NWC at a glance
Northwestern College is a Christian academic community engaging students in courageous and faithful learning that empowers them to follow Christ and pursue God’s redeeming work in the world.
Northwestern College had its start in 1882 when residents of northwest Iowa founded Northwestern Classical Academy to prepare students for college and ultimately the ministry. In 1928 a junior college was established, and in 1960 Northwestern became a four-year college. A year later, the academy closed.
Today Northwestern offers a Christian liberal arts education in the Reformed tradition to more than 1,200 students through an undergraduate, intercultural and residential learning community.
Degrees and Programs
||B.A., B.S.N., B.A.A.T.
|Percentage of students graduating in 5 years
Northwestern is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. NWC also holds accreditations for these program areas: athletic training, business, education, nursing and social work.
- 600+ students placed in 89 countries through Northwestern’s Summer of Service program since its start in 1981
- 170+ students at 13 national and international Spring Service Project sites every year
- 89% of students live on campus
- 80+ academic programs, including majors, minors, pre-professional programs and career concentrations
- 63 athletic conference championships (regular-season and post-season)
- 37 semester-long study abroad and off-campus learning programs, in addition to summer study abroad courses
- 22 clubs and student-led organizations
- 16 intercollegiate athletic teams
- 13 ministry and service opportunities
- 11 intramural sports
- 10 music performance groups
- 7 NAIA national championships since 2001
- 6 theatrical shows each year
- 4 weekly chapel options
- 2 faculty named an Iowa Professor of the Year
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Northwestern College as a top-10 Midwestern college.
- Washington Monthly places Northwestern 6th in the nation in its listing of the country’s top baccalaureate colleges.
- Forbes.com includes Northwestern among the top 10% of the nation’s colleges and universities.
- Princeton Review lists Northwestern among 153 institutions selected for its “Best in the Midwest” designation.
- The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll cites Northwestern for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. This is the 7th consecutive year NWC has received the award.
- Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges touts 21 Northwestern academic programs as “quality departments at a quality college.”
- The Groundwater Foundation named Northwestern a Groundwater Guardian Green Site in recognition of the college’s care for the environment. NWC is one of only 5 colleges nationwide to receive the designation.
Northwestern’s DeWitt Library is part of the DeWitt Learning Commons and houses more than 100,000 print and media resources, provides access to more than 70 online databases, and offers a place where students can study, collaborate, conduct research, receive assistance from librarians, or socialize with other members of Northwestern's learning community.
Northwestern professors are committed Christians devoted to high-quality teaching, scholarship, mentoring and service.
| Full time
| Part time
|Percent of full-time faculty with doctorate or terminal degree
|Classes with fewer than 20 students
| Full time
| Part time
|Total students enrolled
|Ethnic minority citizens
|Top 6 states
| South Dakota
|Top 6 countries
| United Kingdom
|Top 6 denominations
| Reformed (RCA)
| Evangelical Free
| Roman Catholic||75|
| Christian Reformed||64|
Study Abroad/Off-Campus Studies
Northwestern has established its own study abroad programs in two countries:
- Oman Semester
- Romania Semester
Students also have their choice of 12 semester-long programs offered through the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, annual summer study abroad courses offered by NWC, and numerous other options thanks to cooperative arrangements with other colleges.
- 40% of Northwestern students participate in 16 intercollegiate sports:
Men: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field, wrestling
Women: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball
- An intramural program for all students offers a choice of 11 sports.
- Northwestern holds 9 national NAIA team titles—7 since 2001.
- 345 Northwestern athletes have been named All-Americans.
- 471 Northwestern students have been named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
- 35 Raider teams have been named NAIA Scholar Teams.
Financial Aid (for full-time students)
|Percentage of students receiving financial aid
|Endowment (as of 6/30/13)
|2013-14 Northwestern Fund goal
|2012-13 Northwestern Fund contributions
|2011-12 Northwestern Fund contributions||$1,073,311|
|2012-13 Total donations
|2012-13 Percentage of alumni giving to NWC
|2012-13 Life income gifts present value
|Final Imagine Campaign gifts & pledges (6/30/2013)
Connect with NWC
- Northwestern’s alumni magazine, the Classic, is available online at classic.nwciowa.edu.
- Follow the Raiders by listing to live audio or video webcasts of select Northwestern football, volleyball, soccer and basketball games.
- Become a fan of Northwestern College on Facebook and connect with former classmates while getting the latest scoop on your alma mater.
- Want to know—now—what’s happening at Northwestern? Subscribe to nwciowa on Twitter to receive the latest news and events. To sign up, visit twitter.com/nwciowa.