Application and Candidacy

Attaining Candidate for Accreditation Status with the MSCHE is a multi-step process in which institutions must achieve and sustain compliance with the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation, Requirements of Affiliation, MSCHE policies and procedures, and applicable federal regulatory requirements. Related fees may be found in the Commission’s Dues and Fees Policy and Procedures.

The Commission accepts pre-applications and applications according to the submission deadlines below:

  • December 1
  • April 1
  • July 1
  • Oct 1

To begin the process of applying for Candidate for Accreditation status with MSCHE, please contact applicationprocess@msche.org.

The Application and Candidacy Review Cycle and Monitoring Policy and Procedures seek to ensure that the process for institutions applying for candidate for accreditation status is rigorous, consistent, and equitable.

The Application and Candidacy Review Cycle includes three main review components:

  • Pre-Application
  • Application for Candidate for Accreditation Status, and
  • Grant of Candidate for Accreditation Status.

Pre-Application

The pre-applicant institution must demonstrate that it meets minimum requirements. The Commission will conduct a peer review of the Pre-Applicant Minimum Requirements Report to determine if a pre-applicant institution meets the minimum requirements. A pre-applicant site visit is conducted by a peer evaluator to verify the information submitted by the institution in the Pre-Applicant Minimum Requirements Report. Please email applicationprocess@msche.org to start the process.

The Pre-Application review includes the following components:

MSCHE will expand the acceptance of domestic applications beyond the current geographic boundaries under the new Application and Candidacy Review Cycle and Monitoring Policy and Procedures and the United States Department of Education (USDE) regulations effective as of July 1, 2020. MSCHE will lift its moratorium on international applications beginning on January 1, 2021, with a phased expansion, first on a limited basis in targeted areas and then more expansively thereafter.

Application for Candidate for Accreditation Status

The institution must demonstrate that it meets Commission standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and applicable federal regulatory requirements. The Commission will conduct a peer review of the Accreditation Readiness Report (ARR) and evidence to determine if the institution is ready for an Applicant Assessment Team Visit. The institution may submit one or more ARRs during this process. An Applicant Commission Liaison Visit is conducted by the Commission staff liaison to review and discuss the information in the draft ARR, determine if the draft is adequate to support the work of the team, and verify that the institution is ready to continue the application for candidate status process.

The Application review includes the following components:

Grant of Candidate for Accreditation Status

To be granted Candidate for Accreditation Status, the applicant institution must demonstrate that it meets Commission standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and applicable federal regulatory requirements. The Commission will conduct a peer review of the updated ARR, evidence, and a teach-out plan. The Applicant Assessment Team Visit is conducted by the team of peer evaluators to clarify the information provided in the application materials and verify evidence by interviewing campus constituencies. The Applicant Site Visits are conducted by designated members of the team to verify information about the institution’s locations and establish those locations within the institution’s baseline scope of accreditation.

The Grant of Candidacy review includes the following components:

Grant of Accreditation

Once Candidate for Accreditation Status is granted, the candidate institution must demonstrate that it continues to meet the Commission’s standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and applicable federal regulatory requirements through the completion of its first self-study evaluation as outlined in the Commission’s Accreditation Review Cycle and Monitoring Policy and Procedures. The institution will be assigned an accreditation review cycle and will begin its first Self-Study Evaluation.

Fees Related to Application and Candidacy (as of July 1, 2020)

Fee Domestic International
Pre-Applicant Inquiry Fee $1,050 $1,050
Pre-Applicant Site Visit $3,000 + Travel expenses, honoraria $3,000 + Travel expenses, honoraria
Information Session $2,625 $3,940
Applicant Commission Liaison Visit $6,195 + Travel expenses $12,390 + Travel expenses
Application for Candidate for Accreditation Status Fee $12,180 $18,270
Applicant Site Visit(s) $2,100 + Travel expenses, honoraria Per site $5,250 + Travel expenses, honoraria Per site
Applicant Assessment Team Visit $9,240 + Travel expenses, honoraria $18,480 + Travel expenses, honoraria

Resources

The following resources are available in the Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines sections:

  • Accreditation Actions Policy
  • Accreditation Actions Procedures
  • Accreditation Review Cycle and Monitoring Policy
  • Accreditation Review Cycle and Monitoring Procedures
  • Application and Candidacy Review Cycle and Monitoring Policy
  • Application and Candidacy Review Cycle and Monitoring Procedures
  • Dues and Fees Policy
  • Dues and Fees Procedures
  • Teach-out Plans and Agreements Policy
  • Teach-out Plans and Agreements Procedures