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Briar Cliff is accredited as a degree-granting institution by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The education program of the University is approved by the State Department of Education of Iowa for the certification of teachers. The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. 

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master of Science in Nursing programs at Briar Cliff University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The University holds memberships in:

  • The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  • The Council of Independent Colleges
  • The Council for Opportunity in Education
  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • The Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • The Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • The Iowa College Foundation
  • The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

Documents relating to accreditation and memberships can be reviewed by contacting the Office of the President.