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What is the difference between regional and national accreditation?

There are two types of accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education: regional accreditation and national accreditation.

Regional accreditation generally applies to what most people consider a "traditional college or university." UCLA, Ohio State, Harvard, and University of Phoenix are all regionally accredited institutions. Historically, these institutions prepared an individual for an advanced degree. In order to do graduate work at many of these institutions, you must have obtained a bachelor degree from another regionally accredited institution. There are six regional accreditation bodies:

National accreditation generally applies to what most people consider a "vocational college or institution." ITT Tech, Bryman College, and The Art Institute are examples of nationally accredited institutions. National accreditation agencies focus on a specific field of study, for example, Art and Design, Business, or Physical Therapy. Historically, national accreditation agencies review institutions that have a career-focused curriculum.

Click here for a list of national accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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