FAQs Professional Licensure & Accreditation

What is accreditation, and why is it important?
Accreditation is a type of formal certification that indicates that institutions are in compliance with professional standards set by an accrediting agency. There are three main types of accreditation: national, regional and specialized.

The most common type of accreditation of degree-granting colleges and universities is regional accreditation. Each regional accreditor lists the colleges accredited by them and the current status of their accreditation. When people ask if you have attended an “accredited university” in the United States, they commonly mean a regionally accredited university. There are seven regional accrediting bodies. For more information on regional accreditation, please visit the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) website.

There is also specialized accreditation, also known as programmatic accreditation, for accreditation of specific degree programs. For more information on specialized accrediting agencies, please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Programmatic Accrediting Agencies.

Is the Johns Hopkins School of Education accredited?
Yes. The School of Education holds regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through the Council of Higher Education to offer master’s degrees, graduate certificates, and doctoral degrees. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes this accreditation as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid.

School of Education programs leading to teaching licensure are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education, a participant in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement.


FAQs for Specialized Accreditation for the Department of Counseling and Educational Studies

Are Johns Hopkins University master’s degrees in counseling accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)?
No. The Johns Hopkins School of Education is not currently accredited by CACREP but is in the process of applying for CACREP re-accreditation for our Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Science in School Counseling programs under CACREP’s 2016 standards.

The School of Education received initial accreditation status from CACREP in 2012 and 2015. As part of its regular review cycle, the School of Education submitted an application for re-accreditation in July 2019, which is currently under review. Effective September 17, 2019, CACREP terminated the accreditation of master’s programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. We expect that the School’s new application for approval from CACREP will be reviewed in the late Spring 2020.

Accreditation is a multi-stage process that generally takes 12 months from the time an application is received but can take up to 24 months to receive a decision. The School of Education’s Counseling master’s degrees are already modeled after and in alignment with CACREP standards.

If the School of Education is awarded re-accreditation in the future, all current students and expected graduates would be considered enrolled in a CACREP-accredited degree program. According to CACREP policies, students enrolled in a program seeking accreditation are considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within 18 months before when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements. For example, if a program receives accreditation in July 2020, graduates of the program would be considered graduates of a CACREP-accredited program (retroactively) if they graduated between January 2019 and July 2020.

Will attending a CACREP-accredited program guarantee that I will be eligible for licensure or certification as a counselor?
No. All state licensing boards require that licensees graduate from a regionally accredited university, however not all counseling programs are CACREP-accredited. While attending a CACREP-accredited program will not guarantee eligibility for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states, the intensive curricular and clinical training requirements included under CACREP standards increase the chances that a graduate will have met the majority of the educational requirements required for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states. In recent years, earning a degree from a CACREP-accredited program has become a preferred credential by employers. Prospective applicants and students should contact their state licensing board with any questions regarding licensure eligibility.

How does the School of Education’s CACREP accreditation status compare to other colleges and universities offering counseling degrees?
There are other colleges and universities that offer non-CACREP-accredited counseling degree programs that meet state requirements for licensure. CACREP accreditation is a voluntary and specialized process. Graduating from a CACREP-accredited master’s is not currently required in most states for applying or receiving state-board licensure as a licensed professional counselor. However, given that licensure and certification requirements vary across the states, earning a degree from a CACREP-accredited program does increase the potential that graduates will have met the majority of educational requirements required for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states.