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Colleges and Universities

Information and resources for colleges, universities and seminaries are provided below. Information includes PDE regulatory authority, explanations of policies and application forms.

General Resources

Governance of Colleges and Universities

The Pennsylvania Department of Education exercises limited jurisdiction over colleges, universities and seminaries. Each institution must be authorized to operate. Depending on the type of authorization, institutions may be required to have new programs approved.

Each institution of higher education has its own board (or council) of trustees, which is responsible for the governance of that institution. The academic administration and day-to-day operations of the institution fall to the presidents and their staffs.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (The State System) governs the 14 State System universities. The State System has a twenty-member Board of Governors. The Chancellor is responsible for the operation of The State System. Each State System institution has its own president and Council of Trustees.

Private colleges and universities appoint members to their boards of trustees in accordance with the provisions stated in their articles of incorporation.

Community college boards of trustees are appointed by the local sponsor (school district, county, etc.) and are required to be representative of the region to be served by the college.

Academic Transcripts

Records - Academic records are held by each institution. Please contact the institution's registrar for a copy of your transcript.

Closed Institutions

Students who attended a college, university or seminary that has closed should contact the Division of Higher & Career Education at 717-783-8228 or for information about records.


The Pennsylvania Department of Education does not accredit colleges or universities. Accreditation is provided by accrediting agencies that are approved by the United States Department of Education. A list of approved accrediting agencies and accredited institutions is available from the United States Department of Education.

Student Complaints

The Pennsylvania Department of Education investigates student complaints against institutions of higher education and Private Licensed Schools. A signed complaint form authorizing the department to share the complaint information with the institution is required.