About Accreditation

Ave Maria University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Ave Maria University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Ave Maria 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 (

Inquiries concerning Ave Maria University, such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc., should be addressed directly to Ave Maria University and not to the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The Commission should be contacted only in the instance there is evidence of significant non-compliance with a SACSCOC requirement or standard.

AMU Campus Contacts

Dr. Dan Hubert (

Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success

Grace DeSalvo, M.A. (

Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness

Why accreditation is important for Ave Maria University

Maintaining regional accreditation…

  • Demonstrates the university meets or exceeds common standards of excellence for an institution of higher education
  • Impacts acceptance and transferability of credit hours and courses to/from other institutions
  • Affects institutional eligibility for its students to receive federal and state     financial aid
  • Affects eligibility of faculty and staff to receive federal funding/grants
  • Helps students identify acceptable institutions for enrollment
  • Enables graduates to sit for licensing exams and pursue graduate programs

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

SACSCOC has six core values that guide its service to members and the public, drive the accreditation process for its members, and are reflected in its Principles of Accreditation. These are:

•  Integrity

•  Continuous Quality Improvement

•  Peer Review/Self-regulation

•  Accountability

•  Student Learning

•  Transparency

The Principles of Accreditation

The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement is SACSCOC’s primary source document for the reaffirmation review process. These principles are organized in sections and are structured by respective topic. The Principles of Accreditation also distinguishes the significance of its Core Requirements from the position of the other standards. If a section includes a Core Requirement – a basic, broad-based, foundational requirement that establishes a threshold of development required of all institutions seeking reaffirmation – it will appear as the first standard(s) in a section. Table 1 presents the 14 sections of the Principles of Accreditation.

Table 1: Sections of the Principles of Accreditation

  1. The Principle of Integrity
  2. Mission
  3. Basic Eligibility Standard
  4. Governing Board
  5. Administration and Organization
  6. Faculty
  7. Institutional Planning and Effectiveness
  8. Student Achievement
  9. Educational Program Structure and Content
  10. Educational  Policies, Procedures, and Practices
  11. Library and Learning/Information Resources12
  12. Academic and Student Support Services
  13. Financial and Physical Resources
  14. Transparency and Institutional Representation

The Principles of Accreditation stipulate that failure to document compliance with the Core Requirements through evidence will result in sanction or adverse action. Note, however, that compliance with the Core Requirements alone will not result in reaffirmation (See SACSCOC policy Sanctions, Denial of Reaffirmation, and Removal from Membership).


Ave Maria University has been preparing for its 2025 reaffirmation of accreditation since early 2022.This process includes an off-site review of all Sections of the Principles of Accreditation, on-site review by a team of peer reviewers confirming the Core Requirements and other key metrics and reports, and a final review by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. To prepare for these reviews, we have reviewed, learned, and improved from the results of our Fifth Year Report submitted in 2018. This self-study process is an opportunity for us to reflect on what makes Ave Maria University distinct as well as to document and strengthen our policies and operational procedures to ensure the needed level of quality and sustainability for all aspects of our institution. 

To successfully achieve our reaffirmation of accreditation, we have requested extensive documentation in preparation of our Compliance Certification narrative that provide evidence of compliance for each standard and the creation of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Our Office of Institutional Effectiveness, in collaboration with campus teams, is preparing the Compliance Certification narratives. Drafts of the Compliance Certification are reviewed internally and by external consultants for feedback and verification prior to the submission deadline in early September 2024. Reaffirmation requires time and collaboration of all academic departments, as well as administrative and operational units. At Ave Maria University, we strive to make a difference for our students, faculty, staff, and community by supporting our mission as an institution of higher education and to increase our efforts to continuously improve across campus.


Accredited and Approved Programs


Elementary Education

Florida DOE


Ave Maria University is an approved participant in the SARA initiative.

Learn more

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
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