What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is part of the tradition of voluntary self-regulation within the independent sector of higher education in the United States. It involves a comprehensive peer assessment by seasoned higher education professionals every ten years, and a substantive self-study, but without onsite peer review, at the mid-point of the accreditation cycle.

The fundamental purposes of accreditation are to assure the quality and effectiveness of Bucknell's educational programs and services. More specifically, accreditation seeks to demonstrate that:

  • The University knows clearly where it wants to go
    » It has a clear and current mission
    » It has well-defined and appropriate, measurable goals
  • The University has the means (conditions and infrastructure) to accomplish its goals
    » Adequate resources
    » Adequate staff
    » A robust planning process
    » Appropriate policies and procedures
  • The University is in fact succeeding substantially in achieving its goals and objectives
    » Evidence of system-wide assessment, with particular focus on student learning outcomes that relate to institutional mission and goals
    » The continuing pursuit of improvements in quality and institutional effectiveness at every level of the University
    » A demonstration of the value added by Bucknell University

Middle States Accreditation

Bucknell was first accredited by the Middle States in 1921. In 2014, Bucknell University completed its decennial reaccreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The institution is fully accredited until 2024.

Bucknell Regional Authorization and Accreditation

Bucknell University was chartered in the State of Pennsylvania on February 5, 1846. The Charter has been amended periodically in accordance with the laws of Pennsylvania by the Court of Union County, including amendments to comply with the requirements and procedures specified in the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Laws of 1972 and 1988.

The University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Established in 1919 the Middle States CHE is one of the “regional accrediting agencies” recognized by the federal government to accredit educational institutions within the mid-Atlantic region. Recognition by CHE assures that (1) Bucknell meets all of the “fundamental elements” of the 14 standards for accreditation; and (2) students at Bucknell are eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Bucknell’s last decennial accreditation was affirmed on June 25, 2004, following a comprehensive self-study and a three-day visit by a team of eight peer evaluators. In response to Bucknell’s completion in 2009 of a mid-cycle self-study document, the Periodic Review Report, CHE re-affirmed accreditation on November 20, 2009 and complimented the University on the quality of its periodic review process.

Specialized Programmatic Accreditation and Licensure

Bucknell University holds business accreditation from AACSB International -- The Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB Accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB Accreditation.

In addition to the regional accreditation of the whole institution, specific University programs must also meet all the standards of “specialized” accreditors:

  • ABET, the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology, accredits the programs within the College of Engineering.
  • CSAB, the Computer Science Accreditation Board, accredits the Bachelor of Science degree within the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • NASM, the National Association of Schools of Music, accredits degree programs within the Department of Music.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education oversees teaching certification within the Department of Education.
  • ACS, the American Chemical Society is an industry-wide agency that certifies programs within the Department of Chemistry.
  • NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, conducts periodic certification reviews of Bucknell’s athletic programs.