Fast Facts

What is the Middle States Self-Study?

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is one of seven institutional accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutional accreditors accredit entire institutions, not individual programs, units, or locations. MSCHE accredits colleges and universities primarily in its geographic region: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

MSCHE is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Middle States accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement. Accreditation is a process of peer review that the educational community has adopted for its self-regulation since early in the 20th century. It is a voluntary process intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. Special emphasis is paid to student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness.

The Middle States accreditation is separate and apart from the process each of our professional schools and their associated programs undergo routinely. Unlike the school-based accreditations, the Middle States accreditation is the certification UMB needs to continue to receive federal funds to support our education and research missions. Without Middle States accreditation, programs in the schools would be at risk.

As part of the standard accreditation cycle, UMB must undergo an evaluation every eight years. UMB's next evaluation is in 2025.


Why Is the Self-Study Happening? 

  • To engage in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal process that actively and deliberately seeks to involve members of the University community from every corner of the Baltimore campus as well as the Universities at Shady Grove.
  • To produce a Self-Study report that demonstrates compliance with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation
  • To conduct a midterm assessment of UMB’s performance under the current Strategic Plan within the context of the recently adopted University System of Maryland Strategic Plan and recommend improvements as necessary.
  • To develop forward-looking recommendations to inform UMB’s next five-year Strategic Plan in order to move the institution further along its quest for excellence in graduate and professional education, research, clinical activities, and service for the public.


The Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education are a set of seven standards with which UMB must demonstrate compliance to maintain accreditation with MSCHE. The standards focus on five guiding principles:

Application of the Standards within the Context of an Institution's Mission and Goals; Centrality of the Student Experience; Reflection on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Emphasis on Data and Evidence-Based Decision-Making; and Innovation as an Essential Part of Continuous Improvement.


bullseye iconMission and Goals
Standard I

The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission. 


Justice Scale iconEthics and Integrity 
Standard II

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully. 


Pencil IconDesign and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
Standard III

An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations. 


Users IconSupport of the Student Experience
Standard IV

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success. 


School IconEducational Effectiveness Asessment
Standard V

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education. 


User Chart IconPlanning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
Standard VI

The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges. 


Government IconGovernance, Leadership, and Administration 
Standard VII

The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with a related entity, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.