Nurturing Excellence: The Unchanging Commitment of National American University


A Brief History of NAU
At National American University (NAU), the passage of time has only deepened our commitment to nurturing individual excellence. Over the decades, this dedication has remained unwavering, forming the bedrock of our mission. We believe in the power of human warmth and personal connection in education, recognizing the incredible potential that resides within each student, regardless of their background, culture, or abilities.

A Journey Through Time
The story of NAU begins in 1941 when the National School of Business was founded in Rapid City, South Dakota, 20 miles from Mount Rushmore, which was completed that same year. Clarence and Katherine Jacobson, with a vision of quality education, created an institution initially focused on secretarial and accounting education. This marked the inception of NAU’s enduring commitment to academic excellence. In 1962, Harold D. Buckingham stepped in, setting a new course for growth and opportunity. His passion for accessible, high-quality education was a guiding light for NAU, and his family’s ongoing involvement solidified the institution’s trajectory.

Pioneering Online Education
NAU has consistently been a trailblazer in online education. We have expanded our offerings to include certificate, diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs through the university’s College of Undergraduate Studies, College of Legal Studies, Harold D. Buckingham Graduate School, and Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security. In the digital age, we embrace the opportunities technology provides. Our focus is on enhancing quality education with convenience and accessibility for our students. With online courses, learning resources, and support services readily available through mobile technology, we empower our students to achieve their educational goals while juggling busy lives.

The Heart of Our Commitment
What sets NAU apart is our unwavering commitment to fostering excellence in every individual. We believe in the potential of every student to excel in the technical and professional fields of their choice. Our nurturing and supportive learning environment is designed to bring out the best in everyone, no matter their background or circumstances. As we advance into the future, this commitment remains at the core of our mission. We understand the profound impact that education has on transforming lives. Our journey has been one of continuous evolution, marked by innovation and empowerment. The future holds the promise of new milestones and opportunities as we strive to continue making a difference in the lives of our students.

Join Us on This Journey
You, our students, are the heart of our history. Your dedication and passion for learning inspire us to maintain our commitment to individual excellence. We look forward to sharing this exciting journey with you and to a future filled with opportunities that we can explore together. At NAU, we cherish the warmth of personal connection in education and the boundless potential of every individual. Welcome to a place where your journey to excellence is nurtured and supported every step of the way.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence