The Process

Federal law mandates that in order to be eligible for federal funds (including student financial aid), all institutions of higher education must receive ongoing accreditation by a recognized regional body. SUNY colleges and universities fall under the jurisdiction of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Every eight years, Purchase College is expected to conduct a substantial self-study, in which we rigorously and honestly examine all areas of operation in order to show how we meet relevant standards.

Once the self-study is written, a team of peer evaluators arrives on campus for a multi-day site visit, after which they write a report and deliver it to the Commission. The Commission then reviews the report and issues its verdict. Importantly, this verdict is not just a summary decision, but also includes very specific recommendations, cautions, or even conditional requirements for changes in institutional practice, which we are expected to follow up on annually until the next formal accreditation review. The entire process takes just over two years, with much of this time spent researching, writing, and revising the self-study document.

The Standards for Accreditation

In the self-study, Purchase College will seek to demonstrate how it meets the seven accreditation standards. For a summary of the standards, please visit Standards for Accreditation.


The re-accreditation process takes about three years. Please visit Timeline for a detailed proposed implementation schedule.