Accreditation Overview

The accreditation process validates the institution's quality as a whole and evaluates the institution's academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. Achieving accreditation requires an institution of higher learning to:

  • commit to and maintain compliance with state and federal regulations,
  • focus on the unique needs of the constituents (students, their families, faculty, staff, and the community) it serves, and
  • monitor the results of the institution's efforts to ensure quality improvement.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree granting institutions of higher education based in the North Central region of the United States, accredits institutions by evaluating them against the HLC's Criteria for Accreditation. The criteria are a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status and the accreditation process is based on a system of peer review.

HLC accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution (1) meets threshold standards (refer to HLC Criteria) and (2) is engaged in continuous improvement. In addition, all institutions are required to complete an annual filing of the Institutional Update, undergo annual monitoring of financial and non-financial indicators, and adhere to HLC policies and practices on institutional change.

Marian University is on the Open Pathway for reaffirmation, which separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.

  • Two Assurance Reviews take place in the ten-year cycle; one in Year 4 and one in Year 10. The Year 4 review is done through electronic review without an on-site visit. The Year 10 review includes a visit to the campus.
  • Between Years 5 and 9 of the ten-year cycle, the institution proposes and completes a Quality Initiative (QI). The QI allows the institution to undertake an initiative it elects to suit its own purposes. Its timeframe is flexible to accommodate the amount of time necessary to complete or make substantial progress toward completion.
  • In Year 10, the institution undergoes a comprehensive evaluation. Peer reviewers trained in the HLC standards evaluate the institution to determine whether it demonstrates meeting the Criteria for Accreditation and makes recommendations to the Commission's decision-making bodies related to the institutions accreditation status.

Marian University's commitment is evidenced by its continuous accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1960, as well as other program specific accreditations. In this site you will learn about the HLC accreditation criteria by which Marian University is evaluated and information regarding the University's efforts to maintain the higher standards expected of an accredited institution. In addition, information is provided regarding program specific accreditation.

Honoring its commitment, Marian University is currently preparing for its comprehensive reaffirmation visit by HLC March 21-22, 2016. Marian University encourages members of its community of learning as well as members of the community to share comments regarding the University's strengths and ways that we can continue to improve to meet the needs of those the University serves. Please share your comments or questions at the Contact Us link.

Marian University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer-Educator and is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.

270 Faculty

Fun Fact

Marian has more than 270 faculty members (Source: Marian University Human Resources, June 2014).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


All Locations

Join us for Mass!