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Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

American Public University System (APUS) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). APUS is comprised of American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). The HLC accredits degree-granting institutions located in a 19-state region, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Read our notice for third-party comments.

ED formally recognizes accrediting commissions that meet all federal standards, and CHEA extends recognition to accrediting bodies and their institutions that meet these established standards. Accreditation is important to students because it determines a school’s eligibility for federal and state financial aid, and may influence acceptance of transfer credits and admission to accredited graduate schools.

In addition to our HLC accreditation, our bachelor's in nursing program, as well as many of our business programs, have obtained specialized accreditation from external accrediting organizations in these specific disciplines.

Credits and degrees earned through APUS may be recognized for promotion, assignment, and position qualification standards within the military, federal government, and the private sector. For students transferring to other colleges, APUS credit is considered transfer-eligible based on its accreditation. However, APUS cannot guarantee that its credit will be accepted, as acceptance of credit is always the prerogative of the receiving institution.

Institutional Accreditation

This level of accreditation requires a significant amount of self-study and presentation of evidence to satisfy the demanding requirements of accrediting organizations. Obtaining accreditation with HLC demonstrates our focus on providing academic excellence and the best possible experience for our students.

As an accredited institution, our university is eligible to participate in federal educational entitlement programs such as military tuition assistance, government tuition reimbursement programs, the Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill, and many corporate education assistance programs. In addition, APUS has been granted approval by the Department of Education to participate in Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs.

View the APUS HLC 2011 Reaccreditation Letter.

Further information on recognition policies and standards may be found on the following websites:

Specialized Accreditation

The academic programs listed here have additional specialized accreditation granted from external industry governing organizations. Specialized accreditation adds a level of rigor to the curriculum and demonstrates to employers that graduates of these programs have achieved the required knowledge and skills to perform in their professions.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

ACBSP Accredited

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels. Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2001 and again in 2011, ACBSP was the first to offer specialized business accreditation at all degree levels. These programs at the university have achieved ACBSP accreditation:

A.S., B.S., and M.S. in Accounting (with additional ACBSP Specialized Accounting Accreditation)
A.A. in Business Administration
BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration
MBA - Master of Business Administration
B.A. and M.A. in Entrepreneurship
A.A. and B.A. in Hospitality Management
B.A. in Marketing
A.A., B.A., and M.A. in Management
A.A. and B.A. in Retail Management
A.A. in Real Estate Studies
B.A. and M.A. in Reverse Logistics Management
B.A. and M.A. in Transportation and Logistics Management

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CCNE Accredited

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency that ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and post-baccalaureate nurse residency programs. CCNE: One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791

Our B.S. in Nursing and our M.S. in Nursing are both accredited by CCNE.

 Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Master's CEPH Accredited

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health.

Our Master’s in Public Health is accredited by CEPH for a five-year term, extending to July 1, 2022. A copy of the self-study and the final report from CEPH can be requested by emailing

International Fire Service Accreditation Congress 

IFASC logoThe International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) is a peer-driven, self-governing system of both fire service certifying entities and higher education fire-related degree programs. IFSAC's mission is to plan and administer a high-quality, uniformly delivered accreditation system with an international scope. IFSAC has accredited these programs at the university: 

A.S. Fire Science
B.S. Fire Science Management 
B.A. Emergency and Disaster Management 
M.A. Emergency and Disaster Management 
Dual M.A. Emergency and Disaster Management & Homeland Security

Professional Recognition and Affiliation


Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Sports and Health Sciences

American Sport Education Program (ASEP)

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Information Systems Security

National Security Agency (NSA) - Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE)

Child and Family Development

National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)

Notice for Third-Party Comment

American Public University System is seeking comments from the public about the university in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The university will host a visit August 6–7, 2018, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). American Public University System has been accredited by HLC since May 2006. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college to the following address:

Public Comment on American Public University System
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on HLC’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by July 6, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What is the purpose of accreditation?

The purpose of accreditation is to assure the public as to the quality of an institution and its commitment to high standards through a system of continuous improvement. To maintain accreditation an institution has conducted a self-study, has undergone on-site evaluations, has met the standards set forth by the accrediting body, has been listed or published as accredited, and is regularly re-evaluated.

Q. What is the accreditation process?

The accreditation process consists of multiple stages. Evidence is submitted by an institution documenting compliance and continuing improvement. This is generally called a self-study. The provided evidence is gathered and analyzed by the accrediting body’s external reviewers who visit the institution and write a report of their findings. The external reviewers, or peers, are drawn from a corps of trained higher education professionals and industry leaders. Their report, along with all of the evidence provided by the institution, is reviewed through one or more of the accrediting body’s boards that make the final judgment about accreditation. Notice is then sent to the institution as to the status of their accreditation.

Q. What are the different types of accreditation?

Institutional accrediting bodies evaluate an entire institution in terms of mission and adherence to the agency’s standards and criteria. They accredit an institution as a whole through either regional or national associations. There are 19 institutional accreditors recognized by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

Specialized accreditation, also called programmatic accreditation, is often connected to professional associations or specific disciplines, evaluating particular units, schools, or programs within an institution. There are approximately 60 of these specialized accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA and ED.

State Authorization

The American Public University System is engaged in a continuous process to certify that it is recognized as an accredited institution of higher learning by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information on state specific details visit our State Authorization page.

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Have questions? Call or email the Office of Institutional Accreditation for answers.