Beware!  Not all colleges, universities and distance learning programs advertised in newspapers or provided in online databases are accredited by one of the regional or national accrediting associations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  When planning to study in the United States, it is important to know whether an institution or program is accredited. The United States does not have a central government office that approves educational institutions. Instead, it relies on a system of voluntary accreditation carried out by nongovernmental accrediting bodies to ensure that schools meet quality standards.

When researching colleges and universities in the United States, you should always verify accreditation. If you are unfamiliar with an American college, university or distance learning program, go the U.S. Department of Education and follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to the homepage U.S. Department of Education: Database of Accredited Post-secondary Institutions and Programs website and click to the right of the first paragraph, on ‘Get data for one accredited institution’
    • Enter the name of the institution and the state and then click ‘search’. Be sure to spell the university name correctly.
  2. If the university is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, it will be listed on this page. Click on the university to find details of its accreditation status.

If you are not able to check the accreditation status of a U.S. university or have questions, send an email to: