The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is accredited through NASAD, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. SMFA is also a key member of AICAD, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, which is a 43-school consortium of art and design institutions across the U.S.

Tufts University
There are currently two degrees offered at SMFA, the Bachelor of Fine Arts and the Master of Fine Arts. Both degrees are awarded by the School's degree-granting partner institution, Tufts University. Through a combination of studio courses at SMFA and academic courses with Tufts, students earn their BFA and/or MFA from both schools.

NEASC Accreditation 
September 19, 2014

SMFA was granted candidacy status by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) by unanimous vote on September 18, 2014. Candidacy is a status of affiliation which indicates that an institution has met the Commission's Criteria for Candidacy and is progressing towards formal accreditation.

NEASC Site Visit
June 2-4, 2014
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA) underwent a comprehensive evaluation for candidacy visit by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Public Comment Period
Through June 4, 2014

As part of the Self-study process, the SMFA community is invited to review the Self-study report submitted to NEASC. Public comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution. The Commission cannot settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether those involve faculty, students, administrators, or members of other groups. Comments will not be treated as confidential and must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments.

Public Comments must be received by June 4, 2014. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after that date will be considered.

NEASC Self-study
Submitted: April 2014

In accordance with NEASC policies, SMFA recently submitted the School's Self-study and hosted the official NEASC site visit for candidacy, June 2-4, 2014. Self-study requires that all institutions seeking accreditation analyze and report on how their specific institution meets the Standards for Accreditation, as set forth by NEASC. Following the Self-study, SMFA will welcome the NEASC commission to campus for an in-person review of the Self-study report.

Licensure Approval
Update: April 23, 2013

On Tuesday, April 23, the Massachusetts State Department of Higher Education approved SMFA's application for state licensure of its degree programs, including the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts. SMFA will now proceed with regional accreditation. We will continue to update this page as we move through the process for full accrediation.

DHE Recommendations Received
Update: January 25, 2013

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts hosted a Visiting Team from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in November. The purpose of their visit was to assess our application for licensure to grant SMFA degrees. We have received the Visiting Team's formal report and recommendations; and will be submitting our response in early February.

The next step in the process will be a presentation the Commission, followed by an application decision at their meeting the following month (anticipated timeline).

We will continue to update this page as we continue with our licensure process.

Department of Higher Education Site Visit
November 15–18, 2012

During the week of November 12, the SMFA hosted a Visiting Team from the Department of Higher Education (DHE) to assess its application for the licensure of SMFA degrees. Licensure is the first step towards independent accreditation for the School and the Visiting Team kept a rigorous schedule of meetings with students, staff, faculty and trustees over the three days that they were on campus.

The School will receive a formal report from the DHE in the coming months, and soon thereafter, the DHE recommendation regarding the School's request for degree licensure will be submitted to the Commission of Higher Education for a ruling.

At the conclusion of the Team's visit on Saturday, their findings were presented to President Christopher Bratton; Sarah McKinnon, Senior VP for Academic Affairs; and Mary Roetzel, Accreditation Liaison Officer. Although these were only preliminary findings, the School seems to have met or exceeded the DHE's standards for licensure and is on track to complete the process by late winter or early spring.

We will continue to update you as we conclude the licensure process and will post developments on this page as they arise.

This is an exciting time, and the Visiting Team's assessment was affirmation of the talent and dedication that is the SMFA community. As one Team member put it, "The School is taking control of its own future."

Because accreditation is a process of self-regulation, institutions must engage periodically in a comprehensive and candid self-study of their own strengths and weaknesses. At the heart of accreditation is the self-study, serving both internal and external purposes: quality assurance and institutional improvement through rigorous self-analysis.

The evaluation process has three components:

  • An institutional self-study, a document in which the institution evaluates how well it meets the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and makes realistic, specific projections for improvement
  • An on-site evaluation by a trained group of peers, which provides a valuable external perspective to the institution and the Commission (NEASC)
  • A review and decision by the Commission

Each of the eleven Standards articulates a dimension of institutional quality. In applying the Standards, the Commission assesses and makes a determination about the effectiveness of the institution as a whole.

The institution that meets the Standards:

  • has clearly defined purposes appropriate to an institution of higher learning
  • has assembled and organized those resources necessary to achieve its purposes
  • is achieving its purposes
  • has the ability to continue to achieve its purposes

The self-study process is intended to be open and transparent. The self-study document synthesizes information gathered from faculty, students, staff, board members, and the community. Committees for each of the eleven standards have worked in coordination with the steering committee.

Read the SMFA NEASC 2014 Self-study report »