Relationships with Other Organizations


NASM maintains relationships with other organizations in support of accreditation efforts across the field in higher education. A list of related organizations in the following categories is provided below (in alphabetical order by and within each category):

Please Note: For information regarding joint reviews and other inter-agency coordination, please see Connections with Other Review Procedures.

Accreditation Organizations (Discipline-Specific)

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International

AACSB and NASM maintain an agreement regarding programs that combine studies in music and business. For further information may be found in the NASM Handbook, Appendix I.D.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

ABET and NASM maintain an agreement regarding programs that combine studies in music and electrical engineering. For further information may be found in the NASM Handbook, Appendix I.E.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

NASM and CAEP join in cooperation for the benefit of institutions. The standards of the two associations do not contradict one another. NASM reflects education accreditation status in its Directory List of member institutions. CAEP’s policy regarding the review of music education programs states:

“CAEP reduces the amount of evidence needed from programs accredited by other national specialized accreditors for inclusion in CAEP’s review of the education unit (school, college or department of education).”

CAEP accepts information from the following specialized accrediting organizations:

[Editor’s Note: The excerpt below omits the names of all organizations except the Reston-based arts accreditation associations represented by this website.]

For programs accredited by one of these organizations, CAEP requires units to present the official notice of accreditation from the other specialized accrediting organization. As necessary, CAEP may require the submission of additional information.

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

NASAD is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in art, design, and art/design related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)

NASD is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in dance and dance related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)

NAST is a professional, specialized accrediting body which accredits institutions and units within institutions which offer associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs in theatre and theatre related disciplines; and non-degree-granting institutions having programs in these areas.

Accreditation Organizations (Regional)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes the following 19 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

MSCHE accredits institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

NEASC accredits post-secondary educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

NWCCU accredits post-secondary institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

SACS accredits post-secondary educational institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

WASC accredits four-year post-secondary educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands, as well as schools for American children in Asia.

Federal Agency

United States Department of Education (USDE)

NASM is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as the institutional and specialized accrediting body for the field of music. This recognition enables NASM to function as a gatekeeper for the purpose of Title IV funding eligibility for independent schools of music not otherwise institutionally accredited.

Music Therapy Organization

American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)

NASM recognizes AMTA as the association representing the profession of music therapy. AMTA recognizes that NASM accredits educational programs that prepare music therapists. While NASM is concerned principally with educational programs in music therapy in the context of the quality of the total music curriculum offered, AMTA is concerned principally with the quality of educational programs in music therapy as they affect the preparation of individual music therapists and their future impact upon research and practice in the field of music therapy. Recognizing the unique elements of educational programs needed to prepare professional music therapists, NASM has a consultative relationship with AMTA.

If your institution is accredited or is seeking accreditation, and offers or is planning to offer a music therapy program, we ask that you read the NASM document NASM Procedures: Music Therapy Supplement. This document provides additional procedures to be used by institutions conducting comprehensive reviews.

Institutions and entities interested in and eligible to take advantage of the Alternative Review Process for Music Therapy Programs should review applicable materials, particularly eligibility criteria, and consult with NASM staff.

National Individual Membership Organizations Concerned with Music Study

College Music Society (CMS)

The College Music Society is dedicated to gathering, considering, and disseminating ideas on the philosophy and practice of music as an integral part of higher education. It also develops and promotes communication among the various disciplines of music and provides services to college-level professors of music.

Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)

MTNA is the largest national organization representing individual music teachers. The Association maintains a large program of professional development, publication, and support services.

National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

The National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC) is the largest individual membership association providing services to public and private school-based music educators by way of publications, journals, and conferences on relevant issues within and related to pre-K-12 music education.

Other Organizations

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

Arts Schools Network (ASN or NETWORK)

The Arts Schools Network strives to inspire excellence in arts education by supporting and serving the leaders of specialized arts schools at the K-12 level, fostering communication, promoting the development of new schools of the arts, and providing leadership and direction in arts education.

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)

NASM is a member of ASPA. ASPA brings together the specialized accrediting agencies in a forum for discussion, debate, and review of current issues and events.

European Association of Conservatoires (AEC)

AEC is an association of European institutions focused on higher music education and training. AEC was founded in 1953 and has nearly 300 members across the world.

The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA)

ELIA is an independent network of European arts education institutes covering all the disciplines of the arts including dance, design, theatre, fine art, music, media arts and architecture.  ELIA was founded in 1990 and has approximately 350 members in 47 countries.

International Digital Media and Arts Association (iDMAa)

iDMAa is a forum for professionals working across the wide range of disciplines and initiatives clustered around the emerging field of Digital Media and Arts.

National Guild for Community Arts Education

The National Guild is the largest national organization devoted primarily to institutionalized community education in music. It addresses policy issues, promotes educational quality, provides technical assistance to new and continuing programs, provides forums for exchange of expertise, and publishes regularly in its field.