List of Online Colleges with Regional Accreditation

By Taylor Nichols | Updated October 23, 2020

Regional accreditation is the most prestigious form of accreditation and is granted to institutions as a whole rather than individual programs. Most traditional colleges and universities are regionally-accredited. Credits earned at these institutions are more reliably transferable than credits earned at institutions with national or programmatic accreditation. There are multiple regional accreditation agencies currently recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education, and all must meet the same rigorous set of standards to be recognized.

Other Types of Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary process that schools undergo to ensure they are held to universal academic standards. It serves as a mark of excellence and tells employers, other schools, and other professionals that you have received a quality education in your field. Continue reading to find regionally accredited schools and detailed information about the current CHEA recognized regional accreditation agencies.

Colleges with Regional Accreditation

All Regional Accreditation Agencies

Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, formerly part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), accredits two-year colleges that offer associate degrees in the Western region. This region includes California and Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. The commission encourages academic excellence and continuous growth by holding higher education institutions to standards that best support student success. ACCJC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

The Higher Learning Commission, formed in 1895, is one of the oldest and most respected regional accrediting bodies for postsecondary education. Previously part of the North Central Association, the HLC reviews degree-granting higher education online and campus colleges in 19 states in the North Central region of the United States, from Arizona to Wisconsin. The commission emphasizes student learning, education as a public service, and a culture of continuous improvement to help institutions meet and maintain high academic standards. The commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation to universities and colleges in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States and a few other select locations: Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. MSCHE fosters educational progress, acts as a gatekeeper to maintain educational standards, and provides consistent measurement to gauge an institution's effectiveness. MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

The New England Commission of Higher Education is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting colleges and universities in the six states that constitute New England, and 11 institutions internationally. Founded over 130 years ago as part of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, NECHE works to ensure quality and encourage progress in higher education by upholding institutions to nine rigorous standards. The commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is one of the most notable accrediting organizations in America, reviewing postsecondary schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, as well as institutions in British Columbia, Canada. The NWCCU offers assistance and suggests improvements to developed and distinguished schools in the region to ensure that the educational quality in the Northwest is not only up to par, but also surpasses the national standards. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is responsible for the accreditation of postsecondary institutions in 11 Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Its scope also includes schools in Latin America and other international sites. Integrity, continuous quality improvement, accountability, and transparency are among the core standards upheld by the commission. SACSCOC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

The WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities oversees accreditation of higher education institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Region. WSCUC also accredits some schools internationally. Through the accreditation process, the commission verifies that higher education institutions are serving students and the public by holding them to high academic standards. WSCUC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.