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The APA Commission on Accreditation is a specialized/professional accreditor. This means that APA accreditation only extends to specific doctoral graduate programs, predoctoral internships and postdoctoral residencies in professional psychology. The accredited status of one specific program does not extend to other programs in the same department or institution.
Regional accreditation covers entire institutions. There are six regional accrediting bodies in the United States, and each is authorized to accredit institutions in specific states, divided by geographic region. APA-accredited doctoral graduate programs must be housed in an institution that has regional accreditation. However, an institution may hold regional accreditation and not have any APA-accredited programs.
For more information on regional accrediting bodies, please visit their Web sites:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
National accreditation also covers entire institutions, and national accrediting agencies operate across the entire United States. Many of their accredited institutions are single-purpose (such as for education in technology) or faith-based.