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Online PhD Degree Programs – Accreditation of American Universities

Online PhD Programs and Accreditation of American Universities

Before signing up for online PhD programs from US colleges and universities, you must make sure that the school you are studying with is accredited to make sure that your degree will get you the job that you want to qualify for.

Online PhD Programs Michigan State University signEducational accreditation is essentially a process by which an educational institution is granted accredited status by an external evaluation group to determine if it meets certain quality standards. Note that an educational institution can still operate in the US without being accredited, so long as it is approved by the government of the state in which it is operating.

American Accreditation Governmental bodies and Online PhD Programs

While most accreditation abroad is done by government bodies, in the US the accreditation process is performed by private organizations with a regional or national scope, which are recognized by both the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (a non-governmental association of degree-granting higher education institutions). There are six regioOnline PhD Programs Pacifica Graduate Institutenal accrediting agencies, which, in general, accredit non-profit and academically-oriented schools, and 52 recognized national bodies, which accredit profit-oriented post-secondary institutions offering vocational, career, technical certificate or degree programs, as well as distance learning and online PhD programs.

USA Department of Education and Online PhD Programs

While it is possible to get a quality education from unaccredited post-secondary schools and programs, according to the Department of Education, you should still not RISK your FUTURE by enrolling for distance PhD programs with unaccredited schools. Unaccredited schools have the reputation of being ‘diploma mills’ that offer degrees to students for a price even if they do not do any academic work to earn it. In the US, having an unaccredited degree may also disqualify you from financial aid, as well as for employment in the private sector or in the civil service.


There are several accredited universities providing distance PhD Programs in America, you just have to make sure that either they are requiring less time on the campus or they are offering everything via online classes. In this regard, please read our articles about Michigan State University, Pacifica Graduate Institute and Colorado State University for accredited Online PhD Programs.

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