Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is an institutional accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) that serves as an independent voice in higher education. MSCHE establishes equitable standards for accreditation with member institutions that advance the impact of accreditation in the ever-changing landscape of higher education and promotes educational excellence through innovation across diverse institutions.
As an institutional accreditor, MSCHE requires evaluation of all aspects of the institution holistically, including modality of instruction, and everything done in the name of the institution, including all academic programs and services, fall within their scope of accreditation.
MSCHE is proud of the role it serves in verifying the quality of higher education through peer review, assessment, and evaluation. MSCHE is an active partner in quality assurance through its service as a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association for institutions of higher education throughout the United States as well as globally. MSCHE is accountable to those it serves, including institutions, states and federal government, and the public. The MSCHE staff, Commissioners, and peer evaluators understand the important role, responsibility, and reach of accreditation, and we take it seriously.
United States Department of Education Recognition
MSCHE is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) to conduct accreditation and pre-accreditation (candidacy status) activities for institutions of higher education, including distance education and correspondence education programs offered at those institutions, throughout the United States. USDE recognizes accrediting agencies deemed authorities on the quality of higher education. Under the Higher Education Act’s (HEA’s) federal student aid programs, accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education must meet the Department’s regulatory criteria. MSCHE is a Title IV gatekeeper and is a link to federal programs, and institutions access Title IV through MSCHE accreditation. Visit the United States Department of Education website for more information.
Scope of recognition: the accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of institutions of higher education including distance and correspondence education programs offered at those institutions.
Geographic Area of Accrediting Activities: Throughout the United States.
MSCHE is committed to self-assessment and evaluation and has developed strategic priorities to support and guide the mission, vision, and values of the Commission. Strategic priorities are developed in collaboration with Commissioners and are evaluated and revised periodically. Learn more about MSCHE Strategic Priorities 2020-2025.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The MSCHE Mission, Vision, and Values statements define our work and what is important to the Commission while also reflecting the forward-thinking nature of our service as an accreditor in a rapidly changing and complex environment.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) promotes educational excellence through innovation across diverse institutions.
To be a prominent voice and champion in higher education to leverage accreditation for our member institutions and students.
Protecting the Future – We ensure that member institutions meet rigorous and comprehensive standards to protect educational quality.
Guiding for Good – We fuel discovery and progress for our community and society as an independent voice in higher education.
Setting the Standard – We promote quality through honest reflection, institutional growth, and meaningful change.
These values guide our external and internal relationships where integrity, respect, and self-improvement promote personal and collective growth, creativity, collaboration, accountability, and fair and equitable treatment.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Recognition
MSCHE is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit degree-granting institutions which offer one or more post-secondary educational programs of at least one academic year in length throughout the United States. Learn more about CHEA recognition here.
Partnerships and Collaborations
The Commission is proud to partner with other associations within the higher education community around shared interests.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
American Council on Education (ACE)
Assessment Network of New York (ANNY)
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)
Association of International Education Administrators (NAFSA)
Association of Public and Land-Grant Institutions (APLU)
Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE)
College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP)
Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC)
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)
Jobs for the Future (JFF)
National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
National Association of Independent College and Universities (NAICU)
National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE)
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)
National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO)
University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA)
WCET-WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
Updated as of September 19, 2022