About Institutional Authorization and Accreditation
Authorization of Institutions and Programs
All degree-granting institutions that have a physical presence in New York must be authorized by the Board of Regents to operate as a college or university. After that authorization, the State Education Department reviews and registers (approves) the individual programs of study leading to degrees and credit-bearing certificates according to standards of academic quality in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Together, Regents authorization to confer degrees and State Education Department program registration make up the State approval process.
This mandatory State approval process is distinct from "institutional accreditation" and the accreditation function of the Board of Regents.
The Inventory of Registered Programs provides a list of authorized New York institutions and their registered programs.
Institutional accreditation refers to a voluntary process. Accreditation by an entity recognized by the U.S. Department of Education allows institutions to participate in Title IV (financial aid) and other Federal funds.
The U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.