Accreditation | Cumberland University



Cumberland University has been continuously chartered by the State of Tennessee since 1842.


  • Cumberland University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Cumberland University.
  • The Tennessee State Department of Education has approved Cumberland University to offer certain programs for specific teacher licenses and for Beginning and Aspiring Instructional Leadership licenses. For a list of approved teacher licensure programs at Cumberland University, please visit the Department of Education website: ( and select Cumberland University (Department of Education, 710 James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville, TN 37243; 615-741-5158).
  • The baccalaureate and master's programs in nursing are approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing (665 Mainstream Dr, Metro Center, Nashville, TN 37243; 615-532-5166).
  • The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Cumberland University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. (
  • The Athletic Training (AT) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE-6850 Austin Center Blvd., Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78737-3184; 844-462-2283).
  • The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) in its associate, baccalaureate, and graduate business programs (11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213; 913-339-9356).
  • Cumberland University is authorized to offer professional continuing education for accountants by the Board of Accountancy of the State of Tennessee (500 James Robertson Pkwy. #2, Nashville, TN 37243, 615-741-2550).

State Authorization

Cumberland University has been approved by the state of Tennessee to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

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State Authorization


Cumberland University adheres to the SACSCOC policy on Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure (approved by SACSCOC Board of Trustees, June 2014 and revised June 2018). The policy states, "A candidate or accredited SACSCOC institution is obligated to provide to its students, constituents, and the public information about itself that is complete, accurate, timely, accessible, clear and sufficient."

Requirement: "The institution's current catalogue describes the institution consistent with its mission statement and sets forth the obligations and responsibilities of both students and the institution. Institutions relying on electronic catalogues ensure the availability of archival editions sufficient to serve the needs of alumni and former and returning students."

University Response:  Cumberland University's Catalog describes the University consistent with its mission statement, "the mission of Cumberland University is to provide a contemporary liberal arts education to students seeking a high-quality, personalized college experience, which will empower them not only to have a successful and productive career, but also to thrive intellectually, professionally, personally, and spiritually for a lifetime." (Adopted October 2016) The Catalog provides students with the following information:

Archived electronic Catalogs are available on the University website at: Paper copies of Catalogs are kept in the office of the University Registrar.

Requirement: "All forms of print and electronic communications officially representing the institution are consistent with catalogue content and accurately portray the conditions and opportunities available at the institution."

University Response: The University Catalog serves as the official document to provide content for all print and website communications. The Catalog, policies and procedures, printed publications, recruiting material, web content, newsletters, social media sources, and other University communications are designed in collaboration with multiple offices/units to ensure that the design and content is consistent with University messages. These offices include, but are not limited to, the Office of Communication and Marketing, the Office of Community Relations and External Affairs, the Office of Advancement, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Development, the Office of Athletics, the President's office, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Financial Aid.

The University's website and web pages depict and portray the University's campus life, academic opportunities, athletic programs, and community engagement. The Office of Communication and Marketing ensures the integration and deployment of the University's marketing plan.

Requirement: "The institution publishes the locations and programs available at branch campuses, and other off-campus instructional locations, including those overseas operations at which students can enroll for a degree, along with a description of the programs and services available at each location."

University Response: Cumberland University offers programs and coursework predominantly on the main campus in Lebanon (which includes the McFarland building). Selected coursework in the Master of Public Service Management program (MSP) is offered in the community rooms at two police precincts in Nashville.

Cumberland University offers dual enrollment coursework on the main campus in Lebanon and at several high schools. Classes are offered at Wilson Central High School, Watertown High School, STEM Preparatory Academy, and Mt. Juliet Christian Academy.  Cumberland University also provides dual enrollment courses for Lebanon High School and Mt. Juliet High School, but the classes are taught on the Cumberland campus.  No programs are offered entirely through dual enrollment.

All students, regardless of location, are eligible to receive student support services in, but not limited to, counseling, disability services, the library, academic advising, career planning, and tutoring/academic support, and those services can be accessed via the website at or Questions about these services can be directed to the Dean of Students or to the Office of Academic Affairs.

The University offers no overseas programs.

Requirement: "The institution publishes statements of its goals for student achievement and the success of students in achieving those goals. Information on student success may include reliable information in retention, graduation, course completion, licensure examinations, and job placement rates and other measures of student success appropriate to institutional mission."

University Response: Cumberland University provides a wealth of data relative to student achievement and student success. A sample of the available data is listed below. Please click on the link to see the full report.

  • Student Achievement data that includes
    • Freshman to Sophomore Retention Rates
    • Graduation Rates
    • Number of Degrees Conferred
    • Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment
    • Course Completion Rates
    • Licensure exam success (NCLEX, Praxis, etc.)
    • Career Placement Rates

Requirement: "The institution has readily available valid documentation for any statements and promises regarding such matters as program excellence, learning outcomes, success in placement, and achievements of graduates or faculty."

University Response: 

In addition to the above information, a policy report from the Postsecondary Education Research Center at the University of Tennessee Knoxville entitled “Pathways to Success: How Cumberland University Increases College Access, Retention and Completion through Tennessee Promise, 2015-2018” is also available. Please click on the following link to see the full report.

Requirement: "The institution's statements about its current accredited status are accurately and explicitly worded as indicated in Comprehensive Standard 14.1 (Publications of accreditation status) of the Principles of Accreditation."

University Response: Cumberland University has crafted statements about current accreditation status explicitly as required in Comprehensive Standard 14.1 (Publication of accreditation status) of the Principles of Accreditation and per the standards of other accreditation requirements. The main locations for the accreditation statement are the University website ( and the University Catalog (