How Can I Verify the Accreditation of an Education Program?

Accreditation shows that an educational institution or program meets standards set by a reliable accrediting agency. Some education programs claim to be accredited by agencies that aren't recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Keep reading to learn how you can verify the accreditation of an education program.

Types of Accreditation

There are two types of accreditation:

  • Institutional accreditation applies to a whole college or university. Examples of agencies that provide institutional accreditation include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, and the Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission.
  • Programmatic accreditation applies to specific education programs or departments, indicating that the particular program or department is of the highest standards. Agencies that grant program accreditation include the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation and the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, among many others.

Important Facts About Accredited Education Programs

Institution Types Public, private for-profit, private non-profit,
Programs 4-year, 2-year, <2-year
Search Criteria Campus setting, % of applicants admitted, extended learning opportunities

Confirming Accreditation

Prospective students can check a school's website, marketing materials or course catalog for information about institutional and program accreditation. If those methods fail, they can call a college or university directly to inquire about its accreditation.

Information on institutional and program accreditation also is available through the National Center for Education Statistic's College Navigator website at www.nces.ed.gov. This site only provides profiles of colleges and universities that have institutional accreditation. Additionally, each school's profile features a section that details individual program accreditation.

Reliable Accreditation

There are many agencies that accredit education programs; however, the U.S. Secretary of Education only acknowledges programs that meet certain requirements. The U.S. Department of Education publishes a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies on its website at www.ed.gov. Students should make sure the accrediting agency of any educational institution and/or program they are considering is on the list of reliable accrediting agencies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
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    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

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    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

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  • Lincoln Tech

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    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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