Assessment & Accreditation


Assessment activities at Duke are central to our institutional mission to provide the highest quality education possible. Assessment efforts include evaluating institutional effectiveness, program quality, faculty quality, and student educational outcomes. To be effective evaluators of our programs we have developed an assessment relevant to each criteria that includes establishing program goals, setting achievement targets, identifying metrics, establishing data capture regimes, communicating findings to decision makers, documenting actions taken for program improvement in cases where such occur, and adapting program metrics to capture the effects of the new initiatives.

In addition to fostering program improvement at the local level, a fundamental purpose of assessment is to support dialog about institutional improvement that integrates all areas of campus sharing a common institutional mission. To achieve this, key elements of all stages of the assessment process are documented in an ongoing basis. This stored information provides a basis for external reporting and institutional transparency for both Duke University and our accrediting agencies both in the US and abroad.

For addtional information about the assessment resources and committees on campus, please see consult the Tools, Resources and Support page.


Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commision on Colleges (SACS) to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Duke University.

Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every ten years, with a five year mini review including a report on the progress of the Quality Enhancement Plan. The process has two components: a Compliance Certification (demonstration of compliance with core requirements, comprehensive standards, and federal regulations) and a Quality Enhancement Plan (self-study on a topic pertaining to the enhancement of student learning). General information on these components and the overall process may be found in the SACS Handbook for Reaffirmation of Accreditation.

Duke's last reaffirmation of accreditation was conducted in 2009. More information about the 2009 process can be found here.

In addition to the decennial and mid-point reviews, Duke maintains compliance with policies defined and enforced by SACS. Some of these policies require periodic reporting to our accreditor. The most common policy for which we have to report is Substantive Change.

For further information on the accreditation process or products, please call Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Molly Goldwasser, Duke University's liaison to SACS, at 919-684-0731, or email her at