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Accreditation of Canadian and US universities

The quality of American universities is assured by accreditation. By attending an accredited US university, you can be confident that you are obtaining a level of quality education that will be recognized by employers, professional associations, and other universities.


Accreditation in North America

In the USA, private educational associations - recognized by the US government - determine and regulate the educational standards of American universities. Universities that meet and maintain these standards are considered accredited. Many employers, other universities, and governments around the world, do not recognize degrees from unaccredited US universities.

In Canada, there is no national accreditation of higher education. Universities are regulated by provincial government, not by the Canadian federal government. Each Canadian province allows universities to grant degrees according to specific quality assurance standards. Universities that are recognized under these provincial standards are considered authorized.

Types of accreditation and authorization

There are two basic types of university accreditation and authorization in the USA and Canada:

  • Institutional accreditation covers the whole university and is the primary type of official university recognition in North America. Accreditation is granted by organizations that cover different geographic regions.
  • Specialized accreditation (also called programmatic or professional accreditation) covers a program or department within a university. Earning a degree that carries specialized accreditation may be a requirement for practicing in certain professions.

Regional institutional accrediting organizations

The universities we work with are accredited by the appropriate regional organization:

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Higher Learning Commission logoThe North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits universities in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Roosevelt University is accredited by NCAHLC.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

MSCHE logoMSCHE is the unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that accredits universities in the Middle States region: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Long Island University and Widener University are accredited by MSCHE.

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

CIHE logoThe CIHE of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is the regional accreditation agency for universities in the six New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and American/international schools in more than 67 nations worldwide.

University of Southern Maine, University of Maine and University of Vermont are accredited by NEASC

Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)

COC logoSACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of universities in the Southern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites.

James Madison University is accredited by SACSCOC.

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada logoAUCC represents 95 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities. Membership of AUCC, in conjunction with authorization by the relevant provincial legislation, is generally accepted in lieu of official university accreditation in Canada.

Royal Roads University is a member of AUCC, is authorized by the Province of British Columbia.


Specialized accrediting organizations

In addition to institutional accreditation, many universities are accredited by national organizations that recognize certain academic programs:

ABET (formerly Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology)

ABET logoABET is the recognized US accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET accredits 2,800 programs at more than 600 colleges and universities in the USA. Accreditation is granted for a maximum of six years, after which the institution must request another evaluation. Graduation from an ABET-accredited program is commonly required for professional engineers.

ABET-accredited institutions:

American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS logoACS promotes excellence in chemistry education for undergraduate students through approval of baccalaureate chemistry programs. ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.

ACS-accredited institutions:

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

AACSB logoAn association of educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations devoted to the advancement of higher education in management education. It is the premier accrediting agency for business and accounting programs around the world. The AACSB accredits more than 560 institutions on six continents - around 5% of business schools worldwide.

AACSB-accredited institutions:

Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

ACBSP logoAn accrediting association for business schools and programs with a focus on teaching excellence while encouraging scholarly research. ACBSP is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

ACBSP-accredited institutions:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) - formerly American Dietetics Association

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics logoThe Academy's Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredits education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians. The Council is recognized by the US Department of Education, and serves to ensure the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs.

AND-accredited institutions:

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

NAACLS logoThe National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) is the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of educational programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health professions. It has developed standards for accredited and approved clinical laboratory sciences programs.

NAACLS-accredited institutions:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

CCNE logoAn autonomous agency, recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency for nursing education. CCNE ensures the quality and continued improvement of baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing.

CCNE-accredited institutions:

American Psychological Association (APA)

APA logoThe Commission on Accreditation of the APA accredits over 900 doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology; doctoral internship programs in professional psychology; and postdoctoral residency programs in traditional and specialty areas of psychology.

APA-accredited institutions:

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

CSWE logoThe sole accrediting agency for social work education in the USA, the CSWE represents educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and more than 3,000 individual members. The Commission on Accreditation confers accreditation status on graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education.

CSWE-accredited institutions:

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

NASM logoThe national accrediting agency for music and music-related university programs. NASM is an association of approximately 625 schools of music. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees in music.

NASM-accredited institutions: