Are Online Master of Arts in Teaching Programs Accredited?

Accreditation helps colleges and universities to hold themselves accountable for the overall educational experience of students, and accredited online Master of Arts in Teaching programs often provide the training that aspiring educators need to port their experience and skills for use in classroom instruction.

Choosing an accredited program is especially important for education majors who want to eventually extend their experience into school administration. Many hiring committees and school boards require candidates to have earned degrees through accredited programs to be eligible for licenses for specialized instructor positions as well as for administrative ones like principal.

Related: Top 10 Best Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree Programs

Here are some of the types of accreditation that one can expect to see when researching online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs.


One of the most well known national accreditation agencies for education degree programs is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The CAEP was founded in 2013 to promote quality programs that demonstrate continuous improvements through advanced research efforts. CAEP’s objectives are met through evidenced based standards that require schools to prove that their programs result in graduates with the right combination of competence and empathy. CAEP was born out of earlier teacher education accreditation bodies like Teacher Education Accreditation Council and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education which have now merged with CAEP.


Nearly all reputable schools have minimum accreditation credentials through regional agencies. Regional accreditation covers all degree programs that are offered at accredited schools. There are currently six major regional accreditation organizations, and they include The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the New England Association of Universities and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Schools that are accredited regionally must meet comprehensive accreditation standards and submit to periodic re-certification activities.

Distance Learning

Distance learning programs once had the reputation of having less academic rigor than their traditional degree program counterparts. However, digital learning formats have become more mainstream thanks to advancements in technology. Besides these advancements and the high caliber of graduates from distance learning programs, it is the efforts of accreditation agencies like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) that have helped to raise the bar for online educational programs. DEAC was established in 1926, but its role expanded significantly when online degree programs like the online MAT became more widespread. DEAC taps experts in higher education curriculum development to conduct peer reviews of distance learning programs for quality and effectiveness.

Specialty Schools

Some schools that offer online MAT programs seek additional accreditation because of special school characteristics. For example, many faith based schools offer online MAT programs, and they carry accreditation credentials from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TACCS). One of the primary aims of TACCS is to make sure that Christian college curricula meet or exceed the level of quality associated with educational programs at secular schools.


The standards of some accrediting organizations are so rigorous that many schools may not seek accreditation from all of the agencies for which they qualify. Colleges and universities often choose to gain and maintain accreditation status with agencies based on their requirements to receive federal funding. Students enrolled in accredited online Master of Arts in Teaching programs benefit from the competitive and updated standards of each applicable accreditation agency.