Middle States Accreditation

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The University of Scranton is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Commission’s most recent action on the institution’s accreditation status on June 27, 2019 was to Reaffirm Accreditation. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


Click here to view the University's current Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS), which includes summary of recent accreditation activities. A listing of programs offered at the additional geographic locations included within the University's scope of accreditation is available here.

Although a voluntary practice, holding institutional accreditation is a requirement for higher education institutions seeking to access federal student financial aid and other funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Accreditation with MSCHE is incumbent upon a college or university's compliance with the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and Requirements for Affiliation, most recently updated in spring 2023, with other topical Commission policies, and with accreditation-relevant aspects of federal education law and policy.   Visit www.msche.org to view these policies, information about the accreditation process and MSCHE expectations, or to file a complaint.  


For more information about the University's accreditation with MSCHE, contact Kate Yerkes, the University's Accreditation Liaison Officer, at 570-941-6567, or email kathryn.yerkes@scranton.edu

Accreditation Cycle

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

Self-Study, an in-depth institutional review that takes place every eight years.  The self-study requires the institution to comprehensively assess its programs, services, and operations with respect to Middle States standards and in the context of its own mission. This review results in a report documenting the institution's strengths as well as recommendations improvement. This Self-Study Report and supporting materials are reviewed by a visiting team of peer reviewers who may make recommendations of their own to the institution, and by the Middle States Commission itself. The University successfully completed its most recent self-study in spring 2019, reaffirming our accreditation.  Our next accreditation review is scheduled for the 2027-2028 academic year. 

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 if requested by the Commission. The Commission may request additional information or actions following review of AIU data and information. The University ALO submits this information to MSCHE each spring/summer.

Within the accreditation cycle, institutions document compliance with a several accreditation-related aspects of federal legislation, including specific elements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and other regulations. The Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness partners with units across campus through the University's HEOA Working Group to monitor and document these and other HEOA (Consumer Information) compliance and post-secondary compliance initiatives. 

Substantive Change

There are a number of other policies that must be addressed to be eligible for, achieve, and retain MSCHE accreditation. 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 be included within the scope of the institution's accreditation, and are guided by U.S. Department of Education regulations.

Academic departments planning the development of a new program, delivery location, or degree level, or considering other significant curricular changes, should contact Kathryn Yerkes to determine if the nature of this proposed new offering or activity requires prior approval by or notification to 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.
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