Harvard University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Harvard, like all accredited universities and colleges, is reviewed for reaccreditation generally every 10 years and last received accreditation in 2009. 

Accreditation FAQ

What is accreditation? Why should a university be accredited?

Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process. It serves 4 main purposes: (1) to assure quality to the public, (2) to ease student transfer between institutions by signaling quality, (3) provides institutions with access to federal financial aid, and (4) certifies a graduate’s credentials to employers.

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Who accredits Harvard?

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredits HarvardUniversity.  NEASC is one of six regional accrediting organizations in the United States. More information can be found at  

Who accredits the accreditors?

Accreditors, such as CIHE, are organizations federally recognized through the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), a bipartisan committee established under the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1992.  NACIQI recognition indicates that an accreditor can adequately determine whether an institution is of sufficient quality to qualify for federal funds for financial aid and other programs.

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How does reaccreditation work? What is the process?

According to CIHE, accredited institutions are typically reviewed for accreditation every ten years.  That process, called the comprehensive evaluation, begins with the preparation of a self-study, which typically takes 12-18 months to prepare and addresses all of the Standards for Accreditation.  After reading the self-study, a committee consisting of faculty and administrators from similar institutions visits campus to meet with the university president, faculty, students and staff.  The committee provides recommendations to the Commission, which then …

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