The Meaning of Accreditation

There are three types of accreditation: regional, national, and specialized.
The US Department of Education provides detailed descriptions on the types of accreditation.

Union Institute & University

Union is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, our Bachelor of Science major in Social work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselor.

Union Institute & University is regionally accredited by
The Higher Learning Commission.



The Bachelor of Science major in Social Work is accredited by the CSWE.

view our most recent assessment outcomes



The Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Students who graduate from the program will have met course requirements for national certification as a counselor. They may sit for the national exam while in their final term or after graduation.



State Authorizations and Exemptions

Many states require no formal authorization or exemption for out-of-state schools to enroll state residents in online programs. For the states that do require authorization or exemption, and for those states where UI&U has established academic centers, Union has obtained formal authorization or exemptions as required by the individual state’s regulations.

Click to expand the list below and learn more about exemptions in each state.

If your state is not listed, contact the admissions office to determine if UI&U is permitted to enroll students from your state in its online programs.


In 2011, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education recognized that Union Institute & University (which had been authorized by the Bureau to operate centers and offer programs in California since 1983) was qualified, by reason of its regional accreditation, to be exempt from the need for authorization to operate in California. This exempt status continues indefinitely, unless the state’s regulations change or the university loses its accreditation.


The Florida Commission for Independent Education has authorized Union Institute & University to operate within the state by reason of its regional accreditation. This authorization extends to all B.S. majors (except Child and Adolescent Development, offered only in California); the Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; the Ed.D.; and the Ph.D. programs. The state does not require specific authorization for the university’s fully online programs that are based at other centers (i.e. the B.A., the individualized M.A., and the M.S. in Organizational Leadership). Florida residents may enroll in any of these programs, but will be served by their program offices, not by staff at the Miami academic center.

Union Institute & University has been authorized to operate a center in Florida since 1983; authorization by the Commission is renewed annually in September.


The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education authorizes Union Institute & University to enroll Kentucky residents in the following programs: B.A. in Liberal Studies; all B.S. majors except Child and Adolescent Development and the teacher education majors offered only in Florida; and all Union Institute & University graduate degree programs.

Visit the Council website for a listing of approved programs or contact the Council on Postsecondary Education at 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320, Frankfort, KY 40601 for more information.


In January 2014, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Commission voted to authorize Union Institute & University’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Doctor of Psychology degrees. Fully online programs do not require authorization to enroll Massachusetts residents, as there is no physical presence in the state.

Students enrolled in programs other than the three listed may not carry out internships, practica, or other field learning in Massachusetts. Click here to learn more about the Board.


The Ohio Board of Regents has authorized all degree programs offered by Union Institute & University.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Higher Education Commission has granted administrative approval to Union Institute & University, allowing Union students to carry out internships, practica, and other field-based learning in the state (the state does not require approval for online programs that have no field learning component).

This approval is specific to the Bachelor of Science major in Maternal Child Health, both M.A. programs and all three doctoral programs. The approval is effective through June 30, 2017.


The Vermont State Board of Education has authorized all degree programs offered by Union Institute & University.

Note: Completion of the B.S. with a major in Social Work and/or the Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling does not automatically qualify students for certification or licensure in their state, as each state has its own unique standards and requirements. Prospective students should consult the appropriate state and/or national regulatory agency regarding requirements and processes.