Middle States Accreditation

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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 Click here to view the University's current Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS).

MSCHE  is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 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, 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.

 Middle States Accreditation FAQs

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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. 

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Mid-Point Peer Review, which takes place at the midpoint of the self-study cycle, is a process where institutional data and other information, including requests for additional evidence or materials from MSCHE submitted as part of the Annual Institutional Update (see below), are reviewed. This mid-point review replaces the prior Periodic Review Report, or PRR. The University's MPRR is scheduled for fall 2024. 

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 University ALO submits this information to MSCHE each spring.

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). 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 compliance and post-secondary compliance initiatives. 

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 be included within the scope of the institution's accreditation, and are guided by U.S. Department of Education regulations. Several of these regulations were recently updated in November 2019. 

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 or activity 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.