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Student FAQs

Frequently Asked Student Questions

My program is currently seeking accreditation. What if I graduate before the program is accredited?

CACREP policy states that accreditation applies to graduates of the program up to twelve (12) months prior to the date the decision was made.  Therefore, if a program is accredited in July of 2013, graduates of the program who have met the requirements of the program that was accredited would be considered CACREP graduates as long as they graduated between July 2012 and July 2013.

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What is CACREP?

CACREP is a specialized accreditor in the field of counseling.  The agency accredits a variety of counseling degree programs at the master's and doctoral level.

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Can I find international programs?

CACREP accredited programs can be found throughout the United States.  We currently accredit a program in Canada and one in Mexico, but nothing outside of North America at this time.  You may want to look at the International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs (IRCEP).  This is a program of CACREP's that provides a non-accreditation approval process for international programs.


The International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs (IRCEP) is a program run by CACREP that provides an approval process for international programs.  This is not the same thing as CACREP accreditation since the criteria are not meant to prepare students for US licensure.  Also, many of these programs are offered at the bachelor's level, depending on the status of counseling in a country or region. 

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How long does the accreditation process take?

From the time a self-study application arrives in the CACREP office, it can take up to 24 months for the Board of Directors to make a decision.  We have a list of programs in the application process, and you should check with your institution to see where they are in this process.

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Does CACREP accredit programs outside the United States?

CACREP has accredited programs in Canada and Mexico.  Please see the interactive directory to locate those programs.  CACREP also manages the International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs (IRCEP)which has a non-accreditation approval process for programs outside of the United States.

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How do I know if a program is legitimate?

Prospective students are advised to be wary of diploma and accreditation mills. Diploma mills or degree mills award academic degrees with substandard, limited, or no academic study.  Often these degrees are awarded on the basis of ‘life experience.’ While this may sound promising, the motivation is profit on the part of the degree mill.  An accreditation mill claims that it awards accreditation to a higher education institution, but they have no authority or recognition to do so, and there are either subpar or no standards involved.  These types of organizations do not have recognition as legitimate accreditors through any sort of organization that awards such recognition, such as the Council for Higher Accreditation, the US Department of Education or ministries of education in other countries. 

For more information on accreditation and/or degree mills, CACREP encourages prospective counseling students to check CHEA’s website (www.chea.org), UNESCO’s website (www.unesco.org) or even Wikipedia to get more information about diploma and accreditation mills, especially if an institution’s or program’s claims  seem suspicious.  These websites try to maintain current information on fake agencies and institutions. If attending a legitimately accredited institution  is important to you, confirm it before it is too late! Not doing so can have significant and unfortunate implications for your future ability to obtain licensure as a professional counselor or your ability to continue on for further graduate-level education.

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What if I have a complaint about my program?

CACREP has a complaint policy that anyone can use to file a complaint about an accredited  program.  Complaints must be signed, related to CACREP Standards, and must have evidence of the program's noncompliance.

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My program is accredited under the 2001 Standards. Can I get a copy of those?

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