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).
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.
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:
- U.S. Department of Education (ED)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
(800) USA-LEARN (800-872-5327)
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20036
- The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
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.
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) 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 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:
Professional Recognition and Affiliation
Sports and Health Sciences
Information Systems Security
Child and Family Development
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.
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.