Union Institute and University

Accreditation & Licensure

Union Institute & University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission

  • Phone: 1-800-621-7440
  • Most recent institutional reauthorization: April 2010
  • Next scheduled comprehensive review: 2016-2017

Accreditation & Recognitions

  • The Bachelor of Science major in Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). According to the CSWE Candidacy Policy students who were admitted to the social work program since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year (which began July 1, 2011) will be considered as having graduated from an accredited social work program.
  • The Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Students who graduate from the program will have met course requirements for national certification as a counselor. Students in the program may sit for the national exam while in their final term or after graduation.
  • The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program is recognized by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. This designation means that: graduates who apply for licensure as a psychologist typically will meet many state jurisdictional educational requirements for licensing (including Ohio and Vermont). In addition, once licensed, graduates of the Psy.D. program are eligible to apply for credentialing as Health Service Psychologists by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

Important Note: Completion of the B.S. with a major in Social Work; the Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; and/or the Psy.D. program does not automatically qualify students for certification or licensure in their state, as each state has its own unique standards and requirements. Prospective students should consult the appropriate state and/ or national regulatory agency regarding requirements and processes.

What does accreditation mean?

Learn more here

State Authorizations & Exemptions

The majority of states do not require out-of-state schools that offer fully online programs to be authorized. Each state’s regulations determine to what extent schools based in other states may or may not do. Union Institute & University is committed to operating both ethically and legally: the Office of Institutional Research maintains a complete file of correspondence with each state and oversees state regulatory issues that may affect the university. Prospective students who live in states having particularly restrictive regulations may not be admitted. Union Institute & University has formal authorization or exemptions from a number of state agencies. Contact the Office of Institutional Research for verification of any of these authorizations or exemptions. In addition, a national movement, known as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), expected to come into play in 2014-15, may remove currently existing barriers created by some state regulations to enrollment of out of state students.


In 2011, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education recognized that Union Institute & University (which had been authorized by the Bureau to operate centers and offer programs in California since 1983) was qualified, by reason of its regional accreditation, to be exempt from the need for authorization to operate in California. This exempt status continues indefinitely, unless the state’s regulations change or the university loses its accreditation.


The Florida Commission for Independent Education has authorized Union Institute & University to operate within the state by reason of its regional accreditation. This authorization extends to all B.S. majors (except Child and Adolescent Development, offered only in California); the M.Ed. (in teachout);  Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; the Ed.D.; and the Ph.D. programs. The state does not require specific authorization for the university’s fully online programs that are based at other centers, i.e. the B.A. in Liberal Studies, the individualized M.A., and the M.S. in Organizational Leadership—Florida residents may enroll in any of these programs. Florida residents will not be admitted to the Psy.D. program due to the program’s regional focus and frequent on-campus meetings. Union Institute & University has been authorized to operate a center in Florida since 1983; authorization by the Commission is renewed annually, in July.


The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education authorizes Union Institute & University to enroll Kentucky residents in the following programs: B.A. in Liberal Studies; all B.S. majors except Child and Adolescent Development and the teacher education majors offered only in Florida; and all Union Institute & University graduate degree programs. Visit the Council website for a listing of approved programs or contact the Council on Postsecondary Education, 1024 Capital Center Drive, Suite 320, Frankfort, KY 40601 for more information.


In January 2014, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Commission voted to authorize Union Institute & University’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Arts with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Doctor of Psychology degrees. Fully online programs do not require authorization to enroll Massachusetts residents, as there is no physical presence in the state. Students enrolled in programs other than the three listed may not carry out internships, practica, or other field learning in Massachusetts. Find out more information about the Board.


Michigan has no restrictions on enrollment of its residents in Union Institute & University’s online and hybrid programs. Union Institute & University is authorized by the State of Michigan’s department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to offer a limited number of “on-ground” courses per year from the Bachelor of Science major in Criminal Justice Management to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees, with classes held at the Rosa Parks Federal Building in Detroit Michigan. ICE employees who enroll in this program must meet other curricular requirements through online courses. This authorization means that Michigan is the only state other than California, Florida, Ohio, and Vermont where Union Institute & University can conduct on-ground classes.


The Ohio Board of Regents has authorized all degree programs offered by Union Institute & University.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Higher Education Commission has granted administrative approval to Union Institute & University, allowing Union Institute & University students to carry out internships, practica, and other field-based learning in the state. (The state does not require approval for online programs that have no field learning component.) This approval is specific to the Bachelor of Science major in Maternal Child Health, both M.A. programs, and all three doctoral programs. The approval is effective through June 30, 2015.


The Vermont State Board of Education has authorized all Authorized to offer all degree programs offered by Union Institute & University. A brief annual report is required to maintain authorization, beginning in September 2014.


Wyoming Department of Education Union Institute & University is registered with or exempted by the following state agencies that require formal registration in order to enroll students in online programs (most states do not have such a requirement):

State Contact List for Student Complaints

Students having a complaint against Union Institute & University are urged to make every effort to resolve that complaint with the institution. If the complaint cannot be resolved, the student may contact her or his home state’s department of education. View student complaint contact information. This listing, organized by state was initially compiled by a national organization, the State Higher Education Executive Officer (SHEEO) Association links from that compilation were checked recently and replaced as needed.

NOTE: While every effort is made to keep this information current, state regulations and processes may change at any time. Union Institute & University is not responsible for any links that may no longer be operative.