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 Virginia.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Virginia. These agencies only issue institution-wide accreditation, however, not program-specific accreditation. For information on particular programs, please see our subject pages.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- 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
For more information about higher education in Virginia, or to explore educational legislation and policy, use the links below. The Department of Education and State Council of Higher Education can also provide general information about accredited schools in the state.
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.
The public universities in Virginia enjoy a long history of academic rigor and tradition. Learn about a few of the state’s schools below.
George Mason University
George Mason University, with 32,961 students for the 2013-2014 school year, is Virginia’s largest university. Though its main campus is in Fairfax, the school has several campuses around Washington D.C., allowing students the freedom to commute to a convenient location. The school’s debate team is nationally ranked, and students can join a host of other on-campus groups. Two faculty members have won the Nobel Prize in economics.
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia’s main campus, in Charlottesville, will educate 23,907 students during the 2013-2014 school year. Few schools can compare with UVA’s history. Founded by Thomas Jefferson, UVA owns one of only 25 remaining copies of the Declaration of Independence. Undergraduates at UVA can choose between 47 different fields of study, and the school offers graduates a number of highly-ranked options, including the Curry School of Education and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, is near campus.
College of William and Mary
The 8,258 students attending the College of William and Mary during the 2013-2014 school year provide a unique college experience. Colonial Williamsburg educates visitors about life during the American Revolution by way of daily historical reenactments. The college is the 2nd oldest in the nation, and it was the first to receive a royal charter. Students enjoy a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a picturesque campus. Comedian Jon Stewart and secretary of defense Robert Gates are both alumni.
Virginia also holds a number of outstanding private institutions, including one of the nation’s largest schools. Learn about three excellent choices for your degree.
With 74,372 students for the fall of 2013, Liberty University is the largest non-profit private university in the U.S. It offers students a total of 315 in-person and online courses, so you have plenty of flexibility in designing your degree. Liberty is strongly affiliated with the Baptist Church, and it has a strong tradition of community service among its students. The campus is currently undergoing a $400 million dollar renovation.
Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University provides its 2,302 students with a high-quality education; Forbes ranked the school 21st among national universities and 2nd among southern schools. Students choose between the school’s two divisions, the College and the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Law. One of the school’s most well known traditions is the Washington and Lee Mock Convention, which makes predictions during presidential races and has been featured on C-SPAN. Notable alumni include journalist Tom Wolfe and televangelist Pat Robertson.
University of Richmond
During the fall of 2013, 4,361 students enrolled at the University of Richmond. Located in Virginia’s capital, the school recently made headlines for offering free tuition to students coming from families with an income of less than $60,000 per year. Students at the school choose between five colleges as well as taking in the cultural events of the surrounding city. The university also has a tradition of suggesting that each female student’s first kiss on campus will be with the man she eventually marries.