Types of University Accreditation in the United States

Types of University Accreditation in the United States

University accreditation in the United States is awarded by several different organizations, each with its own unique criteria for determining the quality of an institution’s education. Generally, these organizations are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). There are four main types of university accreditation: regional, national, specialized/professional, and faith-based.

Regional Accreditation

Regional accreditation is typically one of the most sought-after forms of accreditation in the United States as it indicates that a college or university meets certain standards set forth by its particular region’s higher education governing body—usually, a non-profit organization called a Regional Accrediting Association. Institutions that receive this type of accreditation typically have more resources available to them and can offer more competitive financial aid packages to their students.

National Accreditation

National accreditation is given by private organizations like the Grand Canyon University accreditation professionals that are not recognized by the Department of Education or the CHEA. This type of accreditation is usually used for career, technical, vocational, and religious institutions. National accreditation is often less expensive than regional accreditation, but it may not be accepted by certain employers or transferable to other universities.

Specialized/professional accreditations are offered to colleges and universities with programs in specific fields or areas of study, such as business or nursing. These organizations are typically discipline-specific, meaning they only evaluate schools within a particular field or profession. Specialized/professional accreditation is important to ensure that a college or university meets high professional standards in the field being studied.

Faith-based accreditation is offered to religious institutions and organizations whose mission is closely tied to a specific faith or religion. Faith-based accreditation like Grand Canyon University accreditation ensures that the institution adheres to certain beliefs, values, and principles associated with its particular faith.


Regardless of which type of university accreditation an institution holds, it’s important for prospective students to research each school carefully before enrolling. This will help them make sure they are making an informed decision about their education and future career path.