Middle States Accreditiation Success

Middle States Accreditation Success

The University of Pittsburgh is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In the spring of 2010 the University began preparations for its decennial accreditation review, a standard element of the accreditation process designed to ensure that degree-granting institutions are well managed, true to their missions, and deliver quality educational programs that meet the needs of the students enrolled in the institution. 

Pitt’s decennial review engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, students, and trustees, and included two separate visits by members of the evaluation team led by John Sexton, president of NYU, and reviewers from other leading research universities. The two-day visit in November 2011 included the review of hundreds of documents assembled to demonstrate University compliance with the 14 standards of accreditation established by the Middle States Commission. This was followed by a three-day visit in April that focused on the University’s self-study: “Using a University-wide Culture of Assessment for Continuous Improvement.”  Under a Middle States option, qualified institutions may give special emphasis to an area of particular and timely importance in its self-examination. 

The review resulted in the University's reaccreditation for an additional ten years, with no qualifications.  Its report praised Pitt’s unusually robust and integrated “culture of assessment,” and affirmed that the University of Pittsburgh is, indeed, “a world-class research university.” 

The News

Accreditation Report Reaffirms Pitt’s Position as a “World Class Research University”

Middle States Commission praises the University’s “culture of assessment” and credits both an unwavering commitment to excellence and strong leadership as key contributors to progress

Report also warns that deep cuts in state support pose a threat not only to the strength of the University but to the growth of the region’s economy

Pittsburgh, September 9, 2012 - Calling the University of Pittsburgh a "world class research university" with an “unwavering commitment to excellence” and an "extraordinarily talented and beloved leadership team," a newly released Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation report praised the University's institution-wide system of assessment and awarded it reaccreditation for a 10-year period, without qualification, the maximum permissible time for an extension of accreditation.

In commenting on the University’s progress, the Middle States team, which was chaired by New York University President John Sexton, stated: "Over the past 15 years, the University of Pittsburgh's reputation as a world class research university has been advancing steadily. By any measure, this reputational advance reflects reality. From the undergraduate education it provides to the research it produces to the external awards and honors its faculty and students earn, the University can be proud of where it stands. Read More >


Genuine Excellence

"The University of Pittsburgh is an outstanding university with an extraordinarily talented and beloved leadership team. The connection between the University’s claim to genuine excellence and the stature of its leadership is deep; and its importance cannot be overstated. This connection is appreciated in general throughout the University community and is seen as vital in the particular context of assessment, the principal focus of its Self-Study. " Read full report >


Achieving Our Institutional Goals

"We believe the progress of the University of Pittsburgh over the past 15 years has been driven significantly by the effective use of assessment as a guide to planning and budgeting and as a tool for guiding change. We have worked to incorporate assessment into our way of thinking as we plan for the future and as a means of helping us to determine whether we are truly achieving our institutional goals and fulfilling our mission. This includes a formal process for assessing student-learning outcomes that was introduced in 2006." Read the full Self-Study >