Carnegie Mellon University

Accreditation Standards

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education's (MSCHE) 15 Requirements of Affiliation and 7 Standards (see Figure 1) for accreditation are specified in the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation publication [pdf].  During self-review processes (i.e., Self-Study[pdf]), institutions demonstrate how they meet the requirements and standards within the context of their institutional missions and goals.  Accompanying each standard is narrative text that provides context, guidance, and definition.  Criteria for each standard specify the characteristics or qualities that constitute the standard. At least one criterion for each standard is specific to assessment--how the university community iteratively assesses student learning and institutional operations and services and uses results from these assessments to improve student learning, programs, and services, and to inform planning and resource allocation. 

In addition to self-review processes, the university must also demonstrate that it meets federal requirements in 8 accreditation-relevant areas through a Verification of Compliance (VoC) process.  Associate Deans, Department and Program Heads, Enrollment Services staff, and Student Affairs staff are among the members of the university community who have been diligent in providing documentation that demonstrates CMU's adherence to these federal requirements.  The VoC handbook provides detailed information on the requirements and how their are evaluated by peer reviewers.

                        Figure 1:  The 7 Accreditation Standards [.pdf]

Image of Middle States' 7 Standards