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What Do I Need To Do To Enroll in A PhD Program?

Accreditation of an online university is a designation that ensures you will receive a high-quality education as a student of that institution. Accreditation is determined after a college, university, or other institution of higher education goes through a rigorous review and assessment by a respected, independent accreditation organization. An accreditation organization’s job is to examine the institution’s capacity to meet best practices as outlined in professional standards.

An online degree from an accredited institution like Walden University ensures that your bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree will be respected and recognized for the true educational achievement it represents by current and future employers, colleagues, and peers.

How You Benefit From an Accredited Online College or University

College accreditation is certain to have significant short- and long-term consequences in your life, beginning with your first online class and continuing throughout the trajectory of your chosen career, such as:

  • Providing a High-Quality Educational Experience
    Attending an accredited online university like Walden means that you will enjoy the expertise and guidance of high-caliber instructors, the comprehensive education that comes from a robust curriculum, and the ease of state-of-the-art technology that smoothly delivers online education.
    You can be confident that your chosen degree program has passed the intense scrutiny and high standards of an independent accreditation organization. To retain the distinguished status of accreditation, Walden University participates in a thorough months-long recertification process every 10 years with The Higher Learning Commission, an independent accreditation corporation founded in 1895.
  • Increasing Your Chances of Getting a Job
    Accredited degrees are an important qualification employers seek in job candidates. Most employers routinely review job applicants’ educational credentials to make sure their education comes from a college, university, or program with accreditation. If you have a degree, diploma, or certificate from a school without accreditation, it could easily stop you from getting a promotion or a coveted position with another company.
  • Paving the Way for State Licensing
    If your job requires state licensure—like nurses, teachers, social workers, certified public accountants, and other professionals—it is common for states to require that you have a degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Improving Your Eligibility for Federal Loans and Grants
    If you are depending on financial aid from federal loans and grants to further your education, you need to enroll in an online college or university that has accreditation. Otherwise you could be denied the necessary financial support you require.

In the United States, organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) review accreditation organizations to make sure they are using effective accrediting practices. Specifically, the ED must keep watch to make sure that all federal student financial aid funds are being used for worthwhile academic institutions and programs that are giving students the quality education they deserve. If a college or university is not accredited, that raises a red flag that can cause federal financial aid requests to be denied.

Statistics show that very few students can afford to attend an online university without receiving financial aid. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students receiving financial aid at institutions with 4-year degree programs increased from 75% (2007–2008 academic year) to 85% (2011–2012 academic year).*

Do Your Homework Before You Enroll

Accreditation is an important aspect of a successful education plan. Choosing an accredited university for your degree program sets you up for success in your studies and your career. An accredited degree program will help ensure a high-quality learning experience that culminates in a respected degree recognized and rewarded by your current and future employers.

Learn more about Walden University’s accredited online bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs, doctoral degree programs, and certificate programs.

Walden University, an accredited institution, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for nearly 50 years. Today, more than 47,800 students from across the U.S. and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates online at Walden.

Explore Walden University's online college degree programs and specialized certificate programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree at a pace that fits your life and schedule.

*U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “Fast Facts: Financial Aid,” on the Internet at (viewed online May 5, 2015).