US Colleges

Complete List of National & Regional Accreditation Agencies

College Accreditation

Complete List of National & Regional Accreditation Agencies

The following organizations are recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the United States Department of Education (USDE) or both. These national accrediting agencies are considered faith-based, career-based, or programmatic accrediting organizations.

National Accreditation Agencies

  • AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College of Technology
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
  • American Academy for Liberal Education
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT/COAMFTE) Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Council for Accreditation (CFA)
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (CoA-NA)
  • American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
  • American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) Committee on Accreditation
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives, Division of Accreditation
  • American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
  • American Culinary Federation Foundation, Inc. (ACFF) Accrediting Commission
  • American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation
  • American Dietetic Association
 Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE-ADA)
  • American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation (CoA)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • American Optometric Association (AOA) Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)
  • American Osteopathic Association, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME)
  • American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Accreditation (CoA)
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB)
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education
  • Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation Commission
  • Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
  • Commission on Opticianry Association
  • Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB)
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Council on Aviation Accreditation
  • Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) Commission on Accreditation
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
  • Council on Occupational Education
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) Commission on Standards and Accreditation
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Office of Social Work Accreditation and Educational Excellence
  • Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission (DETC)
  • Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER)
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
  • Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT)
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
  • Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, Commission on Accreditation
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
  • National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc.
  • National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT)
  • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, Council on Accreditation
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)
  • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA)
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council
  • National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC)
  • National Recreation & Park Association/
American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (NRPA/AAPAR)
  • Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF)
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Regional Accreditation Agencies

An accreditation organization may be considered a regional accreditor. There are currently six of these in the United States. Each of these organizations carries out the accreditation process for the states in its region. These agencies are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is the primary national voice for voluntary accreditation and quality assurance to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Unlike National Accreditation, these organizations below accredit the entire school and not just some of the programs provided at the school.

Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)—Accredits institutions located in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)—Accredits institutions throughout New England, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)—This association accredits the largest group of institutions, which includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)—Accredits institutions located in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—Accredits institutions throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-ACSCU)—Accredits institutions located in California, Guam, Hawaii and the Pacific Basin.

Differences Between Regional Accreditation and National Accreditation

Regardless of which online university you have chosen to attend, be sure to check the complete list of regional accreditation agencies to make sure the name of your school is accredited by one of the organizations listed above.

The purpose of both national and regional accreditation agencies is to award or deny accreditation. However, there are some differences between these two types of accrediting organizations.

Regional Accreditation

As you can imagine, this type of accreditation focuses on geographic location. There are six organizations that focus on accrediting institutions in a specific area of the United States. The standards are usually very rigorous, and the evaluation process looks not only at the school as a whole, but also the standards of each of its programs. It is important to note that many regionally accredited schools do not transfer credits or degrees easily—and sometimes they do not transfer at all—from nationally accredited schools. In other words, if you attended a nationally accredited school for your first sixty credit hours and are trying to transfer to a regionally accredited institution, you may lose a large portion of those credits.

National Accreditation

National accreditation is performed on a much larger geographic scale. National accreditation organizations began forming for the purpose of evaluating colleges that offer the same types of programs. For example, institutions all over the United States that offer an education curriculum might be accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Another common type of national accreditation organization is faith-based. Schools that offer faith-based programs will seek accreditation by one or more of the faith-based accreditation agencies that evaluate such programs regardless of geographical location. National accreditation usually means that credits from a regionally accredited institution can be easily transferred. These types of universities are usually less expensive as well.

Both types of accreditation are provided by private institutions that review the schools with very strict guidelines. Regardless of what school you choose to attend, be cautious and make sure it has received a national or regional accreditation. Additionally, if you plan to transfer, ask the admissions office about the school’s policy for both regionally and nationally accredited credit transfers.

For a complete listing for both nationally and regionally accredited schools, visit the web sites for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE).