How to Become Accredited by WSCUC

The Commission has established formal procedures by which institutions can move through the required stages that lead to accreditation. These stages include:

  • Eligibility
  • Initial Accreditation (If Initial Accreditation is not achieved after the Seeking Accreditation, Visit 1, Candidacy may be granted)

Each stage has specific criteria, processes, and time frames. An institution starting the procedures for seeking accreditation should carefully consider the requirements for each step to ensure its understanding of the process and be aware that the time frame may take several years depending on the maturity of institutional development.

Eligibility applications are peer-reviewed by the Eligibility Review Committee (ERC).

PLEASE NOTE: All applications must now be uploaded to In order to submit an application, you will need to create a free account. Please contact Mia Lowe, Accreditation Process Coordinator, at mlowe [at] or (510) 748-9001 x360 for more information.

Resources for Institutions Seeking Eligibility

How to Become Accredited
Outlines the stages toward reaching Accreditation and provides specific instructions for applying for Eligibility.

Notification of Intent to Apply for Accreditation
Complete this form and mail it in with your Eligibility application fee to begin the process. See the Dues and Fees Schedule below for the appropriate fee.

Summary Data Form (for institutions applying for Eligibility)
Required data form to be submitted with the Eligibility Application.

Degree Programs and Locations at Eligibility
This form is required as part of the Eligibility proposal. 

WSCUC Dues and Fees


Resources for Institutions Seeking Candidacy/Initial Accreditation

Application for Accreditation
Application form to be submitted (with appropriate fee) after being granted Eligibility.

The Letter of Intent
After being granted Eligibility, institutions must submit a Letter of Intent prior to their first Seeking Accreditation Visit.

Seeking Accreditation Visit 1 Institutional Report Template
The required template to be used by institutions in preparing the Institutional Report for the first site visit team for Initial Accreditation after Eligibility has been approved.

Federal Compliance Forms
Four required checklists used by WSCUC site visit teams to monitor compliance with United States Department of Education requirements for regional accreditation agencies

Shifting the Focus: From the Eligibility Criteria to the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation
Compares the Eligibility Criteria and the Standards of Accreditation 

Initial Accreditation Compliance Guide
Used by visit teams to determine at what level an institution meets the WSCUC Standards and CFRs. 


The Eligibility Review Committee

The Eligibility Review Committee (ERC) conducts reviews of the applications received from institutions seeking Eligibility to determine if the institution:

  • Fits within the scope of institutions which WSCUC would likely accredit in terms of type and scope of program(s), and the applicant’s self-definition within the higher education community
  • Meets each of the Eligibility criteria published in “How to Become Accredited” and provides specific feedback on those Criteria which the applicant does not meet
  • Demonstrates sufficient resources in terms of finances, leadership, constituent support, and depth of planning to show promise of moving on to Initial Accreditation within the timeframes approved by the Commission

ERC Committee Roster
Current roster of the Eligibility Review Committee


Appeal Process
Please refer to the Institutional Appeals Policy for information about how to file an appeal for proposals or reports that are not accepted by a panel of a committee.