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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).

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

In addition to our HLC accreditation, our university has obtained specialized/programmatic accreditation through appropriate governing organizations for the specific academic programs listed below. The curriculum for these programs meets the higher standards required by these external accrediting organizations.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

ACBSP Accredited

These programs have achieved ACBSP accreditation: A.S., B.S., and M.S. in Accounting; A.A. in Business Administration; Bachelor of Business Administration; Master of Business Administration; B.A. in Marketing; A.A., B.A., and M.A. in Management; A.A. and B.A. in Retail Management; A.A. and B.A. in Hospitality Management; B.A. and M.A. in Transportation and Logistics Management; A.A. in Real Estate Studies, and the B.A. and M.A. in Reverse Logistics Management.

In addition, our A.S., B.S., and M.S. in Accounting have earned ACBSP Specialized Accounting Accreditation.

The B.A. and M.A. in Entrepreneurship and the B.A. in Government Contracting are not accredited by ACBSP. They will be eligible for accreditation once they have been standing for a minimum of two years and each has at least one graduate.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

CCNE Accredited

Our baccalaureate degree in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791.

CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. 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.

Note: We are currently pursuing initial accreditation for our master degree in nursing from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

The governing body of CEPH formally approved the university’s request to begin the accreditation process for our Master of Public Health Program in June of 2013, and we submitted a preliminary self-study on June 5, 2015. However, the steps and timeline for the accreditation process are subject to modification, and there is no assurance that the university will achieve CEPH accreditation. More information can be found on the CEPH website

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)

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.