Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Massachusetts.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Massachusetts. Keep in mind that these agencies only offer institution-wide accreditation, not program-specific accreditation. Take a look at our subject pages for additional information on program accreditation.
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
Use the State Department of Education website to explore higher education, legislation, and policies in Massachusetts. You can also find general information about accredited colleges and universities in the state by using the resources below.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific area. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Massachusetts has an extremely strong public university system, with some of its schools among the top-ranked in the country. Learn about a few of those schools below.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The state’s largest public university, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, enrolled 28,236 for the fall of 2013. It’s ranked in the top 100 national universities by US News, and students benefit from the 5 College Interchange — they can take classes at UMass, as well as at the nearby Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. Students can also design their own majors by way of the BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with an Individual Concentration) option.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Another branch of UMass, the campus in Lowell enrolled 16,294 students for the 2013-2014 school year. Though it was founded as a teaching school, today the school offers undergraduate students more than 120 different programs of study. UMass Lowell is known in particular for its applied science and technology studies.
Worcester State University
Worcester State University is smaller than the previous two schools, with 6,221 students enrolled in the fall of 2013. But its small size allows for a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1. The Princeton Review has recognized the school as one of the best values for an education in the northeast, a significant achievement in an area with some very pricey schools. Worcester challenges its students to both excel in academics and engage in community service.
Narrowing down the best private schools in Massachusetts isn’t easy. There are 83 private institutions, and 12 of those are also featured in Forbes’ top 100 schools nationwide. Three of the best schools are recognized below.
Boston University enrolled 32,603 students for the 2013-2014 school year, making it the state’s largest private institution. Ranked No. 41 among U.S. universities by U.S. News, it was the first university to open all its divisions to women. It’s renowned for its research facilities, and it was recently asked to join the Association of American Universities, a privilege only extended to 62 institutions across the country. In addition, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an alumnus.
Ranked No. 2 on U.S. News’ list of national universities, Harvard was the first institution of higher learning established in the U.S., with its founding in 1636. For the fall of 2013, there were 28,147 students attending classes in its hallowed halls. The school is recognized for everything from the oldest library collection in the U.S., to its pioneering role in organ transplant surgery, to the establishment of edX, a free online course service. Among its famous alumni are Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
Williams consistently makes the top of national lists for liberal arts schools. It’s currently ranked No. 1 in the country by U.S. News for liberal arts. The school offers students classes in languages and the arts, social sciences, and science and mathematics. Many classes incorporate Oxford-style tutorials, and for the month of January, students focus on just one class or project. Noted alumni include the director of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Elia Kazan, as well as Stephen Sondheim.