About Accreditation

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the process used to ensure that universities meet and maintain minimum standards for academics and administration.

The are two types of accreditation:

Institutional accreditation guarantees the overall quality of a university as a whole.

Specialized accreditation guarantees the quality of individual programs or schools within a university.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation has two main purposes.

1. It ensures the quality of a university or specific program
Accreditation assures students, governments, and the public that a university or program has met the accreditor’s requirements and will continue to do so.

2. It provides a university or program the opportunity to improve
The accreditation process is an opportunity for a university or program to evaluate its activities, policies, and procedures to identify areas for improvement.

Accreditation is also important for students
Accreditation is important for students seeking financial aid, transferring to another university, or applying to graduate school. Many universities and financial aid organizations will only accept applications from students at accredited institutions.

Who Accredits Universities?

Several regional and national accreditors provide institutional accreditation to colleges and universities across the country. The Higher Learning Commission accredits WVU.

Professional associations typically provide specialized accreditation to individual programs, schools, or units within a university. For example, the American Bar Association accredits WVU’s College of Law.

More Information About Accreditation

Great resources for understanding accreditation in the United States are: