The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and was first accredited in 1921. The HLC is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits, and thereby grants membership, in the Commission. In the United States, regional accreditors, such as the HLC, evaluate an institution’s effectiveness in fulfilling its educational mission using a set of quality standards, also known as criteria, evaluating and accrediting the institution as a whole. Along with assessing formal educational activities, the HLC also evaluates such things as governance and administration, student services, student learning, financial stability and institutional resources, institutional integrity, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. Accreditation, then, is a key indicator of quality assurance, an important benefit to both prospective students and institutional stakeholders.
Loyola's accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission was most recently reaffirmed in June of 2015, following a successful comprehensive evaluation and site visit. The next comprehensive institutional evaluation is scheduled to take place during the academic year 2024-25.
In addition to comprehensive, institutional accreditation, specialized accreditors evaluate particular units, schools, or programs within an institution. Specialized accreditation, also called program accreditation, is often associated with national professional associations, such as those for medicine and law, or with specific disciplines, such as business, teacher education, psychology, or social work. Individual academic units and programs within the University have also achieved specialized accreditation.
- The School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA),
- The Medical School is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME, jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association)
- The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- The Quinlan School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
- The School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP); formerly NCATE
- The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- The Institute of Pastoral Studies is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
A number of Loyola’s degree programs have specialized accreditation recognition, including Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology, which are accredited by the American Psychological Association; and the Master of Public Health program in the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
In Fall of 2010 Loyola became one of a cohort of 20 institutions invited by the Commission to participate in a demonstration project for a new model of accreditation known as 'Pathways.' More information regarding the Pathways project is available on this site.