost less than traditional classes do, students will still pay tuition based on the number of credits they want to take. Counseling majors pay $485 per credit in the graduate program and $600 per credit in the doctoral program. Most of the other online programs charge the same rates, though the total amount that students pay will vary based on the number of courses they need to take. Those who transfer more courses will need to take fewer classes.

Any student who is a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States can apply for financial aid with the FAFSA. Graduate students can receive five different types of loans, including Federal Direct and Stafford Loans. They may receive PLUS loans or loans taken out by their parents, but they can also apply for alternative loans. UWS grad students taking online classes may receive grants also. Though the university offers a few scholarships, it requires that students enroll full-time in a program and submit an essay. To renew their scholarships, they need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 too. The University of Western States offers the same scholarships and financial aid options for both online and traditional graduate students.