List of Education Accreditation Agencies World Wide
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List of Education Accreditation Agencies World Wide

List of Education Accreditation Agencies World Wide

November 30, 1999

Choosing the Right School, College or University

An investigative reporter for a large newspaper once told me that he could go into any building on the street, "that office, that hospital, that laundromat, that factory and given enough time and money, I would find a story there that would probably make page one."

The same is very likely true of virtually every school in the world, from Harvard on down. Some schools simply have a lot more skeletons in a lot more closets than others.

Step 1: Conduct Thorough Internet Research

Thorough Internet research is an important first step when considering any online degree program.  Though it is of course wise to look at the actual website to learn more about the school and its degree programs, it is beneficial to read user reviews, blogs and other social media outlets that may feature comments from past and present students.

Step 2: Check It Out with Friends, Colleagues, or Employers

If you need the degree for a new job, a salary increase, or a state license, be sure to find out specifically if this degree will suffice before investing any money in any school. Many schools will gladly enter into correspondence with employers, state agencies, or others you may designate to explain their programs and to establish their credentials.

All too often, we hear horror stories about people who have lost thousands of dollars and wasted incredible amounts of time completing a degree that was useless to them. "But the school said it was accredited," they lament.

Step 3: Check It Out with the Appropriate Accrediting Agency

Go to our Accreditation page for links to the regional and professional accrediting agencies. Some of these agencies list all of the schools that they accredit on their websites; others you need to call to determine. Either way, it's a quick and easy way to find out if the school has recognized accreditation.

Step Four: Check It Out with the Proper Government Agency

Every state and every nation has an agency that oversees higher education. Check out the school with the agency in your state or in the state or country in which the school is located. Some correspondence schools are well known (positively or negatively) to the Better Business Bureau as well, but do not rely on this; some of the worst diploma mills have also been members of the BBB. And all nations have a department, bureau, or ministry of education that may be able to supply information on a school. They also all have embassies in Washington, DC and all national capitals, as well as United Nations delegations in New York to which questions may be addressed. You may get bogged down in voice mail, but it is worth the effort.

Step 5: Check Out the School Itself

Visit the campus or the campus offices if at all possible, especially if you have any doubts. If the school's literature does not make clear its precise legal or accreditation status, or if you still have any questions, check with the appropriate accrediting agency. If the accreditor is not listed, be careful. There are a lot of phony accrediting agencies in operation, as well as phony schools.

Here are some of the questions you may wish to ask. Do not just make up a form letter and send it to 50 or more schools, as more than a few readers have done. Being more selective, both about schools and questions, will save you and the schools time and money. Also, match the question to the school. If you are inquiring about an obscure unaccredited school, it may be appropriate to ask where the president earned his or her degrees.

How many students are currently enrolled? Curiously, quite a few schools seem reluctant to reveal these numbers. Sometimes it is because they are embarrassed about how large they are.  For instance, in the case of one alternative school that at one time had more than 3,000 students and a faculty of five! Sometimes it is because they are embarrassed about how small they are, as is the case with one heavily advertised school that has impressive literature, extremely high tuition, and fewer than 50 students.

How many degrees have been awarded in the last year?

What is the size of the faculty? How many of these faculty members are full-time and how many are part-time or adjunct faculty? If the catalog doesn't make it clear, from which schools did the faculty earn their degrees?

From which school(s) did the president, the dean, and other administrators earn their own degrees? There is nothing inherently wrong with staff members earning degrees from their own school, but when the number doing so is 25 percent or more, as is the case at some institutions, it starts sounding a little suspicious.

May I have the names and addresses of some recent graduates in my field of study, and/or in my geographical area?

May I look at the work done by students? Inspection of Master's theses and doctoral dissertations can often give a good idea of the quality of work expected, and the caliber of the students. But you may either have to visit the school [not a bad idea] or offer to pay for making and sending copies.

Will your degree be acceptable for my intended needs (state licensing, certification, graduate school admission, salary advance, new job, whatever)?

What exactly is your legal status, with regard to state agencies and to accrediting associations? If accreditation (or candidacy for accreditation) is claimed, is it with an agency that is approved either by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation? If not accredited, are there any plans to seek accreditation? Is the school listed in any of the three major reference sources used by registrars and admissions officers worldwide: the International Handbook of Universities, Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, or AACRAO World Education Series?

No legitimate school should refuse to answer questions like these. Remember, you are shopping for something that may cost you several thousand dollars or more. It is definitely a buyer's market, and the schools all know this. If they see that you are an informed customer, they will know that they must satisfy you or you will take your business elsewhere.

Traditional vs. Alternative Education

Remember too that alternative education does not require all the trappings of a traditional school. Don't expect to find a big campus with spacious lawns, an extensive library, or a football team. Some outstanding non-traditional schools are run from relatively small suites of rented offices.

You definitely cannot go by the catalog or other school literature alone. Some really bad schools and some outrageous degree mills have hired good writers and designers, and produced very attractive catalogs that are full of lies and misleading statements. A common trick, for instance, is to show a photograph of a large and impressive building, which may or may not be the building in which the school rents a room or two. Another common device is to list a large number of names of faculty and staff, sometimes with photographs of their smiling faces. Our files are full of certified, deliver-to-addressee-only letters sent to these people that have been returned as undeliverable.

Finally, be very suspicious of schools with no telephones, or, perhaps even more of a red flag, schools where you can't call them, they have to call you. For instance, in 1989, we attempted to check out a new and heavily advertised school called North American University. The people who answered their toll-free phone line were cheerful, but after many calls, we were never put through to anyone. It was always, "Dr. Peters will call you back." "Dr. Peters" turned out to be an alias for the school's owner, a convicted felon, who would return calls from his home in another state.

On the other side of the ledger, some good, sincere, legitimate schools have issued typewritten and photocopied catalogs, either to save money or to go along with their low-key images. One sincere, very low-budget school even operated without a telephone for a while.

In the U.S., there is at least one agency in each state, and one in the District of Columbia, that oversees higher education. If you have any concerns about the legality of an institution, or its right to award degrees, these are the places to ask.

Who Do You Ask First?  There is No simple answer, so be prepared to spend a bit of time on the phone or writing letters if you wish to learn the exact status of a school in a given state. Starting with the main higher education agency makes sense, although in some states a second agency (as with California or Hawaii) may be the best place.

Responses "Shady" Schools Often Give

We call various state agencies fairly often. We have found that once we get through the voice mail, the basic answers are generally correct, but often incomplete. A lot depends on who happens to answer the phone. For instance, one time when we called Alabama to check on an unaccredited school operating there, we were told, "Oh, we've been trying to close them down for years. At least we got them to agree not to accept students from the state of Alabama." But on another call to the same office, we were told, "The state of Alabama has no official position with regard to this school."

In another example, we called the proper California agency to ask about a school which we had heard had just lost its state approval. The helpful person on the phone confirmed this, and gave us the exact date it had happened. But then we found out, a few days later, that the school had gone to court and secured a writ that prohibited the state from enforcing its decision until further hearings were held, and thus the school continued legitimately in business.

The following agencies are those that license, regulate, or are otherwise concerned with higher education in their state, province, or country. The listings include the telephone, in most cases the fax, and, where known, an e-mail address and the name of the person in charge. This information changes on almost a daily basis. If you discover errors or changes, please let us know. Thank you. In particular, we are aware that our data on overseas agencies may not be fully up to date. We would greatly appreciate e-mail from international visitors to the site, letting us know where we may have an incorrect national education agency.

Agencies for Higher Education

Commission on Higher Education
100 North Union St.
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: (334) 242 1998
Fax: (334) 242 0268
Web site:

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
3030 Vintage Boulevard
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: (907) 465 2962
Fax: (907) 465 5316
Web site:

Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education
2020 North Central Ave.,Suite 275
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 229 2591
Fax: (602) 229 2599
Web site:

Arkansas Department of Higher Education
114 East Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371 2000
Fax: (501) 371 2003

Bureau for Private, Postsecondary and Vocational Education
1027 10th St., 4th Floor
Sacramento,CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445 3427
Fax: (916) 323 6571
Web site:

Colorado Commission on Higher Education
1300 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866 2723
Fax: (303) 860 9750

Board of Governors for Higher Education
61 Woodland St.
Hartford, CT 06105
Phone: (860) 947 1801
Fax: (860) 947 1310
Web site:

Delaware Higher Education Commission
Carvel State Office Building
820 North French St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 577 3240
Fax: (302) 577 6765
Web site:

District of Columbia
Office of Postsecondary Education Research and Assistance
2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE
Suite 401
Washington, DC 20020
Phone: (202) 727 3688
Fax: (202) 727 2739

Florida Postsecondary Education Planning Commission
Turlington Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (904) 488 7894
Fax: (904) 922 5388

Board of Regents
270 Washington St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656 2202
Fax: (404) 657 6979
Web site:

State Postsecondary Education Commission
2444 Dole St., Room 209
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956 8207
Fax: (808) 956 5286

Idaho Board of Education
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0027
Phone: (208) 334 2270
Fax: (208) 334 2632
Web site:

Board of Higher Education
431 East Adams, 2nd Floor
Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: (217) 782 2551
Fax: (217) 782 8548
Web site:

Indiana Commission for Higher Education
101 West Ohio St., Suite 550
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 464 4400
Fax: (317) 464 4410
Web site:

Board of Regents
100 Court Ave., Suite 203
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 281 3934
Fax: (515) 281 6420
Web site:

Kansas Board of Regents
700 S.W. Harrison, Suite 1410
Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: (913) 296 3421
Fax: (913) 296 0983
Web site:

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
1024 Capital Center Dr., Suite 320
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573 1555
Fax: (502) 573 1535
Web site:

Board of Regents
150 Third St., Suite 129
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (504) 342 4253
Fax: (504) 342 9318
Web site:

Department of Education Office of Higher Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: (207) 287 5323
Fax: (207) 287 1344
Web site:

Maryland Higher Education Commission
16 Francis St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: (410) 974 2971
Fax: (410) 974 3513
Web site:

Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
1 Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 727 7785
Fax: (617) 727 6397
Web site:

Michigan Department of Career Development
Office of Postsecondary Services
P.O. Box 30714
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373 3820
Fax: (517) 373 2759
Web site:

Minnesota Higher Education Services Office
1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
Phone: (612) 642 0584
Fax: (651) 642 0672
Web site:

Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone: (601) 982 6623
Fax: (601) 987 4172
Web site:

Coordinating Board for Higher Education
3515 Amazonas Dr.
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone: (573) 751 2361
Fax: (573) 751 6635
Web site:

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
Montana University System
2500 Broadway
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444 6570
Fax: (406) 444 1469
Web site:

Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
P.O. Box 95005
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471 2847
Fax: (402) 471 2886
Web site:

University and Community College System of Nevada
2601 Enterprise Road
Reno, NV 89512
Phone: (775) 784 4905
Fax: (775) 784 1127
Web site:

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission
2 Industrial Park Dr.
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271 2555
Fax: (603) 271 2696
Web site:

New Jersey
Commission on Higher Education
20 West State St.
P.O. Box 542
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: (609) 292 4310
Fax: (609) 292 7225
Web site:

New Mexico
Commission on Higher Education
1068 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (505) 827 7383
Fax: (505) 827 7392
Web site:

New York
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 474 5844
Fax: (518) 473 4909
Web site:

North Carolina
Commission on Higher Education Facilities
UNC General Administration
910 Raleigh Rd., P.O. Box 2688
Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Phone: (919) 962 4611
Fax: (919) 962 0008

North Dakota
North Dakota University System
10th Floor, State Capitol
600 East Boulevard Ave, Dept. 215
Bismarck, ND 58505
Phone: (701) 328 2960
Fax: (701) 328 2961
Web site:

Ohio Board of Regents
30 East Broad St., 36th Floor
Columbus, OH 43266
Phone: (614) 466 6000
Fax: (614) 466 5866
Web site:

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
500 Education Building
State Capitol Complex
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 524 9100
Fax: (405) 524 9230
Web site:

Governor's Office of Education and Workforce Policy
Office of Degree Authorization
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 126
Salem, OR 97310
Phone: (503) 378 3921
Fax: (503) 378 4789
Web site:

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Postsecondary and Higher Education
333 Market St., 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126
Phone: (717) 787 5041
Fax: (717) 783 0583
Web site:

Rhode Island
Office of Higher Education
301 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: (401) 222 6560
Fax: (401) 222 6111
Web site:

South Carolina
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1333 Main St., Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 737 2260
Fax: (803) 737 2297
Web site:

South Dakota
South Dakota Board of Regents
306 E. Capital Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773 3455
Fax: (605) 773 5320
Web site:

Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Parkway Towers, Suite 1900
404 James Robertson Pkwy.
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: (615) 741 3605
Fax: (615) 741 6230
Web site:

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 427 6101
Fax: (512) 483 6127
Web site:

Utah State Board of Regents
3 Triad Center, Suite 550
Salt Lake City, UT 84180
Phone: (801) 321 7101
Fax: (801) 321 7199
Web site:

State Department of Education
Career and Lifelong Learning
120 State St.
Montpelier, VT 05620
Phone: (802) 828 3147
Fax: (802) 828 3140
Web site:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
James Monroe Building, 9th Floor
101 N. 14th St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 225 2600
Fax: (804) 371 7911
Web site:

Higher Education Coordinating Board
917 Lakeridge Way
P.O. Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 753 7800
Fax: (360) 753 7808
Web site:

West Virginia
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Blvd., East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 558 2101
Fax: (304) 558 5719
Web site:

Higher Educational Aids Board
131 W. Wilson St., Room 902
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 267 2206
Fax: (608) 267 2808
Web site:

Wyoming Community College Commission
2020 Carey Ave., 8th Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777 7763
Fax: (307) 777 6567
Web site:

American Samoa
Board of Higher Education
American Samoa Community College
P.O. Box 2609
Pago Pago, AS 96799
Phone: (684) 699 9155

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education
P.O. Box 19900
San Juan, PR 00910
Phone: (787) 724 7100
Fax: (787) 725 1275

Alberta Learning
7th Floor, Commerce Place
10155-102 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J IX4
Phone: +1 (780) 427 7219
Fax: +1 (780) 422 1263

British Columbia
Private Postsecondary Education Commission
960 Quayside Dr., Suite 405
New Westminster, BC V3M 6G2
Phone: +1 (604) 660 4400
Fax: +1 (604) 660 3312

Department of Education and Training
2nd floor, 800 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0N4
Phone: +1 (204) 945 2211
Fax: +1 (204) 945 8692
Web site:

New Brunswick
Department of Training and Employment Development
P.O. Box 6000
470 York St.
Frederickton, NB E3B 5H1
Phone: +1 (506) 453 2597
Fax: +1 (506) 453 3038

Newfoundland and Labrador Council on Higher Education
3rd Floor, West Block, Confederation Building
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 4J6
Phone: +1 (709) 729 2083
Fax: +1 (709) 729 3669
Web site:

Nova Scotia
Department of Education
P.O. Box 578
2021 Brunswick St., Ste. 402
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
Phone: +1 (902) 424 5168
Fax: +1 (902) 424 0511
Web site:

Ministry of Education
14th Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
Phone: +1 (416) 325 2929
Fax: +1 (416) 325 2934
Web site:

Prince Edward Island
Department of Education
Second Fl., Sullivan Building
16 Fitzroy Street, P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8
Phone: +1 (902) 368 4600
Fax: +1 (902) 368-4663
Web site:

Ministere de l'Education
1035, rue De La Chevroti?re
?difice Marie-Guyart, 28e ?tage
Qu?bec G1R 5A5
Phone: +1 (418) 643 7095
Web site:

Saskatchewan Education
2220 College Ave.
Regina, SK S4P 3V7
Phone: +1 (306) 787 6030
Fax: +1 (306) 787 7392
Web site:

Agencies Outside the U.S. and Canada
Department of Education, Training, and Youth Affairs
Phone: +61 (2) 9298 7200
Web site:
At press time, DETYA is in process of establishing the Australian University Quality Agency.

Ministry of National Education
Centre Arts Lux, 4th & 5th Floors
58 Ave. des Arts, BP5
1040 Brussels
Phone: +32 (2) 512 66 60

Ministry of Education and Culture
Esplanada dos Ministerios, Bloco L
74.047 Brasilia, DF
Phone: +55 (61) 214 8432

Ministry of Education and Science
Blvd. A, Stamboliski 18
Sofia 1000

Ministry of Higher Education
Calle 23y F, Vedado

The Danish Ministry of Education
Frederiksholms Kanal 21
DK-1220 Copenhagen
Phone: +45 3392 5000
Fax: +45 3392 5547
Web site:

Ministry of Education
12 El Falaki Street, Cairo
Phone: +20 (2) 516 9744
Fax: +20 (2) 516 9560

Ministry of Education
P.O. Box 293
FIN-00171 Helsinki
Phone: +358 (9) 1341 71
Fax: +358 (9) 135 9335
Web site:

Ministry of National Education
110 Rue de Grenelle
75700 Paris
Phone: +33 (1) 45 50 10 10

Ministry of Education and Science
Heinemannstr. 2
5300 Bonn 2

Ministry of Education and Science
Odo Mihalakopoulou 80, Athens
Phone: +30 (1) 21 3230461

Ministry of Education
Szalay u. 10-14
1055 Budapest
Phone: +36 (1) 302 0600
Fax: +36 (1) 302 3002
Web site:

Department of Education
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Government of India
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001
Phone: +91 (11) 3387342
Fax: +91 (11) 3381355
Web site:

Ministry of National Education
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman
Senayan, Jakarta Pusat
Web site:

Department of Education and Science
Marlborough St.
Dublin 1
Phone: +353 (1) 8734700 ext.2162
Fax: +353 (1) 8786712
Web site:

Council for Higher Education
P.O. Box 4037
Jerusalem 91040
Phone: +972 (2) 5679911
Fax: +972 (2) 5660625
Web site:

Ministry of Public Education
Viale Trastevere 76/A
00153 Rome
Phone: +39 (6) 58 49 1
Web site:

Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture
Web site:

Secretaria de Education Publica
Web site:

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Department of Foreign Information
P.O.B. 25000
2700 LZ Zoetermeer
Phone: +31 (79) 3232323
Fax: +31 (79) 3232320
Web site:

New Zealand
Ministry of Eduation
National Office
45-47 Pipitea St., P.O. Box 1666
Thorndon, Wellington
Phone: +64 (4) 473 5544
Fax: +64 (4) 499 1327

Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs
Akersgt. 44, P.O. Box 8119 Dep.
0032 Oslo
Phone: +47 (22) 24 77 01
Fax: +47 (22) 24 27 33
Web site:

Department of Education, Culture and Sports
DECS Complex, Meralco Avenue
Pasig City
Phone: +63 (2) 633 7228
Fax: +63 (2) 632 0805
Web site:

Ministry of Education
Av. 5 de Outubro 107
Phone: +351 (1) 21 793 16 03
Fax: +351 (1) 21 796 41 19
Web site:

South Africa
Department of Education
Private Bag X895
Pretoria 0001
Phone: +27 (12) 312 5911
Fax: +27 (12) 325 6260
Web site:

South Korea
Ministry of Education
77, Sejong-ro, Chongro-ku
Seoul 110-760
Phone: +82 (2) 739 3345
Fax: +82 (2) 723 7691
Web site:

Ministry of Education and Culture
Web site:

Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs
Mynttorget 1
Stockholm 103 33
Phone: +46 (8) 736 10 00

Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports
Milli Egitum, Genclik ve Spor
Bakanligi, Anakara

United Kingdom
Department of Education and Science
Elizabeth House, York Rd.
London SEI 7PH
Phone: +44 (171) 928 9222