Middle States Accreditation

The University of Scranton is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE),3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 1-267-284-5000 MSCHE is one of seven regional accreditors within the United States. Click here to view the University's current Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS).

The University's Middle States accreditation activities are led by Kathryn Yerkes, Assistant Vice Provost for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, who serves as the University's Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO).

Middle States is one of seven regional accreditors within the United States. Although a voluntary practice, holding regional accreditation is a requirement for higher education institutions seeking to access federal student financial aid and other funding. Membership to the Middle States association is incumbent upon an institution's compliance with the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and Requirements for Affiliation, and with other topical Commission policies. Visit www.msche.org to view these policies, information about the accreditation process and MSCHE expectations, or to file a complaint.

Part of the accreditation process serves to verify an institution's compliance with federal legislation, in particular, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), which defines the process by which higher education institutions can access federal financial aid funding. Click here to view current guidelines for the verification process.

Middle States Accreditation FAQs


Self Study 2019

The University's decennial Middle States Self-Study is now underway. As part of this process the University will demonstrate compliance with MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation & Standards for Accreditation, and identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in relation to its mission and goals. The University's Design for Self-Study describes our approach, including the organizational stucture and membership of the Steering Committee and Working Groups that will undertake the research, analysis, and drafting of the self-study report, which will be submitted to MSCHE in the spring of 2019.  Visit www.scranton.edu/selfstudy to learn more. To share comments or feedback, email selfstudy@scranton.edu .

Accreditation Cycle

Within the Middle States region, accreditation is comprised of the following components: 

Self-Study, an in-depth institutional analysis that takes place every eight years.  The self-study requires the institution to review its programs, services, and operations with respect to Middle States standards and its own mission, and results in report documenting the institution's strengths and recommendations for self-improvement. This report is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers who may make recommendations of their own to the institution, and by the Commission.

Members of the University of Scranton community can view a copy of the 2008 self study report, and the report from the Middle States' visiting review team by visiting the links below. These files can only be opened from an on-campus network location.

Middle States 2008 Self Study Report

Visiting Team Report

Mid-Point Review, a process which takes place at the midpoint of the self-study cycle, requires the institution to review its progress toward meeting the recommendations for improvement from its prior self-study and address any other needs established by MSCHE during that process. This mid-point review replaces the prior Periodic Review Report, or PRR. The University of Scranton's last PRR was submitted in June 2013. Members of the University Community can view this report by logging into the my.scranton portal. 

Annual Institutional Update, an annual submission of a series of data and information about the institution, its students, and its programs, along with updates to MSCHE from prior self-study or mid-point reporting. The University ALO submits this information to MSCHE each spring.

Within each of these three processes, institutions are required to document compliance with a several accreditation-related aspects of federal legislation, including specific elements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). The Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness partners with the Office of Institutional Research and other units across campus through the University's HEOA Working Group to monitor and document these and other HEOA compliance initiatives on a regular basis. 

Substantive Change

There are a number of other policies that are part of MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation. One of these policies requires that institutions, under certain circumstances, submit a proposal for substantive change when seeking to offer, for example, a new program delivery location, or degree level. These types of changes must be approved in order to fall under the scope of the institution's accreditation. Academic departments planning the development of a new program, delivery location, or degree level should contact Kathryn Yerkes to determine if the nature of this proposed new offering requires prior approval by Middle States.

Disciplinary Accreditations

In addition to institutional accreditation through Middle States, a number of academic programs at the University maintain disciplinary accreditation at the program level. These are important markers of program quality and rigor. Information about the disciplinary accreditations held by University programs is available in the University catalog, and on individual program web sites. For more information about these accreditations, their cycles, standards, and processes, contact the Dean's Office within each college.