American National University
American National University

Heritage & Vision

In 1886, a group of visionary educators and business leaders saw the need for a higher education institution focused on career-based training to meet workforce needs in the southeastern United States. Together they founded what is now known as American National University with the intent of training workers in business, banking, accounting, administration, and other skilled professions.

American National University steadily developed a reputation for providing men and women with an efficient and effective education preparing them for the world of professional work. Students from many states made the trek to Roanoke, Virginia to receive a practical education that was more focused and relevant than that offered by other colleges and universities of the time.

As the institution’s first 100 years drew to a close, however, changes had already been under way that would give the institution a different appearance even as it continued to remain true to its original purpose. Rather than bringing students from surrounding states to stay at the dormitories and large central campus in Roanoke, American National University came to them. New community-based campuses were built throughout Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As the needs of the workforce expanded, business training was supplemented by career-focused programs in computers and health care. Certificate programs were no longer the norm—students pursued more in-depth study leading to associate’s degrees, and the University’s first baccalaureate programs were introduced.

Today, American National University and National College have developed into a master’s-level institution offering more than 45 academic programs through 30 community-based locations in six states. A burgeoning eUniversity serves a growing number of students in both 100% online and blended formats, while thousands of international students have turned to National for both academic degree programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

The university’s reputation for excellence has been affirmed through numerous awards and acknowledgments, including awards for grassroots student advocacy (Association for Private Sector Colleges & Universities TOPS Award, 2012), support for veterans (Top 15% Military Friendly School, 2010-2015), and a Lifetime Achievement Award (Imagine America Foundation, 2012) recognizing American National University President Frank Longaker’s 40 years of service to the career college sector – to name just a few.

+ Evolution 2086 Vision

The university continues to evolve. In an effort to recognize the University’s continuous history of adapting to change and envisioning the development that will carry us to our 200th anniversary in 2086, we look ahead to our “Evolution 2086.”

The Evolution 2086 vision guides our goal of continuing to meet the workforce training needs for the 21st century and beyond. To answer increasing demands for career education at higher degree levels, we have added and will continue to add relevant master’s and doctoral programs. We will serve additional communities in more states with local campuses. We will expand and explore more accessible teaching methodologies, including online delivery, blended courses, and open-enrollment online courses.

While focusing on our core of business, health care, and information technology, we will expand our curriculum to include training in developing fields and offer more in-depth courses where career-opportunity continues to grow. We will continue our leadership in health science and business by offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for occupations in these important fields. Our information technology programs will expand in breadth and depth to train students for new advances. And we will continue to pursue programmatic accreditation and preparation for certification in appropriate programs, as we do for current programs.

The evolution of the institution is reflected in our name: American National University. American, recognizing our role as a leading American institution for career-focused education for students from around the world; National, acknowledging our historical roots and nationwide reputation; University, representing our status as a graduate-level institution offering diverse academic, eUniversity, international, ESL, and corporate training programs. The university’s motto, Scientia et Civitas – “Knowledge and Citizenship” – reflects our mission to develop educated men and women ready to pursue lives as productive citizens.

What does not change are the hallmarks of the experience our tens of thousands of graduates have enjoyed since 1886: American National University and National College will continue to offer the career-focused, hands-on learning environment that has characterized our more than 125 years of excellence, while steadily evolving new programs, venues, and methods of instruction appropriate to the 21st-century global economy. Students will continue to reap the benefits of our decades of tradition and experience as well as explore new opportunities and resources.


+ ANU Name Change FAQs

Why is National College changing its name to American National University?

American recognizes our role as a leading American institution for career-focused education for students from around the world;
National acknowledges our historical name and nationwide reputation; and
University represents our status as a graduate-level institution offering diverse academic, online, international, ESL, and corporate training programs.

What is the difference between a college and a university?

Colleges generally offer undergraduate programs while universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to the Master of Business Administration program that is available at the Indianapolis Campus, additional graduate level programs are available through ANU Online.

What are the benefits of the change to university status?

The benefits of this change to our students are a reflection of the benefits we have been offering since 1886. We will continue to stay on top of the latest trends in the workforce to offer career-training programs in high demand fields; our programs will continue to be taught by instructors who have practical knowledge and experience working in the fields they are teaching; and the class sizes will remain small so instructors can offer one-on-one attention to the students when needed. Even though the name is changing, our 129-year tradition of educating students for full lives and successful careers will remain the same.

Has the College merged with another institution?

No; the College has not merged with another institution. We have evolved.

Will students have to pay higher tuition?

No; the tuition has not changed. Even though the name change elevates us to a University-level status, the tuition will continue to offer a competitive rate for your quality education. Indeed, the college has committed to keep tuition costs fixed at current levels through the end of June, 2016.

Will my degree/diploma say ANU or NC?

All diplomas presented at the spring 2015 commencement ceremonies in Indiana will say "American National University."

Will my campus get new programs?

Just as we always have, American National University will continuously evaluate the workforce demands. While continuing to focus on the fundamentals of business, computers, and health care, we will expand our offerings in developing fields. We will continue our leadership in health informatics, offering bachelor's and master's degree programs in this important field. And we will continue to pursue programmatic accreditation in those fields for which such accreditation is essential as we do for current programs. In general, most new programs at the associate's degree level will be offered at all campuses, while bachelor’s and higher programs will be offered online.

Will the name change impact the small class sizes and close relationships with instructors we enjoy?

No; although the number of program options will increase, our class sizes are not expected to grow.

Will the name change alter my student loans in any way?

No; student loans and financial aid processing will not change.



Success Stories



American National University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (see below for campus-by-campus accreditation listing). The university has maintained institutional accreditation for over 60 years, providing an assurance that our degrees meet tested standards of quality recognized by employers, government agencies, and other post-secondary institutions.

DEAC logo

American National University, 1813 E. Main St., Salem, VA 24153 (Roanoke Valley) is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, with the following campuses recognized as administrative sites by DEAC:

  • Bartlett Campus, 5760 Stage Road, Bartlett, TN 38134
  • Memphis Campus, 2576 Thousand Oaks Cove, Memphis, TN 38118
  • Nashville Campus, 1638 Bell Road, Nashville, TN 37211

ABHES logo

The following American National University campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools:

  • Louisville Campus (Non-Main), 4205 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40216
  • Pikeville Campus (Main), 50 National College Boulevard, Pikeville, KY 41501

+ Who is DEAC

Founded in 1926, DEAC is the preeminent accrediting organization for distance education delivered worldwide that sets high standards for academic quality, inspiring excellence in teaching, learning, and student outcomes through voluntary assessment and peer review. DEAC accreditation standards establish education quality expectations and assess an institution's ability to integrate technology to meet the needs of 21st century graduates and employers. DEAC accreditation provides students with confidence that the institution offering programs, ranging from high school through the professional doctoral degree and non-degree certificates, have been evaluated and meet rigorous standards established by education industry professionals.

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


+ Who is ABHES

ABHES is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education for the accreditation of private, postsecondary institutions in the United States offering predominantly allied health education programs.


+ What is the difference between “regional accreditation” and “national accreditation”?

Accrediting agencies are private educational associations of regional or national scope. Regional accreditation agencies concentrate on schools physically located in specific areas of the country whereas national accreditors, like DEAC, can accredit any postsecondary school located in the U.S. without limitation to a specific region.

Each accrediting agency determines its own evaluation criteria to assess whether a postsecondary institute meets it standards. Regional accrediting agencies typically focus on the traditional, liberal arts approach to academics, with greater emphasis on general education rather than preparation for specific occupations. Universities like ANU that are accredited by DEAC, a national career-related accrediting agency, focus on programs designed to educate students for in-demand professional, technical, or occupational careers. This includes certificate/diploma programs or associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees that are delivered in multiple formats: on-campus, online, or via video-conferencing.

It is worth noting that official sources of accreditation approval by the independent Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) make no qualitative distinctions among regional or national accreditors and ”institutions and accreditors need to assure that transfer decisions are not made solely on the source of accreditation of a sending program or institution.”1 For more information on transfer of credit at ANU please click here>>




Federal SEVP Approval

This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll non–immigrant alien students.

The following programs are approved for non–immigrant alien students and currently offered by American National University.
Roanoke (main) Campus Degree Type
Master of Business Administration Master of Business Administration
Cybersecurity * Master of Science
Information Technology * Master of Science
Business Administration – Accounting Bachelor of Business Administration
Business Administration – Management Bachelor of Business Administration
Cybersecurity * Bachelor of Science
Medical and Health Services Management Bachelor of Science
Network Administration * Bachelor of Science
Business Administration – Accounting Associate of Science
Business Administration – Management Associate of Science
Health Information Management Associate of Science
Medical Assisting Associate of Science
Network Support Associate of Science
Paralegal Associate of Science
Medical Assisting Certificate
Paralegal Studies Certificate
*STEM Programs are eligible for up to two additional years work authorization under OPT.
Lexington Degree Type
Medical and Health Services Management Bachelor of Science
Medical Assisting Associate of Science
Medical Office Professional Diploma
Louisville Degree Type
Health Information Management Associate of Science
Medical Assisting Associate of Science
Medical Billing and Coding Diploma
Phlebotomy & ECG Technician Diploma



Several of American National University’s programs are programmatically accredited by professional organizations. Programmatic accreditation is a mark of distinction that verifies that your training abides by standards that are independently verified by professionals who work in your field. In addition, programs with approval or licensure from relevant professional organizations are also listed here.

+ Programs with programmatic accreditation


Programmatic Accreditation / Approval / Licensure



Health Information Management


Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

  • Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

Medical Assisting

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs
25400 US Highway 19 North.,
Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 210-2350

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Medical Assisting

Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314 N.,
Falls Church, VA 22043
(703) 917-9503

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)


Licensed by Kentucky Board of Nursing


  • Kentucky Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure

Paralegal Certificate/Associate’s Degree

Approved by American Bar Association


Pharmacy Technician Diploma

Approved by Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)


Pharmacy Technician Associate’s Degree

Approved by Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)



CCNE logo

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 887-6791

  • Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML)




Each state agency authorizes approval for post-secondary institutions to operate within its jurisdiction.

+ American National University campuses are authorized by the following state agencies:



Virginia Campuses

American National University is authorized by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to provide educational programs beyond secondary education in the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, the institution is not subject to the requirements of certification by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

West Virginia Campuses

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has assigned the Princeton, West Virginia campus of American National University the status of Category II to offer degree programs and the Parkersburg, West Virginia campus the status of Category III to offer degree programs.

Tennessee Campuses

The Bartlett, Bristol, Memphis, and Nashville campuses are authorized for operation by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, located at 404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1900, Nashville, TN, 37243, and can be reached at (615) 741-3605. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation by minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health and safety, and fiscal responsibility.

Indiana Campuses

The South Bend campus of American National University is authorized by the Indiana Board for Proprietary Education located at 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204-4206.

Kentucky Campuses

American National University is licensed by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to offer all programs at the Danville, Lexington, Louisville, and Pikeville. ANU Online is also licensed by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to offer online degrees.


Consumer Disclosure Information

DEAC Student Achievement Disclosure for the Public



Consumer Disclosure Information