Vanderbilt University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Vanderbilt University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
Please contact the Commission only in relation to Vanderbilt’s non-compliance with accreditation requirements. Normal inquiries about admission requirements, educational programs, and financial aid should be directed to the university.
Reaffirmation of Accreditation
Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every 10 years, with interim reports due every 5 years. A memorandum confirming Vanderbilt’s reaffirmation of accreditation may be found here.
Vanderbilt’s next reaffirmation of accreditation will take place in 2026-2027. As part of the reaffirmation process, Vanderbilt will submit 1) a Compliance Certification demonstrating compliance with requirements, standards, and federal regulations, and 2) a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that addresses a focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning.
Substantive Change Policy
Vanderbilt is responsible for notifying or obtaining approval from SACSCOC before any substantive change in its programs is implemented. A substantive change is any significant modification or expansion of a degree program and includes offering coursework or programs at a more advanced level, significantly changing the content, duration or delivery method of a program, initiating joint degrees, and offering programs/courses through collaborative agreements. If a department, school or college, is contemplating a substantive change, it should complete the Substantive Change Survey to determine if the change needs to be reported to SACSCOC in advance. Olivia Kew-Fickus, Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, will survey schools each semester to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.
Please contact Olivia Kew-Fickus, Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, for more information on the procedures for implementing a substantive change.
Programmatic Accrediting Agencies
Vanderbilt University is also accredited by a number of programmatic accrediting agencies. A list of these agencies may be found here.
Institutional, Financial Aid and State Authorization Information
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has determined that Vanderbilt University is exempt from Title 49, Chapter 7, Part 20 of the Tennessee Code Annotated and Chapter 1540-01-02 of the Rules of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. An exemption letter from THEC may be found here.
The information in accordance with the disclosure requirements for institutions participating in federal financial aid programs under Title IV may be found here.
Vanderbilt University is an institutional member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), a voluntary method to oversee distance education. Through NC-SARA membership, Vanderbilt may offer distance education courses in programs in states who are also NC-SARA members without further approval from those states’ higher education agency. Additional information about state authorization of out-of-state activities and distance education complaint and grievances procedures may be found here.
Vanderbilt University uses many metrics of student achievement to evaluate the success of its educational programs. In SACSCOC’s Policy on Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure, student achievement information may include “reliable information in retention, graduation, course completion, licensure examinations, and job placement rates and other measures of student success appropriate to institutional mission.” Vanderbilt’s student achievement information may be found here.