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Accreditation Assures Quality

In the United States, accreditation is a non-governmental, peer-review process that assures the quality of the postsecondary education students receive. Academic programs volunteer to undergo this review periodically to determine if certain criteria are being met.It is important to understand, however, that accreditation is not a ranking system. It is simply assurance that a program or institution meets established quality standards.

The Society of American Foresters is responsible for the accreditation of postsecondary degree-granting programs in forestry and natural resources. It does not accredit departments, colleges, or institutions. Many forestry and natural resources academic programs across the country offer a diversity of options or curriculum choices within a degree program - not all are accredited. The listings below categorize accredited curricular options within degree programs according to the standard under which they are accredited and candidate curricular options under the standard for which they have candidacy status.

Accredited and Candidate Forestry, Urban Forestry, and Natural Resources and Ecosystem Management Degree Programs.

Accredited and Candidate Forest Technology Degree Programs.


SAF is currently recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). At its meeting on January 24, 2011 the CHEA Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the eligibility application submitted by SAF for re-recognition. The board of directors determined that SAF is eligible to undertake a recognition review.

In 2011 SAF submitted a self-evaluation report providing evidence that it meets the CHEA recognition standards and underwent an observation visit to a decision-making meeting of the accrediting organization to observe decision-making activities as these relate to CHEA eligibility and recognition standards. A request for third-party comments was issued by the CHEA Committee on Recognition in the spring of 2012.

At its meeting on September 24-25, 2012, the CHEA Board of Directors accepted the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition to defer action on SAF's application for recognition, pending resolution of issues identified by the CHEA Committee on Recognition.

In 2013 the CHEA Committee on Recognition will review the SAF response to its findings and make a further recommendation to the CHEA Board of Directors. The CHEA Board of Directors will make the final determination of recognition status.

Information about SAF accreditation:

SAF Committees on Accreditation

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