Accreditation

Current Accreditation Status

The 2017 Self Study was prepared for the is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).  Harvard University’s last comprehensive evaluation took place in Fall 2017 and its accreditation was continued on April 19, 2018 by the New England Commission of Higher Education.  The University is to submit an interim (fifth-year) report for consideration in Fall 2022.  The next comprehensive evaluation will be scheduled for Fall 2027.

For questions, please contact oir@harvard.edu

 

 

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.

An “accredited” university meets the Standards for Accreditation established by an accrediting agency.  The Standards ensure that an institution has appropriate and clear goals, sufficient resources to achieve them, is fulfilling its objectives, and will continue to do so....

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Who accredits Harvard?

The the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.) accredits Harvard University.  NECHE is one of six regional accrediting organizations in the United States. More information can be found at www.neasc.org.  

Who accredits the accreditors?

Accreditors, such as NECHE, 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.

In addition, NECHE is recognized through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which has five standards for accreditors: (1) They are...

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How does reaccreditation work? What is the process?

According to NECHE, 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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What are NECHE Standards for Accreditation?

NECHE Standards for Accreditation, most recently revised in 2016, examine “institutional quality” in 9 areas, which are:

  1. Mission and Purposes
  2. Planning and Evaluation
  3. Organization and Governance
  4. The Academic Program
  5. Students
  6. Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
  7. Institutional Resources
  8. Educational Effectiveness
  9. Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure

More detailed information about the Standards for Accreditation can be...

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When was Harvard last reviewed for accreditation?

Harvard University’s last comprehensive evaluation took place in Fall 2017 and its accreditation was continued on April 19, 2018 by the the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).  The University is to submit an interim (fifth-year) report for consideration in Fall 2022.  The next comprehensive evaluation will be scheduled for Fall 2027.