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What Is an Accredited Degree?
An accredited degree is recognized for meeting specific educational standards, which have been set by an accrediting agency. Choosing an accredited degree ensures its acceptance by other recognized institutions and organizations and potential employers.
Overview On Accredited Degrees
An accredited degree meets certain quality standards, which are honored by other reputable institutions and organizations. When choosing a degree program, accreditation should be a top priority. A non-accredited degree could end up being worth little or nothing if future employers do not recognize it.
Important Information On Accredited Degree Programs
High school diploma or equivalent
Full, partial, and blended accredited online programs are available
Varies depending on school and career goals
Undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs are available
Varies depending on degree and career requirements
What Is Accreditation?
Accreditation can be either institutional or specialized. Institutional accreditation covers all programs offered by a school, while specialized accreditation covers specific programs within a school. Some schools that are accredited institutionally also house programs that hold specialized accreditation, so it’s possible to earn a degree that’s been doubly accredited. An example would be earning a law degree from Harvard. The university holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and its law program has American Bar Association accreditation.
In addition to verifying a degree’s accreditation, it’s important to determine the validity of the accrediting agency. Don’t take a school’s accreditation claims at face value. Make sure the accrediting agency is reputable by checking it against a list compiled by the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov ). Accrediting agencies fall into one of 3 categories:
- Nationally recognized
How to Check a Degree’s Accreditation
To find out if your chosen degree is accredited, seek accreditation information on the school’s website. If you can’t find the information online, call the school directly. Once you have the name of the accrediting agency, make sure your degree program is on the agency’s list of accredited degrees. Alternately, search for the school or program’s accreditation using the U.S. Department of Education’s database.